We have arrived in Mobile Bay Alabama. The best way to describe transiting from the rivers to the Port of Mobile is culture shock.
We have spent the last few weeks traveling in remote areas of Alabama, traveling miles on the Tennessee River, without a sign of civilization. From time to time we would pass a fishing boat or a commercial tow, otherwise just tree lined shores as we weaved our way south. Mother nature has done an excellent job over time of creating a snake on The lower Tennessee River. On the chart below we traveled about seven miles, as the crow flys about one mile.
All of sudden our AIS vessel target alert is repeatedly going off. We silence one target after another. After coming around another bend in the Tennessee River it opens up into the port of Mobile. Ocean going ships, tugs, Tows and Barges are everywhere and we find ourselves at yet another game level (see earlier post). This level is called “Stay out of the way”.
I would have taken photos of the heavier traffic areas but Dorothy told me to put the phone down and focus on driving. It took both of us working as a team to navigate the port.
US Navy ships under construction. I felt like I was spying as I took the picture.
Past the Port of Mobile the waterway opens up into Mobile Bay. It is a very wide expanse of water although you can see both shores. The water depth varies from 3 feet to 10 feet except for the main ship channel. It feels a little odd to think the deep draft sailboats we race/cruise on Lake Michigan would run aground here. Storms can whip the shallow waters up very fast and can be deadly to boaters.
We pulled in to Turners Marina and tied up our lines. Time to CELEBRATE as Dorothy and I opened a bottle of Champagne we carried from Milwaukee. We toasted the end of the long river system and we where finally in the south.