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At its opening near the Gulf, the Bayou is at its widest, which is just a few hundred yards. Near this end of the Bay casinos dot the southern shore, and then give way to some residential shoreline housing. Dolphins may be seen in this area of the bay, as there is an abundance of fish throughout the bay. Pelicans, cormorants, Herons, and other water birds abound for the same reasons. This is relatively open water, with some grassy flat islands in the middle. There is an Air Force base along the southern shore with some air traffic, but not heavy at all; there is also some minor industrial boat traffic, but sparse and low-speed. Most boats out are recreational/fishing boats, and people are usually pretty courteous when they see a kayak.
Further up the Bay narrows a bit and there are more islands and a couple of bridges. The first bridge separates the Bay from "Big Lake", which is really just a widening of the bay. Every time I was on big lake, I found it to be the windiest and choppiest part of the bay. This may have just been bad luck, though. On the north shore, there is an industrial canal that leads to a series of shipyards, and it is not open to small craft. However, there is also an opening to the Bayou that is the Biloxi River, leading to multiple smaller waterways that can be explored very well by kayak.
At the inland end of Big Lake is Bernard Bayou, a winding and meandering waterway that is far more protected than the rest of the Back Bay, with less wind and waves. However, it is also more populated with houses along most of its shores. The residents often fishing from their docks or tending to their boats.
Throughout this body of water, you have birds and fish all around you... the fish to an almost shocking extent jumping out of the water all around you. It is relatively warm with lots of sunshine in the winter, and the water is always relatively protected. In the 6 months I was there, I only observed a handful of days of truly choppy, inhospitable waters. Be aware of tides, as it was truly a painful experience getting caught near the top of the bay as the tide began to roll in, though the best kayaking here is truly during low tide.
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