Thanks for your concern and yes i am a bit new to the open blue water experience however I have sail on lake tahoe for a number of years. I am currently outfitting the boat in Kemeh and will test out all the new equipment there in Galveston Bay before I head East. For starters I have never sailed with a windvaine and need to test it out in various weather conditons. I was hoping to use the ICW to reduce some of experiences you are referencing. Any advice on how to do this trip safely from you or anybody in this group is appreciated.