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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Gulf of Mexico
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Gulf of Mexico US Coastlines, excluding Florida


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  #1  
Old 05-19-2011
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Texas to Fla doing the ICW

We are planning on sometime in June leaving to head towards Fla doing the ICW and looking for others that are planning on the same trip. We don't plan on getting in any hurry, lots to see and experience between here and there.

I know that this trip will depend on how the flooding and the current of the Mississippi are. We figure 3 weeks from here to New Orleans.
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Old 05-19-2011
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New Orleans is down river you need to ck atchfayla(sp?) in Morgan city where you go upriver.marc
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Old 06-02-2011
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Have been on the ICW tween lake Charles & New Orleans a few times.
Good water for barge traffic and oil field work boats... I was on the latter when transiting the ICW. Ch 13 until the Mississippi River. The is on ch 67 as you cross it. Then back to ch 13.
Have your VHF turned on and handy. There are No Wake portions of the ICW. Pending on the size of your vessel that will restrict your speed somewhat. On some of those Supply boats I could do eight knots and on others I was down to six knots. But it is an interesting stretch of waterway.
I saw a Gulf coast ICW guide at Barnes & Noble... That will give you info on restaurants, fuel & water depots, Marinas with pumpouts for your holding tank and so forth...
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Old 06-02-2011
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If I had to do it again, I would overnight up to the Calcesieu River. Then you can either go up to Lake Charles for the night, or head east to the Mermatu River (Pardon the spelling). Since I had crew, we followed a barge through the night to Morgan City. Then a day trip to Houma. From there, you have a choice to make. Either push all the way through across the Mississippi (you have to make a scheduled bridge opening to get in the canal), or stop short and go through the next day (probably the better idea).

We took the channel to Bogues Sound, then offshore to Pensacola. Short run to Destin (meeting someone), then 3 days offshore to Tampa Bay (arriving at midnight the 3rd day).
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Old 06-02-2011
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What port are you heading out of. I am out of Galveston, I have gone up and down the ICW several days distance in prep for a Florida trip I plan on making soon. 3 weeks? That sounds a little long just to cross LA. By my reconning about a week, and two days to cross MS, and AL. Keep in touch, I can buddy boat or crew, (a extra pair of hands to handle lines through the locks is always handy).
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Old 06-03-2011
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To elaborate on going outside for the first part, I think the stretch from Galveston to the Calcesieu is the worst part of the trip. There isn't really any good anchorage until after you cross Sabine Lake, which you can't make in one day. There are places to anchor just before Port Arthur/Beaumont, but I felt it was a marginal place at best.

There's also a barge "switching yard" just before you reach the Calcesieu and it's a 4 hour run from there to Lake Charles. The guide book shows a marsh you can anchor in just before the Calcesieu, but again, I wouldn't use it (though I have to admit, I was trying to anchor in a 30 knot gale).

Also just before the Calcesieu there is a 50 ft clearance lift bridge that requires you notify them 4 hours in advance if you need it.
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Old 08-11-2011
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Thanks everyone for you input. We are still tied to the dock. Had to many VA appointments that had us putting of leaving. We do have a 60 day window now so we might go ahead and make the trip. Can't go off shore as we will be doing it in a 22' sailboat.
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Old 08-11-2011
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You'll have a lot more options in a boat that size, when it comes to anchoring, particularly if you have a swing keel.
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Old 09-07-2011
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Having a 22 foot on the ICW would make stopping for the night much easier that a sailboat with a deep draft. I had to do some long stretches through Louisiana to find a place to stop for the night sometimes. The best though was tying up outside the Boomtown Casino in New Orleans before locking out into the Mississippi River!
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