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Old 07-07-2015, 19:44   #16
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Friend of mine who did the Kemah to Bahamas run several times, recommended the Skipper Bob Gulf Coast guide. They went ICW over, and offshore back. I purchased the guide - pretty cheap - and it has info on places to get fuel, anchorages, and some marinas. I would start there.

We are heading from Kemah to Florida in October, lay the boats up for the winter in south Florida, and come back in February next year for three months in the Bahamas. Was recommended to get the boats to Florida in October rather than January. Although there is a certain amount of anxiety leaving my boat in a marina for three months unattended.
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Old 07-07-2015, 20:07   #17
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

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Should we stay off shore around Cape Hatteras or go through the Pamlico Sound and the ICW?
Since you say you have time, I'm with the others who suggest going inside behind Hatteras... It's my favorite section of the ICW, I'd advise stops at Cape Lookout Bight, Beaufort, and Ocracoke, for starters...

Up to that point, let the weather dictate your choices... Don't even think about doing the ICW south of Ft Pierce ;-) N of Ponce Inlet, I'd suggest staying outside as much as possible, with perhaps a leg inside from around Savannah to Charleston to get a sense of the beauty of the Low Country... It would be nice to have a copy of Steve Dodge's INLET CHARTBOOK TO SOUTHEASTERN U.S., an excellent resource for those running this coast for the first time...




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Very helpful. Thanks. It is likely we will continue all the way to Rhode Island. (Long story: has to do with a job delay, and plans for a major refit.) We have not sailed north of Chesapeake Bay. How would you go from Hampton Roads to RI at that time of year: out at Cape Charles, or through the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and into the Atlantic at Cape May?
Don't waste your time on the Chesapeake in August ;-) Go outside, get up to New England at your earliest convenience...
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:31   #18
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

If you have time, I would check out some spots on the Bay at least once. Annapolis and Baltimore were good suggestions. I also like Rock Hall, Solomon, St Michaels. If you do take the Bay, be mindful of the current in the C&D canal and especially in Delaware Bay. You want to try and get an outgoing tide to go down the Delaware Bay.

I second the suggestion to avoid the ICW between Miami and Lake Worth. It is an easy outside run. Also, if you have the time, avoid traveling on the Florida ICW on weekends! It is a complete ZOO!!
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:36   #19
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Heading from Chesapeake Bay to New England, do you recommend going through the C&D Canal or going outside at Cape Charles?
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:23   #20
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Friend of mine did this trip from Kemah via ICW in 2010, but detoured to Bahamas from Florida.I took some detailed notes on his trip, as we planned to do the same in the future.(Which for us, now looks like October to Florida, and Jan to Bahamas.)Some of the ICW days get pretty long (60-70 statute miles), because of lack of anchorages to stop.I say “long”, because we are traveling in twin outboard-powered sailboats.You can find the anchorages and fuel stops in Skipper Bobs, and also on the Waterway Guide chart on the internet.

  • Day 1, Kemah to Bolivar. Short day of ~25 statute miles. You could anchor out in Galveston Bay (Baffle Point anchorage) or head up the ICW to Steve’s Landing – a few miles up the ICW at Bolivar used to have dock for a few boats (with power), but was wiped out by the hurricane and not sure the configuration of rebuild.It is now reopened.With a good restaurant (I hear).
  • Day 2, 76 mi to Shell Island (Orange TX), ICW 271.This is an overnight anchorage.
  • Day 3, 69 mi to Mermentau River, ICW 202.Overnight anchorage
  • Day 4, 42 mi to Shell Morgan in Intercoastal City (ICW 160).Fuel stop and plate lunches.Afternoon another 37 mi to Charenton Drainage Canal (ICW 123) and overnight anchorage.
  • Day 5, 66 mi to Houma, LA municipal dock, ICW 58.You need to make Bayou Dularge Bascule Bridge at ICW 59.9 before curfew (it has restricted times).Dock at muni dock with water and power, and pumpout available.
  • Day 6, Lay day in Houma.Pit Stop Café within walking distance of muni dock.
  • Day 7, 58 mi thru Harvey Locks (ICW 0), 2 locks and 4 bridges in transit.Another 11 mi to Seabrook Marina, New Orleans (Lake Ponchetrain South).Fuel at Seabrook, which on Inner Harbor Navigation Channel, north of turning basin.Overnight at Seabrook Marina.
  • Day 8.There is a bridge curfew until 8:30 am then ICW to Miss Sound, offshore to Cat Island, 62 mi.This ends in night sailing.Anchorage behind Cat Island (ICW 69)
  • Day 9, Detour to Point Cadet Marina, Biloxi, 20 mi.Fuel at marina.Cab or trolley ride to shops in town.
  • Day 10 & 11, Leave Biloxi in morning and overnight sail to Harborwalk Marina, Destin, FL, 170 mi trip.Follow Gulf fairway safety corridor.Rigs plentiful in Mobile Bay.Anchor outside of Destin Cut and wait for daybreak, then marina slip.
  • Day 12-14, Lay days in Destin.Boardwalk attractions.
  • Day 15-16, Leave Destin in the morning and overnight and thru next day sail to Anclote River Entrance, Tarpon Springs (ICW150).A total of 290 miles.Arrive after dark and anchor in opening in front of Anclote River entrance.
  • Day 17, Lay day in Tarpon Springs.Visit sponge docks up river.Restaurants.
  • Day 18, 72 mi to Longboat Key (town of Longbeach, ICW 85).ICW thru Cleawater.Anchor overnight.
  • Day 19, 49 mi to Cape Haze, Placido, FL (ICW 36).ICW thru Venice.10 bridges enroute.Gas at Stump Pass Marina (ICW 41).Anchor overnight.
  • Day 20, 42 mi to Estero Island (Ft Myers Beach).Mooring ball owned by Matanzas Inn & Rest.Laundry mat and fuel avail at Shell station right before harbor bridge.
  • Day 21, Lay day in Ft Myers
  • Day 22, 91 mi offshore passage to anchorage west of Everglades National Park, 44 miles from Long Key.This is an early morning departure and early evening arrival.Overnight anchorage
  • Day 23, 50 mi.Enter Florida Bay, fuel up in Islamorada, anchor overnight.
  • Day 24, 97 mi.Exit at Snake Creek, north of Islamorada.Make it to South Riding Rock and anchor.
After this point, their destinations were in the Bahamas. As you can see, he pushed pretty hard on the days he was on the water, and then had some lay days to recover. He and his wife on the boat, no other crew.
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Old 08-07-2015, 14:56   #21
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

