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Old 24-11-2018, 06:35   #1
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Location: Kemah, Texas
Boat: AquaCraft 45 Cutter Ketch
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Gulf crossing

Hello all,
Boat is finally ready, some delays due to numerous reasons, but finally ready.
We are going to sail from Galveston to Tampa as soon as we get a weather window. Been getting lots of advise from marina neighbors both ways. Some say go for it, others say no way in the winter. East bound in the Gul is not the best choice, but required to get to Florida. The boat is a 45' cutter rigged ketch weighing between 45 and 48,000 lbs. Heavy modified full keel boat.

Are we asking for a beating by going across in November? Not interested in the Ditch, so it will be off-shore. Anyone have experienced thoughts on this?
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Old 24-11-2018, 06:53   #2
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Gulf crossing

Go east following a cold front. Duck back inside for the return of the easterly flow.
Youíll only take a beating if your in the middle of the gulf heading north west. Heading east south east youíll be running with the worst of the north winds.

No problem
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Old 24-11-2018, 07:05   #3
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Location: The boat is on the hard in Indiantown and we’re back in Colorado Springs to make more money so we can go again.
Boat: 1982 Cape Dory 36 Hull #78
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Re: Gulf crossing

Weíre leaving Monday from CCTX to Pensacola in a cutter rigged 36í Cape Dory.
Monday after 10am winds die down and seas reduce. It seems thereís a brief period Fri night and Saturday for gale force winds and high seas again East of the MS Delta. Hopefully weíll be in Pensacola Friday.
Iím figuring CCTX to MS Delta 3 days then one day to Pensacola.

At least thatís what Marine Weather, Windy, Predict Wind and NOAA says.
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Old 10-12-2018, 18:34   #4
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Location: The boat is on the hard in Indiantown and we’re back in Colorado Springs to make more money so we can go again.
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Re: Gulf crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
Weíre leaving Monday from CCTX to Pensacola in a cutter rigged 36í Cape Dory.
Monday after 10am winds die down and seas reduce. It seems thereís a brief period Fri night and Saturday for gale force winds and high seas again East of the MS Delta. Hopefully weíll be in Pensacola Friday.
Iím figuring CCTX to MS Delta 3 days then one day to Pensacola.

At least thatís what Marine Weather, Windy, Predict Wind and NOAA says.
Let me tell you what actually happened. We left Monday morning as planned from Corpus Christi with a pretty direct route to the MS Delta. Immediatly after leaving the protection of the bay the seas got heavy and continued to do so for the next 4 days. We stayed in the outer most safety fairway so we were pretty far out.
Winds gusting to 30+ knots, seas in excess of 8í, at several pojnts our altimeter said we were 16í above and below sea level. Waves breaking over the bow kept us wet the entire trip. The occasional ** wave would slam the side of the boat, flood the cockpit and soak us.
We were wet, cold and miserable for 4 days. No one slept, no one ate, 3 out 4 of us were sea sick and the interior of the boat was a shambles as everything that could fall onto the floor did, every thing that could clang or bang did, the staysail ripped and had to be lowered from the mast during heavy breaking seas and both anchors banged and banged and banged in the bow sprit.
The safest and least scary place was in the cockpit watching the boat safely ride up and down these monster swells.
We turned off our course and made landfall at Grand Isle, LA at the Sand Dollar Marina. We spent 4 days there making repairs and cleaning up. My two adult kids said we were crazy and left us for Colorado, I didnít blame them.
The bright side of this is we made it. I learned a lot for better planning and not to get so far out to sea that we canít turn in for a rest and the Sand Dollar Marina is a small slice of heaven and Jimmy takes care of his guests.
I also learned to take better wet weather gear, wool rules, wool socks have a place on the boat no matter what and your partner in the cockpit needs to be warm amd comfortable while youíre at the helm despite breaking waves into the cockpit.
No one told us that November was hell in the Gulf until after we left.
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Old 10-12-2018, 21:01   #5
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Re: Gulf crossing

Well, at least you made safe landfall and learned some things.

Also...it could have been a lot worse. Ive been in the Gulf in 65 gusting 85 knots and about 25' seas. Ive been thankfully ashore when NOAA was reporting seas to 50'!

The Gulf can be hell any time of year, but its especially likely in Winter. Now you know.
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