Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Bobby’s Fish Camp, Bladon, AL To Dog River Marina, Mobile, AL — November 6, 2013

Well we were ready this morning and actually off the dock at 6:00.  We had called the lock and the lockmaster did not seem very helpful.  He said he was clear at this time but it could change by the time we got there.  Fortunately it did not change and the lock doors opened as we approached the lock.

This is the Coffeeville Lock and it is important in that it is the last lock we will see until next spring. We are now in brackish water headed to Mobile Bay.  We will get into the delta area near Mobile at about 30 miles out of the Bay.

There were the usual fishermen out and we even had one person pulling their boat out of the water and it was before 8:00 in the morning. Tow traffic was light on the upper end of the river and got a little heavier when we got closer to Mobile.  We also were in an industrial area so they were loading and unloading barges.

The river scenery changed also as we moved south.  We went from the sand banks to the trees and bushes being right down to the water’s edge. Lots of greenery and no fall color at all.  There were areas along the shore that the fir trees were growing right down to the water and these were long stretches of bank.  The fir trees really stood out from all the deciduous trees in the area.

A couple of other rivers joined the Black Warrior River, the Alabama and the Tensas rivers. The river widens when the other rivers come in.  There were sections of the river
that were probably ½ to ¾ of a mile wide. The normal river was only a couple of hundred feet wide.

We passed several sailboat headed south.  We were real close to 2 of them as we approached the 14 mile railroad lift bridge. It made it easy because the bridge tender already was raising the bridge when we approached and he left the bridge open to get the 4 boats thru.  He must have had a big break in the train schedule.

The delta area has a lot of saw grass type areas with many cypress trees in the water.  No development in this area as it is mostly marsh. You can tell when you are getting close to Mobile because the barges are parked along the side.  Most of the traffic is in the last 3 miles of the Tenn-Tom. Mobile is ranked 8th in the amount of inbound tonnage into the US and 16th in outbound shipments for an overall ranking of 12th.  The numbers are pretty impressive if you were unaware.

There are also some Navy vessels along the east bank.  One of them is the USS Alabama and they have tours of the boat.  I know some of the Loopers are going on the tour.

Humbug is getting a little work done on the boat and the boat will be out of the water for about a week. We will stay at Dog River for a few days and then go across the bay to
Fairhope before going down to the ICW to Lulu’s and then the Wharf Marina.  Lulu is Jimmy Buffet’s sister and has a restaurant on the ICW.  We will wait at the Wharf for Humbug to catch up for the trip to Carrabelle.