Out On Anchor for the First Time

Ep39 Galeston Causeway Bridge Sailing to Offatts Bayou Near Galveston, TX

After 5 days of working on the generator, furling line, and other sailboat systems, we finally made it out! And this was the first time to spend the night on anchor.

In a few words…it was a blast!

This is the story of getting there…navigating the Houston Ship Channel, the barge traffic, Galveston Causeway Bridge, and the shallow channels back to Offatts Bayou.

Part of our plan to prepare to leave land includes increasing our skills. What better way to learn than just to go out and do it?

The biggest lesson here was navigation. Most of the 6 hour journey was spent moving through high commercial traffic and narrow lanes with very little margin for error.

Leaving the Ship Channel and Sailing to Offatts Bayou
Leaving the Ship Channel and Sailing to Offatts Bayou

In fact, we passed one sailboat who moved just 10 feet off the channel and landing aground.

Not a good day for them.

The channel was too narrow for our 40 foot sailboat to help out.

Thankfully, there were plenty of power boaters around to lend a helping hand.

We look forward to sharing the rest of the story next week as we scrub the hull and sail away from Offatts Bayou.

Here are a few questions we had to answer before sailing to Offatts. Hope they help!

How Tall is the Galveston Causeway bridge?

When down, the railroad bridge is 8 feet. When elevated, it’s 73 feet from a 0ft tide.

How far is Offatts Bayou from the Gulf of Mexico?

It’s about 2 hours (when traveling 4 knots) from Offatts bayou to the end of the South Jetty.

How deep are the channels when entering Offatts Bayou?

The channels are well-mapped and are between 9 and 16 feet deep in the center. However, they can be only 2 feet deep just outside the channel, and the channel markers are often outside of the channel.





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