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Mobile, AL to Corpus Christi, TX


Barges, motorsailing, locks, fog, running aground, precarious anchorages, and passing the devastation left by Hurricane ike sums up our 2008 trip from Mobile to Corpus Christi.  The trip on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) took us a little over three weeks.  It was not fun.  December and January days are short and we had to stop by about 5 p.m. each day.  Fog was a constant problem, sometimes delaying us leaving anchorages or marinas for hours or even days.  Many of the anchorages suggested in our cruising guides were shallower than listed and we did run aground a number of times even while watching the depths carefully. Finding a good anchorage was not a matter of just pulling out of the channel and dropping our anchor close to the shore.  Barges steer out of the channel to the shore and ground themselves in the mud at night.  Therefore, not only was depth a problem, but we had to be sure we were clearly visible to barges passing by us in the dark.  That meant not anchoring near a bend in the channel and leaving every light on all night long. An anchor light was not enough to alert the barge captains.  We met a couple at the Corpus Christi Marina who were hit by a barge at 4 a.m. while they were anchored out of the channel on the GIWW, causing $50,000 damage to their new Hunter sailboat.  The people on the barge thought their anchor light was coming from a nearby town. There are quite a few locks to pass through on the GIWW, especially in Louisiana, however in December some had both gates open so we just sailed through.  During the spring and summer, those gates are probably shut and the lines of barges and recreational boats waiting to enter the locks are no doubt long.  There were some good days and we met wonderful people when we stopped at marinas, but by January 9th we were thrilled to see the Corpus Christi skyline.  Some of the problems we experienced might not be issues during other seasons, but we will not take this route again if we can avoid it.  Unfortunately, sailing on the Gulf back to Florida has its own disadvantages including multi-day legs and dodging oil rigs in the dark.  Check links below for blog entries and photos from this GIWW trip. Photos on this page are a summary of the trip.

Mobile to Corpus Christi Blog Entries

Mobile to Corpus Christi Photo Albums


December 17, 2008  - January 9, 2009