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launch sites mapHere are some of the more popular launch 
sites in the Corpus Christi area:

Bird Island Basin:  Located on Padre Island National Seashore, this is one of the best windsurfing spots in the country.  With shallow water (3-5 feet deep) that's flat to moderately choppy,  it's a forgiving enviornment for any level of sailor.  It's a great place for learning for beginners and through all levels; and for the advanced, the winds can be strong, the speeds fast, and the jibes ripping.  This is a great place for learning waterstarts and carving jibes.  Any wind direction works here.  A weed fin is needed from late spring through early fall.  The bottom is sandy, but booties are recommended when sailing anywhere in the Laguna Madre to avoid cuts from oyster shells and other sharp objects on the bottom.  Jellyfish are usually not a problem in the Laguna.  Parking is usually adequate with rigging on the beach.  Primitive camping and restrooms are available at the site.  From Corpus Christi, take Highway 358 (SPID) over the JFK Causeway to Padre Island. The road changes to Park Road 22 South at the first stoplight on Padre Island.  Keep going for another 12 miles.  Once you pass the National Park entrance station take the first right and follow the road to the water.  Entry fee for the park is $10/week or $20/year.  At Bird Island Basin, there is a useage fee of $5/day or $10/year.  For more information on the park, check out the Padre Island National Seashore Home PageFor more information on the windsurfing, and for on site equipment rentals and lessons, check out WorldWinds.

JFK Causeway: This launch site is located about mid-way along the causeway on the right when heading from Corpus Christi to Padre Island and is sailable in SE, S, or E winds.  The water is waist deep or less and flat to slightly choppy.  There are some boat channels out there that are over 6 ft. deep, so try not to fall in these.  With the flat, shallow water, it's a good place for beginners on light wind days.  Footwear is recomended.  If you plan to sail fast here, use a short, well raked-back weed fin, watch out for the shallows, and don't try it if the water level is low.   There is a three deep row of posts out here left from the old causeway bridge and cut off just below water level.  On most days, they cannot be seen from the surface.  You do not want to hit one of these things!  The posts are marked by a row of bamboo poles in line with the long axis of the new causeway bridge, so turn around before you get to them. If you want to go further out through the islands into the Laguna Madre, dismount and walk slowly and carefully between the posts repeating this drill on the way back.  Do not try to sail through them.  Parking is ample on the beach, no facilities.

Cole Park:  This launch site is in the south part of Cole Park where Oleander Street ends at Ocean Drive -- known as Oleander Point.  This is the site of the US Open and many Whataburger races and is a great bump and jump spot.  On a windy day, the bay is rough and for experienced sailors only.  Solid jibing and deep water waterstarting skills are recommended.  A life jacket will help floatation and waterstarting; and watch out for jellyfish when sailing the bay.  Parking is adequate with a large grassy rigging area and a short, steep walk down the bluff to the beach.  The launch is easy with waist to chest deep water for 75 to 100 yards out over a sandy bottom.  After that, the depth is 6 feet or more.  Usually sailed with a SE wind, it's sailable in N, NE, E, and with a windline, in S winds.  No facilities are at the site, but restrooms are available about 1/2 mile north in Cole Park.

Ropes Park:  The sailing at Ropes excels in winds of 25+ mph (N, NE, E, SE, S) with excellent bump and jump conditions in waist high chop.  Parking is very limited, but it's o.k. to park along the street.  The rigging area is grassy with a short, steep walk down the bluff to the beach.  The launch ranges from sandy to rocky with submerged reefs.  Footwear is recommended.  This is a good place to freesail when races are being held at Oleander or when the wind is too much from the south.  The park is located about 2 miles south of  Oleander Point along Ocean Drive, no facilities.

Poenisch Park:  This spot is good for NW, N, NE, and E winds.  It can be sailed in a SE wind, but a windline forms off the beach.  The sailing conditions vary widely according to the wind direction.  Poenisch goes off in NW to N to NE 30 knot cold front conditions and produces fun, waist-high chop.  This is a good place to sail when the winds are too offshore at Port Aransas.  The water is waist deep for approximately 50 to 75 yards out with a rocky launch and a grassy rigging area.  Parking is very limited.  The park is located near the south end of Ocean Drive about 1/2 mile north of Ennis Joslin Drive, no facilities.

North Beach:This site offers the cleanest beach along the bay and is sailable in NE, E, SE, and S winds.  The SE and S winds are best and can produce the biggest swells in the bay.  This spot attracts fewer sailors than Oleander Point.  Rigging is on the beach.  Stay clear of the swimmers along the shore.  From Corpus Christi, drive over the Harbor Bridge, take the first exit, turn right, and then right again.  Take the second left onto Kleberg Street between the hotels and park on dirt lots at the end of the street.  There is an outdoor shower with restroom facilities inside the Sandy Shores Hotel.

Surf Sailing:  The surf sailing conditions are pretty much the same anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico beach.  All sites are sailable on N, NE, S, and SE winds with winter providing the N and NE winds while summer features predominantly S and SE winds.  Depending on the direction, the wind will vary from side shore to side-on to straight on shore.  Most challenging about this sailing are the strong currents building with the winds and running close to shore.  Great for downwinders!  If the winds blow all night or for several days in a row, the surf can get big with 8ft. faces, or bigger if a tropical storm or hurricane is in the gulf.  Conditions are more challenging than the bay and for experienced sailors only; and watch out for jellyfish.  The surf is sailable year round, but is best from April through August, early mornings or late afternoons.  Listen to NOAA weather radio for Port A or Bob Hall Pier reports of 20+ mph winds.

Port Aransas:This spot is sailable in N and NE winds.  Drive to the beach in Port Aransas.  Locals usually put in about 300 yards north of the pier.  If the surf is big, or you are a novice at surf sailing, it is best to start closer to the jetty where the surf is usually smaller.  Wave height varies from knee high to overhead, averaging about chest high.  This is a good place for the first time wave sailor since the waves break easy and broken masts are rare.  There are restroom and shower facilities.

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