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post #4 of Old 07-09-2007
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Hi Beaz,

I live in Houston, and have a large cat in the Kemah area. How long are you planning to stay? Are you a member of a yacht club that might have reciprocal privileges with either Lakewood Yacht Club or Houston Yacht Club? Both have transient slips, I think.

Other marinas here are located in protected Clear Lake, and the Kemah channel leads from Clear Lake out into Galveston Bay. Large marinas are Waterford Harbor Yacht Club and Marina, South Shore Harbor (both very nice, with floating piers and all amenities), Marina Del Sol, Watergate (although docks not floating), and Boardwalk Marina which is right in Kemah but pricey. Also Seabrook Shipyard, which is across the channel from Kemah. FYI, I pay $300 per month for a 35 ft slip at Waterford. All of these places have websites - just do a search. You can also see which are closer to Kemah, and which are further up Clear Lake (South Shore is farthest, but a very nice facility.) Closest to Kemah means less boat ride to the Bay, but also more $ in dock fee.

For launching, LYC and HYC have ramps. There is also a large ramp under the Kemah bridge which is a public use ramp. I know the power boats use it, as well a friend launched his Corsair F-31 there. TX Parks and Wildlife may have some info on that ramp, which I think they maintain. Also any of the marinas can provide info. And Seabrook Shipyard marina has a crane for launching.

Good dining on Kemah boardwalk - several choices all owned by Landrys, athough it is a bit of a circus in the summer. Otherwise my favorite for fresh seafood and very casual eating is Joe Lees on FM 2094. Best Italian is Italian Cafe on Nasa Rd 1, also casual, but it is BYOB as they do not have a liquor license. I think there is a liquor store in the same parking lot. Best greasy cheeseburger and cold beer is South Shore Beer Garden, also on 2094. But it is a bit of a dive.

There are two West Marines in the area, plus a Blue Water Ships Store, so you are sure to find anything marine that you need.

There are good cruising destinations, and by far the most popular is Redfish Island. But not much of an island, as the original was a long island of oyster shells that got wiped out in a storm, and was rebuilt with granite rock. Winds are predominately SE to S, and it will provide protection from that direction, as well as East wind. Wind this time of year is mostly light - 6-14 knots, and probably more like 8 avg. Although Texas has been deluged with rainfall for the last month, so nothing has been normal yet. The sea breeze usually fills in around 5 pm, and MOST of the platforms in the bay are lite, so late evening sailing is usually a joy. And an excape from the sun/heat.

Here is a link to some weather stations and wind data. Hmmm, and I see the wind id 15-16 knots on the bay now. So much for my estimates. Clear Lake - which is a mix of fresh and brackish water - is the body of water next to the Mud Lake labeled sensor.

Here is a good place to start for cruising desitinations:
BARR Local Knowledge Page

There is also a link to a satellite map of the bay, on their home page. Bring mosquito nets for the hatches if you are going to Double Bayou or Offats. Also be forwarned that the Bay water is more of a brown color than green, and certainly not blue, due to proximity to some rivers in the area. Definately nicer water than offshore LA, but not comparable to Florida. I go through shock each time I come back from a week in FL or Mexico!

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