Geosat altimeter derived sea surface height (SSH) anomaly fields have been optimally interpolated onto a regular space time grid using both crossover data from the nonrepeating Geodetic Mission (Geosat-GM) and collinear data from the Exact Repeat Mission (Geosat-ERM). Over four years of data were collected from the combined missions, spanning the time period from April 1985 through August 1989, during which six major and at least two minor Loop Current eddies were directly observed. Eddy paths determined by automated tracking of the local maximum values in the SSH anomaly fields were compared with eddy centers estimated from drifting buoy trajectories, validating the data processing and tracking techniques. Accurate tracking of eddy centers allowed transits of 90°W to be used as a benchmark for determination of eddy shedding periods. For this data set the average period between major eddy transits was 9.8 months, with individual separation periods ranging from 6 to 14 months. The two minor eddies observed were associated with the deepest penetrations of the Loop Current into the gulf, and were nearly coincident with the shedding of the strongest major Loop Current eddies.