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Old 12-05-2010, 22:09   #31
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Robert, yep the gulf stream will meet you twice (it feels more like three or four times because of the weird current changes). BTW- I just came in from Cozumel, Mexico and the gulf was perfection! Actually, I was aboard a monster cruise ship so it doesn't really count as a "gulf crossing" :-). If ya need anything when you get into Galveston just give me a holler, will be glad to help. If you decide on Corpus I have friends there too, so let me know if you need help and we will whip out the welcome wagon (we Texans are a friendly lot).
Be careful and fair winds to ya,
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Old 13-05-2010, 00:26   #32
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Several years ago, I made the crossing and hugged the coast using the counter current. I ducked into Grande Isle for a few nights and then hopped on down the coast to Galvez and then on to Port Lavaca.

Recently did Galvez to POC and hugged the coast again. Had light winds most of the time and made good use of the current.
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Old 11-07-2010, 22:19   #33
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I completed the crossing from Key West to Galveston Texas.
Thanks everyone for your info and help!!

You can read about my trip in my blog.
Key West to Galveston Texas - Sailing - Spot

RobertVB
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Old 12-07-2010, 18:03   #34
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We just came from the Exumas to Kemah Texas

We took the intracoastal from Pensacola to Beaumont, Texas (our home). We sailed the gulf from Beaumont to Kemah. My opinion is you need to respect the gulf. Yes, the locks and bridges can be a hassle but not so much if you are prepared. I highly recommend Skipper Bob Cruising the Gulf Coast. If gives you schedules and phone numbers and lets you know where you can get gas, food, etc. We left from Kemah in January for the Exumas and returned a couple of weeks ago. We cut our trip short because of the spill. The spill is the big question right now. We know of another boat that left Ft Myers, Fla when we did and went then Cuba- southern route and made it in 6 days. They had another couple fly in to help. It took us 2 1/2 weeks from Nassau to Beaumont, Tx. The intracoastal is not a bad (SAFE) way to go. It "ain't sailing but it gets you there".
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Old 12-07-2010, 18:38   #35
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Well since I have some good local knowledge here and I will need to move my 600 mile range trawler to Texas from FL and I would REALLY like to dodge the south La rigs well, any thoughts???

I have been toying with the idea of doing the Bahamas, going south to the Turks then cutting to the south of Cuba, gassing up at the last possible chance then rolling on to Cancoon. After that just working my way to the barn. Whatta ya think?? Either choice.
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Old 19-07-2010, 18:33   #36
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I'd think more in terms of shorter passages: Windward passage to Jamaica to Caymans to Isla. But there's no point in going that route unless you're going to spend some weeks/months in the Bahamas. And the danger of doing that is that you may decide that you don't really need to go to Texas at all.
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Old 23-08-2010, 09:44   #37
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28 Mariner cruising Key West to Galveston

I am so glad I stumbled across this forum!! My husband and I plan to move our tiny old Mariner from Key West to Galveston (Houston is home) early 2011. We are currently starting our very first research into the trip and what it will take. We have the luxury of time. We can easily dedicate 3 months to the task. Hopefully we can do it comfortably in much less time! We have no desire to make a true crossing and intend to travel coast and inter-coastal for the trip. He does not have much sailing experience although he possesses great natural ability and confidence. I have some experience but less confidence. I cruised from Los Angeles to Guaymas over 6 months and went up into the Sea of Cortez as well back in '97 with just one other aboard and we hand steered the whole Pacific side and encountered some heavy weather. As a result of that trip, I am fearful but also probably knowledgeable in ways I don't even realize. Fortunately I am also left wanting nothing more than to face those fears head on and raise my confidence because I can not leave the memory of the cruising life behind. I am hoping to make cruising a major feature in our next chapter.
That said, I would welcome any and all advice you have for me. Any books, charts, etc. Must not miss ports. Any books that will help us with weather. Also any advice on timing this trip too. I have only read bits and pieces of this thread and intend to go back and get it all now. I just got so happy and excited to find y'all here with this wealth of practical knowledge I'm almost tearing up!!
Thanks in advance, I welcome all private messages too.
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Old 23-08-2010, 10:50   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wunu View Post
I am so glad I stumbled across this forum!! My husband and I plan to move our tiny old Mariner from Key West to Galveston (Houston is home) early 2011. We are currently starting our very first research into the trip and what it will take. We have the luxury of time. We can easily dedicate 3 months to the task. Hopefully we can do it comfortably in much less time! We have no desire to make a true crossing and intend to travel coast and inter-coastal for the trip. He does not have much sailing experience although he possesses great natural ability and confidence. I have some experience but less confidence. I cruised from Los Angeles to Guaymas over 6 months and went up into the Sea of Cortez as well back in '97 with just one other aboard and we hand steered the whole Pacific side and encountered some heavy weather. As a result of that trip, I am fearful but also probably knowledgeable in ways I don't even realize. Fortunately I am also left wanting nothing more than to face those fears head on and raise my confidence because I can not leave the memory of the cruising life behind. I am hoping to make cruising a major feature in our next chapter.
That said, I would welcome any and all advice you have for me. Any books, charts, etc. Must not miss ports. Any books that will help us with weather. Also any advice on timing this trip too. I have only read bits and pieces of this thread and intend to go back and get it all now. I just got so happy and excited to find y'all here with this wealth of practical knowledge I'm almost tearing up!!
Thanks in advance, I welcome all private messages too.
We have posted both the trip from the Florida Keys to Houston and the trip from Houston to South Carolina, traveling the Gulf coast, on our Sea Trek web site. Here is the first post on the trip west. You can scroll down the left column to find the rest of them, http://tinyurl.com/33a354a . We did both trips on our Mariner 40 ketch. There may be some information you can use. Chuck
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Old 14-04-2011, 12:09   #39
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Re: Key West to Texas

Hi Chuck, thanks again for the link. I copied your blog (ages ago) to a pdf and sent to me & my husbands kindles. I feel it really gave me a feel for what our transit might be like. We are in Key West nearly finished with all the jobs that need doing to get Stain home to Houston. We will likely leave sometime next week and I am very excited and nervous. Thanks again for the link. We are finding that it takes a village to get one little boat and 2 crew on it's way. You were one of the first friendly villagers.
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Old 14-04-2011, 19:04   #40
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Re: Key West to Texas

I well remember the excitement and anxiety we felt on our first cruise many years ago. I can only offer some comments on that first trip. At about the half way point we wondered what we were so worried about and began to really relax and enjoy the adventure. I hope you guys have a great trip and compared to the Pacific, this should be a piece of cake. Stay safe. Chuck
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Old 05-07-2011, 19:10   #41
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Re: Key West to Texas

A bit time late but I will add the results of our crossing to this thread.

We decided on the more southerly open ocean route due to concerns on with the oil rigs and such. We stayed well south of them and the shipping lanes. We could see the lanes on the horizon to the north and kept a sharp watch out for anything to indicate that a ship may be deviating from the lanes due to a out of the normal destination. We say 5-10 large ships a day and at least 1 or 2 were not following the established routes. Attempted to contact a few by VHF but never got replies.

We stayed south until we got to the fairway that leads NW to Galveston. We timed our approach to get there by early morning and spent most of the daylight hours transiting. As evening approached we stayed on the very edge of the fairways throughout the night. We took it slow to time our landfall at day break. The closer you get the more confusing the navigational picture becomes. large ships anchored just of the fairway suddenly get underway and others loitering in the fairway changing course to avoid other ships as they transited. All this against the back-lights of navigational markers and oil rigs. We need three on deck to maintain sail, operate radar with chart and another to navigate. With a 4 man crew we were spent by dawn. It was a trying experience.

The gulf was much more beautiful than I would have expected. Stars at night were some of the brightest I have witnessed. Dolphins and porpoise almost constantly. Small birds riding onboard, hand feeding them as they sit on your shoulder. Luminescence in your wake like I have seldom seen with small explosions of light popping off 2-10 feet behind the boat looking life cherry bombs going off. Many schools of large luminescent squid suddenly flashing just off the beam of the boat, 4-6' long.

We did an early April crossing and avoided the worst weather. Reports of lightening were few and far away. We did manage to catch a few small showers to cool off the day.

I am trucking the boat to San Francisco soon. I will be glad to not have to mess with the Gulf again.
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