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  #1  
Old 04-28-2013
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Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

We have been considering moving to Corpus Christi in the very near future where we will live aboard in a marina for a while. Our daughter and our two grand children are moving to Laredo, TX where her husband works for Customs. It is about 100 miles from Corpus and therefore we would be close, but not too close.

Our question is, has anyone gone this route, inside or outside, and has it been a good experience? We have never been in that direction by boat. Have a friend who has done it inside but we cannot seem to make contact with him at this time. He lives in Corpus but apparently is now down in the Rio Dulce area where he lives part time. I do remember him saying that the inside was a pain single handed, and fuel and anchorages were scarce. If it is to be outside we will head down to Grand Isle, LA, via the Chandelure Islands, where we have friends and access to a slip, and go west from there as the weather permits. There is no rush or schedule.
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Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

Lot depends on your time frame and what you want from the journey. If time isn't a real concern and you're comfortable offshore and sailing at night, I would suggest a mix. ICW from NO to the Calcesui River, then follow that out to the Gulf and head for Galveston. I haven't been south of there, so I can't comment on that part. If you want more info on my experiences with the ICW from NO to Galveston, feel free to PM me or ask in the thread.
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Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

In May 2006 I sailed from Clear Lake on Galveston Bay to Corpus Christi. Since the boat was new to me I took the GICW all the way. Unless you are crazy mad and sail the GICW at night, you can make the trip in three days, but four would be more enjoyable and not so pressed. There are several anchorages and marinas along the way and you can use Active Captain to plan the journey. Anchorages are very dependent on wind direction, so you don't want to be anchored out with a frontal passage in the offing. I anchored at $30K Cut south of Freeport and on Matagorda Bay at the old airfield. I stayed at the Rockport Municipal Marina, could have made Corpus Christi around dark, but waited until the next day.
I sailed most of the distance, using the engine only when transiting the locks, some bridge crossings and when the ditch was narrow and the wind unfavorable. Since your heading is generally southwest, an east or ESE wind is perfect. I only touched bottom once, when encountering a double wide barge.
If you don't want to stay in the Corpus Christi City Marina, then you need to get on the waiting lists at Port Aransas, Ingleside or Aransas Pass. There is one small private marina near the CC city marina, but it probably is not set up for livaboards. The CC city marina is very nice and not outrageously expensive.
If you go outside from Galveston, it is NOT a straight shot to Port Aransas and takes about 24 hours unless you are a speedy fully crewed race yacht. Probably close to the same time, but a little longer from Calcascieu Pass to Port A, but you will be on a better point of sail if we have our standard East or East-Southeast winds.
I have read that the GICW between Galveston and New Orleans is not much fun at all, but have not done that part so don't know from experience. Some of the GICW between Galveston and Corpus Christi is dreary (like sailing down a narrow highway with lots of trucks) but some of it is quite nice and in Matagorda and Aransas Bays you can get away from the ditch and sail the open bay.
NOLA Tom is on this board and can provide you with some good information on your end of the trip.
In addition to Active Captain, there is "Campbell's Guide to Cruising Texas" which I think is no longer in published. But if you can find one, it has lots of good information and guidance.
The inside/outside decision will probably be made on whether you prefer night sailing through heavy ship traffic, complicated by "mineral development facilities" to sailing by braille down a ditch.
Either way,
Have fun,
John
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Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

I am interested to hear how this trip turns out once you make it. As you make your way to Lake Charles / Calcasieu River, the new marina in the downtown area is pretty nice, and really affordable on a nightly basis (water, power, and I believe free wifi). Also is very close to downtown bars and restaurants.
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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

Thanks all for the information provided. At this time we have no real hard fast dates, and will have some time to plan. We are gathering information from as many sources as we can. The timing will be determined by our daughter and will be related to her selecting a location to settle in. If this actually works out we will do our best to document our experience as we go.
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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Slidell, La to Corpus Christi

Here's what I consider the "bad" parts of the ICW between NO and Galveston.

Between Morgan City and the Mermetau R (a very nice anchorage), finding an anchorage for the night can be dicey. What we did (since I had crew) was to follow a barge through the night (I should note I was going west to east).

Just past the Calcasieu R, there's a lift bridge with 50' clearance before lifting. If you have to have the bridge raised, they require a 4 hour advance notice (it's untended).

Crossing Sabine Lake in a strong nor'west wind can be really rough. Star Island, just before the crossing is a nice anchorage though.

The stretch from Port Arthur to Galveston is a very long day, with no real anchorage between. There is a small marina a few miles north of Galveston. If you didn't go outside at the Calcaseiu, you might want to at the Sabine.

The northern half, south of the High Island Bridge (in Texas, between Port Arthur and Galveston) has one semi-tricky outflow crossing, and past that, the east side expands into shallow areas outside the channel.

Most of the ICW is quite scenic between Galveston and NO. (The Morgan City area being a major exception, to me). It's wide and deep, and though there's only a few bridges to deal with, there are a number of locks.

I would suggest you get across the Mississippi for your first day, then, you can make Houma, Morgan City, anchor (or follow a barge through the night), anchor, anchor (or the 20 miles up to Port Charles), Port Arthur/Beaumont (or Star Island if you went up to Port Charles, then a half day to Port Arthur), then the long day to Galveston or the Stingray Marina just north of it.
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Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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