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I know this is a bit old, but be advised that the shoaling in Smuggler's Cove has progressed and the charts are certainly incorrect.

As per my ActiveCaptain review:
"Update 10/2013: the sandbar is very washed out, and the embayment has shallowed. We saw 3 feet at high tide and didn't try to go up inside. Very little east protection now that the bar has eroded. I would now describe this as a north or fair weather stop. Compare the chart to the satellite, you'll see."
Smuggler's Cover defines the phrase, "Local knowledge needed."

:D

I go up in there in my center console all of the time, and it's amazing how much it can change in a year. I've never been brave enough to try and get my five foot draft sailboat in close, although, with luck, I think I could have got in amazingly close at certain times.
 

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Years ago, before Katrina, you could have taken your 5' draft damn near to the beach up inside the bar.

At the time we were there in Oct. there was a trawler who undoubtedly drew more than me farther up in the Cove. So yes, there are holes if you know where they are.

I buzzed around, trying to find a hole that was far enough from him to give him space and still allow 4 feet under me to allow for tide and couldn't find it up in behind what's left of the bar. Anchored a bit out and it was bumpy, even with the easterly wind we had.

I guess it had been a year and a half or more since I'd been in there last (with my F-27GS trimaran which drew an inch or so :) and I was really surprised at how much the bar has washed.

Once what is left of that bar washes, and without interference it will, that whole backside of the island will begin to wash and it'll be just a series of flats like the rest of the islands are.

I'd heard rumors that there was some sort of plan to rebuild the islands to pre-Camille status, but I expect there'd be no money for that. C'est les iles...
 

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Years ago, before Katrina, you could have taken your 5' draft damn near to the beach up inside the bar.

At the time we were there in Oct. there was a trawler who undoubtedly drew more than me farther up in the Cove. So yes, there are holes if you know where they are.

I buzzed around, trying to find a hole that was far enough from him to give him space and still allow 4 feet under me to allow for tide and couldn't find it up in behind what's left of the bar. Anchored a bit out and it was bumpy, even with the easterly wind we had.

I guess it had been a year and a half or more since I'd been in there last (with my F-27GS trimaran which drew an inch or so :) and I was really surprised at how much the bar has washed.

Once what is left of that bar washes, and without interference it will, that whole backside of the island will begin to wash and it'll be just a series of flats like the rest of the islands are.

I'd heard rumors that there was some sort of plan to rebuild the islands to pre-Camille status, but I expect there'd be no money for that. C'est les iles...
It sure changed a lot. You could walk between east and west Ship Island before Katrina. I sounded it a few weeks after Katrina and found 15 feet!
 

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There is some spoil building going on north and a little west of Round Island. Looks like maybe they're lengthening Round Island to the northwest. I think it's material from Halter Marine expansion or something. it'll make a nice anchorage in north winds if they finish it up the way it looks like they're doing. So although we're losing Smuggler's Cove maybe we'll have Round Island
 

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There is some spoil building going on north and a little west of Round Island. Looks like maybe they're lengthening Round Island to the northwest. I think it's material from Halter Marine expansion or something. it'll make a nice anchorage in north winds if they finish it up the way it looks like they're doing. So although we're losing Smuggler's Cove maybe we'll have Round Island
Back in the 80's we used to have a Thanksgiving tradition of sailing out to Round Island the friday afterwards. Back then, the lighthouse was still there and it was a very photogenic setting. It was always hard getting in close without going aground,even with the 3.5 foot draft I had back then.



I lost every picture I took of the old lighthouse in Katrina and this is the only one I have of one of those trips. (You can see the water marks on this one). :)
 
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We returned to Cat this summer, anchored on the north side. Quite far out but it was a good night.

I have a question though.

Sailing westward from Ship Island pier to the north of Cat Island, we need to cross a big marked channel. On either side of the channel there's a blue spoil area on the NOAA chart with unmarked depths, which took us way out of our way to the north (where there is a gap for the ICW) to clear it.

Was that an unnecessary detour? Could we cut more directly west from Ship, through that spoil area, but avoiding of course the shoals of raccoon spit?

I can't imagine these waters are less than 6 feet or so... but I was prudent.

Edit: I guess this is only about a 2.5 mile detour not a big deal. I did see a sailboat cut the corner but he was smaller than me.
 
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