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  #1  
Old 11-03-2009
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Texas to Florida Cruise

Hello All~

I'm going to be transporting my dad's recently purchased cat from Galveston, TX to Naples, FL next month.

I'm researching possible ports of call along the way and looking for suggestions. I'm going to be cruising the coast rather than straight shooting it, since I don't have a lot of blue water experience. So, I'm looking for interesting places to stop.

Suggestions???
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Old 11-03-2009
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By Cat, do you mean catalina or catamaran? If you're talking about a Catalina 22, you might want to re-think it. The Catalina 22 isn't really a boat that is bluewater capable, at least without some serious modification. The Gulf of Mexico isn't a very friendly body of water either.
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Old 11-03-2009
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There are not that many interesting places to stop. It is mainly industrial area until you hit Mobil Bay. Area is littered with oil rigs, in some places it is like sailing in a forest. Heavy workboat traffic.

Most cruisers prefer intracoastal way - there are many canals running along the coast. It is more protected but about as boring...

I did sail the area outside in Gulf, staying close to shore and ducking into little bays for nights, when I could.
The area is dangerous for night sailing. It is possible to navigate, however careful planning is needed. Most oil rigs are in clusters with relatively big stretches of open water between. You will need most recent charts and treat those clusters as islands, planning your route around. It worked for me.
There is some dark beauty in the area, sort of postindustrial, end of world variety.
I didn't see another sailboat between Galveston and Mississippi Delta.

I did short runs, something like Sabine Pass, Calcasieu Pass, then my motor died, so I sailed to Vermilion Bay entrance,anchored just inside of channel, then Wine Island Pass, anchored just inside the hook, then Grand Isle Pass - first recreational marina there. Here I had to fix my starter, I couldn't find mechanic, so I did the job myself,learning new things.
I motored into Tiger Pass, stopped at Venice for restocking and regrouping, Exited Mississippi delta at baptiste coleite(sp?) pass, sailed into Mobil bay, took ICWW into Florida, sailed outside from Panama City to Cedar Key, sailed outside to Tampa Bay...

Here is my post
Houston TX to Oriental NC. How to?

I made it sounding simple, however I would not recommend this route to unexperienced sailor.
It it true that I was new to keel boat "yachting", however I had a few thousands miles in open small boat in different adventures, I knew how to sail, I was beach catamaran racer in a past...

Last edited by CrazyRu; 11-03-2009 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 11-03-2009
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Thanks for the replies!

Sailingdog: No, I do have a Catalina 22, but I wouldn't dream of taking it into blue water. The boat I'm delivering is my dad's recently purchased 38' Fountaine Pajot Catamaran. Blue water equipped and ready to go (pending survey).


CrazyRu: That's a lot of good information. I'm used to Florida cruising so it'll be interesting navigating around those oil rigs and tankers. Pity there's not much to see along the way, but the trip isn't a pleasure cruise so I'll be going for mileage over beauty anyway. I'll research those anchorages and the intracoastals and ICW. I'll also keep in mind your advice about night-sailing.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-03-2009
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You are welcome.
To be frank, I wouldn't recommend this route to experienced sailor either, unless you really like some dangerous adventure....
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Old 11-03-2009
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We should be punching out of mobile the week of Nov 16th if you want to follow. We are probably going straight across though to Fort Myers Beach.

Up to you.

- CD
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Old 11-03-2009
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Thanks CD that's a great offer and I wish it were possible! However, the soonest we could get a survey is the 10th, then checks, insurance and registration have to clear, so I'm looking at Thanksgiving weekend as a reasonable date to start the trip.

Please let me know how your cruise goes so I know what I'm sailing into!
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Old 11-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffC22 View Post
The boat I'm delivering is my dad's recently purchased 38' Fountaine Pajot Catamaran...
Thanks for clearing that up. I was starting to think we we're going to have another C22 bluewater thread.
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Hahaha no problem. I really am interested to see how that guy does... but after crossing the Gulfstream from Bimini to Lauderdale in 14-16' seas last December, I wouldn't even THINK of attempting something like that in my C-22. The 51' Dufour I was skippering got MANHANDLED ... can you imagine what that would do to a 22 footer???

Last edited by JeffC22; 11-03-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-03-2009
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A FP Catamaran is a pretty decent boat for that trip. You should take CD up on his offer if your time frame fits his.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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