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Old 16-05-2008, 08:35   #16
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Mark,There have been some serious changes since you have been through. But the Houma bridge is 73 feet and we know since we are sitting under it right now. The Houma RR bridge is at least 60 feet since we just came under it. No need to hop in and out anywhere along this route unless you desire. It is a good choice for a single hander since anchorages are frequent, very open and mostly no other boats to deal with coming or going and the water depths are plenty deep almost everywhere. We have found the tug Captains friendly, helpful, courteous, and professional. They have gone out of their way to stay out of our way and always ready to give us local info. Different experiences for different folks. This is our second trip along this coast and we love the trip. Our site also covers the trip the first time a bit further along in the posts. Jim, getting to know a new boat might be better IMHO doing daily runs and resting at night rather than long stretches offshore alone.
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Old 16-05-2008, 09:49   #17
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I would definitely take the Harvey Locks over Algiers if eastbound. We did though have a long wait at the Industrial Canal lock, finally rafting in with a barge that had an empty spot. I also took the canal rather than Lake Ponchatrain at New Orleans.
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Old 16-05-2008, 21:34   #18
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Mark,There have been some serious changes since you have been through. But the Houma bridge is 73 feet and we know since we are sitting under it right now. The Houma RR bridge is at least 60 feet since we just came under it. No need to hop in and out anywhere along this route unless you desire. It is a good choice for a single hander since anchorages are frequent, very open and mostly no other boats to deal with coming or going and the water depths are plenty deep almost everywhere. We have found the tug Captains friendly, helpful, courteous, and professional. They have gone out of their way to stay out of our way and always ready to give us local info. Different experiences for different folks. This is our second trip along this coast and we love the trip. Our site also covers the trip the first time a bit further along in the posts. Jim, getting to know a new boat might be better IMHO doing daily runs and resting at night rather than long stretches offshore alone.
Good to know - thanks Chuck!
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Old 17-05-2008, 15:48   #19
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Good to know - thanks Chuck!
No problem. We just left Houma this AM and are anchored in the Barataria Waterway waiting to do Harvey Lock and the run through New Orleans to Rabbit Island to stage to cross the Sound. Getting an internet connection on my nifty WiFi adapter that I put together before we left.
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Old 23-05-2008, 10:22   #20
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Finally crossed the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay and waiting to figure out what the weather is going to do from here in Orange Beach Alabama. We have updated the website with details and photos. we must go offshore from here because of 50 foot fixed bridges so a 24 hour run from Pensacola to Port St. Joe is next.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:20   #21
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Our mast height is more than 50 feet so not sure why that would be a problem. Everyone has their favorite cruising guide and ours is Skipper Bob. With his guide and a set of charts for the waterway you are good to go. The Dozier Guide IMHO is too out of date and touch for the money it costs. I know it says updated annually but the only updates we have found are the ads and some layouts. Bridge names are in some cases 10 years out of date and when you call the bridge according to Dozier you get no answer since they don't know who you are calling. We compared a copy we had that was 4 years old to a current edition and found very little difference in the actual information provided. And also check our website which is free and within a week old. All in all we are having a great time.
First of all, thank you for the feedback. It helps us to put a better Guide in front of our readers. FYI, Skipper Bob is now owned by Waterway Guide. We purchased the publication from Bob's wife a little more than a year ago. We're glad you like it.

As for Waterway Guide, we actually do put each of our books through a complete edit process every year. While some areas may not change, the information is indeed verified every year by a big handful of people.

In the case of the Southern Guide, we had two on-the-water cruising editors cover the Gulf area (Capt. George Danner and Capt. Jim Favors and his wife), and one on the eastern side of Florida (our publisher, Jack Dozier). Elbert Maloney, author of Chapman's and Dutton's, provided us with the bridge table information, as he has for many years.

The unfortunate problem with bridge (and some other) information is the number of agencies involved. We rely on the Federal Register, NOAA and local Coast Guard units to verify the bridge name, clearance and schedule. Unfortunately, it's possible to look at one bridge and find the NOAA chart with one name and clearance, while the Federal Register lists a different set of information and the local Coast Guard gives yet another.

That's the point where we rely on our cruising editors to give us first-hand verification of what we publish. That said, we do realize we're human and do make mistakes.


Very best regards,

Gary Reich
Managing Editor
Waterway Guide Publications
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Old 06-08-2009, 18:24   #22
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Good luck on your trip. I have done the ditch brownsville to florida four times but my info is outdated so the only advise I'd give is to never anchor on the ditch. If ya do anchor, keep a watch, have a big spot light, and quick exit. Don't be lulled into security by designated anchorages or little coves that look like they go nowhere. I was nearly killed by two tugs coming up side by side on what we though was an dead end little cove (yes we had a chart and it was wrong).

I feel it is easier and a bit safer to simply cross off shore, way offshore- not coastal. BUT you have hurricane season, so you need a good clear window and plenty of fuel to motor out of harms way if need be. More advice than I intended sorry. My 2 cents, hope it helps.

Have a great trip,
Erika
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Old 24-04-2016, 05:23   #23
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Re: Gulf ICW Route - TX to FL

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Amen to that. I had the pleasure of spending the night aground in that very spot. Tug skipper assured me that there was at least 6ft in there.... but it was not to be. At least we were out of the channel and didn't have to worry a bit about swing arc

Also to be VERY clear to others - the Houma LA bridge has a max clearance of 50ft. So most will need to hop from Sabine to Belle Pass (Pt. Fourchon) or perhaps just head straight SE across to west entrance to Mississippi river. Harvey canal was out of service when we last came through there (2005) and I'm not certain I'd take 6ft draft via that route anyway. So the choice is basically Harvey canal to New Orleans then MrGO to get out of Louisiana, OR go offshore at Sabine and have to head south around the Mississippi delta. Either choice is not much fun.

I know that KOKOMO - Hylas 49 - just made the trip singlehanded from Rockport TX to FL via the ditch. Bruce - if you're lurking about let us know where you went offshore.

In any case - it's a rather desolate stretch of the ICW, and the barge skippers don't give a hoot about those pesky sailboats in "their" channel. Stay alert and enjoy

could anyone else confirm this?
the lowest bridge height i'm seeing in houma is 72-73 feet..
on google earth the iffy one looked like the "houma 3087" bridge...nothing was labeled in activecaptain.. but on naviontics i see a height of 72 feet.
looks like the RR bridge in houma was removed.

is there something i'm overlooking?
i'm still trying to decide whether to go offshore or use the ditch between south texas and alabama.

are there bridge heights between galveston and new orleans with heights less than 70 feet?
thanks!
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Old 24-04-2016, 11:14   #24
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Re: Gulf ICW Route - TX to FL

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