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Old 22-02-2007, 22:08   #1
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Question Counter clockwise around Gulf Of Mexico from AL to TX

Greetings again group. In a few weeks we will return to our boat in Gulf Shores AL, and start onward towards Port Aransas TX over next few months. What kind of facilities are there westward from New Orleans to Galveston region? Cruising guide seems to be pretty blank in that area for about 350+ nautical miles.

This is another 'hop-scotch' on our eventual journey that we hope to take us coastal cruising along Mexico, around the Yucatan, and on towards Panama. Any info to share will be much appreciated. Still have not found Raine's book on east coast Mexico.

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Old 23-02-2007, 00:35   #2
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The area is pretty blank. Most recreational marine activities are oriented towards fishing. There is a small marina with a travelift in Westlake called Bridge Point. This is a very industrialized area and in the short time I visited the only recreational boats on the water were in the marina. Lots of barge traffic though.

After the Calcasieu is Sabine Pass. A friend loves to visit the Port Arthur yacht club but I have never been there. Both of these locations are easier to access from the ICW than from the coast.

Port Arthur Yacht Club - Port Arthur, TX

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina another bad storm hit the coast in this area. Both Port Arthur and Lake Charles were hit hard by Rita and the area is still struggling to recover. I would expect that most of the waterways used by the commercial boats have been addressed but a long look at the notice to mariners for the area would be prudent. Some of the recreational facilities that were hanging on by a shoestring may not have survived so older guide books may be inaccurate.
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Old 23-02-2007, 06:50   #3
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Old 23-02-2007, 09:58   #4
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As of November, if you're talking the GIWW you have marinas available at a days run till WHL 160, though you may want to take a short day between Morgan City and there and stop at Cypermore Point. After WHL 160 to WHL 331 there are no usable marinas directly on the GIWW.

The Mermetau River makes a good anchorage at WHL 202, and if you time the bridge hours properly, you can make Lake Charles with a few marinas. If you use Bridge Point, be aware they do not take credit cards. From Lake Charles, you can make Shell Island at the Eastern end of Sabine Lake. If your mast is over 50 feet though, you'll need to notify the Ellender Lift Bridge at WHL 205, at least 4 hours in advance for an opening. You might want to consider following the Calciseau River down to the Gulf and going offshore to Port Aransas.

If you do stay on the ditch, you have a choice to make after Shell Island. You can make it a short day to the Taylor Outfall Canal, just past Port Arthur, or, you can HOPE, you can get in next to the High Island Bridge. It's reported to have 6-8 feet of depth, but I went aground with 4 1/2. Stingaree Marina is at WHL 331, which is about 3 hours past the Bridge. That leaves you a short run to Galveston. Haven't been south of there, so can't say about the facilities. Were I going south though, I would go offshore at Galveston.
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Old 28-02-2007, 08:18   #5
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Originally Posted by PBzeer
... or, you can HOPE, you can get in next to the High Island Bridge. It's reported to have 6-8 feet of depth, but I went aground with 4 1/2.
Amen to that!!! Skipper Bob's guide shows this as a good anchorage, and a passing tug skipper pointed it out to us as a 6ft anchorage where they used to park barges temporarily. After sunset, annoyed skipper, wind setting us into the cove.... you can guess the rest. My 6ft draft never had a chance...

That TowBoat US membership turned out to be cheap insurance
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Old 28-02-2007, 12:01   #6
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A good spot to get in a little off shore work. Lots of rigs. Skirt the fairway and keep a lookout.

And welcome to the Texas coast. I'll be close by sailing this weekend. I'll be in and out of Rockport marina and sailing Arkansas Bay & the gulf

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Old 07-03-2007, 17:16   #7
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Good article on this route (Florida to Mexican border) in the Mar issue of Cruising World -- although I haven't done that part of the route yet.
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gulf of mexico

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