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Old 08-09-2011, 05:14   #1
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Lake Pontchartrain

Sorry if this is answered elsewhere but I am new to the forum and I was wondering if anyone knows of any good cruising clubs / groups / marinas etc in the area. I grew up in Louisiana but have spent the last 20 -odd years in the UK. I learned to sail there and have spent my sailing life on the south coast (of England) and channel. My job offered me the chance to relocate back home and with my mom not getting any younger I went for it. I have looked around on the internet and most of the clubs and marinas seem to cater to racing (that is the nature of the beast) but I am interested in getting info about the local cruising waters. Weekending around the lake, longer trips to Mississippi / Alabama / Florida. Any advice on where to look? Or indeed if anyone is local and has first hand knowledge that might be helpful.
Thanks a million.

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:37   #2
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jmayuk.

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:37   #3
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain


I'm over on Mobile Bay.

Two years ago we had a planned cruise to Madisonville on the north shore of Pontchartrain, which unfortunately for us didn't pan out due to our rudder stock parting on the first night out. Our route (in reverse to illustrate potential cruising from Pontchartrain) was:

Day One: Madisonville/Lake Pontchartrain to a harbor inside the Rigolets (for the life of me I can't remember the name of the marina we were going to use; if I find it, I'll post it here).

Day Two: Rigolets to Gulfport, MS. Nice city marina and yacht club, no anchorages.

Day Three: Gulfport to Pettit Bois Island in Mississippi Sound; anchor overnight. Alternates would be Gulfport to Biloxi, either go into a marina or anchor out at Deer Island or up in the back bay; or Gulfport to Cat Island or Horn Island in the Sound.

Biloxi would be good for a couple of days sailing in the back bay. The Barrier Islands are also good for a couple of days, with Cat, Horn and Pettit Bois all good stops.

Day Four: Pettit Bois into Mobile Bay. At Mobile Bay there are several options. Up the western shore, one can go into the Fowl River (bridge clearance here is only 45') and anchor out. Further up the west side is the Dog River, with anchorages, marinas and yacht clubs. Mobile itself is a busy commercial port and has virtually nothing in the way of facilities for recreational boaters. One can go up the Mobile River and the Tensaw Delta for hundreds of miles.

On the eastern shore of Mobile Bay there is Fairhope, a quaint village famous for its annual arts and crafts festival (usually in March). There are several marinas on the eastern shore but no anchorages.

Further east of Mobile, one enters the man-made "ditch" of the Intracoastal Waterway for a long day's motoring to Pensacola Bay, which offers outstanding sailing.

Points further east along the ICW, out outside in the Gulf of Mexico, are Destin, Panama City, Apalachicola and Carrabelle, each about a day's motoring or sailing apart and each worth a visit. Below Apalachicola/Carrabelle, the ICW ends and one is in the shallow-water cruising grounds of Florida's "Forgotten Coast." The ICW picks up again down around Clearwater/Tampa.

We made a trip from Hudson, FL (north of Clearwater) up through the "Forgotten Coast" across the Gulf in 2010, and then up the ICW from Aplachicola to Mobile Bay. Nice trip but limited anchorages/harbors between Hudson and Apalachicola.

This is just an overview, if you'd like specifics on any of it let me know.

From Lake Pontchartrain, 1-2 days out through the Rigolets will put you in Mississippi Sound, with sailing to Gulfport, Biloxi and the Barrier Islands. There are good anchorages at Cat and Pettit Bois Islands.

Another day
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:58   #4
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain

The TMCA from Clear lake Texas plans a trip down the coast from Galveston,tx to N.O, and back, Once a year. You could do the back trip with us and return to N.O, either by yourself, (you just did the trip), or with a volunteer that wants a second try. I'm planning that trip my self next spring.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:45   #5
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain

So where are you keeping your boat? We are at NOYH and members of New Orleans Yacht Club. While the focus is on racing the bar and party scene is for everyone and the price is certainly right. We cruise the area all the time. Mandeville is great for an overnight from New Orleans. They offer safe harbor along the seawall with free water and electricity. Add a trip to Madisonville and you can stretch the trip a little. Of course, the barrier islands of Mississippi and Alabama are lovely anchorages and so are the harbors at Pass Christian ($20/night) and Gulfport. Go a little farther and you can reach the Orange Beach area and stop at Lulu's or Bear Point Marina if you want. Anchorages are also available if you'd rather swing that way.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:59   #6
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I won't be moving until mid October, just doing my homework right now. I'll be working on the northshore, so likely I'll keep my boat up there. Maybe Madisonville or Mandeville or something. Though my wife is a city girl so there is every possibility we might base ourselves in New Orleans. So I'm keeping an open mind. Another question id whether it is worth shipping my boat over or selling in England and buying another locally. But that is for another day...
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:05   #7
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain

There is also South Shore Harbor Marina, right next to the LakeFront airport. I am hoping to get my boat down from Fort Worth, TX by the end of the year, although I would much prefer New Orleans Marina.
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Old 08-09-2011, 21:35   #8
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Re: Lake Pontchartrain

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