Is It Dangerous to Sail Offshore?

Is is safe to sail offshore in a Catalina? Overnight and Offshore Sailing - The Foster Journey Blog feature Image 1200

We only just finished our ASA 101 sailing lessons with Windward Seaventure, but after a few days of preparing Cadence, our Catalina 387, we’re off for an overnight cruise into the Gulf of Mexico.

It might be foolish for us, an inexperienced sailing family, to go offshore in our floating home, but we’re under the experienced hand of Capt. Tracy (aka “The Handsome Captain”).

Day 1 Kemah to Port Bolivar

The sail started out perfectly with a calm 10mph breeze as we left Kemah on a SE starboard tack (wind coming across the right side of the boat). A few miles away we could see a storm brewing.

And the storm was looking monstrous, with large anvil shaped nimbus clouds and lightning striking about 5 miles away.

But we kept our course and intended to cross the Houston ship channel and follow that path down to Port Bolivar, which is about a 6 hour sail.

When the storm finally hit us, it was mostly wind and lightning. The gusts were 28-30 kts and the wind sustained 20-25kts.

Twenty knots of wind isn’t too bad, but we had a narrow channel to sail in and the tankers were close by.

So we reefed the sails (pulled the sails in partially) and motor sailed through the 3 foot chop.

Overnight In Bolivar

We found a small neighborhood lagoon in Port Bolivar that had free water and electric hookups. So the overnight was pure luxury.

We pulled out the electric grill and made Impossible Burgers, coleslaw, and potato salad.

Matt flew the drone a bit…

And while auto-landing the Mavic 2 Zoom, he began telling a story (majorly distracted!)…

All of a sudden he pushed the wrong button and flew the drone into the boat and down into the water.


Day 2 Offshore Sailing in the Gulf of Mexico

Day 2 began after a brief funeral, a cup of coffee, and a sailing lessons test (this is a part of ASA Offshore Lessons just like the ASA 101 Lessons we took a few weeks ago).

The sail out of Galveston took about 2 hours, and we spent another 2 hours heading about 10 miles offshore.

The breeze was a solid 15kts, and the waves were a close 3-6 feet, but the Cadence handled it like a knife slicing butter!

We on the other hand…

We handled it okay…there’s definitely much, much more to learn about sailing – and doing it confidently and safely.





4 responses to “Is It Dangerous to Sail Offshore?”

  1. Zack

    Looked easy!

    1. Parts of it felt easy…we’re in the learning phase, so each time we go out it’s a confidence builder!

  2. […] feet of crystal blue ocean, and sailing to another separate location. Coastal sailing (like we did here on the Texas Coast and here on the US East Coast) may put you out of sight of land, but you can always find a port to […]

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