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Old 14-05-2008, 09:41   #1
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Gulf ICW Route - TX to FL

Hi everyone... I just got onboard and would like some advice on taking the Gulf ICW from Galveston Bay to Florida on a Hunter 36... free or cheap anchorages, places to avoid, and other points of interest... any advice will be more info than I have now... thanks... JJJ...
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Old 14-05-2008, 11:13   #2
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look at our web site. We are making the trip right now and posting every couple of days. Click on the link on my signature.
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Old 14-05-2008, 11:19   #3
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I would go offshore from Galveston, to the Calcesieu River, to join the ICW. Especially if your mast height is greater than 50 foot. That will put you at Mile 240.

The Dozier's Waterway Guide for that area is worth the cost and has a lot of useful information. If you are on Clear Lake presently, stop by the Boardwalk Marina and ask for Keith. He has run the Waterway in both directions and I'm sure can give you some good pointers.
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Old 14-05-2008, 12:06   #4
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Chuck...one of the best website trip reports I've ever read! Good job and fair winds to you!
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Old 14-05-2008, 12:27   #5
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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 The Dozier Guide IMHO is too out of date and touch for the money it costs.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 Bridge names are in some cases 10 years out of date and when you call the bridge according to Dozier you get no answer since they don't know who you are calling.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.
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Old 14-05-2008, 14:11   #6
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Unless they've changed things, the Ellender Lift Bridge (50' clearance when down) requires a 4 hour advance notice for opening. Also, from there to Galveston, once you pass the islands at the northeast end of Sabine Lake (a nice anchorage), the only other anchorage is at Mile 290. It says you can pull in at the High Island Bridge, but I was unable to with 4 1/2' draft, as there seemed to be a bar across the entrance. And all the wide spots I tried, were 4 foot or less in depth.

I didn't realize there was a Skipper Bob's for that stretch. I agree, it's a better guide, particularly for the price.

On my trip east from Galveston last year, we went in at the Calcesieu and ended up behind a barge going the same speed as we were, so we followed it through the night to Morgan City. Then to Houma and then to open water, east of New Orleans.
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Old 14-05-2008, 15:21   #7
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Unless they've changed things, the Ellender Lift Bridge (50' clearance when down) requires a 4 hour advance notice for opening. Also, from there to Galveston, once you pass the islands at the northeast end of Sabine Lake (a nice anchorage), the only other anchorage is at Mile 290. It says you can pull in at the High Island Bridge, but I was unable to with 4 1/2' draft, as there seemed to be a bar across the entrance. And all the wide spots I tried, were 4 foot or less in depth.

I didn't realize there was a Skipper Bob's for that stretch. I agree, it's a better guide, particularly for the price.

On my trip east from Galveston last year, we went in at the Calcesieu and ended up behind a barge going the same speed as we were, so we followed it through the night to Morgan City. Then to Houma and then to open water, east of New Orleans.
Yes you do need to give the Ellender bridge 4 hours notice but no big deal. Like I said, read our site. We have been anchoring all over the place in some very nice spots for the last week or so and most pretty close together. We really enjoy this trip because it is so remote. No way would I want to be out in the Gulf this week. Oh, by the way we have pretty good internet access finally on my new WiFi set up.
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Old 14-05-2008, 16:18   #8
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Chuck, thanks for your blog page link... I am following your route and hope to make the same later this year... probably after the "H" season... but for this newbie, your input is most valuable... as is everyone's... this will be a first for me... and to say that its somewhat intimidating to contemplate for me is a huge understatement...

JJJMJ...
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Old 14-05-2008, 16:33   #9
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John (PBZeer), I am looking up that suggested route to go off-shore from Galveston to the Calcesieu River and then again off-shore from New Orleans... not sure if I can handle it single-handed, tho... would you?... just asking, that's all...

and yeah, I'm in the Clear Lake area... Legend Point Marina... and will be looking up Keith and asking him the same questions... thanks... JJJMJ...
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Old 14-05-2008, 16:43   #10
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icw

Watch lake mizeresp? Have to ck in berwick traffic morgan city 101 mile board do not remember ch.but ask tug.Two spillways around mile 130 mud lake &m sheriton sometimes runs hard.Take harvey canal to industrial locks to go down river algers will put up river run.Barier is.in sound nice if no northers to Daulphin.Do not know what changed in sound since katrina will be heading you direction later.Can run icw to appalach.Good sailing.ps must contact gretna llight unless changed when enter ms river was 66 ? Ck clearance bridges laporte e/w & bayou delarge in houma.
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Old 15-05-2008, 06:28   #11
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Yes, I would do that run singlehanded. Didn't this time, because my brother and a friend came down to crew, but I have been solo from Tampa to Annapolis, back to the Keys, and now in North Carolina.
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Old 15-05-2008, 07:49   #12
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Thanks for the encouragement, John... I need to work up my courage to make that happen... this Hunter 36 is a lotta boat for one person to handle... but maybe by this fall I'll be ready... good sailing... JJJim...
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Old 15-05-2008, 07:57   #13
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Jubiladojipsy,,

Take your time, and get to know your boat. Get your confidence up on every facet of the boat. I have seen more than one person bite off more than they can chew, and get a spanking for it. BEST WISHES on your trip, and stay safe. Most things in life are a matter of timing. When it's time for you to get outside, you will know it!
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Old 15-05-2008, 14:13   #14
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i2frolic, hi... that's very good advice and thanks... I will take some time getting acquainted with Jolly Mon, but I don't have that much "time" left... and the problem is I wanna be spending it down where all the mermaids are frolicing in the sea... where ever mermaids frolic...somewhere south of Paradise Island, I guess... where ever that is... and having to learn all the systems on the boat which can go bad or wear out or burn out or ruined by stupidity, is somewhat intimidating...

anyway, the idea of sailing is fun and advernturous but doing it is another matter altogether... but this old salt hasn't given up yet... just a lot more than just a little bit nervous about it all...

fair seas... JJJMJim...
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Old 16-05-2008, 07:01   #15
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... It says you can pull in at the High Island Bridge, but I was unable to with 4 1/2' draft, as there seemed to be a bar across the entrance. And all the wide spots I tried, were 4 foot or less in depth...
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
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