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SailorWade 09-07-2011 08:48 AM

Mississippi Barrier Islands
I've noticed that there isn't a lot of recent info out there about the islands off the coast of Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina changed the islands and anchorages so I wanted to hear from people who've sailed around there in the last couple of years and had recent info. I've you've never been out to any of them, they are worth checking out! Horn, Ship, and Cat Island definitely seem like a whole new world after sailing out of the muddy waters in the Mississippi sound. They offer sand beaches, great fishing, and wooded islands to explore.

I typically go out to Horn Island. There is deep water at a place referred to as "the horseshoe" which is closer towards the west end on the north side of the island. You can get in close, but there is no protection from north winds. I've been to Cat Island also, but only once. Getting stuck on the bottom at low tide soured me on the place a little bit. If you've been out there, I would love some info on anchoring in Smuggler's Cove. My boat's draft is 4.5 feet and that would be a great place to tuck in if it is possible. Also, has anyone sailed out to Chandeleur Island? That would be a nice sail out of Biloxi, and I have yet to find anything online about anyone sailing down there.

SailingStNick 09-07-2011 09:06 PM

It's my theory that Mississippi has such a low population compared to the East and West Coast areas that there isn't really much information published, whether it's a web page or a published document, that is very helpful. This includes the Alabama and Louisiana coastal areas as well.

I wonder if you could get any help from the Rangers at the Gulf Islands National Seashore?! They circumnavigate the islands daily and would know a great deal about the current lay of the islands.

The guys and gals at OSYC are small catamaran sailors, and those are the people I know. They sail out to the islands regularly, but have no draft to speak of.

Let me know if you need any rail meat. I only have small boat experience but am willing to learn.

SailorWade 09-10-2011 12:09 PM

Horn, Ship, and Cat are pretty easy to figure out. I really want to hear from any sailors that have been out to Chandeleur Island. I guess I'll just go check it out in October and see for myself.

captainmike99 09-25-2011 11:08 PM

chandeleur islands
Sailed to the Chandeleurs before Katrina. On the west side at the north part we dropped anchor in 7 feet, as close as I dared. We were still over a mile from land. Dingied in through shallow mud and was not impressed. Glad we went and one day will go back to a different spot because I'd always wondered about 'em. From google earth it looks like the were torn up, but maybe it cleared some mud and cut some channels. Worth checking out.

JonnyQuest 11-05-2011 03:43 PM

Good thread for the MS Coast!
I was going to drag my family out to Ship or Cat Island this evening, but we have never overnighted on the hook and have never sailed out to the islands. Wouldn't leave until around 6pm and don't think I will try a first attempt at anchoring in a place I've never been when dark will have already set in. After getting some experience under better circumstances, we'll try it; tonight we'll sleep at the harbor and then sail a bit in the morning. Maybe to Ship Island and let the kids storm the Fort!

Although I'm too chicken for tonight, would the Little Bend at cat Island offer any protection from this evening's easterly winds that will blow steady at around 12mph and kick gusts to 21mph?

LooseDiamond 11-05-2011 07:37 PM

For several years, I would go to Smugglers Cove for protection. Due to time constraints, I have been poking along N side more this year. A little west of Little Bend, N of the entrance to the private house and bayou (marked with a light) will tuck you in and protect against E winds well (due to Racoon Spit), and somewhat westerly ones. I can get in 8ft. water, leave the keel down for stability, and do pretty well. The map is somewhat deceiving as to the curve and protection there (more than one would realize). Haven't explored Chandeleur yet. Smugglers Cove is shoaled up pretty good, and 4.5 ft with room for tide will not get you in far. If attempted, stay more to the south side, but be aware that the spit has washed away such that not much is left at high tide. Can be deceiving. 3-4 years ago, people would camp on it. Impossible now. Still offers protection, but not visible at high tide...

JonnyQuest 11-06-2011 02:13 PM

Thanks Loose D,
The depth info for near the Little Bend was exactly what I needed. Turned out this weekend was a sailing bust, just camping on the boat. Winds certainly picked up!

Boasun 11-18-2011 09:59 AM

Will have to check those Islands out after My boat is fully outfitted... Have a 5.5 ft draft, so may be able to go gunkholing in those islands areas.

Nicklaus 08-22-2012 03:22 PM

Re: Mississippi Barrier Islands
I'm originally from the MS Gulf Coast but live near the Chesapeake now. Grew up with power boats - as most people in MS do, but figured to save on gas and since I was so close to Annapolis (the sailing capitol), I'd get a sail boat. Great to see sailors back home.

As for Chandeleur Island... Been a couple times for fishing. The depth is pretty good on the East side, but pretty shallow in spots on the West.

Cat Island is my favorite barrier island.

sunnyside 03-20-2013 02:44 AM

Re: Mississippi Barrier Islands
I read that Cat Island on the east coast got hit bad my the BP oil spill so bad that the Boddie family sold them their coast line. Had you heard about that?

I love the history of Cat Island and the dog training conducted on it. People sent their family pets to train to sniff out the Japanese people hiding in America (it didn't work). So bizarre...

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