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Old 06-01-2015, 07:57   #1
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Could This Be Right?


This is in the Galveston Bay area, between Galveston and West Bays. Open CPN says the readings are in feet. Tiki Island is obviously man-made. Maybe because I'm a sailor, it seems odd they wouldn't have sailboat access to the bays all around the island. All I'm seeing is a channel that leads to a bridge with only a 14' clearance.

Is the chart wrong about it reading in feet? Or is this entire area that shallow?
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:24   #2
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Re: Could This Be Right?

Welcome to the joys of skinny water. Alas lots of places are silted in, which restricts sailboat access. There are still places to anchor, just takes a bit more looking. On the plus side soundings are at LLW so most of the time its somewhat higher, depending on tide range.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:35   #3
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Re: Could This Be Right?

I am a kiteboarder and kited between those islands that you show in your chart. I can kite in about 3 inches of water without hitting bottom. It got really shallow fast any time I got out of that channel. My fins were skimming the bottom at times. Also note that the bottom is oyster shells and not silt. I got quite a few minor cuts on my legs from the oyster shells when I fell in the shallow area. It gets crazy shallow through there if you get out of the channel. I am not sure how deep the channel is though.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:40   #4
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Re: Could This Be Right?

There is access only via a dredged channel and the bridge height is the bridge height. Tiki Island is probably landfilled marsh, a "suburbia on the water" development. No one was going to spend untold millions of dollars to build a drawbridge that would accommodate the needs of perhaps a few dozen property owners with sailboats.

There are tons of bays and flats like that. Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, which dwarfs Jones Bay, probably has an average depth of 2-3' with the main ICW channel going up the middle and occasional smaller channels off of it to waterfront communities. And there are quite a few creeks in the Chesapeake where low bridges preclude sailboat access to thousands of waterfront properties. It's just a matter of economics. Drawbridges are expensive.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:31   #5
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Re: Could This Be Right?

Thanks. At least I know I'm reading the charts right. Probably that skinny water made creating the island that much more attractive. Less fill.

To the NW of that there's a development where they created canals and all the houses are on a canal. But there's a railroad bridge with a 5' clearance between it and Jones Bay. Maybe this sailor's brain can't wrap her head around this concept.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:49   #6
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Re: Could This Be Right?

Buena Vista is the area you are talking about. My brother lives there. I've gone under that bridge many times with him. He fishes that area quite a bit. He bought a bigger fishing boat and now can't get under the bridge in a high tide without taking down some structure over the helm. His new boat has scars from hitting the pylons.

I started from Buena Vista when I made the kiting trek through that channel at Tiki Island.

I really love that area. Good fishing, good restaurants, good kiting...

I've thought about keeping my boat in Kema when making final preparations for my sailing quest. But have since opted against it. I plan to stay in New Orleans or Mobile before leaving the US.
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