The trip has begun
Well, we finally cut the docklines today. I was starting to think the day would never come. Just one obstacle after another. Anyhoo..... We left Kemah/Seabrook this morning at 7:30 AM. Temp was in the low thirties, cloudy and winds were 20-25 kts out of the north. Very choppy and not the most comfortable trip we have taken. After we went to Galveston to gas up we went on the ICW heading east. Nice thing about the ICW is much less wind and no chops. So the afternoon went smooth - even the sun came out. We made it 2/3 of the way down Bolivar Peninsula and tied up at Stingarees restaurant. The bad news is that they were closed. The other bad news is that tomorrow morning if the tide gets any lower, we will have to stay here.
As far as the boat was concerned, everything worked flawlessly.
This was a planned short day - kinda like a shakedown cruise, but for real.
Are your plans to complete the great loop? I am jealous!
We haven't really thought much about the great loop. Maybe someday in the future though.
Day 3 finds us at a casino marina tonight in Lake Charles, La. it's a nice change from anchoring out. Just got back from the buffet.
After 3 travel days I am starting to find myself de-stressed. Traveling at around 6 to 6 1/2 kts for around 8 hours a day I find no need for being a 'news junkie' and don't miss my favorite
violent TV shows. Almost as good as sailing. LOL.
A Float-A-Bout sounds like a wonderful time to me Tony. Please continue posting your progress it will help us frozen in northerners pass the time until spring thaw-out season. :(
There's an app for that
There are handy apps for smart phones that allow you to share a Google Maps link of your position, unless that is more information than you wish to share. Of course, if your goal is to truly relax then your smart phone should be in the closet. My wife has threatened to put mine in the bilge.
Enjoy your trip!
I need someone to teach me how to use all of the apps.
The original plan was to leave last Feb. and make it up to the northern part of Ky. Lake.
"Things" have a way of cropping up and causing delays so at this point we will settle for making it to Biloxi, Ms. where we have friends and family. Then in early to mid-spring, we will continue on to Ky. Lake. Once there we will settle in for 2014 and plan our 2015. trip.
I started using ActiveCaptain.com and in 5 actual travel days, I found two very serious issues. Not a good average: 40% error.
The first one was a free dock in Port Arthur, Tx. Yes it was free, but it was in the hood. When we got there, there were about 5 or 6 derelicts hanging around on the '1 boat' dock. It looked like the place from the satellite images and was in the right place. When we asked if this was the city dock, we were told that "Honky Park" was that way. Things went down hill from there.
The next issue was this evening. Someone listed a nice little out of the way anchorage off the ICW in La. As we approached, it looked nice and everything was as described but we did not enter. The other side of the ICW looked nicer to me so we did the back and forth sweeping of the area with me driving and the admiral calling out the depth. This way we would know where to drop anchor in a relatively narrow area. As we were sweeping back and forth, I heard two tug/barge tows talking to each other. One guy said "I think they are lost". At that point I got on the radio and explained what I was doing and told them not to worry, I wasn't going in the channel yet. I told them that after I finish sweeping this area, I will cross the channel behind their stern so I wont be in their way. One of the tows answered and told us that I was much better off where I was. the area across the channel that was my original destination would be in the way of barge traffic going to the salt mines further back in that bayou. So we decided to stay where we were at. In less than 5 minutes after we anchored, we saw a tug/barge going up the bayou that activecaptain suggested.
Oh well, I will figure out how to make these changes to activecaptian so now one gets killed.
Anyway, as soon as I get a chance, I will post the trip with photos.
The ICW can be a VERY busy place. Just about any place that is big enough for a barge is going to have barge traffic. I went through there 30 years ago and it was a madhouse then, probably worse today.
Bon voyage, Tony and Mrs. Tony! Looking forward to vicarious boat traveling, so keep us posted.
thanks to all for the well wishing.
We are having a great time in spite the fact that it is winter. last night we anchored out in a small bayou about 100 yards off the ICW. Was much quieter and much less waking than expected.
Tonite we are in the Morgan City Pleasure Boat Dock in Morgan City, La. - Another ActiveCaptain.com loser. This is probably one of the busiest waterways in the US. We are open to tons of barge traffic and crew boat traffic in addition to other types of boats with no protection from wakes. have any of you evetr spent a night under 2 very heavily trafficked bridges and the one directly overhead is pretty much and all steel bridge? the noise is incredible.
I'm starting to wonder whether most of the reviews were by people that actually did it or by someone sitting in his/her living room and making this stuff up.
Tomorrow nite we will be in Houma, La. and spend several days there relaxing and taking in the Cajon cooking. Also visit with my old boss there and an internet forum boat buddy that I never met.
After that we will be on our way again - this time, doing it the old way. Travel until about 2 hours or so before sundown and look for an anchorage. I have always done best this way. I'm through with active captain.
Tony I ran into a pretty interesting sort of blog. Anyway it may refer you to better points of destination in your journey. It's called Capt. John's American Great Loop and you may find it decent reading if you find yourself with some time on your hands.