Paloma has been on the Regata de Amigos twice, once trip to Isla Mujeres and several times from Galaveston to Brownsville and lots of other time and miles in the Gulf and the rigs have never been a problem, you can see them even when there is no moon. Twice over the years we've been caught in Force 10 storms - but never during or after the hurricane seasaon - one in March '08 and one in June back.in the 90's - the March storm was a Norther the June storm was out of the west, where cometh all bad weather.
Normally the Gulf is a delight to sail in the winter - the prevailing winds are predictably S to SE, typically from 10-15 knots and seas a comfortable 5 to 7 feet.
s/v Paloma, Bristol 29.9, #141
Slipped in Bahia Marina, easy access to Corpus Christi Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.