Monday, September 19, 2005

Discovery Bay Marina Wiped Out

This is all that remains of the bar and grill at Discovery Bay Marina.

One of my favorite little funky marinas and backwater bars on the Mississippi coast was Discovery Bay Marina. I've had a long association with this place, having kept my boat there on and off since I bought her in 1999. Hurricane Katrina's storm surge swept Bayou Portage clean, leveling the bar and carrying most of the boats in the marina into the surrounding woods and marsh.

My boat, Intensity, was here as well, as I had left Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi a month earlier to seek refuge from Hurricane Dennis. When Katrina set her sights on the northern Gulf coast, it was too late to go elsewhere, so I secured the boat as best I could where she was. Not many boats fared well on the Mississippi coast, considering the size of this storm, so it didn't make a whole lot of difference where you were, a lot of it was just luck, either good or bad. Intensity is gone, likely swept far into the inaccesible woods nearby. I went down on Labor Day, a week after the storm and rowed to the marina in the dinghy, searching the surrounding banks and winding canals nearby, but could find no sign of my faithful old Grampian 26. Many of my neighbors boats were nearby, swept up into the trees, some half sunk at the water's edge, some hard aground and others dismasted or totally destroyed. The road into the marina was blocked by 50-60 shrimp boats, piled up like toys on their sides and in heaps of rubble.

Ernest Herndon and I are going back this week with a canoe to search the area more carefully. I don't have much hope for Intensity, but if we find her I should be able to salvage some gear that I left on board.