The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail
43.1 RBD Happy Jack
Happy Jack, like its name suggests, is a little piece of paradise in the Louisiana Delta below New Orleans, and this is supported by a website with the same name. The Who could have written their song about this location: “Happy Jack wasn’t old, but he was a man. He lived in the sand at the Isle of Man…” The only thing the Happy Jack website doesn’t tell you is that the land is disappearing and the oceans are rising. Land prices are great here. But what good is that land title if it’s underwater? Keep reading below for the attraction of Happy Jack, but remember: if you buy in you might need snorkels and fins to find the surveyor’s marks for your homesite!
Happy Jack Quick Facts: 1) All lots have vinyl sheet piles for bulkheads; 2) Lots are 50’ wide with a depth of 100’; 3) Conveniently located in the center of Plaquemines Parish; 4) Easy drive by way of spacious 4 lane highway; 5) Parish sewer service to each lot. Anglers from all over America travel to Plaquemines Parish in order to experience for themselves the spectacular fishing of Port Sulphur and Happy Jack. This area offers hundreds of miles of grassy shorelines, cuts, bays, bayous, ponds, and beaches. You can be fishing in a quiet, well-protected, semifreshwater marsh in the morning and move to a pure, saltwater marsh in the evening catching trout within minutes of the Gulf. The Port Sulphur marsh is home to a unique estuary that produces some of the best fishing, crabbing, and shrimping to be found anywhere on the Gulf Coast. Happy Jack and Port Sulphur have always been and will always be a favorite fishing “hot spot” for generations of people. Fishing havens such as Lake Grande Ecaille, Lake Washington, Bay Sanbois, Billet Bay, Bay Long, Lake Robinson, and Grande Bayou Pass at the Gulf can now be just a short run from your own camp at Happy Jack Waterfront Sites. Forget about trailering your boat and waiting in lines to launch. Never worry about building your dream camp on leased land. Here is your chance to own a piece of Plaquemines Parish that has a true sense of community about itself. You know it and so do we…NOBODY has the quality of fishing that Plaquemines Parish offers to its anglers. When you combine this fact with the absolute beauty of the coastal marshes, it is quite evident to see why so many people have been lured in and captured by the whole fishing experience. Happy Jack Waterfront Sites will allow you to wake up from a good night’s sleep, eat a hot breakfast, and head out for a great day of fishing. Come back later in the day, tie up to your dock, clean your fish, and pick up your boat in your covered wet slip. Step inside, take a shower, and relax in your own camp while you plan on which way to cook your catch. This is the dream that becomes a reality at Happy Jack Waterfront Sites! (from Water Living: Happy Jack)
43 RBD Happy Jack Primitive Boat Ramp: Final Resupply?
A gravel road runs over the levee from LA Hwy 23 to a primitive one lane boat ramp at the North end of the town of Port Sulphur. Ideal resupply place! 2-hour cafe nearby, and full-service grocery store! Please be advised, paddlers, Venice does not have much in the way of groceries. If you are paddling on to Gulf, you might want to make your final resupply at this location. Fremin’s Food Market is two blocks away, and makes deliveries for big purchases. La Caffe Casa Truck Stop and short-order restaurant features 24-hour po-boys and other cajun/creole delights. Order some food and recharge your batteries while enjoying selections from the jukebox. Fremin’s Food Market, 26277 LA-23, Port Sulphur, LA 70083, freminsfoodmarket.com, 504-564-0200; La Caffe Casa Inc, 26145 LA-23, Port Sulphur, LA 70083, 504-564-0915.
42.8 LBD Huling Low Water Harbor
A small harbor emerges here in low water behind some rip-rap above the Huling Light 42.8 LBD. In the Fall of 2015 a giant pile of driftwood had accumulated here, looking like a giant beaver lodge from the distance. As with all riverbank in this area, watch for big waves crashing into shore following the tugboats and freighters.
39.4 – 38.8 RBD Freeport-McMoran Sulphur Company
Welcome to Port Sulphur, once the world’s largest sulphur mine. You may look around at all the flat marshy country stretching as far as the eye can see in all directions and wonder to yourself, “sulphur?” and “mine?” “But there are no mountains…” you might be thinking. In fact, there is nothing but water and swamps. But you’re in Southern Louisiana. In SoLa you don’t need mountains to go mining. All you need is the right inspiration, the right imagination, and the right tools. Oh yeah, and some SoLa ingenuity, in this case the application of the Frasch process for sulphur extraction.
The name Port Sulphur derives from the Freeport Sulphur Company in the early 1930s, when it set up logistics, refining, storage and shipping operations to support its Frasch Process sulphur mine at Lake Grande Ecaille, located 10 miles west of the town in the nearby marsh. In the Frasch process, superheated water is pumped into the sulfur deposit; the sulfur melts and is extracted. The Frasch process is able to produce high purity sulfur. The Grande Ecaille mine was the largest sulphur deposit in the world when it began operation in 1933, and remained in production until 1978. Over time, as other discoveries were made, The Freeport Sulphur Company also used the Port Sulphur facility to support their other Frasch Process sulphur mines located at Garden Island Bay, LA; Lake Pelto, LA; Caillou Island, LA; a land based mine at Chacahoula, LA; The first offshore sulphur mines at Grand Isle, LA and Caminada Pass, LA; and a large operation 50 miles offshore from the Mississippi River Delta in 300 feet of water, at Main Pass Block 299 in the Gulf of Mexico. The facility was also used to process and ship recovered sulphur obtained by oil and gas refining. The terminal was able to filter and store liquid hot molten sulphur in large insulated heated tanks, and “vat” liquid sulphur into acres of long term dry storage by forming blocks of bright yellow sulphur by spraying molten sulphur into metal forms on the ground and allowing to cool. The site is valuable because of its proximity to sulphur producing areas near the Gulf of Mexico, its docking sites along the Mississippi River and back bay marsh. (Wikipedia)
Freeport-McMoRan Inc., (FMCG) often called simply Freeport, is one of the world’s largest producers of copper and gold. Freeport is the largest copper and molybdenum producer in the world. It mines and mills ores containing copper, gold, molybdenum, cobalt and silver for the world market. The company also has oil and gas interests. (Bloomberg)
39.7 LBD Nestor Canal
You could find access to the Gulf vie Nestor Canal and the Back Levee Canal to which it connects. But the Nestor Canal is cut off from river by gated entry. Would require portage.
39 RBD – Freeport Sulphur Company
The Freeport Sulphur Company established logistics, refining, storage and shipping operations here to support its nearby Frasch Process sulphur mine at Lake Grande Ecaille. The Grande Ecaille sulphur mine, about 10 miles to the southwest out in the marsh, was the largest sulphur deposit in the world when it began operation in 1933, and remained in production until 1978. The remaining buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and little remains but open fields.
35.6 RBD Bass Enterprises Production Co., Cox Bay Field, West Bank Crew Boat Landing
35.2 LBD Pointe a la Hache Relief Outlet
Two monstrous box-shaped motors 3-stories tall straddle the riverbank here, for unknown reasons. Are these water pumps? They look like a box fans on steroids — like something gone wild from another dimension. Like air boats made for dinosaurs. Woody Allen could have added these in as scenery for Sleeper. The maps show access to Gulf with portage. But we do not recommended. The noise is horrific.