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Old 10-17-2008, 07:21 AM   #1
Keith's Avatar
Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
Trip from Clear Lake, TX to Port Aransas, TX

Left Monday and arrived yesterday here in Port Aransas on the boat. Overall the waterway is fine. Almost all markers are there where they're supposed to be. No obstructions; a few sunken boats off to the side in places. Lots of trees and stuff blown over on the sides of the ICW between Galveston and Freeport. Overall great condition, considering what I expected to find after the storm. Here's some particulars.

1st. stop Freeport, Bridge Harbor marina. Diesel $3.79/gallon. Took on 200 gal. Transient rate now a ridiculous $1.50/ft./night. The only thing there is a small grocery/ship's store. They seem to have a grill open on Fri.-Sun. now, but we were there on a Monday. Good news is that there is a new marina about a half mile down on the south side. I'd read about it, but don't know any details. Brand new floating piers...looks like a good alternative to Bridge Harbor.

Next on to Matagorda Harbor in Bay City, TX. Always a great stop with a great little restaurant, but it's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They've changed their pricing to $1.00/ft./night for transients, although there are discounts for weekly or monthly stays. Diesel over $4.00 a gallon.

Next to St. Christopher's (used to be called Cotton's) in Port O'Conner. They are rebuilding the marina so there are only 3 boats there now, but the side tie docks are still there at $1.00/ft./night. Power at the first one for sure, don't know about the others. Check in at the Tarpon Hotel up at the head of the marina across the street. Another new marina that we didn't check out: Clark's (restaurant / hotel / fish business) had built a little marina, but don't know the details. Again, probably a good alternative to St. Christopher's. Lots of dolphins in the water from near here on south. Crossing Matagorda Bay (chart 11319) the normal main channel on the south side has shoaled near the Matagorda ship channel intersection. We bumped bottom in the middle of the channel right about 107A / 108A, or at least where they are supposed to be. Also, all the markers are gone from about 95 to 119 or so. The commercial tow traffic is taking the north channel, which parallels the main south channel, so make sure you go that way unless you draft 3' or less and feel lucky! Make sure you have recent charts that show the north channel, since my June '01 doesn't show that channel, but the new electronic chart does.

Final leg to Port Aransas via the Lydia Ann channel was easy, but rough as the north wind kicked up the waves in Matagorda and San Antonio bays. The Piper Channel into Island Moorings Marina has finally been completed and dredged, with a minimum depth of 7' on our way in. Diesel here $3.75/gallon right now.

Enjoying the cool weather here, going to see Hanna's Reef at the Back Porch tonight, Harvest Moon party tomorrow night. More updates on the way back. We plan to head out toward home on Monday. L8R!

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Old 10-17-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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City: League City, Tx
Country: Texas
Vessel Model: Carver 356
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,978
RE: Trip from Clear Lake, TX to Port Aransas, TX

Thanks for the report. What we do is just go a little further and stay at
San Bernard River and anchor there....free. Then we go on to Matagorda Bay
and anchor at Greens Bayou....free. Or if we wanna go another 1.5 hours we
go to Army Hole for free. And then onto PA. There is nothing endearing
about BHYC. The only thing possibly endearing about Matagorda Marina is the
restraunt. St. Christophers is NOT protected by a no wake zone so there is
potential for getting waked....WHILE DOCKED!!!! This is the closest I have come to being seasick while tied to a dock!!!!! AND, the Southern portion
of the ICW in Matagorda Bay has been discontinued...hence the lack of
markers and the shoaling you experienced!!!!

Have fun at all the Parties!!!!

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Old 10-23-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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RE: Trip from Clear Lake, TX to Port Aransas, TX

The floating marina in freeport is pretty expensive, they told me it was a minimum of $70 a night when I came that way!
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:13 AM   #4
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Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
RE: Trip from Clear Lake, TX to Port Aransas, TX

Yea, I posted all the information on www.activecaptain.com. Updated every place we stopped at. The new Surfside marina is a really great, state of the art marina. Great floating docks, excellent ship's store, best restrooms and showers I've seen outside the city dock at Corpus Cristi. $2.00 a foot/night is pretty steep though, and when they did that Bridge Harbor raised theirs to $1.50/ft. Fuel at Surfside was $4.01 yesterday, while BH was $3.79. Their floating docks have finger piers every other boat, with a piling in the middle.

Also stopped at a new "tie up" (I hesitate to use the word "marina") in Port O'Connor. It's at the Caracol subdivision, first thing on the North when you're heading Westbound in the ICW. Turn in right before Clark's restaurant and there are 3-4 side ties against a concrete bulkhead with a few pilings. Not a great arrangement, with oyster shell and grass burrs for the "parking lot". Side tie #13 has no power, but there are power posts at the others, no water. I rated it a 2 out of 5 on activecaptain. You check in at The Inn at Clarks, the little hotel right across the road. $1.00/ft. Crazy. Just an FYI if you want/need to tie up and want an alternative to St. Christophers, which is actually a bit better, believe it or not. Only advantage to this one is that it's a bit shorter walk to Clark's restaurant.
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