We are three miles from Mobile Bay, and we can see Mobile’s skyline unfold in the distance. What a sight to see so exciting and yet scary for both Kent and I. Our adventure has now really begun YA! We will not be in our comfort zoon (the river) anymore. This is the Cochran bridge it’s not the Golden Gate but the massive supports and gleaming cables make for a grand entrance to Mobile.
Upon entering Mobile’s harbor we quickly discovered it’s a very busy place. Here are some statistics that are impressive of this harbor. Each year more than 40 million tons move through this port. It ranks 8th in the U.S. In exports, 16th in imports and 12th overall. It’s the nation’s leading port in the movement of forest products. This is really something to see. My heart is pounding with excitement at this amazing sight.
We saw ocean freighters and tow boats, and large ships being repaired. So boat wakes are taken very seriously in this harbor. In terms of both property and safety as repair work is being done that requires divers. If you go by to fast they will get on the radio and YELL at you. We heard the boat in front of us get yelled at.
This is a big cargo ship being unloaded. Because we are going so slow you can watch how they unload the ship. his was very interesting to see. These ships are huge, not something you see on the Mississippi. As the saying goes “We are not in Iowa anymore”.
These are Military Ship used for missile launchers. The ships are designed and painted with reflective paint as not to be detected on radar. They may look small in the picture. But believe me they are not when you go by them.
The farthest building that appears to be a tall office building is a large grain storage facility, that’s part of the Alabama state docks. The building to your left is the Riverview Plaza Hotel. The tallest building to your right is Amsouth Bank Building.
We are now at mile marker 0.o the official end of the lower Black Warrior Tombigbee Waterway. We entered Mobil Bay at 1:50 on Friday November 4th. The picture to the right is leaving Mobil. We are now heading to Dog River Marina. Anchor Down is in front of us. We sure hope he knows where he is going. Kent is setting way points on his chart plotter to see how they work. He is explaining how it all works to me. I sure hope I can remember it all when I am navigating the boat.
Our red and green cans on the Mississippi have been replaced with wooden poles, with red and green markers on them. This is a large body of water, but not all of it is navigational. You have to watch your sailing line on the chart plotter and how deep it is. I have noticed different kinds of birds sitting on all the marker poles.
We are finding that there are several different marinas in one area. In this area but on different sides of the river is Grand Mariner, Turner, and Dog River. We stayed at Dog River Friday night. There were so many looper boats coming in for overnight dockage and fuel, that we floated for an hour before we could dock. So glad we could stay at the gas dock the place was full of loopers. The marina doesn’t offer a lot but I don’t care was glad to get tied up for the night. We now have to watch the tides when we tie the boat up.
Johnny and Liz will be leaving their boat her and going home for the holidays. We all went to the Mobile Yacht club for dinner. It was a short walk from the marina. I had fresh crab cakes and they were very good. Saturday morning we said goodbye to Liz and Johnny for the second time. We had to move off the gas dock so we decided to go across the Mobile Bay to Eastshore Marina.
We only had one to two foot waves coming across the bay Saturday morning. The wind was supposed to increase later in the day. When coming across the bay you need to look for the white gazebo and the marina is near that.
When we got the boat tied up with the help of Jessy the dockmaster, Kent and I both washed the boat down to get the salt off. We are differently in salt water. So glad we are tied to the end of the dock. I know we will have to back into a slip sooner or later. The slips from now on will have poles and very short fixed docks. This is the view looking off the back of the boat and to the side.
We used the courtesy car and were joined by Charlene and Danny from Elli’s Island. We both needed some fresh food. Now when you get to use a courtesy cars don’t expect much, as Marc will agree. Jessy told us that the speedometer and fuel gage didn’t work. So just travel with other cars and put a few gallons of gas in when done. We also found out there was no gas cap and the service engine light is always on. The main thing is getting to and from town, which so far they always do.
Fairhope’s downtown radiates the warm and friendly charm of a walk-able Southern town with art galleries, small boutiques, and restaurants featured on the food Network. The town reminded me of Galena, Il. with small shops and boutiques, except they had flowers at every corner. Kent and I went out to the pier on Sunday for lunch. The food was great and so was the view. This water falls and beds of roses are at the Pier.
We walked to the end of the pier and back after lunch. Then it was time to return the van to the marina.
We saw three young guys with nets catching shrimp near the walkway. We stood and watch them for a while, they didn’t get to many shrimp. This young man even posed for us so we could take his picture.
On our way back to the marina we saw the flower clock at the intersection. Fairhope’s flower clock was a joint project between the City of Fairhope and the Committee on Public Art. Farehope is known for all their flowers. The beautiful flowers are everywhere in this town.
We had another visitor on our boat a cat. He jumped up on the side of the boat and just made himself at home. We got him off the boat, but he decided to come back and this time he jumped up on our Bimini top. When Kent got him off our boat, he decided to visit somebody else, wise choice. We heard he walked right into Elle’s Islands boat.
This was our beautiful sunset Saturday nigh. Life does not get any better for us than this right now.
This is Kent trying to read and understand these charts. We will be leaving on Monday around 9 and traveling with the boat called “C J” Curt & Julie. We will be leaving Mobile Bay and entering the ICW (intercostal waterway). Our plans are stopping at LuLus for lunch. We have reservation at Warf Parkway in Orange Beach, Al for the night.