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Old 17-09-2014, 00:22   #1
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Talking Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Hello!

My finance and I just bought a 57' Carver Voyager and need/want to cruise it from Galveston Bay to Tampa via the ICW. We have a knowledge of the Ft Myers area, but this will be a huge adventure and would appreciate any info you may be able to share. From the preliminary discussions with our TX people, it seems Lake Charles will be our first destination, Houma our second, New Orleans our third. We plan to have friends traveling w/ us and will disembark at New Orleans to fly back home. I'm looking at the maps going into and out of NO, wow. I haven't been able to study them carefully, yet, but it is very overwhelming. Where the heck is the route we want to take? We are open to advise on all aspects of this trip and hope we can reciprocate somewhere down the water.

Thank you,
Chrystal
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Old 17-09-2014, 19:26   #2
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Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

The info is a tad bit dated but I think Sharon Kratz's blog from S/V Rose of Sharon would help you a lot. They did the same passage more or less. There was particular detail about going through New Orleans in the ICW.

http://www.saltysailors.com/articles...l#.VBo0QSe9KSM


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Old 17-09-2014, 23:17   #3
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Thanks for the link. We are doing this exact same trip this November. Great read.
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Old 18-09-2014, 10:17   #4
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

We just returned to Texas after two years of cruising to the Bahamas, and up the East Coast. New Orleans is not as bad as it appears. You are in for an adventure, and a lot of beautiful scenery.

I'm sure you will cruise much faster than our 5 knots, but you do need to plan your stops carefully. You can't just pull over in the ICW, and you really don't want to run it at night.

Pick up a Waterway Guide (southern edition), and Skipper Bob's, for planning purposes.

If you care to see where we chose for stops, here is our blog - day 5 | sailing away with R & B

Also, you will have a long Gulf crossing from either Apalachicola or Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs or Clearwater Beach (150-160 nm). We choose to anchor out at Dog Island (Carrabelle) and leave from there. If you want to leave from Apalachicola, be careful with Governors Cut. Local knowledge is helpful there, so we skip it. Also, once across the Gulf, Clearwater Beach is an easy inlet. Tarpons Springs not as easy.

If you have any specific questions once you study up on your route, feel free to ask for help.

Enjoy the Planning...and your adventure!

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Old 18-09-2014, 21:46   #5
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Ralph,

Thanks for the link. Enjoying your blog. Hopefully we can cook you dinner some night and pick your brain. We are following almost the exact route all the way to Georgetown. We are in Kemah currently.


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Old 19-09-2014, 10:12   #6
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Hey Brian, thought you kids were in Port A?

We should get together soon. I've followed along with you and your wife for a few years.

We have wheels (a friend's marina mobile), and could meet up in Kemah, or you can come here. We do have a bar and restaurant here. Let me know. We're free pretty much anytime.

Ralph
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Old 19-09-2014, 21:41   #7
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

I just helped a friend do most of this in reverse. (Pensacola to Kemah) in a carver 444 at around 5 mph (that's another story.)
We had a reasonable moon and travelled nonstop day and night without any issues. Just spoke to all the tows and made them aware we were there. VHF 13, bridges 13 up to N.O. Then Vhf 11. Locks vhf 14 No problems with the route or trip( just the boat) think about fuel in advance. Shell Morgan landing is convenient but it's closed Sundays. It's not compulsory for vessels under 65 ft but I always check in with the appropriate vessel traffic service.
Check in with vts in port Arthur Chanel 1A traveling east at Mm 295 check out on 65 at the high line Mm268
You also need to check in at berwick vts ( Morgan city) channel 11 at mm 102 check out at the BB locks.
The bridges on the ICW before N.O. are on channel13 but only answer to their correct names. One was "bayou black swing bridge"the other I need to check n
My notes for.
For NO let me know if you are going via Lake Pontatrain or the New Orleans cut and I'll give you the bridge and lock details
Once past New Orleans it's plain sailing or motoring protected by the barrier islands except Mobile Bay. Past pensacola I don't know. Make sure you have 2 working radios for the VTS zones.
Regards
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Old 19-09-2014, 22:00   #8
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Other swing bridge was grand lake. I spent 10 minutes hailing them as 384 swing bridge totally ignored me. Answer to "Grand lake swing bridge " was immediate .
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Old 26-09-2014, 13:35   #9
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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Old 26-09-2014, 14:35   #10
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

I did a run from Lake Ponch to Crystal River, FL back in March via the ICW. We broke it down like this -

Ponch to Biloxi
Biloxi to Pensacola
Pensacola to Carrabelle (initially planned on stopping in Panama City but was making good time)
Carrabelle to Crystal River

I planned it using Active Captain
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Old 27-09-2014, 12:49   #11
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Re: Galveston Bay, TX to St Petersburg, FL

Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us!!
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