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Old 08-07-2009, 10:07   #1
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Galveston to CC or Florida - Need Info

We are just starting to plan a mini shake down in August or September before we haul out in the fall for refit. We will have just under two weeks for the trip. Currently, we are weighing the advantages/disadvantages of the the following intenaries.

Galveston to Corpus or Galveston to Destin, Fla.

Since this will be our first offshore venture, things we are considering are: 1. the amount of commercial traffic, rigs and debris
2. distance- don't want to be rushed but would like to hole up for a couple of days before returning.
3. Depth issues- we pull almost 6 feet so deeper is definitely better for us.
4. Ease of trip- we want to use this trip to get to know our boat a bit better, not necessarily upgrade our sailing skills through a tough beat or dealing with really tricky currents while dodging unlit rigs. Easier is definitely better for this go round.

I also need a rec on the most up to date guides for the area. The guides we have are pre-Ike/pre-Katrina and I know a lot has changed since then.

Thanks!
Edited to add: I understand hitting Florida will add a significant amount of travel days to the two week itenary, still interested though.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:12   #2
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Ive sent you a pm with what we learned in june coming from kemah to corpus
Steve
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:48   #3
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Tough gig, coming out of Kemah. CC is a closer run (we still got SE's? I havent looked), but FL would probably be rough. The shelf off Louisiana is eat up with rigs and crap but then there is the traffic...
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:50   #4
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I'd be interested in knowing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by steleehin View Post
Ive sent you a pm with what we learned in june coming from kemah to corpus
Steve
steve:

I'd be interested in knowing what you learned as well

tks
randy
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:10   #5
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we anchored overnight at the galveston yacht basin , left early offshore to freeport parallell the safety fairway about 10 to 15 miles out , there are lots of rigs but you can pick your way easy ,wouldnt try it at night without radar . we stayed in freeport yacht harbor and then left early for the long run to matagorda , its about 12 hours .
we arrived about an hour before dark and the wind picked up to 20 knts .
tide was still coming out at 3 knts , a smart person would hove to or keep on going but I ran the jetties ,not a good idea , we made it of course but then all the spots i picked to anchor were unportected from the wind , we had heard about st christopers marina and thought to get a slip , well not with a 6 ft draft so down the icw at night , all the markers are day markers , so we were going slow , tried to leave a east bound tow some room and ran aground , we ran agroung 3 times before i said enough and turned on all the lights and spent the night about evrey 2 hours a tug came by . next morning on to rockport , satyed at key allegro , found at later rockport marina is cheaper for transient boats , take bikes if staying a while .
we had to take the lydia ann channell to port aransas as there is a 48 ft bridge the other way, no issues on the icw exceprt one green marker out of place entering san antonio bay , we were behind a tug at the time , its not a bad trip and will help anyone shake down their boat , just be flexable
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Old 08-07-2009, 14:03   #6
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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.
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Old 08-07-2009, 14:18   #7
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Destin is soooo pretty tho!
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Old 08-07-2009, 14:36   #8
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Thanks everyone! Destin being pretty is the reason we are even considering it.
I'm aware of the hurricane issue (my family has lived on the Bay in Seabrook since well before Carla) which is why even though we want to do a bit of open water, we want to be able to duck inland if necessary.

FOr these reasons, it might make more sense to do the Corpus run. We will eventually be hitting Florida when we start our cruise anyway, I guess it can wait.
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Old 08-07-2009, 15:06   #9
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If you have two weeks might be worth going all the way to South Padre.
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