April 30, 2013 at 10:08pm
~ Captain Paul's response to: ~ Harlequin11 ~
Freemason Island is west of the Chandeleur Islands in Chandeleur Sound. It is about 8 miles west of one part of the Chandeleur chain and is about 8 miles WSW, 227°Magnetic from the North Islands. It is between the southern part of the Chandeleur Island barrier chain and Point Chicot. It is about 17.3 miles at a bearing of 74° (magnetic) from the Point Chicot Green # 1 marker/light.
The present Freemason Island is configured in a banana shaped island that has very little vegetation. The only vegetation is by the east end it looks like it is a small clump of mangroves. It presently is about 1.25 miles long in a west ~ east direction. NOAA Marine Chart 11363 of The Chandeleur Sound indicates that the island in now classified as a shoal, but aerial photo maps show the current island as a sliver of sand above the water. Many days the island sometimes is awash with high tides or strong winds.
I keep referring to the current Freemason Island as the original island has migrated to the south west and is now about 2500 feet to the south west of where it was before Katrina.
The east point of the present island is at or about 29° 47.193’ N ~ 88°58.086’W. The western most part of the island is now at or about 29°47.491’N ~ 88° 59.227’W.
Freemason Island was at one time in the shape of a reversed “C” about 1.7 miles in length mainly in a north to south direction. The northern most point was at or about 29° 48.342’ N. Lat. ~ 88° 58.823’ W. Long. The southern most tip was at or about 29° 47.181’ N. Lat. ~ 88° 58.872’ W. long. I mention this because the charts indicate that the water depths around the present Freemason Island vary between ten and two feet. The shallow water evidently is where the island was once located, and should be locations that hold fish.
Before you try to navigate to Freemason Island, sure that you get up to date official NOAA Marine Charts of the area. Depending from your launch point, it looks like you will need NOAA charts # 11363, Chandeleur Is; #11361, Miss. River Delta; 11371 Lake Borgne and Approaches and possibly # 11373, Miss. Sound and Approaches.
All of these approaches to Freemason Island are littered with many, many large and small oil and gas platforms as well as numerous wrecks through out the area. Use caution in the area as the charts show numerous shoals through out the entire Chandeleur Island chain of islands.
Using the remnants of FREEMASON Island as the face of a clock that is about 1.5 miles in diameter, and beginning at the 12 o’clock position, there is a wreck indicated at or about 29°48.403’ N ~ 088° 58.922’ W.
At about the 1 o’clock position one is at or about 29° 48.212 N ~ 088° 58. 386‘ W.
Continuing in a clockwise direction to the 4 o’clock position there is another one at or about 29° 47. 614’ N ~ 088° 58.386’ ~ W.
At the 5 o’ clock position one can be found at or about 29° 47. 337’ N ~ 088° 58.733’ W.
At the 7 o’clock area although a little farther from the center yields a wreck at or about 29° 47. 381’ N ~ 088° 59.707’ W.
Again continuing around the imaginary face to the 11 o’clock position you should find one at or about 29° 48.524’ N ~ 088° 59. 627’ W. These wrecks are listed as having a Position Approximate on the current charts. Any or all of them should offer cover for fish in the area.
You can access Freemason Island or what is left of it from Venice by the way of the canal at the end of Baptiste Collette in Breton Sound, which is about 33 miles @ 37°Magnetic ; from Hopedale via the Old MRGO to Gardner Island then to the Island, about 26 miles @ 74° magnetic, and from the Waveland / Bay St. Louis in Mississippi which is about 42 miles at 152° magnetic.
One of the larger shoals that I call FREEMASON SHOAL is located to the North East of the Island. The rough center of this oval shoal is at or about 29° 48.670´ N LAT ~ 088° 57.393´ W LONG. The charts show water immediately around this shoal as between 1 and two feet.
Get a current version of NOAA chart 11363 if you want to see the remnants of the Island, as the shown on the chart. USGS Topographical map titled Freemason Island will give you a decent rendition of how the island once looked. If you want to actually see the island, you better hurry as it is slowly disappearing.
Unless otherwise specified, all positions are stated as H,DDD,MM.mmm and were determined using WGS 84 DATUM. All Headings/bearings/courses are stated in statute miles and Magnetic Degrees.