Considering a move to Galveston TX - Looking for information on living there

I have a possible job offer with G&H towing in Galveston, TX. The job is 4 days on / 4 days off and would require a move to the Galveston area. I have only been there once, for a few days, and I don’t have a good feel of the area.

My wife and I live with our four-month-old daughter in Washington state, where we have been for the last ten years. We love the northwest and enjoy exploring the mountains and ocean near our home.

To be honest, Texas was not a place that I ever considered moving- obviously very different than the rainy and sometimes cold northwest, but this opportunity could be just what I am looking for, and my wife (originally from Florida) is not opposed to moving for the right job.

So, I am looking for information on living in or around Galveston, TX. I would be grateful to hear from those who live or have lived there or the surrounding areas…the good, and the bad about the area. We are not city folk, and would want to find a place with a big back yard or small property for our dogs and a little privacy. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

What is the day rate for mates and captains at G&H, do you know?

[QUOTE=Capt. Phoenix;62370]What is the day rate for mates and captains at G&H, do you know?[/QUOTE]

Looks like $406 / day for Master, and $329 / day for Mate.
Also listed is “premium” and “overtime” amounts, although I have no idea how that figures into the earnings. I will post more information when I have it.

Galveston is super ghetto. Not a good place for your family. Don’t get me wrong, there are some nice and very cool areas, but I sure wouldn’t make it a place to raise my family. If you do end up there, you will for sure need to check into private school for your kid, when the time comes. With all of that being said, I would look into the Clear Lake area as a better option. Unless something has changed there, most crew changes don’t take place in Galveston.

Also…If I were you I would spend a few months working there before you move your family. You can get a VERY cheap rental in Galveston for just yourself. G&H is a good company, but just make sure that you fit in there before you make the jump.

I went to TAMUG so I know a little about the island. There are some nice sections of town and some not so nice but its like anywhere else…
I dont know anything about the school district. But it is really nice to live close to the beach… I think that you could find a nice place to live for not a whole lot of $$$

I don’t agree with all that the previous poster wrote but i do agree with living down there before you up root the family. The cost of living is probably alot cheaper than the Seattle area.
There are some nice sections of Houston as well…

Thanks for the information guys. I can say with some confidence that Houston is out of the question. I spent hours looking at google maps generally trying to dig up information on the surrounding area. If anyone would be generous enough to post the names of cities / towns in the surrounding area that I shoud consider, I would be grateful. Thanks again.

The cost of living is significantly cheaper than Seattle area. I second the Clear Lake area. Not to far of a drive, and Houston is abt 45 minutes. CL is were Houston mission control for NASA is, big sailboat/yachting community. Nearly all housing in Texas is bigger than you’ll find Seattle. Newer housing might not be, but plenty of older, very nice neighborhoods. You can look through craigslist to get an idea of what housing is like. Everyone always talks about no state income tax, but they do have a hefty property tax, pretty much like Washington. A $100g house in Texas can get you a $200-250g house in Seattle, though. There is heat, humidity and the mosquito is the state bird, especially along the coast. But like all things, adapt and overcome. Although it’s been a while since I’ve been “home”, I grew up north of H-town and am a 7th generation Texan (said with much pride). Oh yeah, if you like living in the woods, about an hour north of Beaumont, which is about an hour from Galv, will put you in the Middle of the “Big Thicket”. Jasper anyway You can pull championship large mouth bass out of the lakes. But, Texas is going through a severe drought right now and all the lakes are drawn down. Fresh water will soon be an issue with a lot of the smaller communities. My folks said they have begun getting rain, but who knows what spring/summer will bring. If you have any other question, feel free to pm me, or drop them on here for other folks to read. Paul.

Check out Kemah, Tx

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Are you opposed to a little drive every 4 days?

If not look into Austin or San Antonio. I can be in Galveston in 4 hours from Austin, possible less from San Antonio. Both are immensely better then Houston in my opinion.

If you like living right on the beach, and a quieter lifesyle, there are lots of small towns down the coast south of Galveston. I have a place in Surfside, I love going to the beach there. Its only a 45 mile drive right up the beach to Galveston. Only problem is you have to cross the San Louis Pass bridge for $2 each time. I don;t know if they have discounts. There are lots of other places on the Galveston side of the bridge. Theres also League City, Texas City, Kemah, Seabrook, Clear Lake all in towards Houston on I-45.

I lived in Galveston for several years and worked there as a Paramedic. You definitely do not want to live anywhere from downtown to 70th street. It can get ghetto pretty quick. Living on Bolivar Island can be decent and semi-affordable but you are isolated and dependent on the ferry. Some of the nicer apartments start at $900 and up. Living on the island can be awesome if you choose the right area, if you want safety and good views you will pay for it. If you are used to the Northwest Housing market it shouldn’t be much of an adjustment. Otherwise withing 30 miles of the ship channel you have Friendswood, Clear Lake and Webster/Santa Fe. If it’s a long term stay spend the money on a 6 month lease at a gated community off the island. Be sure to check the place out at night to get a true idea what you are getting into. 6 months will give you plenty of time to explore and find an area you like. Plus we have hurricanes down here, something worth considering with a family at home while you are away. Evacuations can be a nightmare. Hope this helps.

