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U.S. Coast Pilot Search

Coast Pilot 5

Chart 11376 - (Chapter 6)

(403) Little Lagoon is a shallow body of water about 6 miles long and 0.5 mile wide lying just back of the beach between Perdido and Mobile Bays. An opening, protected by jetties, 15 miles E of Mobile Point connects the lagoon with the Gulf. In 1985, it was reported that the E jetty has partially collapsed and about 40 feet of the seaward end covers at low water. In 1985, the reported controlling depth through the opening was 1½ feet. A footbridge, a fixed highway bridge, and a pipeline with a least clearance of 7½ feet cross the opening.

(1) This chapter describes the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana bordering the Gulf of Mexico from Mobile Bay to the Mississippi River and the numerous bodies of water emptying into the Gulf, including Breton Bay, Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, Chandeleur Sound, Breton Sound, and their tributaries. Also discussed are Mobile, Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulfport, and other smaller ports and landings.

(2) The Intracoastal Waterway for this section of the coast is described in chapter 12.

(3)
COLREGS Demarcation Lines
(4) The lines established for this part of the coast are described in 80.815, chapter 2.

(5)
Weather
(6) The warm, temperate climate of the coast from Mobile Bay to the Mississippi River is influenced by the Gulf of Mexico, which is partly responsible for the warm, humid summers and the relatively mild winters. During spring and summer, the Bermuda High generates moist SE to S winds that keep the temperatures cooler than those farther inland and also aids in thunderstorm development. Cold continental air pushes far enough S in winter to occasionally drop temperatures below freezing and even produce some snow. Cold spells usually last about 3 days.

(7) About 15 to 20 significant frontal systems penetrate the Gulf of Mexico each year, bringing cool air and strong N winds. The collision of this air with the warm air to S sometimes generates strong low pressure systems. This pattern continues until the Bermuda High begins to exert its influence in spring. At sea, gales blow about 1 percent of the time from November through March, while waves of 8 feet or higher are encountered 4 to 6 percent of the time. Fog is also a problem in winter and spring, particularly when warm air invades the region and moves over relatively cooler water. Near shore, visibilities drop below 2 miles from 2 to 7 percent of the time from December through April; January and March are the worst months.

(8) While tropical cyclones can affect this coast at any time, late May to early November is considered the hurricane season. A tropical cyclone (tropical storm or hurricane) moves across this stretch of coast every other year, on the average, while the hurricane frequency is about once in 5 years. Intense hurricanes can generate 175-knot winds, 40-foot seas, tides 10 to 25 feet above normal, and 15 inches of rain. Of all the storms that have affected this coast, about 45 percent occurred in September; about one-half of these were hurricanes. Most tropical cyclones approach from SE through SW. The two most devastating storms to hit this coast in recent years were hurricanes Katrina, in August 2005, and Ivan, in September 2004.

(9)
Chart 11376, 11378 - (Chapter 7)

(10) Mobile Bay, 40 miles W of Pensacola and 90 miles NE of South Pass, Mississippi River, is the approach to the city of Mobile and to the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. The bay has depths of 7 to 12 feet outside the dredged channels. The entrance is 3 miles wide between Mobile Point on the E and Pelican Point on the W, but most vessels will prefer to follow the dredged channel rather than chance passage between the breakers and shoals that extend 4 miles S on both sides.

(11)
Shipping Safety Fairways
(12) Vessels should approach Mobile Bay through the prescribed Safety Fairways. (See 166.100 through 166.200, chapter 2.)

(13)
Prominent features
(14) The general appearance of the land is a guide to finding the entrance to Mobile Bay. For a distance of 40 miles E of the entrance, the shore, although low, is populated with high rise condominiums. For 50 miles W of the entrance there is a chain of islands which, although wooded in places, is generally low and bare.

(15) The most conspicuous landmark near the entrance is the 131-foot black conical tower (30°11.3'N., 88°03.0'W.), which was the base for the former Sand Island Light.

(16) Fort Morgan, an historic State shrine, is on Mobile Point on the E side of the entrance. The walls of this old brick pentagon-shaped fort are conspicuous when approaching the entrance. Mobile Point Light (30°13'42"N., 88°01'30"W.), 125 feet above the water, is shown from a skeleton tower. Mobile Point Range Rear Light is shown below and on the same structure as the light.

