2014 – The New Year and Fairhope

From Big Bayou Canot to Mobile is more swamp than river; looking at the map, it’s difficult to tell where the navigable channel is.  The rivers are close and five of them enter the Gulf almost as one and yet spread across several miles.  This is a risen delta; the water is brackish and wildlife flourishes.

The land is rife with alligators and eastern rattlesnakes.  Birds are plentiful.  Other than the intrusion of occasional hunters, the habitat is untouched.

The recent flood water was accepted and absorbed across the delta.  New Year’s Day brought us calm winds and an overcast sky.  The decks were wet from the night’s rain, but there was no precipitation at 0645 and the temperature was 42 degrees.  We turned on the engine and raised the anchor.  At 0700 we were powering out of the bayou.

A Great Egret glides over the water.

A Great Egret glides over the water.

Two Bald Eagles watch the river just north of Mobile.

Two Bald Eagles watch the river just north of Mobile.

As we approach Mobile, tows become plentiful; maneuvering barges and working the ships.DSC_0061

Other than the tows, very little is working on this holiday morning.

Other than the tows, very little is working on this holiday morning.

A squadron of Brown Pelicans supervised by a lone Double Crested Cormorant, welcome travelers to  Mobile.

A squadron of Brown Pelicans supervised by a lone Double Crested Cormorant, welcome travelers to Mobile.

At 0900 we transit Mobile Harbor.

This stately suspension bridge is a marvel in its own right.

This stately suspension bridge is the gateway to the harbor and a marvel in its own right.

 The Brown Pelican is a curious creature.

An elegant Brown Pelican inspects the Traveler’s flybridge

Though the morning remains gray, most fortuitously there is no rain.

The Mobile skyline appears ghostly through the fog behind the commercial waterfront.

The Mobile skyline appears ghostly through the fog behind the commercial waterfront.

Tows work 365 days a year and 24 hours a day transporting bulk items through the nation and keeping our harbors productive.

Tows work 365 days a year and 24 hours a day transporting bulk items through the nation and keeping our harbors productive

The New Year is here.  We are past the winter waters and there will not be any more ice on the Traveler’s decks.  As we power out the ship channel and across Mobile Bay, the sun peeps out and illuminates the eastern shore, delineating the Fairhope Municipal Pier and the many parks along the waterfront.

At 1100 we approach Eastern Shore Marina where the Traveler will be docked for maintenance and where the propeller damage from the Amory Anchorage will be repaired.  The tide is out and rather than risk running aground in the narrow entry to Fly Creek, we anchor offshore in 9 feet of water to wait for the rising tide. 

For ten days we were immersed in the remote back country of Mississippi and Alabama.  We traveled 472 miles and through twelve locks.  We only saw river workers, tow crew members, hunters, and fishermen.  The transition to the city of Mobile and the wide expanse of Mobile Bay and the Gulf was an exercise in contrasts.  I think that we really anchored to help catch our breaths before rejoining the world.

A lone Brown Pelican lands in the water next to us and circles the boat, as if to welcome us.

A  Brown Pelican lands in the water and circles the boat, welcoming us to Fairhope.

This entry was posted in U - 2014 Fairhope to Sanibel Island. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 2014 – The New Year and Fairhope

  1. Happy you get to rest a while.

  2. Excellent writing. You should write for travel agencies.

  3. icthelite says:

    Beautiful eagle shots. Glad your in warmed climes. Today in Florence we’re going to mid fifties. Hope I can stand the heat wave.

  4. Susan & Dick Wendel says:

    Glad to you finally made it safe and sound. Doesn’t sound like the pleasurabe trips you’all have made before.

  5. Hey, I found your card with THE website, and I got on successfully!

  6. Attila says:

    Love the photos, Mom, and I’m so glad you and Bob survived that wild ride. Much love from the Mexican contingent!

  7. Note to Attila: How is the baby? Yari, is it? How are you?

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