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2012 November 14 Wednesday
Barrier Islands, Gulf of Mexico

We have long wanted to help some local photographers and artists give us all some current aerial views of the Gulf Coast's extraordinary and unique Barrier Islands. As time passed, holidays approached, and travel plans grew more complicated, a few of us decided we should make a "recon" flight as soon as possible. Last night, it looked like today might be nearly perfect for it. We had good weather with fairly calm seas, a chance to put one of our favorite local artists (John Anderson) in the front seat, and two avid local photographers from Mississippi -- Terese Collins and Don Abrams -- who were eager to come along. Despite a late start and non-ideal light conditions, we captured some stunning sights. But Terese and Don also managed to achieve another end, which historically might prove as precious as their beautiful photographs: their photos show an almost shocking contrast between the natural and breathtakingly beautiful islands south of Mississippi -- Cat, Ship, Horn, and the Chandeleurs -- and the highly developed Dauphin Island surrounded by oil and gas platforms, barges, and dredging vessels. 

All of the photos you'll see here are available to the public in high-resolution form for a small donation that will be shared by the photographers and On Wings Of Care to help cover our costs. Contact us with the filenames of the photos you want, and we'll arrange for the electronic or other transfer of them.  If you'd like an aerial tour for yourselves, we can help arrange for that, too, at a very reasonable cost.

Here is a map of our flight, and a few photos (courtesy of Don) of John and Bonny in the front seat and of Terese working through one of the back photo-windows.  These are followed by some of our favorite photos, separated into the following areas:  Horn Island, Ship Island (east and west), Cat Island, the Chandleurs, Petit Bois and Dauphin Island, and the Gulf Coast (including Deer Island and the coastline east of Gulfport).  Following these favorites are galleries of more photos for each of these areas.  Finally, we have some videos shot through our "belly viewer" -- a true bird's eye view looking nearly straight down, of the Chandeleurs and Ship Island.  As always, our GPS flight tracks can be downloaded here. ENJOY!







Here is Horn Island:


Here is Ship Island (east and west):

Here is Cat Island:

Here are the Chandeleur Islands:

Here are Petit Bois and Dauphin Islands and vicinity:

Here is the Gulf Coast, east from Gulfport and then northward from Cat island back toward Gulfport:

Here are videos taken from our "belly viewer" looking down at the Chandeleurs (first three videos) and Ship island (last video):



Here are additional photos of the above areas.  
First, Horn Island:


Then Ship Island:


Then Cat Island:


Then the Chandeleurs:


Then Petit Bois and Dauphin Island:


And finally, the Gulf Coast:



On Wings Of Care Flight Log for 20121114 Wednesday Barrier islands Tour


All waypoint numbers below refer to the GPS tracks shown in today's article at
Times are given in CST (UTC-0600). 
Lat/lons are given in degrees and decimal minutes.
Aircraft & Personnel: Dr. Bonny Schumaker with John Anderson, Terese Collins, and Don Abrams.
Seas and weather:  Seas 1-2 ft, skies clear, 5-10 kts wind from the north-northeast
Visibility:  Excellent
Flight time:  4.0 hours
Flight route: KGPT (Gulfport) - Deer Island - Horn - Petit Bois - Dauphin - Petit Bois - Horn - Ship - Cat - Chandeleur - Cat - Ship - KGPT.

Maps of our route showing the following waypoints identified during our flight, plus some relevant waypoints from previous flights, are in today's article (where there is also a link to download our GPS track file).

Times over which islands:  
(Note that Terese’s photos show CDT, so one hour ahead of the actual times):

Deer Island: 1038-1039 CST

Horn - 1: 1047-1056 CST (north side of islands, west to east, with  clockwise-360 at east end)

Petit Bois-1: 1057-1102 CST (South side of islands, west to east)

Dauphin:  1104 - 1109 CST (North side, into Mobile Bay by 1110, long southward traverse across AL finger at 1114, then back westward, around rips south of Dauphin, west end of Dauphin at 1130)

Petit Bois-2: 1133-1136 CST, flew right over island east to west

Horn-2:  1139- 1146 CST, east to west, over south coast of island

East Ship-1: 1148-1150 CST, east to west, over island

West Ship-1: 1150-1152 CST, east to west, over island to southwest corner

Cat -1: 1154- 1156CST, northeast corner southward, along eastern coast

Chandeleurs-1: 1204-1214 CST, north end, flew north-south, over and along western coast

Chandeleurs-2: 1214-1226 CST, flew south-north, from south end to north, over islands

Cat-2:  1234- 1236 CST, south end (of east side), flew northward to northesat corner

Cat-3: 1241-  1243CST, west to east end, over island

West Ship-2:  1245-1247CST, west to east end, mostly over north shore

East Ship-2: 1247-1258 CST, west to east (northeast), mostly over north shore