(17) The concrete gun emplacements of later fortifications E of the old fort are also conspicuous.

(18) Fort Gaines, an historic landmark and museum on the E end of Dauphin Island, is on the W side of the entrance. A spherical elevated tank is 2 miles W of the fort.

(19)
COLREGS Demarcation Lines
(20) The lines established for Mobile Bay are described in 80.815, chapter 2.

(21)
Channels
(22) Main Ship Channel, the entrance or bar channel, leads from the Gulf between Southeast Shoal and Mobile Point on the E and Sand Island and West Bank on the W. Federal project depth is 47 feet over the bar. (See Notice to Mariners and latest editions of charts for controlling depths.) In addition to the dredged channel across the bar, the natural channel has depths of 18 feet or more. Inside the bar, depths in the channel increase to as much as 56 feet, with a least width of 500 yards between the shoals which rise abruptly from deep water. The wreck of the MAGNOLIA, on the E side of the channel 0.7 mile SW of Mobile Point, is marked by a lighted buoy. The channel is marked by lighted buoys and a 020°55' lighted range on Mobile Point. The rear range light is on the same structure and below Mobile Point Light.

(23) From W, boats drawing up to 6 feet can enter Mobile Bay via Pelican Passage and Pelican Bay, only with local knowledge, owing to the shifting character of the bottom. The channel passes between the shoal SE of Pelican Passage and Dauphin Island, thence E into Pelican Bay. An 850-foot fishing pier extends into the passage S from Dauphin Island. The best water can be found by passing to the S of Dauphin Island Spit before shaping a course N into Mobile Bay. Significant shoaling has occurred in the area and in 2008, Pelican Passage was reported to be closed to vessel traffic.

(24) From E, only about 3 feet can be taken across Southeast Shoal around Mobile Point. It is necessary to pass very close to shore; the passage should only be attempted under most favorable weather conditions and with local knowledge. The channels shift frequently.

(25) Mobile Bay Channel extends from the lower anchorage off Fort Morgan through Mobile Bay to Mobile river. The federal project depth is 45 feet to and in a turning basin off Magazine Point at the head of Mobile Ship Channel. Although the channel is subject to shoaling, the project depth is generally maintained. (See Notice to Mariners and latest editions of charts for controlling depths.) The channel is well marked with lighted ranges, lights, and lighted and unlighted buoys.

(26)
Caution
(27) The Coast Guard advises vessels exercise particular caution where the channel intersects the Intracoastal Waterway, about 3 miles above Mobile Point at Lighted Buoys 25 and 26. Situations resulting in collisions, groundings, and close quarters passing have been reported by both shallow and deep-draft vessels. The Coast Guard has requested vessels make a SECURITE call on VHF-FM channel 13 prior to crossing the Intracoastal Waterway, particularly during periods of restricted visibility.

(28) The secondary and other channels are covered geographically under their respective headings.

(29)
Anchorages
(30) Vessels should anchor in the Mobile Bay Anchorage, S of and between the safety fairways. (See 166.100 through 166.200, chapter 2.) The best anchorages in the lower bay for deep-draft vessels are found N and NW of Mobile Point in depths ranging from 20 to 45 feet with excellent holding ground. This anchorage is secure, but during a norther a short heavy choppy sea is raised which may be uncomfortable for small vessels. A circular explosives anchorage is just N of Mobile Point. (See 110.1 and 110.194, chapter 2, for limits and regulations.) A general anchorage for unmanned and other nondescript vessels is near Cedar Point. (See 110.1 and 110.194a, chapter 2, for limits and regulations.)

(31) Vessels are not permitted to anchor in the Bar Channel, Mobile Bay Channel, or Mobile River Channel.

(32) In emergencies, light-draft vessels can anchor in Mobile River above Cochrane (U.S. Route 90) highway bridge with permission of the harbormaster.

(33) Small boats sometimes anchor N and E of Fort Morgan in Navy Cove. Several piles and other obstructions are in this locality.

