As noted, if you are going to do the Texas
coast at night, either run the edge of the safety
fairway, or have radar
Galveston jetties to Port Aransas can usually be done in about 24 hours. Leave at dawn, arrive at dawn, and have the whole day as a safety net.
Breaking it up into segmants like Steleehin did is a good option: St. Christophers DOES have 7' draft
, but only at the T head
. Don't try going into the slips with 6' draft. There is no electricity at the T head
There are several decent places to anchor
, inside Matagorda inlet. They might be bouncy, but the holding is usually very good - even with 25 or 30 kts of wind. As noted, Matagorda is NOT a good transit with the tide going out - unless you can make 7 or more kts, and don't mind the outgoing tide hitting the incoming swells.
I'd suggest that you get your hands on a copy of the Texas
Cruising Guide. Frankly, the only things that have changed since Ike, are those in and around Galveston - which you shouldn't have to worry about, as you will quickly leave them.
I would MUCH rather take the trip to CC rather than the one to Florida
. At least the Texas coast has good, safe inlets every 50 or so miles, in a pinch, or to take a breather.
The ICW isn't a BAD trip, it's just that it's a bit more draining. Follow your GPS
, not the marks - especially the downwind ones that get dragged out of place by barges. It's been a very windy year... Also, there are locks between Freeport and Port O'Connor, that can add hours to your day. DO NOT use the South Channel across Matagorda Bay - it has silted in. Use the North Channel, which isn't on older charts
Be aware that hurricanes and tropical storms, in August and September, can crop up from nowhere in 24 hours in the Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico
is no picnic - I'd much rather spend time offshore in the Atlantic than in the Gulf. Shallow water
makes for short wave periods! You are also sailing a lee shore.
That being said, doing it again, I'd either break it up and go Galveston to Freeport, Freeport to Matagorda/Port O'Connor, Matagorda to Port Aransas or if the weather
looked favorable, I'd go Galveston to Port Aransas in 1 jump. Either way, all outside.
If the wind is over 20kts, and that is likely, I'd stay inside.