SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Houston TX to Oriental NC. How to? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-06-2008 02:37 PM
CalebD Great report and fun read. There is nothing like an autopilot to steer a boat, especially if your crew is a canine who can't steer anyway! I would also add a Radar system with a proximity alarm so you could actually sail at night, even as a solo sailor. A chart plotter is also really nice to have. There was all of this equipment on a boat I recently sailed 400+ nm in the Caribbean 'outside':
How are you liking Staten Island? Does it remind you of the post industrial nightmare you described along the Gulf Coast or
are you in a nicer area?
Welcome to NY.
Naz da rhovia!
06-06-2008 12:57 PM
Rockter Oil rigs will be a-penty, but relatively easy to see. Once you are beyond about 30 miles you will be free of them. You are likely to be free of any wind though also, and it gets very different.

We found a big problem in the Gulf of Mexico, in July-August. If you try to cross in a straight line to Florida Keys, the entire distance was, for us, one vast, eerie, calm. Every night the thunderstorms arrive, and they were legion, marching at us in strange lines. Watch the thunderheads with the low, pancake-like clouds beneath them... they start the sparks at about 5 pm, and continue until just before dawn.

If I had been alone, I would have been chewing the anchor rode. Flapping sails and dancing blocks rattling on the deck drove me half insane.

The motor ran for nearly 90 hours, if I remember. There really isn't much wind at all, and what very little we had was from 120 deg, and right on the nose.

If I did not have a reliable motor, I would coastal-hop, though no-doubt that will lead to different risks.

You will get about 1 kt assistance from the Gulf Stream, and it's welcome.

It's a long way to Dry Tortugas, about 650 miles, but it is a paradise....

Image of Dry Tortugas, Summer 1992 - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...that's my ship there, in 1992.

Pls be careful, especially alone. If the wind drops and your motor plays up, you may be stuck out there when the weather turns nasty when one of those tropical horrors stirs things up.

Best wishes.
06-05-2008 02:32 PM
SailKing1 I read this thread fro the first time yesterday and you are right. I couldn't not only stop reading i was inspired by the adventure. Great job RUcrazy

Sorry CrazyRU
06-05-2008 02:23 PM
nolatom I don't know if many of you have read this other than a few who kept in touch with Vlad ("CrazyRU", a good name), but this thread, from beginning to end, reads like a good adventure novel.

Give it a try if you have time. He made a coastwise trip, with a near-zero budget in a Freedom 28, with several port stops, between Houston/Galveston and the Miss. River delta. The few sailors who make this trip usually do it in bigger boats and nonstop, and stay way offshore and skip the delta, heading directly for Tampa or Key West. This guy (for whom English is a second language, though he's obviously good at it) went coastwise (and met nothing but oilfield boats all the way along the Louisiana coast, and no sailboats at all). Surprise, surprise, the crewboat, workboat, and supply boat captains are good guys, and they watched out for him. All kinds of things could've gone wrong (especially trying to get through the Miss. river between Venice and Baptiste Collette), but they didn't, with his dubious (at least at low speeds) engine, and some good luck, and obviously some innate and acquired skill, he made it.

Then across the cross-Florida barge canal (again, an experience few have done) and eventually up to North Carolina. I don't think he had a lot of sailing experience beforehand (but he did ask for advice, and good questions too), but he sure gained a lot of it along the way. Just him and his dog.

Vlad, if you're reading, I intend absolutely no disrespect to you at all here in what I've said above; on the contrary, you've been in and out of some ports (especially in the Gulf of Mexico) that few other sailors have seen, or ever will. I respect your accomplishment, and admire it.

Best wishes in the future to Vlad. And to other board members, it's worth a read.
06-04-2008 06:45 PM
camaraderie Vlad...well done and good report. Your resourcefulness sure came in handy!
06-04-2008 06:27 PM
Freesail99 Great report, were most, if not all the groundings in the Okeechobee waterway ?
06-04-2008 06:15 PM
nolatom Vlad,

Well done!! You made your objective, while learning many things the "hard way" (which means you'll never forget those lessons). You've traveled some ground, especially in the Gulf, that most sailors never get to see.

