Hello and a happy Monday morning to you all. How extremely wonderful is this weather?
For anyone that have been paying attention, in June I traveled down the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway with my dear friends, David Milly and his then finance, now wife DeAnn Fowler, on a boating “Miss-Adventures”. For 8 days we traveled south taking in the sights and sounds of waterway and I have previously blogged about many portions of that trip. The trip down the Tenn.-Tom showcased a true cross section of Americana of life and industry.
As we left Bobby’s Fish Camp on our last full day and headed south to Mobile, we bid farewell to the southern Americana we were so graciously treated to from the banks of the Tenn.-Tom. Floating into the Port of Mobile would offer our initial introduction back into industrial civilization and the realization that our trip was coming to an end.
The Port of Mobile is currently rated as the 9th largest port by tonnage in the U.S. with more then 23 million tons of materials shipped out of Mobile. It is a very impressive site as you enter into the port by water and greeted by the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge cable-stayed bridge with Mobile as a backdrop. You realize that you are no longer in the backwaters of urban USA as you prepare yourself to enter into the mouth of the shipping industry surrounded by huge freighters.
The Port of Mobile is an extremely active shipping and ship building port and you realize that you are no longer a big fish but rather a “run about” when you pass by the freighters docked at the piers. Even the tugboats dwarfed our 43-foot vessel. As we passed through the port it was very impressive to see the city from this perspective: from the water and not from the streets and highways. It is truly a different world.
Maybe the most awe-inspiring aspect through the Port of Mobile was the Austal USA shipbuilding shipyard that is currently producing a next generation Navy vessel. The two classes of vessels are the Independence class of Littoral Combat Ship and the Spearhead class Joint High Speed Vessel for transport. Sets of both vessels were very visible in the port but the combat ships were prominently featured in front of the facility. These vessels will be the next generation of high speed and heavily armored Navy frigates with increased firepower.
As we motored though the Port of Mobile with all the huge freighters and then cruised into the gulf, I realized what we had experienced for the last seven days was a real breathe of fresh air and a step back in time. Basically I felt like I received seven day’s of mental therapy.
Mother Nature has a way of painting a final crescendo, putting the finishing touches on our trip. It was a glorious ending watching the sunset in Fairhope as we celebrated our trip at the Sunset Grill in the marina.
So with this blog I bid a fond farewell to our exploits on the Tennessee Tombigbee. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~