Port Arthur to New Orleans - SailNet Community
Gulf of Mexico US Coastlines, excluding Florida

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-15-2016 Thread Starter
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Port Arthur to New Orleans

I'm starting to look at moving my Islander 28 from Port Arthur Yacht Club to Mandeville now that the weather is easing off. First opportunity will likely be Spring Break as I have more available crew during that time. As many as 4 capable guys if the timing is right.
As of now the planned route will be on the outside from Sabine Pass to the Atchafalaya, then ICW from Morgan City to New Orleans.
There's very little anecdotal info on sailing this stretch. I've heard everything from "Don't do it, too dangerous!" To "Pick a good window, have fun and watch out for the rigs". I've even been told to "Forget it, just have it trucked over"
I know what to expect of the ICW on that section having fished S. Louisiana my whole life. The big unknown is the outside stretch from Lake Sabine to the Channel into the approach to Morgan City. From what I can see on the charts, the rigs are not too thick as compared to the area around Venice etc.
Anyone have advice or experience with this trip would help. Also has anyone kept moving at night on the ICW. I've eased along before dawn plenty in a bass boat dodging barges but never in a sailboat.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-15-2016
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Re: Port Arthur to New Orleans

A couple of weeks ago I bought a sailboat in Kemah and brought it to Panama City Florida, on the outside. If you can pick your weather window it's not such a hard thing. Even though there are lots of rigs they are not so close that you can't sail between them. But then, closer in I don't have any experience with.

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-15-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Port Arthur to New Orleans

How long did it take you from Kemah to the LA/MISS border. That's the point I'd have to cut north to head for the Rigolets. And how far out did you sail?
Lastly do you remember if you had a full moon or not? I wouldn't think twice with a full moon but my first calendar date looks like a quarter moon.
My preference would be to do it all on the outside. If that's your ketch on your avatar, I'd imagine you made the run a bit quicker than i could with my 24 foot water line.
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Re: Port Arthur to New Orleans

Well, the ketch in the avatar is the boat I had, I've moved up to a HC 43, which is considerably faster, especially in 25 knot winds.
We left Galveston on Thursday at 7am, motorsailed ESE for ~150 miles, then turned ENE until we hit the Fairway turn into the South Pass, which was early Saturday morning, around 0300. You'd need to go bit more easterly until you could clear the Chandeleurs then head North. The water is very shallow to the West of the Chandeleurs so I'd want to be safe there. We made the bell buoy at the St Andrew's Bay channel at 1800 on Sunday and our berth at St. Andrew's marina at nearly exactly 1900, glad to be home. It's cold this time of year! I'd just bought the boat and was very happy with her performance in some moderately rough conditions, Winds 20-30k and seas up to 8 feet. And you probably know how short the period can be in the Gulf, even when the water depth is >1000ft.

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Re: Port Arthur to New Orleans

I'll need a much better window than what you took! Steady 25 knots and 8 foot short duration seas makes for wet work on my boat. Thanks for the info.
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