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From our anchorage Saturday morning, it was only 16 miles on the Mobile River to Mobile Bay and then another 30 plus to get to our next destination: the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and Homeport Marina (home of Lulu’s). We had researched the weather and waves for the day and knew that the Bay was suppose to be calm. We’d heard from other Looper’s that it could get rough so we opted to wait for a mellow day.
Entering into Mobile was a whole new world. Ships and barges everywhere. We felt like a tiny row boat making our way thru the busy, industrial area straining our necks looking up at the behemoth vessels all around us.
Once thru the loading/staging section of the river, we kicked out into the shipping channel in the Bay. The shipping channel was busy with freighter, barges, shrimp boats, rec boats and DOLPHINS!!! One of the things that I was excited to see on our trip was a dolphin swimming beside our boat. It was so cool! They were everywhere. Both Tom and I were a bit awe struck. So much so that I didn’t take any pics, but I promise I will 😉.
Mobile Bay is very shallow in areas and following the charts over spoil banks directing you to routes is important. We followed our charts and thankfully never had to deal with anything shallower than 9 ft. even at low tide. We crossed the Bay and connected with the ICW on the East side of the Bay. We headed east and arrived at Homeport Marina midafternoon. Upon arrival, the Petersons, MN Loopers we met at Midway marina, greeted us on the dock and we ended up doing cocktails and dinner with them at the Famous Lulu’s. Gotta say it’s great being back in civilization again!
Going from the rivers and waterways, to the Bay and now the ICW is so interesting because they are all so different. Everyday is different. There were times on the rivers that you were literally in the middle of nowhere and waiting for locks. Then going through industrial areas with all the commercial traffic was equally as extreme to us since we aren’t use to vessels the size of buildings. The Bay was our first experience with open water and trusting our navigational system and now the ICW which is a narrow, shallow canal with homes and beautiful marinas everywhere.
Sunday we chilled and enjoyed the Vikings game with the Petersons – fellow Viking fans. SKOL! We did Bloody Mary’s in Tom Peterson’s hand painted glasses. He is a talented painter and the glasses are amazing! He deemed us worthy and we scored a couple of his Viking glasses. We’ll use them every game day and think of him when we do!
Monday was chore day. Washing and cleaning boat inside and out, laundry, groceries, paperwork, planning, charting, weather forecasting and marina reservations. Tuesday we plan to travel to The Wharf Marina, a whooping three miles down the ICW!
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.