Talisman ready for Gulf Coast travel

Hi, Fidgety II, read your comments. We bought a Pearson 365 ketch and have been readying it for some coastal cruising. This would be our first. Talisman is docked at Madisonville and we plan to make our way east to Mobile or Pensacola sometime late March. Do you have any tips as to marinas or anchorages along the coast? Other interesting places to see, where to eat, etc.? Are you on the north- or southshore? Would love to chat with you about your experiences. Gina & Mike Sibley

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Comment by Phil Prater on March 26, 2009 at 5:05pm
Nearly ran into you last weekend. I think you know Monte, on the Newport 27 "Blown Away". He got sick Fri. morning and headed back, and said he met up with you. I am the crazy one who kept going. By the way, Rabbit Island is good anchoring, but bad bugs sometimes. Point Cadet in Biloxi is closed for a much needed re doe. Other advice given here is all good. All the barrier islands offer good anchorage as long as the wind is southerly. Strong north winds, it isn't at all comfortable. Big Lagoon over by Pennsacola is a good anchorage too, with the added benefit that many mornings you will be awakened by the Blue Angels practicing. NEAT Good sailing, and post up when your going again. I will be out and about for most of the summer.
Phil Prater
aka Nice N Easy
Comment by Gina Nadas on March 12, 2009 at 9:06pm
thanks so much. such good info from all you folks. we'll be reporting back after the trip.
Comment by Captain Mike Baker on March 12, 2009 at 7:23pm
Petit Bois is very nice, Ship Island took a bad beating during Katrina, Camile Cut was widened by the same storm. The beach on the south side was once rated among Americas top ten beaches and is still nice, the fort is still there as well. If you run on the inside via the intercoastal from the Rigolets, watch your depths!
If you run the outside, you can anchor in Smugglers Cove on the south east side of Cat Island, be very careful leaving as you will have to head a good ways south to clear the shoaling tip. If you need anything, you can always go to Pass Christian Harbour, there is a mini mart just down the street but not much else, I hear they are getting the fuel dock in Long Beach up and running as well as having a few transient slips for the night and there is a grocery store a few blocks up Jeff Davis then left on Railroad st. Auto parts store near there too. If you moore in Biloxi, you will be near things, especially Mary Mahoney's Old French House Restaraunt , AWESOME! The best place to stay when in Florida is, or used to be was the Southwind Marina in Perdido Key. Next marina on the left after the Perdido Key Oyster Bar&Marina heading east on the ICW just past Big Lagoon State Park. Great little bar and restaraunt, fuel and laundry facilities. If you borrow a car or get a ride from the marina, go west across the ICW bridge and on the left you will see Lillian's Pizza, very good. Then head west once more to the Flor-Abama just down the road at the state line for music and drinks. With your dingy go out from southind marina east to the point with the grass beds and drift live baby mullet and there are nice trout to be had. If the same guy still owns the Southwind, he is a chiropractor localy and a nice guy. Have fun!
Comment by Gina Nadas on March 12, 2009 at 4:34pm
gotcha. what a nail-biting experience. we will be careful. have heard from several now about the shiftiness of the bottom in that area. also have been reading Claiborne Young's Cruising Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast, saying the same. by the way, why Petit Bois? is it a nicer island than, say, Ship Is.? tell me more about the rendezvous and the mechanics of it all. thanks.
Comment by Claude on March 12, 2009 at 4:03pm
Great.. I was on the ICW back there around Pirate’s and Bear Point when we decided to go offshore. The Perdido looked OK.. Made it fine, but it was scary. Chart shows the vert clearance as 54 feet My mast is 53 ish with the VHF whip.. Because of tide rip and shoaling, we couldn’t take the highest point east of the eastern piling.. we hugged just west of that piling and heard the VHF touching the girders as we went under.. WHEW! I don’t know if they’ve fixed the shoaling or not.. Again, best of luck on the trip!
Comment by Gina Nadas on March 11, 2009 at 10:34am
Hi! Glad to get your input. We will try to make it for the rendezvous. Sounds great. Much appreciated tip re Perdido Pass. We'll probably travel the ICW from Mobile to the Perdido area to take advantage of the places recommended by Terry and Mike. Thanks, ya'll!
Comment by Claude on March 11, 2009 at 10:10am
Hey, Gina and Mike. There is a planned rafting up on Petit Bois Island on the 21 and 22 of March. They are on the Sailboat Owners forum. If you are in the area, shout. I agree with Mike and Terry's comments.. Fine places .. The only real place to avoid/be very cautious of is the Perdido Pass.. It doesn't look too bad from a chart but in real life, currents and shoaling make it ... uuuhhh.. interesting.
Comment by Gina Nadas on March 10, 2009 at 10:07am
wow! what great tips! thanks so much! we'll be looking forward to doing many of your suggestions. we're waiting on our dingy and will probably set out Tue or Wed of next week. will let everyone know how it went. gina and mike
Comment by mike bowman on March 9, 2009 at 4:27pm
Hello, Gina and Mike. I lived on the Alabama Coast for about 5 years and there is three MUST SEE stops on the ICW. As Terry said Pirates Cove is one of the Must see stops... great greasy burgers!!!! But right before that is Ingrams Bayou. It is a deep water inlet that is just sooo peaceful. It was rated in the top 10 layovers on the ICW. We have overnighted there many times. Sometimes there would be a crowd (3 or 4 boats) sometimes we would be the only one there.
Just before you get to that area is a New Marina called LuLu's Homeport Marina, that is Jimmy Buffet's sister. great night life, good food, fuel, etc.. Just a mile or so down from LuLu's is the new Wharf. It is not so peaceful. If you can imagine a very upscale shoping district on the ICW that's what you would find.

Hope this helps...

Comment by Terry on March 8, 2009 at 11:52am
Well there are ways to break up the trip and allow you to anchor each night if you like. From where you leave, sailing through the Rigollets and anchoring in the bend at Rabbit Island is where I would stop first if you leave early by 11 am from Madinsonville, but even if you leave late and get their after sundown it is easy to find and well marked. There is a U shaped place to anchor near an old oil abandoned oil platform, and it is next to the intercoastal. There is often good fishing there.
If you get an early departure, you can make Point Cadet Marina or anchor behind Beau Rivage or thereabout the next night or if you want quiet anchor at Ship Island, if the latter perhaps stay two nights. That does require an early start from Rabbit island.

From there you need to decide how long you wish to sail in one day. You can break up the sail by stopping just across the bay from Dolphin Island near where the ferry lands near the old fort Morgan. That is not a bad sail if you get an early start from Ship. From there take the intercoastal to Pirates Cove which on the chart if opposite Bear Point. You can make it from Ship there in one day but will need to do a bit of it at night in the intercoastal but it is easy to navigate there. If not go outside from Fort Morgan as the exit from Mobile bay is very close, and sail direct to Pensacola where you can anchor near the fort there near the entrance of Pensacola or a Redfish or trout point to the west.


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