I'm looking for curising information regarding the south TX/northeastern Mexico coast... Anyone have info regarding this area fro Rockport south? Anyone have input regarding Rockport in terms of sailing, marinas?
I wrote about this under the Corpus Christi thread, but here's a little more.
Rockport has a good municipal marina, and it is relatively close to grocery stores and restaurants. The marina has undergone a major facelift in recent years. Heading south, the Port Aransas City Marina is good, with a friendly harbormaster and good neighbors. Port A is a fun town, whether you're there for a night or a month. One of my favorite area marinas is at Ingleside-by-the-Bay, but the water around there is pretty thin. You can divert to Corpus Christi as well; the downtown marina is very good. It's right in front of the city, and is well protected. Just a couple of blocks from there are good restaurants and bars, as well as other tourist attractions. The sailing in the bay is good -- the water is clear and the winds are pretty constant. The water depth in the bay is around 14-15 feet, except over the spoil banks adjacent to the ship channel and the ICW.
I'm not too familiar with the marina situation on Padre Island or points south, as my home water is Galveston Bay. Since December I've been keeping my Tiburon 36 at Port Aransas, and have enjoyed being there.
I believe the poster johnshasteen mentioned in another thread that he keeps his boat in the Corpus Christi bay (Bahia Marina) and he likes it there. Maybe he can share information with you. Regarding Mexico, one of the ports on the north coast is Veracruz. There is a bi-annual regatta from Galveston to Veracruz. It would be interesting to get information from people who have done it. There's also the port of Tampico straight south from Port Isabel, but from what I read it's strictly industrial. Also on the Yucatan peninsula there is the port of Progreso. There seems to be no books about cruising this area. I'm guessing that's because a) the whole area has very little or no infrastructure for cruisers, b) there is nothing to see or it's ugly with barges and oil rigs, and c) it's expensive and difficult to do the paperwork
So you are in the Houston area but keep your boat in Port Aransas. How do you like that arrangement? I'm asking because I'm in Austin, and when the day comes that I can buy a big boat, I would probably want to keep it in the Corpus Christi area. But I just don't know about the long distance. I imagine that you are not able to drive down there every weekend. So do you find yourself having to do maintenance and repairs on the boat, and not having much time to actually enjoy it?
For the past year I have been spending weekdays in the Corpus Christi area. We are building an offshore oil production platform there, and will float it out into the Gulf of Mexico later this year.
I purchased the boat in December, and it was already docked in Port Aransas.
During the week I am able to visit my boat, but most weekends I return to Kemah to be with my family. On occasion they are down here and we use the boat then. We will be taking the boat back to Kemah sometime next month, so we can use it on weekends. My house is a 6 minute walk from the marina in Kemah.
As far as doing the M&R work on the boat, she was seriously in need of it when I bought her. Mechanical repairs are complete, and with new sails and rigging, she's ready to go. Lots of cosmetic work remains, but I intend to sail her as much as I can on weekends this summer.
A few years ago I was living in Spanish Fort, Alabama, and kept my Newport 33 in Biloxi, MS (a sad story -- the boat was lost in Hurricane Katrina). The ride to the marina was about 75 minutes, and I found myself making lots of excuses for not going to the boat. I think I would have the same situation if I lived in the northwest part of Houston and kept a boat in Kemah. I don't think I would use it much. If I were living in Austin, I would probably want to sail out of Corpus Christi, but the infrastructure for yachts doesn't begin to compare to what's available in the Clear Lake area.
No matter how great it is at Kemah I would not want to do the drive through Houston. You would be better off in C.C or Port A. There is another marina in Port A that is a fancy as those in Kemah. Don't remember the name but it is out by the airport. There is a fun marina in Port Lavaca and also one over in Polacius (sp) My daughter drives down here in 3 hours from Round Rock.
I wouldn't want to drive through Houston either! Unfortunately when I'm working in my Houston office I have to face it every day, and have lived through the best and the worst. If I were living in Austin or San Antonio I would definitely opt for CC for bay sailing, or Port A for sailing in the Gulf. I've been curious about Port Lavaca; I drive through there every week and it seems like a nice town.