F51: We've made the trip Texas
three times eastbound (most recently between March and May) and twice westbound. All three eastbound trips were in the ICW plus offshore
(Dec 04-Jan 05, ICW to Gulfport MS, then offshore to Pensacola
, then offshore to Key West
; Feb 08, ICW to New Orleans
, Miss River south to Gulf, then offshore to Dry Tortugas
; March-May 11, ICW to Biloxi, then offshore hops to Panama
City, St. Joe, ICW to Appalachicola, offshore to Tampa, ICW between Tampa and Ft. Myers Beach, offshore to Fl. Keys). Both westbound trips were offshore (Cozumel, Mexico
to Galveston Bay in June 05, Key West to Galveston Bay in June 10).
For the Gulf ICW get Skipper
Bob's. There is some out of date info (we have a dozen or more corrections to send in after our last trip), but the anchorage info doesn't really change. We've used Skipper
Bob's on the east coast
ICW and like it, and we liked it for Gulf ICW and the trip along the west coast
For westbound, we enjoyed our passages, but did them at the right time of the year. After listening to a lot of folks who sailed eastbound across the Gulf, I'm convinced we did it right all three times (except that the mouth of the Mississippi
isn't really far enough east before heading south - it was still too much of a beat for us and it wasn't a fun passage
, although it was March and there may not be many good windows in the gulf in March). Not sure where you're headed, but after skipping it twice we enjoyed cruising the west coast
of Florida (the Panama
City - St. Joe - Appalachacola bend and then the Tampa - Ft. Myers - Everglades stretch). It was more motorboating and less sailing than we prefer, especially between Tampa and Ft. Myers beach, but we enjoyed it.
We're back in the Chesapeake for the summer.