Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 36 Old 05-11-2018
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned about the tentom is the bridge clearance. For many it isn't a problem but for us with a 50 foot stick the mast has to be taken down.
We brought our boat down the MS from lake pipen in Wisconsin two years ago. We learned the hard way about wing dams and that our depth finder was out of whack. Had to get pulled out 3 or 4 times.
Every lock we came to all the workers had already heard about us. Lol
We saw a lot of debris when going through the St. Louis area and the strong spring current allowed 10 kts of speed. The debris never caused us a problem. No damages at all, just a few bumping noises that were very unwelcome to us. This is our first ever boat and we had zero experience.
We've been sailing as we can on Kentucky lake for two year now. Making mistakes and learning the ropes. At normal summer pool we are able , with a 6' keel, to sail most areas of the lake without issue. I DO tend to stay in the channel (40-65 ft) most of the time though. I don't ever want to repeat my river performance. Lol
We plan on taking the Mississippi River to the gulf rather than the tentom. Our little diesel just sips fuel and we will take our 6 Jerry cans with. We only needed one on the previous trip, but we didn't know it at the time.
If you're coming towards the TenTom stop in at Paris Landing Marina on the southern end of KY lake and say hello if I'm / we're around.
Untrained aboard FREIA , Ericson 35-3 sloop.

" A man becomes old when his regrets surpass his dreams"
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post #22 of 36 Old 05-11-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

I don't know if one can actually "sail" the Mississippi.
We did the trip from Chicago to New Orleans and the majority of the way there were 30' levees on both sides. As we had to take down the masts to get into the Illinois River, "sailing" was a moot point for us, but my memory of the thousand miles or so of river was pretty windless. Not so for garbage, from docks to dead animals, as mentioned above.
It wasn't anything but damn hard, tiring work and not a trip I'd undertake again. Best have some pretty robust ground tackle when the garbage begins piling up on it when you are sleeping at anchor, in a pretty swift current. Obviously, you can not navigate at night.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #23 of 36 Old 05-11-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
I havent done the Mississipi, but I have done a lot of research on it. I think it would be a really cool trip. You could get yourself inspired by rereading some Mart Twain.
I was so psyched up for my adventure down the Mississippi that I cut off a pair of jeans and made my crew call me "Huck" for two weeks before the trip. I was going to see America's heartland from her major waterway! Not so much! 30' levees for most of the trip meant all I saw were dirt walls, even when standing on the top of the pilothouse. Huge disappointment.
However, the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers were not, so if you want a couple of great river adventures, start saving now.
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"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #24 of 36 Old 05-12-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

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I was so psyched up for my adventure down the Mississippi that I cut off a pair of jeans and made my crew call me "Huck" for two weeks before the trip. I was going to see America's heartland from her major waterway! Not so much! 30' levees for most of the trip meant all I saw were dirt walls, even when standing on the top of the pilothouse. Huge disappointment.
However, the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers were not, so if you want a couple of great river adventures, start saving now.
Yes, I enjoyed Tristan Jones tales of the Amazon, who cares how accurate they were, they were darn entertaining.

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post #25 of 36 Old 05-14-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

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Originally Posted by smitrock63 View Post
I have a 30 Ft. O'Day in Central Illinois. I've heard of others sailing down the Mississippi into the Gulf and to Florida. What would one encounter on that journey? Is debris in the river an issue? I would think so, I've seen whole trees floating down that river!

Perhaps we can help a bit. We have done the great loop and just on the second loop stopping in FL. Our trips also included Bimini, the Exumas, Abacos, Elutheras Bahamas, keys and dry tortugas. We have traveled down both routes on the rivers. The lower Mississippi and the Tenn-Tom. My wife has created quite detailed blogs of both routes.

Here is the start of the Tenn-Tom from Chicago..
https://sailbeauty.com/2015/09/28/wa-hoo/

Here is the start of the lower Mississippi from Chicago...
https://sailbeauty.com/2017/09/21/ha...larsen-marina/

If you prefer to read the very long complete blog..
www.sailbeauty.com

We have noticed debris in both rivers. Tenn-Tom was worse for us, but it is highly dependent on rain. Heavy rain brings more. But it is quite easy to dodge. Most of the time there is nothing.

Is there anything in particular you want to know?
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Bryce
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post #26 of 36 Old 05-14-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

Excellent read Bryce! I appreciate you guys taking the time to put this info together.
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post #27 of 36 Old 05-14-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

Aswayze (and others) - thanks for all the great information. This thread clearly shows why "cut and paste" is actually a very good thing. Hopefully more people will continue to take the time to pull in great resources like this.

Sounds like we sailed right by Nolatom's office.



I was very used to sailing around big ships and lots of other commercial traffic having cut my chops in Galveston Bay around the Houston Ship Channel. But the Mississippi around NO was a whole 'nother animal. Much less room, much more current, and the bridges and locks getting on and off the river were a freakin' nightmare.

But that's the only piece we did. I definitely prefer sailing offshore myself.
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post #28 of 36 Old 05-14-2018
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

Perhaps a few positive posts on why we love the Mississippi.

The lower Mississippi is quite easy to navigate, the river is considerably wider and deeper than the Tombigby. Quite well marked.. Many more anchorages on the lower Mississippi than the Tombigby. Current is consistently faster on the lower Mississippi.

Garmin shows relative water depths, statute mile markers and position of groynes. Lots of features on a Garmin. Notice the GPS speed of 10.3 mph. This is due to the normal river current of 5 mph coupled with a throttled back through water speed of 5 mph. Gives us fuel mileage of 15 miles per gallon. Our 40 gallon tank is good for 600 miles.

Use Google maps normal and satellite views to get idea of you position with respect to towns and such. This Google shows our anchorage.

And of course OpenCPN has great charts of the rivers.
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

We love the huge sandy beaches on the Mississippi.. Hundreds of them.. only accessibly by water.
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Re: Sail down Mississippi Into the Gulf...?

99% of the time, we are running on auto-pilot.. Every once in a while walk back to adjust for turns..

Don't forget the warmth... All the sailors going down the eastern seaboard are freezing, we are basking in the sun in swim suits..
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