This almost plans our first leg for us. Thanks!
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:28   #22
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

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This almost plans our first leg for us. Thanks!
Yeah, that is sort of why I put it together for myself. I tracked his movements and Spot and notes on blog back then. I haven't done it yet myself. Frankly I hate the idea of having to go thru all of the locks and lifting bridges - especially in the NO area. My wife OTOH loves traveling the ICW - we've done it a lot from Port Aransas to Galveston. She sits on the front nets and reads a book, takes in the sights, while I steer away avoiding the tows/barges! This last trip made it better, with AIS transponder. Was able to identify the tows quickly, and as well they saw me, and sometimes would even call me to setup passing (1 or 2). Even had one that watched me for quite some time on AIS catching him, and called and offered pulling it back for a while for me to pass.

My other issue with ICW - and again my experience has all been east of Bolivar, and not west - is that many times there is nowhere to anchor if you get delayed and cannot make it to your planned stopping point at an anchorage or dock. I have been on the ICW at night, and it's not so safe. Back then I didn't have AIS, so now it would be better. But you are mostly relying on a GPS and AIS to avoid other boats and shallows.

OTOH, the safe shipping fairway is a long way offshore Louisiana. The delivery guys tell me the downside is that if you get caught out there in no wind, you use a lot of fuel just motoring into shore just to refuel! (If that makes sense.) Another friend says he goes thru the near-shore fairway. I need to look at charts, as he is the only one that has mentioned this exists. In my mind, that means shallow water platforms.

So right now, my plan is to reluctantly follow the same I posted. But I am looking for alternatives.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:55   #23
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

There is no shortage of anchorage options east of Galveston with the exception of the New Orleans area. There are two, Rabbit Island and The Rigolets, neither is ideal, we prefer the Rigolets, but before and beyond that, lots of choices. There is a marina stop in the canal between the GIWW and Lake Ponchitran. Chuck
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:27   #24
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

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There is no shortage of anchorage options east of Galveston with the exception of the New Orleans area. There are two, Rabbit Island and The Rigolets, neither is ideal, we prefer the Rigolets, but before and beyond that, lots of choices. There is a marina stop in the canal between the GIWW and Lake Ponchitran. Chuck
Thanks, I guess I need to go back and look again. And I just realized I got east and west mixed up on my previous post. I have only traveled east as far as Bolivar on the ICW, and west as far as Port Aransas. And done the offshore from Galveston to Port Aransas six times, each time during a race.
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Old 09-07-2015, 14:46   #25
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Re the C&D canal, having made the trip twice, I have enjoyed the canal route and would not recommend the outside route. As with the leg from Cape May to Sandy Hook, the coast of Delaware can have challenging inlets with few options. Why not take the gentler route and not stress yourself out. Do plan on going down the Delaware with the tide flow (ebb), and overnight at one of the fine marinas at Cape May.


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Old 09-07-2015, 16:29   #26
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

If you are not familure with the Active Captain app you should have a look at that also,during my times of traveling the icw it did not exist, boy does it look to be realy handy and will be using it in future travels and take some time and update some of the info for me in the future! some info looks pretty old
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:44   #27
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Active captain is free and runs off line after a down load.
A Great help.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:34   #28
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Re: Need advice for August passage from Galveston to Chesapeake Bay

Yes, I am a regular user of Active Captain. Thanks.
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