And your budget, though twice what you planned (if I do the math, you spent all of $20 per day), was still about one-fifth of what anyone else would have spent. The experience you gained was worth more than most of us realized. You discovered that sailors (whether power or sail, commercial or recreational) take care of sailors, all you have to do is ask.

So good on you, and the dog. Sailing's an adventure, you've just been through one. Many people want to have all their questions answered in advance, yours were answered as they came up. Much more realistic that way.

Very glad to have heard from you..
06-04-2008 04:04 PM
CrazyRu Trip is over. I arrived safely and parked my boat at friend’s dock in Pamlico Sound (NC) a week ago.
I’m back to Staten Island NY already, trying to adapt to normal life. I put my name on waiting list for a mooring in Great Kills, as soon as get one, I’ll sail the boat over here.
I sailed most of the Gulf of Mexico part outside, took Okeechobee waterway and continued on a waterway further north. I think I used sail and motor equal amount of miles or close to it, so it was 50/50 sailing/motoring
I sailed first half of the trip most and motored second half of the trip most.
Here is some statistic
Trip from Clear Lake (Houston) TX to Vandemere (Pamlico Sound) NC took 50 days
My actual distance was 1903 nautical miles
Moving average speed 4.3 knots (it was greatly improving with motor use)
I rested 7 days (day of rest is a day when I didn’t move the boat)
In average I covered 42 n.miles in a day of moving
I overextended my budget by 100% spending totally $1035
Expenses by category
Fuel $370 (fuel price kept creeping up)
Marina stays 5 nights $170
Food and groceries $270 (I’m good cook and I didn’t mind making food out of cans)
Booze and beer $135 (I thought I was dry entire trip until I put together all receipts)
Parts/filters $90
Boat did it well. Motor kept running. It has some wierd problem of not running well at low rpm’s, however it runs OK at higher cruising speed. I had to convert it back to raw water cooling. It had aftermarket fresh water cooling system installed, however pump on a raw water circuit started leaking, sending more water inside of the boat than into engine.
I had to disassemble and take apart starter motor three times to find main hot wire broke. I had to weave a little wire from some unused charger into main cable.
Even with my shallow draft I grounded about a dozen times, but its part of the sport.

I almost sunk once. Sink’s hose broke off, creating siphon (I know, I know, I had to close seacock, before venturing into open. I did it first few days  ) I couldn’t understand why my boat becomes sluggish for a while, getting about a half a foot of water into saloon.
Other than that, and many fuel filters changes, I had no problems.
Oh, yes, my laptop died and left me without any means of navigation quite soon after start. Friend landed me his set of paper charts.
I will not venture on a long trip without self steering system anymore. Steering the boat downwind in following seas was very tiring.
This and the dog kept me on ICWW more than i liked. Over wise I’d be sailing outside more. If you are taking dog (I’d never advise to do it) at least put some netting on life lines. I didn’t do it and worried about my dog failing overboard. He has chosen to go on forepeak at least convenient moments. He couldn’t walk at seas, so he crawls. Oh, well, seas, dogs and boats are not good mix……
I would have a lot harder time without great help from so many people. It is very good community out there.
Thank you all guys….
05-12-2008 03:03 PM
nolatom Vlad, good to hear from you. Stuart's a nice friendly town to spend a little time in if you feel like it, I used to spend Christmas vacations there when my wife's dad lived there. The town got hit hard with 2 hurricanes in 2004 but probably fixed up by now. There's an anchorage off Jensen Beach near the causeway bridge there, and that's a nice little town too.

How'd you get there? Around the Keys, or across the Okeechobee Canal? Either way hope it was an interesting experience. Now you can either go up the Indian River/ICW or sail outside, depending on weather.

Hope you're enjoying it, and glad you, dog, and the boat are well.
05-11-2008 08:48 PM
doing good

I'm in Stuart, FL, all is well.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome