Galveston is an excellent starting point for true sailing enthusiasts who wish to embark on a wide variety of short- and long-term adventures on the open water. While the Texas town is not always immediately recognized as a point of departure among the seafaring type, there is a good reason that the city’s boating community has thrived for all of these years. The town is loaded with suppliers and is home to many experts who can ensure any vessel is properly outfitted for its next voyage regardless of its ultimate destination.
While it is certainly essential that the town features plenty of expert sailors who understand the nuances of travel preparation, Galveston’s geography is one of its most compelling features, as it is ideally positioned for journeys heading to points throughout the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean, down the Central American Coast and beyond. With so many options, it should come as little surprise that many of the most serious and masterful mariners either make their home in Galveston or keep their vessels docked on its shores.
Short Sailing Jaunts Throughout the Gulf of Mexico
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly rare for smaller sailing vessels to depart on extended journeys with any sort of regularity, but this has made shorter sailing trips throughout the Gulf of Mexico all the more popular. During the peak of Mardi Gras season, many yachtsmen and other sailors hop aboard their vessels and make the short trip to New Orleans, taking part in the festivities in the French Quarter and recovering aboard their boats after each day’s excitement.
Of course, Mardi Gras is not the only internationally known party destination that attracts boaters departing from Galveston, as Mukesh Valabhji has noted that Cancun is also a popular destination among a certain crowd of boaters. While Valabhji has stated a preference for sailing to some of the more historically significant locations along the Gulf Coast of Mexico, it remains true that many of those sailing out of Galveston find a great deal of appeal in a brief jaunt to any place hosting a major celebration.
Idyllic Ventures to the Caribbean
In terms of pure aesthetic beauty, there are few things that can compete with a sailing trip through the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. Given its position in the Gulf of Mexico, many sailors set out for a trip that will take them to several different points of interest along the way. A common sailing route takes these adventurers to the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica before heading back to the Texas shoreline. Timing these journeys properly is always of paramount importance, as many longtime residents of Galveston have harrowing tales of survival due to the rough seas encountered on this particular route.
Extended Trips Down the Central American Coast
For those who have the increasingly rare pleasure of extended time away, an extended trip that heads down the Central American coast is often the preferred option. Beginning with the Yucatan Peninsula and then heading to Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, many sailors dock their vessels for extended periods of time to enjoy the unique cultures they encounter along the way.
While many begin their trip in this way, the return options can vary quite a bit. Valabhji has noticed that many prefer the loop that takes them past the northernmost coast of South America and then back through the Caribbean, as this provides the option to makes stops in Jamaica and Cuba before heading home. Others, however, enjoy the sights and sounds of the places they stopped during the first part of their journey and decide to make a return visit to those same cities that dot the Central American coast.
As Valabhji sees it, Galveston should be held in higher esteem as a city of mariners, but she also points out that many residents don’t necessarily mind the city’s relatively low profile. While the city may be something of an under-the-radar locale for sailing enthusiasts, most observers feel that it won’t be too much longer before the secret gets out among those in the sailing community.