We spent a wonderful few days at the beach house with my family but it was soon time for us to leave again and head out on our journey home.  We had to leave on Saturday morning but we didn’t have to run home just yet.  The forecast called for very heavy east winds on Saturday so we decided we’d sit tight and start our run home on Sunday instead.

We got to spend some time with Debbie and SJ of Savoir Faire at their home and they recommended anchoring in Ingram’s Bayou.  We took their advice and on Saturday morning made our way into the bayou and dropped the hook next to Dream Weaver.  A beautiful wooden motor sailor.

Ingram’s bayou was very well protected and picturesque.  Its hard to see but just behind Dani in the photo below is an Osprey nest.
Dani next to Osprey's nest at Ingrams Bayou
We spent quite some time watching the parents feed their chicks.  I even got to see one of them hit the water in the bayou and come up with a fish.

The only problem we had with Ingram’s bayou was that it was very popular during the day.  Tons and Tons of stinkboats came in along with jetskis all day buzzing around us and throwing wakes.  In the heat of the day we had to be careful when we jumped in to go swimming that we didn’t get run over.
Dani swimming in Ingrams Bayou
The weather calmed down that evening and we had a beautiful sundowner.  Another awesome moment in the bayou was seeing fire flies.  Haven’t seen any since I was a kid.
Sunset on Ingrams Bayou
Sunday morning we hauled up the anchor and set off.  Hauling the anchor in was about 100x easier this time than when it buried itself in the storm on the way.  After motoring out of the ICW canal we finally got back to Mobile bay and set sail.

Mobile bay was a much much different experience for us this time around.

Once we pulled out of Mobile Bay and got back into the Mississippi sound we started really flying.

We made it to Biloxi and stopped in Point Cadet Marina for the night.  Docking in 15+kts was interesting but we made it.  I wish we had more time in Biloxi because it looked like a fun place to scope out.  MV Dreamweaver from Ingram’s bayou had offered us use of their slip in Ocean Springs but we didn’t know if it was open so we opted for the Biloxi stop.

Bright and early the next morning we high tailed it out wondering how long it would take us to get back home.  We were sailing almost dead downwind most of the time in a 10-15kt breeze out of the East.  It made for some fun if rolly sailing.  Dani had fun.
Dani dangling her feet in the water
Coming into the Rigolets RR bridge was notable.  I radioed ahead since it was seemingly open and the bridge tender said it was open because it was stuck!  And it wasn’t fully open.  I asked if I should stand by and the guy said to go if we thought we could make it.

I started the engine just in case.  Dangerous since we are heading dead down wind at this point.  Also the tide was coming in and there was at least a 2kt current.  Since the bridge was only partially open I had to make a zig zag in an opening that was about 50ft wide while being pulled at high speed through.  I had the jib up and the motor in forward just above idle.

I was able to make it through.  My pulse must have been out of this world.  Dani cheered and some unknown person on the VHF said, “Way to go Sundowner!” after we made it.  It felt good.

Coming in we had very high winds in the lake and riding the tide in made for a sleigh ride.  Sailed almost all the way up to our breakwater including sailing through the rest of the bridges.  Our confidence is definitely building.  The chop in the lake which previously would have bothered us was not scary or worrisome.  We even docked in the high winds by ourselves with no real drama.  Once again we had to navigate around that massive motor vessel blocking our usual course into the slip.

A happy return.
Tate and Dani photo upon arrival back home
Sorry we’ve been missing in the blogosphere.  We’ll catch up with all our friends shortly and soon to come we’ll have more detailed notes about individual parts of our trip, our thoughts on how the boat did, and also more on the incredible storm anchoring experience.   We have lots of blog fodder coming!

PS.  We made it from Biloxi to SouthShore harbor under jib alone in 12.5 hours.  We ran the motor for approx 1hr during that entire time including getting out of the Biloxi channel, coming into our slip, and during the RR bridge crossing.