Galveston is a cool place. It’s island living non of the places are fancy or high class just a bunch of beach bars and restaurants. If you like board shorts and sandals you will like it.

Hey brother, I was born and raised in Seattle myself, ended up settling in Corpus Christi years ago. Galveston is nice but you can always live in Houston, you can get an awesome house there for around 90k-150k, I mean something that would cost you 500k+ in the NW. Or there is San Antonio area, about a 2 hour drive to Houston or so, or even Corpus, about a 4 hr drive. Cost of living is so freaking much lower youll crap youll pants. Farther south you go the humidity and heat are pretty bad, youll get used to it but its rough at the start. Houston isnt as hot as say corpus but no wind so it feels worse, go figure. S.A. area has “seasons”, well as much as we have them in texas. Once you get used to the weather the area kicks ass, fish year round, beach year round, hunting, if your an outdoors man its heaven.

Good luck.

I lived in Galveston and worked for G&H, if you have a family, stay off the island, its not a nice place for your situation in my opinion, your gonna crew change anywhere from Pelican Island (G&H office in Galveston) to Texas City, Baytown (container terminal) or a few places along the ship channel up around the city. If I were you I would look at any of the smaller towns along highway 146, Clear Lake, Kemah, Seabrook, Bayview anywhere in there are lots of nice little communities for a family, like anywhere there are bad spots, but theres tons of good areas between there and I45, stay north of Bayou Vista, south of the Sam Houston tollway and there are LOTS of good areas.

Keep in mind, if crew change is anything like it used to be, you could leave your car at PI (Pelican Island) end up getting a call to run north to to Houston during your time, crew change at city docks in downtown Houston and have to drive your reliefs car all the way to PI to get yours.

Another good reason to have a cheap running, easy on gas car to bring to crew change, you never really know who is gonna be taking it for a 45mile journey…atleast thats how it was 8 years ago, not sure now.

Good Luck, if I had of stayed in Galveston or TX in general, Id probably be still working for G&H, if you ride a Harley or play golf, youll fit in just fine…!!!

I agree with earlier posters, Galveston is either a nice tourist town or ghetto, no in between and definitely no place i would want to raise my family.Consider north of Houston but south of Dallas, it turns into hill country and is a great combination of rural/city. Also think about Louisiana,(2 hr. drive) I know lots of people living in SWLA and like it, much more conducive to raising families and even cheaper to live than Houston area. FLA. panhandle is barely 8 hr. drive from Galveston. You can rent a car from Hobby airport(Houston) to Galveston for about $45 bucks(Enterprise) Southwest airlines flies cheap. Also next to G&H is AET Offshore, they operate fender boats, you might want to check them out too, 28/14 I believe Good luck

Just to the east of galveston across the ferry is bolivar pennensula. There are a few good places there that is nice, beach communities, and a little further up the road is high island. all of the places to the east on 87 from galveston are small communities untill you get back up to interstate 10 which is about an hour drive from the ferry landing. I grew up and live not far from bolivar, and i enjoy the area very much. lots of stuff to do in galveston with the family, but i wouldnt recommend living there, and everything to the north on I-45 is mostly just an extension of houston. i would definately go towards bolivar or high island.

Keep in mind turnover times used to be around 2am-5am depending on the boat and crew, when I was there we did a 2,2 & 3 schedule, fast turrn around, but nice to have every other weekend off. The new 4 & 4 schedule would be nice too, but again I cant stress the shuttling cars issue, every boat used to work it alittle different, but for the most part it was you driving your reliefs car back to where ever yours is, I wouldnt even want to think of having to drive a long haul after crew change and changing out cars. Until you get made permanant to a boat too, there is a good chance you’ll be working on the relief list, meaning you may get a call around 430pm the day before a crew change going to a new boat the next morning.

This info is all from previous experiences, it might have changed considerably, is Charlie Martorell (sp?) still working in crewing?

Thanks for the great information. I don’t know if Charlie is still there. I emailed with a gal in the office, and then spoke with a port captain named Robyn Sarvis. I officially have the job offer, now the wife and I need to decide if we want to uproot and move to Texas. Tough decision, and this thread has been invaluable- thanks everyone.

More positions available for qualified candidates, I encourage folks to apply online.

I dont think there is too much wrong with galveston. after ike it hasnt been nearly as bad as it was pre ike. that being said i just moved up to bayou vista. i was also looking at the seabrook and clear lake areas. i love the area though and think that part of the coast is an amazing place to live.

Did you take the job? I live in Houston. I have a few friends that used to work at G&H. I am considering making the move there. I have push tug experience. I really want harbor tugs. My brother works for Olympic in Seattle. That is where I’d like to be one day. I need to upgrade my Inland license to Near Coastal first.