Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-10-2013, 10:00   #1
Registered User
 
Southern Spirit's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Madisonville, LA
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 8
Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

Looking to sail my Boat from Kemah to Lake ponchatrain , La. I need to talk to someone who maybe has made the trip or at least sailed from Kemah to Miss. Sound area.
Need advice, and possibly a referral to a Captain who might be available for hire to sail it with me or for me... I can Sail but don't want to cross the gulf by myself the first time....any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.......Info on the boat is on my profile.....
__________________

__________________
Southern Spirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 10:48   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,965
Done this run a few times. You can go inside on the ICW, outside in the Gulf, or some combimation of the two. Regarless of the route you choose, this is potentially a very hazardous area until you get past NOLA...lots of commercial traffic, rigs and other oil patch hazards, and of course the Gulf itself.

Very few small boat facilities along the way, so if you run some of it inside then choose your route carefully. Best to avoid being underway at night on this stretch of ICW...even more hazardous.

The intersection at Morgan City can be especially hazardous. Be sure and check in with VTC here so they can advise of any especially hazardous traffic.

Once past NOLA you are in a good cruising ground with less commercial traffic all the way from Lake Ponchatrain to Pensacola.

On both the ICW and offshore you will want good comm and collision avoidance resources. VHF at the helm is very important...especially in the ICW. RADAR offshore is an important safety tool, especially if you find yourself in an area of unlit rigs at night (has happened to me a few times) and/or low visibilty. AIS useful for both routes.

Offshore in addition to all the other commercial and oil patch hazards be aware of hydrographic research vessels and how they are lit...they tow 6nm of gear behind them!

Good news: there are also some great stops on this route with great people, food, and music.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 13:14   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

I have done this trip a few times and hate it every time. As Belize mentioned the commercial traffic on the west side of Louisiana is thick, and there are all sorts of weird tows, long (10nm long) tows, poorly lit rigs, ect. Frankly I find it easier to just sail south out of Texas 100miles or so to get around the worst of it, then flip over and point at Bay St Louis. It's a little longer, but much easier and gets you out of the worst of the traffic.

The up side is that almost everything is commercial so it should all show up on AIS, and all the ships are manned by English speakers so you don't have to deal with translators.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 14:36   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Ocean Girl's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In transit ( Texas to wherever the wind blows us)
Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
Posts: 4,115
Images: 2
Re: Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

Great advice, I'd just like to add
If you do ICW, do not anchor on or near ICW. Even if it looks like a good spot, be careful and keep an anchor watch( IMO) with spot light, hand held VHF, and horn ready. I've hit Morgan city on a Sunday, it was quiet as a mouse :-). Be sure to talk to the tows, if you have your wife / girlfriend aboard, have them man the VHF, they tend to roll out the red carpet for ya. .

If you go outside, tons and tons of rigs and work boats. I agree with the above, if you outside, it is easier to head south till you hit the rig line, and then head to Bay St Louis. Also, the tows that is mentioned above, very very easy to get between them if you are not careful. All vessels you see, look off the stern a long ways. I don't know how long the average tow is but I've been close enough to see tow to port on one side of horizon and the "towed" way to starboard on the other side of the horizon, gulp! Plus, stay clear of land, I mean well clear, it doesn't get deep for 70ish miles. Do not anchor off the coast. I know it seems like a no brainer but it has been tried before.


It's a poopy stretch, but folks do it all the time. I've done it a half dozen times, and not been run down .



The good side, the ICW is really pretty, wit lots of wildlife, allegators, even dolphins. Off coastal, it is fun, and you should have a good run if you catch a northern to push you south at first.

Hope that helps, and made a little sense.
Erika
__________________
Mrs. Rain Dog~Ocean Girl
https://raindogps34.wordpress.com
Ocean Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 18:02   #5
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,509
Images: 2
Re: Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

We did that trip last year. It takes quite a bit of planning, but the ditch isn't so bad. Lots of long days 40-55 miles. Still beats worrying about ship traffic and rigs if going offshore. Pick up a Skipper Bob's for the Gulf Coast. All of the anchorages shown are good, and pretty much what we used. It took us 8 or 9 days, and we were pushing pretty hard. Not sure how many miles per day you can do on your Spirit 28.

sailing away with R & B

Ralph
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 18:19   #6
Registered User
 
Southern Spirit's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Madisonville, LA
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 8
Holy Crap !!!! I'm sailing into a minefield......lol . I had no idea that there would be so many obstacles. This will be my very first long sail, and my slight apprehension has become sheer terror !!

I guess I have no choice but to try and find a sailing partner who has done this run before. I can see why a veteran sailor is so cautious and that is a good thing.

I have a brand new chart plotter that I installed , so to those of you who have made this run , did anyone plot way points or just sort of wing it ? It looks like even sailing south 100 miles I'll still be dodging so many structures.......head hurts...

