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Old 02-04-2019, 19:16   #16
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

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Originally Posted by Teknishn View Post
Started out in Norfolk, Va. this year on my '81 Hunter 27 with Florida as my destination. After exploring the Okeechobee and then heading over to Florida's west coast, decided to keep going over to Lake Pontchartrain. With a 4.5-ft draft I opted to sail from Anclote Key straight across to Carabelle and avoid the Big Bend and its shallow waters/long channels, etc. Madeira Beach, as someone stated earlier, is a good starting point. The anchorage north of the Welch Causeway Bridge adjacent to the American Legion is a good place to anchor with a short dinghy ride over to the public dock (actually owned by the Publix supermarket about 100-yds from the dock...and there's a McDonald's next to the dock as well!). Good place for re-provisioning.



From there it was up to Three Rooker Bar just south of Anclote Key and waited for an opportune weather window. Departed there on March 10th and motor-sailed straight across to Dog Island and St. George Sound in 36-hours (FYI am Single-handling). After months of the ICW, St. George Sound and the Appilachicola Bay were a welcome relief..one can actually sail and not be restricted to staying "inside the lines". The GIWW from Appilachicola over to Port St. Jo is a pleasant trip. From Port St. Jo I headed "offshore" and did the overnight trip over to Pensacola and the Caucus Channel.



I must admit that the Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Bay are spoiling me. Have been bouncing around the area for the past week...numerous good anchorages, nice marinas, lots of room to put up the sails and go.



Am heading over to Lake Pontchartrain next week and possibly points further west, but may end up returning to this area to spend the rest of the summer. Next winter's plan is to do the Keys and the Bahamas on my way back up to Norfolk, Va. All this in a 27-footer...a 35-footer with 5' draft or less will serve you well. Fair winds!
How long will you be visiting Lake Pontchartrain? We're docked on the eastern side of the lake at a marina. With your draft, you could go into Bayou Liberty/Bonfouca, very pretty back there. Or check out the Pearl rivers before heading into the lake via the Rigolets. Also very pretty marshes and lots of wildlife. Hope your trip there is great!
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Old 03-04-2019, 14:51   #17
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

DB, we've done a lot of Bahamas (Abacos, Exumas, and down to the Caribbean); the FL West Coast down to Keys and Cuba sounds great -- we have been waiting to visit Cuba and I guess it's OK to do that the next time we "go" :-) If you think there are too many other boats in the Exumas (and during Race Week there probably are), try a little farther south (shallow draft, right?): https://www.allatsea.net/exploring-j...agged-islands/


Guarantee you will only find an occasional fishing boat there! But plan carefully for best-sheltered anchorages, there is a lot of exposure to the west along much of the Jumentos chain. There are also some awesome sights, such as an honest-to-gosh natural-lit pirate cave.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:25   #18
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

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Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
How long will you be visiting Lake Pontchartrain? We're docked on the eastern side of the lake at a marina. With your draft, you could go into Bayou Liberty/Bonfouca, very pretty back there. Or check out the Pearl rivers before heading into the lake via the Rigolets. Also very pretty marshes and lots of wildlife. Hope your trip there is great!
Not sure how long I will be in the area but probably at least a month (visiting family for the first time in over a decade). Will probably be visiting Madisonville at some point and then down to N.O. of course.

Which marina are you at? I'll be looking for a lot of local info for anchorages, marinas and the like.
Best.
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Old 09-04-2019, 16:55   #19
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

I'm not circling the gulf but, do have to sail across it from St. Pete to Kemah, TX. My wife doesn't want to do it in one straight shot so, as a compromise I told her we would spend one day in a Marina. I'm figuring a straight shot would take about six days. Water Way guide lists a Marina in Venice, LA. on the Tiger river. Thought I could go down Baptiste Bayou, across the Mississippi, into the Tiger River, then into the Marina at Venice. Next day we would head down river and out Tiger Pass.
Our boat is a 40 foot Caliber with 5.5 feet draft. Has anyone done this trip or used Tiger Pass and/or Baptiste Bayou? Any and all advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2019, 17:51   #20
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

Ive boated in the Venice area, but its been a long time. To me that sounds like a lot of motoring in bayous and the River for one night in a marina. Lots of commercial traffic and hazards too.

Is this a rushed trip or can you spare some time to make it a bit more of a cruise?
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Old 09-04-2019, 18:05   #21
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

Belizesailor,
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it is a rushed trip. My wife wants to go but, after three days she is a bit tired and wants a break. Told her I would do it alone but, the rigs out there don't allow for much eye closing and I lost a chain plate once in some high wind and heavy sea making a Mobile to
St. Pete crossing. It was a memorable experience. She gets a bit upset at me when I single hand now.
Looking at the charts, Venice seemed to be the least outta the way. I'm worried about the commercial traffic and draft. Any advice on anchorages would be much appreciated. Waterway Guide lists exactly zero around the Louisiana area where the river empties into the Gulf.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2019, 19:01   #22
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

In theory you could duck in anywhere in the lee of the delta, but you would want to be confident in the forecast for that (and avoid all the crap on the bottom...pipelines etc, and be out of the way of any oil patch traffic).

Under the circumstances, Venice may indeed be the best option.
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Old 09-04-2019, 19:30   #23
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

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Originally Posted by Teknishn View Post
Not sure how long I will be in the area but probably at least a month (visiting family for the first time in over a decade). Will probably be visiting Madisonville at some point and then down to N.O. of course.

Which marina are you at? I'll be looking for a lot of local info for anchorages, marinas and the like.
Best.
Very nice! Madisonville is a nice area. We're at Lakeshore marina in Slidell. It's only about a 3 hour motor(sail if the wind is in your favor) from the Mandeville area (the "Northshore") to NOLA, nice sail too. Not too many anchorages, but I know a couple.
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Old 09-04-2019, 19:44   #24
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Re: Circle The Gulf of Mexico???

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Originally Posted by Sparks57 View Post
Belizesailor,
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately it is a rushed trip. My wife wants to go but, after three days she is a bit tired and wants a break. Told her I would do it alone but, the rigs out there don't allow for much eye closing and I lost a chain plate once in some high wind and heavy sea making a Mobile to
St. Pete crossing. It was a memorable experience. She gets a bit upset at me when I single hand now.
Looking at the charts, Venice seemed to be the least outta the way. I'm worried about the commercial traffic and draft. Any advice on anchorages would be much appreciated. Waterway Guide lists exactly zero around the Louisiana area where the river empties into the Gulf.

Thanks
You could check out Port Fourchon, LA. It has a recreational marina nearby and there will definitely be marinas in Grand Isle. Yes there is a lot of commercial traffic but if you are planning correctly, you can schedule your arrival to the area at noon time so you good visibility heading into Belle Pass/Bayou Lafourche. There's Port Fourchon Marina, mostly commercial fishing boats, but it's only about a 1-2 hr motor from Belle Pass jetties I would guess. There's a couple marinas by the USCG station in Grand Isle. I don't the depths there though. Can't be too shallow if the cutters are going in and out.

I work on a 300' supply vessel out of Port Fourchon so I'm familiar with that area, not so much Grand Isle, but I could ask around. Also, if you need, I can make up a route for you and send you the gpx file of where I'm talking. It's a little more than halfway but halfway would be Gulfport, MS which has a nice municipal marina on the coast. But you'd be heading a good bit north, plus then you would need to go south around the Louisiana boot.
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