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Old 13-02-2007, 20:00   #1
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Any Mobile <-> Texas cruisers?

I've done the Atlantic ICW numerous times. now in Texas. Anyone on the forum familiar with the Gulf ICW from south Texas to New Orleans to Mobile?
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Old 13-02-2007, 20:28   #2
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Click on the link from my signature and advance the pages till you get to that section.
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Old 14-02-2007, 02:23   #3
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That was great -- thanks!

We're looking at possibly bringing our "new" Bristol 29 into the Kemah area from the Chesapeake, perhaps starting late this fall or maybe next. I've made the trip between the Chesapeake and South Florida several times, including once around to St Petersburg and back. Your logs from there to Kemah are helpful!

I may have missed it in your logs, but did you have any references for finding anchorages along the way, such as Skipper Bob's?

Bill
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Old 14-02-2007, 02:40   #4
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By the way -- what are the discharge rules in the Kemah area? (I used a Lectrasan on the trawler, and was thinking about installing one on the sailboat.)
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Old 14-02-2007, 06:36   #5
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Clear Lake (Kemah) is a Zero Discharge Zone but that is generally not enforced. With that said there are few marinas that do not provide some sort of pump out service. There are also services that will come to you slip and pump you boat.

For a long time industry was a great threat to the bay. In recent years, in part due to the loss of fishing stocks, there has been a big push to clean up the bay and improve the habitat around it. In the process they are improving the cruising grounds around the bay.

Welcome to Texas!
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Old 14-02-2007, 08:15   #6
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I made the trip last February from New Orleans to Port Aransas. If your air draft is >50ft you will have to go out in the gulf to get around the bridge at Houma, LA. We came back in Pt AuFer pass and up to the ICW for the rest of the trip.

Be aware that there is also another drawbridge in Western LA or extreme east TX - I can't remember exactly where - that requires a 4 hour advance notice for opening. It is identified in Skipper Bob's ICW guide and the telephone number given to call for an opening was valid as of last year.

We found the anchorage information in Skipper Bob's guide to be outdated. Several that he reports as >6ft have shoaled in. We draw 6ft and had a heck of a time finding anchorages for the night. Plan on some tense moments while probing for an anchorage. We learned the first night NOT to wait for sunset to start our search

If you have enough crew, just follow a barge at night.

Enjoy the trip!
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Old 14-02-2007, 08:35   #7
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Dory, We used the Southern Waterway Guide and found the info to be extremely out of date. Our logs should give you a good idea of where you can anchor since we did only day runs except for the offshore stuff due to bridge height. We were fortunate to find several people from Texas in the western Caribbean that provided us with lots of local info regarding anchorages. We draw 6 feet so you would have no problem following in our wake. All of the anchorages we chose had comfort, protection and safety from commercial traffic considered before we chose them. Mostly we used the info on our charts and our own intuition in deciding where to stop for the night. we also received a lot of good info from the tug Captains along the way as they were more than willing to give us depth info and happily told us where we might anchor without getting in their way. In some cases we did have to pull off to the wide side of a river and run an anchor almost ashore to keep us out of the channel and out of their way. Not sure what guide we will use next time but having done it now it is not a critical as the first time. There is a very helpful flip chart that is just sketches of the waterway but is pretty cool since it is full of info on bridges, mile markers, strong currents and narrow crossings. Can't remember the name of it since it is now in storage and off the boat. Perhaps someone else can tell you what it is called. In additions a more detailed account has been published monthly in Soundings Magazine and the articles can be accessed on line on their site under back issues. It is published as Voyages in the magazine. I believe this next issue or two will wrap up the entire trip. Do not and I repeat do not try any of this trip at night, unless you are offshore. Good luck and have fun, it is a great trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it after 10 trips on the east coast ICW.
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Old 14-02-2007, 11:30   #8
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Thanks much for the feedback.
Sounds like you enjoy the gunkholing as well -- is there much available out of Kemah area, or do you need to travel farther to find anchorages and the like?

Bill
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Old 14-02-2007, 12:16   #9
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Galveston Bay does not have a lot of destinations but there are a few. Area is very industrialized and commercial traffic is more that we have seen anywhere else we have traveled. There are some nice areas a bit further south but we have not have the chance to really do any exploration.
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Old 07-03-2007, 17:41   #10
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The March 2007 Cruising World had a 9 page article about the Gulf ICW, and sufficiently enthused the Admiral that we've decided to bring the boat around that way. (It is currently in Solomons MD, and I'll bring it to Norfolk next month, then leave it there until the great migration south begins for all the cruisers, around Oct 1 or so depending on what is brewing in the Atlantic.

We've done the Chesapeake <-> Florida trip repeatedly when we were cruising full time, and the west coast of Florida a couple of times, but never made the jump across to the panhandle and westward.

It will be interesting -- we're going to make it in numerous legs, dropping the boat for weeks at a time at spots so we can deal with dirt-dweller issues. (And I used to think getting mail was a challenge... )
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