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Old 07-02-2015, 03:42 PM   #1
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Clearwater to Carabelle, then Panama City or Pensacola

Trying to arrange to get the boat from Clearwater to Carabelle, then over to Panama City and beyond. I have a buddy who wants to do the Gulf crossing to Carabelle with me, but because we are flying over from Texas the scheduling and weather is up in the air.

Questions:

I have contacted Chris Parker to see if he can do one of his detailed three day forecasts for me starting the day before my flight so I can cancel the flight if the weather doesn't cooperate. Does that sound like a reasonable approach? I used him for my Keys To Marco crossing and it worked out well.

Is the ICW run from Carabelle to Panama City interesting? Looks like about 75 miles so looks to be doable in one long day.

I will lose my buddy at Panama City-- he has to fly home and get back to work. At what point on this trip back to Texas will I not be able to run solo safely. Loisuana?

What would be a trip length estimation from Panama City to Clear Lake if I can make 70 miles per day?

For some reason I get really bogged down when I start reviewing the Louisiana part of the ICW.
Is it difficult or am I just being a wuss?
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:01 PM   #2
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Dude, Carabelle to Panama City is easy. Pretty straight forward until you go under the first bridge at Panama City. No real problem, but watch for the bouy color change there and back again at the pass.

I have run the ICW into Lake Ponlchartrain with no real problems, but no further.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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The ICW run across Louisiana is no problemo! The main hassle is locking across the Miss river as it can get busy and quite a wait.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:24 PM   #4
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Dude, for weather, send an email to mailto:marvboater@aol.com and ask to be put on his daily mailing list. His forecasts are free and spot on (in my experience).


Include Boat name, your name as captain, hailing port and size. He will send a confirmation within an hour or two. His report will include weather for both sides (as separate reports). One for Clearwater and one for Carabelle. I did this trip 2 months ago so ask any questions you need to. Plan on arriving on the East side of N.O on a Friday or Saturday as locking across is much easier when their are no bridge/lock curfews. We crossed straight to Pensacola and then to Lulu's to Gulfport to N.O. PM me if you need anything. Our Houma Ambassador, Steve, has abandoned his post otherwise I would strongly recommend you meet him when arriving there. If the Crossing from East N.O to Houma is bothering you, I might be able to drive down and do it with you. On a weekend and with an early start it should be doable (if the lock Gods cooperate) in one day.
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:39 PM   #5
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Dude, for weather, send an email to mailto:marvboater@aol.com and ask to be put on his daily mailing list. His forecasts are free and spot on (in my experience).


Include Boat name, your name as captain, hailing port and size. He will send a confirmation within an hour or two. His report will include weather for both sides (as separate reports). One for Clearwater and one for Carabelle. I did this trip 2 months ago so ask any questions you need to. Plan on arriving on the East side of N.O on a Friday or Saturday as locking across is much easier when their are no bridge/lock curfews. We crossed straight to Pensacola and then to Lulu's to Gulfport to N.O. PM me if you need anything. Our Houma Ambassador, Steve, has abandoned his post otherwise I would strongly recommend you meet him when arriving there. If the Crossing from East N.O to Houma is bothering you, I might be able to drive down and do it with you. On a weekend and with an early start it should be doable (if the lock Gods cooperate) in one day.

Excellent. Thanks. I will let you know when I get closer to Nola.

Didn't your wife do that trip with you? Through the locks?
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Old 07-02-2015, 06:41 PM   #6
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Moonstruck, Rardoin,

Thanks for the info.

The ICW from Carabelle looks swampy and interesting on the map.

The Mississippi River was one of the sections I was wondering about.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:27 PM   #7
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For a very short way you will get a marker color change approaching Pensacola Pass. It is a wide ship channel there, so should not present a problem. Just watch the gold triangles and squares.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:45 PM   #8
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For a very short way you will get a marker color change approaching Pensacola Pass. It is a wide ship channel there, so should not present a problem. Just watch the gold triangles and squares.

Gold? Don't remember ever seeing gold. Is that for shipping channels?
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:52 PM   #9
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Gold? Don't remember ever seeing gold. Is that for shipping channels?
Dude, I thought you knew. All ICW markers are marked with a gold triangle (starboard side going toward Brownsville, TX} That generally corresponds with the red markers. Gold square on the port markers which are generally green. When you get to a pass with a from sea channel like Cape Fear River the markers colors will reverse and the Gold Triangle will be on the green. That means treat the green like a red, and visa versa. So keep an eye on the gold.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:31 PM   #10
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Bill: You gotta take Don's words with a grain of salt, even when his information is correct (in this case, it is). The guy usually knows what he's talking about, but since the view in front of the helm is typically like this (photo), he often gets distracted when the colors switch sides.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:36 PM   #11
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Excellent. Thanks. I will let you know when I get closer to Nola.

Didn't your wife do that trip with you? Through the locks?
Yes sir, Michelle and I, which is why I said if you were going through alone I would try get down and help as it sure makes it a lot easier
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:44 PM   #12
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Bill: You gotta take Don's words with a grain of salt, even when his information is correct (in this case, it is). The guy usually knows what he's talking about, but since the view in front of the helm is typically like this (photo), he often gets distracted when the colors switch sides.

Damn. Nice helm. 😁
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:47 PM   #13
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Yes sir, Michelle and I, which is why I said if you were going through alone I would try get down and help as it sure makes it a lot easier

Ok. If I can't talk my wife into helping me I will do that. Thanks.

Is there a marina you stayed at in Houma?
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:49 PM   #14
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Dude, I thought you knew. All ICW markers are marked with a gold triangle (starboard side going toward Brownsville, TX} That generally corresponds with the red markers. Gold square on the port markers which are generally green. When you get to a pass with a from sea channel like Cape Fear River the markers colors will reverse and the Gold Triangle will be on the green. That means treat the green like a red, and visa versa. So keep an eye on the gold.

Don, I'm reminded daily how little I know about this boating deal. I'm having fun learning though!
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:52 PM   #15
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Yes the Houma municipal marina. As you come into Houma you will see two parallel overhead bridges, about 100 feet apart. The marina is just a canal to your starboard and is between the two bridges. Blink and you will miss it lol. $25.00/night
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:54 AM   #16
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Bill: You gotta take Don's words with a grain of salt, even when his information is correct (in this case, it is). The guy usually knows what he's talking about, but since the view in front of the helm is typically like this (photo), he often gets distracted when the colors switch sides.
Larry, that's my excuse when running aground. What's yours?

By the way, when I run aground we just party until high tide. Kinda eases the pain.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:24 AM   #17
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By the way, when I run aground we just party until high tide. Kinda eases the pain.
Sucks the next day when you wake up and realize you grounded on the highest tide of the month!
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:32 AM   #18
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Bill: You gotta take Don's words with a grain of salt, even when his information is correct (in this case, it is). The guy usually knows what he's talking about, but since the view in front of the helm is typically like this (photo), he often gets distracted when the colors switch sides.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:14 PM   #19
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Larry, that's my excuse when running aground. What's yours?
Mine is the massive bulk of my trawler yacht displacement and its intimidating, however consequential, masculine draft.
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:44 PM   #20
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I have to admit that sometimes I'm side tracked by the girls. They are just Simply Irresistable.

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