This leg of the trip is shown in brown, covering the area of Louisiana coastline from what this link calls the “bird’s foot delta to the St. Bernard delta, which once ended at the Chandeleur Islands.  More on those islands later.  This link shows how the lobes of the delta have changed over time, during the time before we tried to “tame” the river.

Dawn found Legs III  spudded down in East Bay, along the east side of the channeled mouth of the Mississippi, the grassy delta seen as the green margin along the horizon.  When spudded down this way, the ‘boat becomes a platform.

As we made out way around the low lying Pass A Loutre Wildlife Management Area and all its bays, traces of oil/gas infrastructure were everywhere.  “Pass A Loutre” translates as “Otter Pass.”

Some platforms–eg. the one with the tanks topside and the crew boat to the left side– seemed active, whereas others

might have been in process of being dismantled by EBI liftboat Jimmy Holmes Elevator.  EBI claims to have conceived of the basic design for liftboats, although EBI boats have the single leg on the bow, whereas most other liftboats, including Legs III, have that single leg on the stern. Legs III was launched at Blue Streak and then fitted out at Marine Industrial Fabrication Inc.

See the two workers below the hook and headache ball . . . ?

I’m not sure which channel or pass through the grassy delta ABI C emerged from, but she overtook us, giving us a clear look at the 

stainless steel IBC totes used to transport liquids of all sorts safely between shore and platform.

 

Farther along we passed a platform

where Ms. Tami was flying the dive flag.

A GOL boat, Sea Service 1, stood by a platform.

 

A sizable flame burned off its flare boom  (or burn boom).

I gather most platforms along Pass A Loutre were pumping, given their flares.

Others might be relics of a time when they were active and now seemed like patina-encrusted industrial sculpture.

In late afternoon we began to follow our goal for the day, the long, thin, crescent-shaped sand bar called the Chandeleur Islands, part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge established in 1904 by POTUS 26, T. Roosevelt.  I’d noticed the 50-mile chain of islands from the air as I flew into New Orleans on my way to port of Iberia, and they looked roughly like the lead photo here, which shows them from a north to south perspective. 

Those boats are anchored on the inside of the islands in Chandeleur Bay. 

The islands are accessible only by boat AND seaplane.    Southern Seaplane out of Belle Chasse LA offers many tours, but also brings folks out to this fishing lodge, spudded up on the inside of the Chandeleur Islands.  More on the lodge– Chandeleur Islander–in this Youtube clip. Yet another option is Compass Rose if you want to fish by kayak but ride over on a mothership over from Biloxi.  Surfers have laid claim too, although they might want to keep it a secret. 

All photos, any errors, WVD, who looks at the photo above and tries to imagine what it’s like when a hurricane barrels across it….