My 2cents, stay well offshore
, not a good coast to hug. Make the Galveston approach during the day, the many lights from the refineries blends with the range markers and buoy lights, so it can be very tough to decipher (a million lights all twinkling at you). It can be done at night but with the fatigue of a single-handed crossing, just harder.
Want to reiterate the unlit rig comments, the big ones are easy to spot (big black monsters against the night sky), but the little ones will sink ya just as fast. So plotting a course that takes you through the least density of rigs gives you the best odds.
I have crossed in April twice (crossed a total of 9 times), but with this unusual weather this year I think all bets are off in the "best time to cross" game
I found Bayou La Fourche a great place to duck in, it is west of the Delta
and has a good bunch of dolphin pilings to tie up to and it meets up with the ICW
. There may be a better entrance, I just really thought the bayou was enchanting. Also, I haven't been there since the hurricanes. I do not recommend anchoring
anywhere near the ICW
without an anchor
watch, even in designated anchorages
. I have almost been run over while anchored so that kind of thing traumatizes a gal.
At the risk of offending the sailing puritans here, the best gulf crossing plan is a good engine
, and if you can, enough fuel
to make the full crossing.
I love the Gulf, the many shades of blues and greens, the great sunsets and rises, stars stars and more stars. Dolphins
playing at the bow, a lone portuguese man-o-war sailing by.. and when the weather is favorable, man oh man it is da sailing bomb!