Sailing the Gulf of Mexico

Starting your cruise at southern Florida you will pass (and stop if you wish!) at the more prominent centres such as Sarasota, Naples and Fort Myers, to mention just a few, but try to see the lesser-known places such as Little Shark River and cruise and explore the Barrier Islands of Pine Island Sound.

  • Useppa Island – This beautiful island encourages and beckons passing sailors to stop and enjoy the sights of Useppa Island. The island is relatively unspoilt by significant developments, and is, perhaps, Florida at its historical best.
  • Cabbage Key – Northwest of Ft Myers is the small island of Cabbage Key. A favourite destination of sailors passing through Pine Island Sound. For the nature lovers, walks are well labelled with the identification of flora and fauna, and a stop off at Cabbage Key Bar for refreshment is a worthwhile idea.
  • Cayo Costa – To the west of Cabbage Key is a tiny island which is a Florida State Park where those who are getting a bit of sea fever can rent cabins of the Park. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy swimming and the pristine beach.
  • Cascarilla Island – If you prefer something a bit more civilized, visit Cascarilla Island. Between Boca Grande Pass and Charlotte Harbour, this island has limited development. For a grand evening don your glad rags and visit the Gasparilla Inn which watched over and nurtured sailors for over a hundred years. The brick cobbled streets of Boca Grande offer shops, galleries and eateries.
  • The Texas Coast – From Sabine Pass to the Rio Grande, more than half this coast is protected by barrier islands which have many inlets and lagoons. The islands shelter these waters, and the tranquil waters provide much safe fun sailing. The wind, coming from the southeast, blows at about 20km/hr for 80% of the year. There are many yacht races, and if you don’t wish to partake, there are many viewpoints to watch the race from your deckchair. Off the coast of Houston and Galveston, these waters are the mecca of sailors. There are many marinas reachable by numerous channels, all making for exciting sailing. For the beginners, there are many sailing schools to teach you the ropes.
  • Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, smaller than Houston area, and with a marina for hundreds of yachts of all sizes, is another place to see. The regular races attract many sailor wannabees, and there are many viewpoints to view from. Nearby are Rockport and Port Aransas, and from here there are many fishing areas. Don’t miss out on a visit to St Johns Island is worth a visit. The southern end of South Padre Island provides clear waters which invite snorkelling to those who want to get wet. These calm waters can offer years of sailing without repeating any areas seen before al safely protected from the Gulf of Mexico.