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The Departure

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

You may hear me use the term “cruising” in posts going forward. When I was a teenager, cruising meant jumping in the car and driving up and down the main strip ( For me, it was Market Street in Pascagoula, MS) You weren’t really going anywhere, you were just driving to see and be seen. It was a social event.

When you hear someone talk about cruising these days they are usually talking about boarding a big ship and going to far away places. Well, I guess that may be called “a cruise” instead of “cruising”, but anyway you get what I mean. The cruising I will be referring to on this blog will be about moving around on our sailboat from place to place.

Departing Kemah for Galveston

So, our departure from Kemah, TX to start our “cruising” lifestyle began on Thursday, November 11, 2021. We departed Kemah for a 4 hour trip to Galveston. The wind was not in our favor, so we had to motor. We stayed overnight at the Galveston Yacht Basin Marina to wait for a cold front to pass and use the North winds to get us going to our first stop in Gulfport Ms. The Galveston Yacht Basin is not what it sounds like. It is an overpriced, subpar marina with a great location. We wanted quick access to the Gulf, and that is what we got. Literally, that is all we got. The Galveston Yacht Basin needs upgrading desperately. The dock we were assigned to was crumbling and leaning. One of the boards for the midship cleat came apart when I went to tie the boat. Ummm...Really ?

The Leaning Pier Of The Galveston Yacht Basin. A work of art ?

In my small amount of sailing experience in the Gulf of Mexico, I have found that conditions can be “feast or famine”. It seems like any time you have good winds that will get you somewhere, the sea state is rough…..sometimes, really rough. Many experience sailing captains call the shallow Gulf of Mexico a bathtub. Due to the shallow waters, the waves are so close together that you are cresting one wave, then diving into the next. This is very uncomfortable and can be very treacherous conditions. On the other hand, if you want nice, leisurely sailing for any long trip in the Gulf, it will usually require using a motor, or motors at some point, which most sailors do not prefer.

Sandra getting the camber spar jib ready to raise.

On our trip leaving Galveston to Gulfport, MS, we had a mixed bag. The cold front that passed through gave us a good North wind that jetted us off the coast. Since the wind was out of the North, and we were going East, and a little to the South to clear the Louisiana delta, we were moving at a good, comfortable pace for the first 24 hours. We knew from the forecast that the productive North winds wouldn’t last, but they dropped quicker than forecasted as high pressure set in. So we motor sailed for the next 48 hours. The positive of this ? Sleep was good because the sea stay got completely flat. We got into a groove of alternating the port and starboard engines, not only to keep engine hours down, but also to have the starboard engine running while Sandra would sleep in our port cabin and run the port engine when I was sleeping in the guest cabin on the starboard side. We closely monitored radar and AIS (Automatic Identification System) for rigs and ships going through Louisiana. This area has more offshore rigs than any other area in the U.S.

Fishing Boat Off The Coast Of Louisiana.

We rounded the coast of Louisiana and arrived in Gulfport after a 37 hour passage from Galveston. The Gulfport municipal marina is a nice marina at a really good price. We enjoyed our three day stay there. We were able to get some really needed rest and do laundry.

Ship Island off the coast of Gulfport, MS.

The highlight of the stay here was that my family, including my Mom all came to visit us. We all went out to eat at the Half Shell Oyster House in Gulfport. It was AWESOME food with AWESOME people !

Great time with family !

With no time to waste because the weather was getting colder, we prepared for our planned passage to Tampa/ Saint Petersburg, FL. We stayed three days in Gulfport, and enjoyed every minute of it. We plan to come back and visit here in the future when the weather is warmer. I would love to visit each island in the Mississippi sound.


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