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Old 08-07-2020, 07:52 AM   #1
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Gulf coast to Mexico

During these Covid days, I'm constantly thinking about destinations for trips in my old Albin. One discussion that came up was a trip north up the west coast of Florida and working my way across Louisiana and Texas and then down the coast of Mexico. Is the Mexican coast doable and worth it?
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:56 AM   #2
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Do-able, yes. Plan your fuel stops in advance. Iíve heard but not seen first hand that the ICW through Louisiana and Texas is mostly industrial and ugly.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:49 PM   #3
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A quick search of ActiveCaptain suggests there is water but not much else south of the border all the way to Veracruz. And then there isn't much until you get within 100nms of Cancun or so. It's probably over 1000nm from Brownsville TX to Cancun if that's how far you're considering.

While I have not done it yet, I do plan on cruising the Yucatan. Jump from Florida to Isla Mujeres is around 350 nms depending on where in Florida.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
Do-able, yes. Plan your fuel stops in advance. Iíve heard but not seen first hand that the ICW through Louisiana and Texas is mostly industrial and ugly.
We bought out last boat in Kemah, TX and brought it to Mississippi via the ICW.

I know opinions vary, but you couldn't make me do that run again with a gun to my head.

The high point of the trip was a dead cow we saw someplace on the bank, on it's back, dead with all four feet sticking straight up. We talked about that cow the whole trip. It really was the highlight of the whole thing.
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Old 08-07-2020, 10:15 PM   #5
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Have made that trip several times.

Worst part is Mississippi River to Galveston, then Galveston to Brownsville. Even now I won't do the southern leg and I am from there.

I won't do it again unless in a restored PT boat or Cigarette boat that belongs to someone else and I have their credit card.

It is straight for miles, with nothing but countryside. You will encounter more barge traffic than you can imagine. Bald eagles, Bob cats, coyotes, deer, cows, etc. Few places to stop, no place worth going for.

It is truly desolate. One stretch at night had so many lightning bugs, they literally illuminated the ICW at night, millions.

Should have supplies and fuel for one week.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:05 AM   #6
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Gulf coast to Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
Do-able, yes. Plan your fuel stops in advance. Iíve heard but not seen first hand that the ICW through Louisiana and Texas is mostly industrial and ugly.

Can confirm this is true. I did this trip by myself and it drove me a little crazy. Seriously not much at all to see other than barges. I told myself if I ever had to do that stretch again I would go outside from Mississippi to Galveston Texas.
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Old 08-11-2020, 07:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the responces/info. Looks like I will start looking at other routes!
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Old 08-11-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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A couple of years ago someone from California bought a Hatteras out of our marina in Galveston Bay. Their plan was to head south to the Panama Canal and back to California.

Rumor has it that they had some type of mechanical issue that forced them to stop for a repair at a marina somewhere in the Bay of Campeche. Someone stole the boat when they went to town and the local authorities were not very helpful.
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:10 AM   #9
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I will somewhat disagree with some of these replies. I gotta defend my home turf. Some people find beauty in desolation. But I do not find beauty in slowing down for MFing barge and fishermen. One would think there are better places to fish than right on the ICW. Anyway, pretty much all of the ICW in Louisiana SUCKS. And ironically, I an heading to Lake Charles this weekend with a fleet of boats....about 8. They do have a couple of casinos there that have marinas attached to them. I don't go to gamble. It is just somewhere to go on the boat. ANd they have nice pools and restaurants. There are nice destinations in Galveston. Also once you get South of Matagorda Bay in Texas the water turns green and then you get to Port Aransas. Which is a touristy fishing town that has managed to remain small and charming.....although gets a little more touristy each year. There is ZERO between Port A and South Padre as that is a National Seashore and no development allowed. Fishing is world class from Matagorda to South Padre both inshore and off. There is also world class fishing in Louisiana as well....Chandeleur SOund namely but that is almost Mississippi. Would I make These areas a destination if I were in Florida???? Not likely. But there are places to go and some are quite nice. The biggest turn off for me on the Louisiana ICW is the locks. There are four sets of locks across La. And the Locks at the Mississippi River are the biggest pain in the ass imaginable. You have to allot an entire day to get across the Mississippi. And then you find your self at the end of the day with fading daylight and nowhere to really go for the night. We made it work but damn....that is a crappy feeling. And Morgan City absolutely SUCKS!!! Do anything you can to bypass that place. Anyway....
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Old 08-11-2020, 12:00 PM   #10
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I travel the Texas and Louisiana ICW, "industrial and ugly" is being nice, it's nothing more than a muddy ditch at best
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:13 PM   #11
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I'm not a fan of the ICW through that area although I would not call it as bad as others here are making it out to be. However, assuming you take the ICW, then get to Brownsville, from there through Mexico has very little in the way of marinas or things to see. To me the route you've described is just taking the long way to make a short trip. Assuming you have 350 nm range the easiest way to get to Mexico is to cross directly from Key West to Isla Mujeres or Cancun. Clearly you have to get a good weather window and be able to handle those seas. However, it's often an easy and pleasant crossing.
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MV Wanderlust View Post
Do-able, yes. Plan your fuel stops in advance. Iíve heard but not seen first hand that the ICW through Louisiana and Texas is mostly industrial and ugly.
You are mostly correct. Been thru the area twice and not looking to go again.
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