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Old 11-05-2015, 20:59   #46
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by frozenhawaiian View Post
be very careful in the northern gulf, rigs everywhere, some well let, others not to well lit, massive amount of traffic around the rigs as well.


There are literally thousands of oil rigs and hard stuff out there not far from the mouth of the Mississippi River (Delta) and going East and West. I have seen the number 4,000 for active wells and rigs and up to 28,000 for inactive and active wells and rigs just in the waters of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I think it would be a good idea to fire up your radar and make sure the crew knows what to look for at night, including poorly lit fishing boats and small craft who go out at night for fishing.

If you do make it to Pensacola Florida (not far from Mobile), I highly recommend a visit to the U.S. Navy "Naval Aviation Museum." It has a world-class facility and collection of old Navy planes. Well worth seeing, if you have the time and need a place to visit.
Welcome - National Naval Aviation Museum

CLIP:
"The world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. Share the excitement of Naval Aviation’s rich history and see more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. These historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the Museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on its 37-acre grounds.

There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to stay all day! Admission is free! Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s. For more information, call 1-800-327-5002."


Also, the beaches on that part of the Gulf have very white sand, it looks like sugar, and is different from the beaches on the other parts of Florida, which have a more typical light brown sand. I have taken Europeans there and they were all amazed at the white sand (and they took some home in bottles).
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Old 11-05-2015, 22:54   #47
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

I just looked at the JPEG of the oil rigs. Holy crap!


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Old 12-05-2015, 09:07   #48
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Originally Posted by Macaway View Post
I just looked at the JPEG of the oil rigs. Holy crap!


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Just be aware, especially if you intend to transit the area at night

My Suggestion: Maintain an alert helmsman/watch who knows that the platforms may appear DARK and very difficult to see and consider keeping the radar on with close proximity alert. Show the crew the following photo so they don't imagine the rigs to all be huge or brightly lit.

Why? While we often think of the largest working Oil platforms (which can be very brightly lit at night and the size of a huge building) there are MANY more that are not occupied, inactive, MUCH smaller in size, lower, dark metal structures, scattered around, and possibly very difficult to see on a dark night.

"If you are only looking out for an Elephant, you might miss the Tiger."

Here is a photo showing how some of the platforms look (the diversity) from that area (the Gulf). Click to enlarge the photo as much as possible (it is large original).

Have a safe voyage, and post some photos and notes from your journey. I wish I could be on the boat, as going "down" the Mississippi Delta is something I have wanted to do since I was a young boy, just like "going up the Congo."
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:03   #49
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

There are many platforms that have a bridge span between 2 or more.


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Old 12-05-2015, 12:25   #50
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post


Just be aware, especially if you intend to transit the area at night

My Suggestion: Maintain an alert helmsman/watch who knows that the platforms may appear DARK and very difficult to see and consider keeping the radar on with close proximity alert. Show the crew the following photo so they don't imagine the rigs to all be huge or brightly lit.

Why? While we often think of the largest working Oil platforms (which can be very brightly lit at night and the size of a huge building) there are MANY more that are not occupied, inactive, MUCH smaller in size, lower, dark metal structures, scattered around, and possibly very difficult to see on a dark night.

"If you are only looking out for an Elephant, you might miss the Tiger."

Here is a photo showing how some of the platforms look (the diversity) from that area (the Gulf). Click to enlarge the photo as much as possible (it is large original).

Have a safe voyage, and post some photos and notes from your journey. I wish I could be on the boat, as going "down" the Mississippi Delta is something I have wanted to do since I was a young boy, just like "going up the Congo."
and take it from someone who has worked the oil patch. the captains of the bigger support vessels tend to be pretty and pretty on it. however many of the guys that run the smaller and often faster moving crewboats are paying very little attention and are complete morons. putting together a charted passage plan before transiting the fields will go a long way towards ensuring safety. always keep your radar on, keep a radio handy and a handheld spotlight just in case.
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Old 12-05-2015, 14:10   #51
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

I came north from South Pass to Venice and after a few days and full tanks we went farther to Baptiste Colletta Bayou and thence out into Brenton Sound. The current out of mid channel was only about 2 knots. There are lots of lighted well platforms until you get out to 1000 feet deep water after you leave the Mississippi River. Then it is open sailing to Florida. I stayed awake for 22 hours then my wife stood watch for me to get some sleep. So I would recommend that you come down River and then head to Florida. Have a great trip.
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Old 20-05-2015, 20:58   #52
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

May I pipe up about the late May/June rainy season in Florida? Every afternoon around 3pm, torrential ran storms on the Gulf Coast....let us know when you're Sarasota to Ft Myers bound!!!

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Old 21-05-2015, 10:51   #53
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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Old 21-05-2015, 10:52   #54
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

We made it to Venice! Sailing to Key West tonight. Amazing trip so far...


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Old 21-05-2015, 10:56   #55
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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We made it to Venice! Sailing to Key West tonight. Amazing trip so far...


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Congrats! Any issues on river?
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Old 21-05-2015, 15:59   #56
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

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We made it to Venice! Sailing to Key West tonight. Amazing trip so far...


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Great to hear! Enjoy Louisiana!

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Old 24-05-2015, 20:12   #57
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

So we are sitting at anchor in Key West and reflecting on an amazing trip that we are unlikely to repeat. I miss Louisiana already! We were dropped in at Belle Chasse and anchored for the night close in behind a couple barges. Rolly as hell when the big ships came by, but still managed to get some rest. Woke up to find the boat covered in bugs. Flying ants, dragonflies - you name it... We motored downriver to Venice and got a nice push from the 3-4 knot stream. Amazing to watch the ships unloading and the industry all along the river. Entered Venice via the Jump and Tiger Pass. Ran into some very shallow mudbanks at the entrance to Venice Marina, but we're able to back off and find deep water. Great night at Venice Marina - very hospitable folks! Out into the Gulf the next day via SW pass. We tried S pass but found depths of around 11 ft and dropping, right in the middle of the channel a few markers down. That, coupled with the fact that no one else was using S Pass made us go the sure fire way. SW Pass into the Gulf was easy. First night was hectic, with rigs and service craft everywhere. Stayed sharp on the radar and all was good after 24 hours. Dolphins and flying fish replaced radar targets.
I'm now into my second Pacifico at anchor and it all seems like a distant adventure😊. Sincerest thanks to all posters who helped out with advice. Much appreciated...


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Old 24-05-2015, 20:58   #58
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Very good to hear you had a safe and pleasant voyage. Thanks for the update. I am curious, how many days for the voyage from NO starting point to KeyWest?
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Old 25-05-2015, 14:31   #59
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Three days in the river and three days crossing the Gulf. Hunkered down in Key West now with a strong Easterly blowing. We had a nice easy run...👍


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Old 27-05-2015, 22:12   #60
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Re: New Orleans to Key West

Glad you made it safely! The "flying ants" we're probably termites as they are swarming this time of year. Venice is full of great folks.


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