Thursday, September 08, 2011

09/08/2011 - Petit Bois Island and Sand Island

Launch: Bayou Casotte near Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA
Launch Cost: Free
Destination: Petit Bois Island and the island just to the west, Sand Island.
Distance: 25 miles (round trip).
Trip Rating: Difficult due to distance. Dangerous due to Open Water, Big Fetch, Possible strong current, wind and big waves.
Time Paddling: 7-1/2 hours
Weather: Mostly sunny and warm - 70 to 78 degrees. Winds out of the north 10 mph decreasing to 0-5 mph in the afternoon. Crossed at High tide and came back during falling tide. Current 0.5 to 1.5 mph. Waves 1-2 feet.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header image - Pelicans on a peninsula of Sand Island.

Sunrise in Bayou Casotte with a tugboat connected to natural gas barges. No smoking in this area!

Ship Honourable Henry Jackman is one of the longest ships I've ever seen measuring 800 feet long. Wow!

I planned this trip using EarthNC and created a route to stay near the ship channel markers. The route was sent to Google Earth and from there I converted it for upload to the GPS. It is amazing how this ship stays upright.

With a north wind blowing while kayaking south and 1-2 foot waves to surf on, it took about 2-1/2 hours to make the 9-10 mile crossing. This is a navigation platform. Petit Bois Island is on the left, and Sand Island (Mississippi) is on the right. In between the two islands is the Pascagoula Ship Channel aka Horn Island Pass. Saw quite a few dolphin in this area.

After tropical storm Lee, I expected to see Petit Bois Island littered with tar balls and stunningly, I found none. There was a tar ball removal crew working the islands.

On the south side of islands (sheltered from the north wind), the seas were calm and despite all the recent rain, the water was beautiful looking.

Saw quite a few Figure 8 jellyfish in the water.

There were even more of them littering the beach.

I had planned to spend some time exploring Petit Bois Island but the Al-Qaeda flies were seriously out for blood. The persistent little Bleeps ruined the return crossing because there was no wind to keep them away. 3-1/2 hours of swatting flies...

Light puffy clouds formed and they did not seem to move. Navigation markers serve the Pelican community well.

Speaking of pelicans, this one had what looked like sores on is pouch.

An unknown dark variety of shore bird picks away at a deceased stingray.

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