Any idea of how long this trip might take .? I know it's a lot of questions but I want to make the best decision . Hiring a person to who's done this sound like the best option, then I can gain the extended knowledge needed to make this run on my own if I ever need to again.
__________________
Southern Spirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 19:03   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,965
Yes, it is a "potentially" very hazardous trip, but most make this trip without serious event. Although any who have made it likely have their own holy s**t ! story. As you can see from the replies, serious planing and prudent seamanship are required.

Choose your weather window well, Ive been caught in the oil patch in unforecast hurricane force winds...not fun...the image of surfing into a rig a 10 knots was in my mind often that trip. April - May is on average the most settled weather.

Particularly for the ICW route, make sure your engine is in excellent condition and you have lots of spares...especially many spare filters. Losing your engine in heavy traffic on the ICW would not be good.

Also, if you go the ICW route through LA, you will be negotiating quite a few locks...another learning experience.

Lots of experienced sailors on the TX coast familiar with this run, ask around on the docks etc.

Crewing in the Harvest Moon Regatta is a good way to build oil patch experience.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 19:51   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,439
Just made the run to and from Galveston Bay / Madisonville. We stayed at Sawmill Marina for a couple of months. Really enjoyed Madisonville.

Not a bad trip on the ICW. I would not recommend traveling at night without radar. Talk to the other boats. Use AIS and call them by name if you can.

Anchoring in the mud in a cove off of the channel is pretty iffy. Tie off to a limb if you can and off the ICW.

I would suggest a crew of 3, if you plan to run round the clock.

There are a few places to stop along the way if you prefer a short handed run. Sabine Lake, Lake Charles, Morgan City and Houma. Don't be surprised if you find yourself needing parts along the way.

If you decide to make the run offshore expect to see some chop if you try to run the coast. I find it much better in 300' of water or more.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 21:59   #9
Registered User
 
Sailormantx's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Newfoundland
Boat: 42' Colvin Gazelle
Posts: 253
Images: 2
Re: Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

It's not a bad trip, but you have to pay close attention to what's around you, its not a relaxing trip like the open ocean. I have made the trip dozens of time on both commercial boats and yachts, inside and outside. If you want to stop at night stay on icw. I don't reccomend sailing at night , inside or out, without a radar. Outside, set a waypoint a mile or so south of trinity shoal and pick you way through the platforms, watching for anything that moves. On the ICW keep you radio in hand on ch 13, be familiar with what a one or two whistle pass is. Use the Harvey lock so you don't have to go upstream when you cross the Miss. to the Industrial lock. The ICW has the advantage that you can run it in about any weather if you have time constraints.
__________________
Sailormantx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-10-2013, 22:35   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Montegut LA.
Boat: Now we need to get her to Louisiana !! she's ours
Posts: 3,421
Re: Kemah to Lake Ponchatrain Advice Needed

We have done it both ways many times on both power and sail. And in all truth, even tho I really like sailing rather then powering, I would take the ICW every time! Much more to see and do! as soon as ya get over the traffic, and start to relax, it's a great trip! Lots of places to see and tour, like the Tobasco factory and gift shop!they even have dockage! And the food and fishing really make the ICW a much more enjoyable trip! Off shore ya still have traffic and if ya can't run 24- hours a day your sorta betwix and between for places to stop and anchor or find dockage! if ya go inshore and if ya get to Houma LA and give us a call we will take yall red fishin!!
__________________
Bob and Connie
bobconnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2013, 21:11   #11
Registered User
 
Southern Spirit's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Madisonville, LA
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 8
Appreciate the advice everyone, lots to think about. Decided to get some rigging work done so I'll have about a month before I'll decide which plan of action to pursue.
I feel much better after reading all of your responses , I may opt to do the ICW if I can't hire a partner to help sail! but truth be known .... I would love to get someone to do the Bluewater with me....the adventurer is Strong in this one...........lol. I'll keep everyone updated, if any of you are near Kemah Texas, I'm in Watergate Marina, and would love to meet any of you great people and further seek advice for this trip.....I'll be back and forth between Madisonville and Kemah often over the next few weeks or months....

Thanks,
Paul
__________________

__________________
Southern Spirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice Needed - Sailing Marmaris / Datca September 17-24, 2011 memch Europe & Mediterranean 23 17-09-2011 06:16
advice needed Sheriff Marine Electronics 6 07-09-2011 09:04
43-51' Offshore Cruiser Advice Needed euros Monohull Sailboats 2 19-08-2011 03:05
Advice Needed or Someone to Follow - Miami to Tampa oilertom Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 12 14-08-2011 12:13
Advice Needed for Hatch Shades bernzin96 Liveaboard's Forum 20 31-07-2011 21:45



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:02.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.