Start: 8:10 AM - Ocean Springs MS
Finish: 3:30 PM - Petit Bouis Island MS
Daily dist: 25 miles
Total dist: x miles
Weather: Windy and overcast
Notes: Great day with good company and challenging conditions
It was at the boat ramp that Melissa from South Coast Paddling once again went above and beyond and volunteered to come down to pick Nick up. In order to give me a rare chance to paddle an empty boat for a while, Melissa also hauled down my camping gear. After dropping Nick off, the plan was for me to load up and then paddle only a couple miles out to Round Island to spend the night. Because the strong winds would have meant an upwind crawl to Round Island, I decided instead to run a bit further but across the wind to Petit Bois (Petty Boy) island. Spending the night on Petit Bois also put me in a better position to reach Mobile in a timely manner tomorrow. So after dropping Nick off I headed back out and set a course of 150 degrees and paddled for two hours in exciting quartering winds and choppy seas. It was a fun crossing that tested my skills just enough to keep things interesting.
I touched sand on Petit Bois island after two hours of paddling just as the seas were organizing themselves into three foot steep swell, perfect time to be getting off the water. I had heard a lot about the off shore islands in the Mississippi Sound and this island is every bit as beautiful as everyone described. Even on a grey blustery day the sand dunes and grasses combined with shell covered beaches make for a tranquil setting. It took a little searching but I was able to find a low spot behind one of the largest dunes in order to get out of the wind a bit providing for a nice snug camp. Right now I can hear waves crashing on the beach on the other side of the dune along with the sound of buoy bells ringing out in the wind tossed shipping channel beyond. The sound of the bells ringing is a reminder of how rough it is out there which makes camp tonight seem all the more secure. It was an all around great day of paddling with good company and challenging conditions to keep it interesting. Now I hope this wind blows itself out by morning so I can enjoy a steady run East toward Mobile Alabama.