I sail from Waterford Harbor on Galveston Bay. I am developing interest in explorin eastward destinations. Any experience / recommendations/ advice would be appreciated. I have a 5 1/2 draft vessel with 52 FT mast. Offshore is fine, ditch is fine.

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we had a great time from slidell on to so florida and tortugas--is posted here somewhere-----we hit lulu's after the barrier islands---we have done petit bois and dauphin and ship islands--are you going to be anchoring out or hanging in marinas??

check the height of the bridges if you go icw--we did both--where the bridges were too high we were outside-i believe destin 's bridge is 49 ft---ouch----troll for fishies and catch them---yummm....
we liked port st joe---the marina is awesome and we liked anchoring in wolf bay and in ingrams bayou and pensacola ----we did water street marina in appalachacola, the muni dock in appalachacola and some other placers in the area...we went to marco island and anchored---there are flounder in that myers we went to moss it...there is more.....biloxi is cool--they are rebuilding after katrina and only a few places to berth a boat but the anchoiing isnt bad there.....phil prater and mike and gina sibley are also sailing in the area....i was with phil....we go out again in about 3-4 weeks........

i would definitely check the weather every day--donot trust noaa---they havent had the weather correct for us except one time--we were in middle of thunderstorms and they had that right lol...but check on the computer--wunderground and sailflow and passage hurrycame season---storm pulse......have fun and good luck----when do you leave to sail??
How far east, Sam? Your draft is gonna be a problem all along the coast until around Pensacola. My boat draws 5 1/2' too.. Not a lot of places to see between you and New Orleans. The marsh is beautiful, but there is a LOT of it ! .. Lots of commercial traffic in the ditch. Not a bad thing, ya just have to be careful.. Lots of platforms in the gulf; they are pretty well lit so there is not a lot of danger in sailing there at night, but again ya gotta be careful.
By eastward, do you mean along the Northern Gulf coast and the Panhandle of Florida? If so, I cannot help you until you get to Mobile. Mobile to Pensacola you can do the ditch. But Pensacola to Panama City you have to go outside because of your mast height. Panama City is my home and I have sailed eastward from there and down the west coast of Florida to the Keys a number of times. If you want I can share a good bit of information with you about this part of Florida. My mast height is 54' and draft 6'.
Evening Sam,
I am leaving this Feb for Key West....from glad to visit with you about going east from Galveston Bay
appalachicola is quaint an dcool to visit--lotsa great oysters from the area--interesting entry--lol--speshully with a following 6-8 ft your charts well for this one---and port st joe, fla is puurrrty--the psj marina lets ye re provision using their bicycles and treicycles--fun stuff!1 small area so is easily accessed on these!!!! if you like ice crewam and sweets--this place is not to be missed--LLULU'S swets place--makes cakes and has the BEST ice cream--tastes home made--LOL awesome stuff--we go there every time we get to psj--and come out 10 poiunds heavier lol---womndwerful place--ye ride it off though , reprovisioning..and the good will store provided me witha london fog foulie jacket when min etook a RIIIIIP!!! is a convenient ace hardware and napa parts stores close to the marina and a fishing and boats arts etc store reallly close--got my skirts for the lures i use there---have caught goood fish because of those..LOL..go south mor eto ft myers--there is a 50 cent bus/trolley to get to anything you need to get to --lol and the town is really a lot like i imagined fla being a while back--like closer to just beach touristy..LOL...they have good pizza places--2 i like--one run by old men and pizza exactly like new york--they are from noo joizey..LOL....and one run bykids--surf pizza--goood stuff--and DELIVERED to the moss marina lol---very good--moss marine has a really nice boaters lound=ge with laundry and tv and air conditioning..LOL......regatta point in the manatee river--which empties into tampa bay--is 5 mi up river and a nice ploace for reprovisioning and visiting--home of sailmonster there--so be nice lol.....lovely folks and friendly!! has nice places for the boaters--lounges--restaurants nearby--one for the uppity and one for those nowt wishing to spend all their money on one meal>> of the boat neighbors took me to store there--was beautiful...if you donot wanna do a marina--we anchor out in the mouth of the manatee river--goood holding, other boats but they are long term users of anchorage--muddy bottom-bring skeeter juice LOL-goood stuff--the yacht basin in stpetes is silt over shale--not good holding, as we and 10 others found out at once...LOL....we found the little chapel on the bay there---and were neatly tied off to it--by the neighbors--lol---yay gods--we were saved--literally--by the chapel---very cool sailing in the east florida gulf--and some cool adventuring as welll.......have fun and may we meet during our sailing--donot forget the dry tortugas---not to be missed.....there is no provisioning or water or fuel there --70 mi from key west---sandy bottom, clear water and fun to watch fishies and birds and turtles and sharks ---there is a little tourism store in hte fort where ye can buy camera batteries and get maps for fort--is a nice peaceful rest.....gorgeous place....there is a power cat that goes between key west and fort ----donot know price---does it once per day and stays the day---is cool for those coming from key west to view fort an hang out for a day....and a good stopover for the trip to isla mujeres. and then the virgins...LOL.... ....

the barrier islands off misissippi and alabama are cool places to anchor--petit bois, cat, ship--but beware rth eplaces where dredging has been done--doesnt hold well there lol..was at ship island then....dauphin island has a good place to anchor with cell towers nearby a good sail adventure--have fun and i hope we meet!!

Cold weather travel not recommended, it is not pleasurable. Give yourself time, be sure to calculate down-time for weather - I would take a heading towards the Ports of  Louisianna first, then to Florida. Straight runs are tough during Winter weather, I have friends who have completed trips as such. Of course, your pre-maintenance checks, extra machanical gear, etc. Bick Pens and small hose clamps! No joke...if a fuel line breaks, you can use a bick pen as a temporary fix until you get into port if you do not have replacement lines. The rest, I am sure your aware of.  


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