(34)
Dangers
(35) Shoals extend about 4.5 miles S and W of Mobile Bay entrance. Southeast Shoal, covered 3 feet, is on the E side of the Bar Channel, and Sand Island Shoal, covered 1 foot, and West Bank, covered 3 feet, are on the W side.

(36) The wreck of the Civil War vessel TECUMSEH is N of Mobile Point Light in 30°13'47.5"N., 88°01'37.5"W. The wreck is marked by a buoy. The vessel is reported to be in an unstable condition, and ammunition and powder aboard the wreck could be detonated if the vessel shifts. Mariners are cautioned not to anchor in the area of the buoy and to reduce speed producing as little wake as possible when transiting Mobile Channel between Buoys 15 and 17.

(37) A nearly continuous spoil bank extends along either side of the bay channel from just inside Mobile Bay entrance to the mouth of Mobile River. Through these spoil banks are several charted openings for passage to various points in Mobile Bay.

(38)Fish havens
(39) Fish havens, consisting of concrete pipe, lie within a 3.5-mile-square area which extends offshore from 2.7 miles to 6.2 miles E of Mobile Point.

(40) Fish havens, consisting of old automobile bodies lashed together, scrap iron, and concrete, have been or may be established on the bottom along the 10-fathom curve off the Alabama coast. While they are not dangerous and are reported to have a minimum depth of 10 fathoms over them, vessels are advised not to anchor in their vicinity.

(41)
Ferry
(42) Scheduled daytime ferry crossings are frequent between Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan. The ferries monitor VHF-FM channel 16.

(43)
Currents
(44) In this area strong winds have considerable effect in modifying the times and velocities of the current; in using the tables, allowance should be made for such effects. (See the Tidal Current Tables for daily predictions of current in Mobile Bay entrance and other locations in Mobile Bay.)

(45) The tidal current near the outer end of the Main Ship Channel is rotary. Both the flood and ebb currents set somewhat to the left of the channel direction before reaching their strength, and to the right of the channel direction after the times of strength. During 3 days of current observations at this location there was an outflow of 0.5 knot average velocity combined with the tidal current.

(46) It has been reported that velocities of 8 to 10 knots have been observed in the Bar Channel and Mobile Bay Channel on the runoff of the ebb after protracted periods of strong S winds. Low-powered and deep-draft vessels should be guided by the advice of the pilots under these conditions.

(47)
Weather
(48) The climate of Mobile Bay is influenced by the waters of the N Gulf of Mexico and of the bay itself. While summers are warm, the heat is tempered by the ocean and bay breezes. Temperatures climb to 90°F or above on about 75 days each summer, compared to 80 days just a few miles inland. During winter, the waters help moderate the colder temperatures. Minimums fall below freezing on about 21 days each season, compared to 20 to 25 days, on average, inland. The annual average temperature at Mobile is 67.6°F with an average high of 77.4°F and an average low of 57.4°F. January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 50.9°F while July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 82.2°F. The warmest temperature on record is 104°F recorded in July 1952 while the coolest temperature on record is 3°F recorded in January 1985. Precipitation is moderate averaging about 66 inches in any given year. The wettest month is July averaging nearly eight inches and the driest month is October which averages about three inches. Thirty percent of the average annual rainfall occurs during the summer months of June, July, and August. Cold snaps usually last about 3 days, and occasionally they will bring some snow flurries. Overall, snowfall is light and averages less than one inch in any given year. The greatest 24-hour snowfall occurred in February 1973 when 3.6 inches accumulated. The winds behind these fronts sometimes blow for an extended period and are known as “northers”. If they persist, they can lower the water in the bay and this can interfere with the deeper draft vessels bound through the dredged channel.

(49) In addition to these northers, strong winds and rough seas on the bay are generated by extratropical storms, thunderstorms, and tropical cyclones. While gale-force winds are infrequent, winds in the 17- to 33-knot range occur about 5 to 10 percent from November through May. March and April are often the windiest months. Thunderstorm winds are usually in the form of gusts and can reach 50 to 60 knots. Frontal thunderstorms, which are usually the most severe, can occur in any month and are most likely in spring. Air mass thunderstorms are most frequent in summer; during June, July, and August, thunderstorms are observed on about 10 to 17 days per month, often in the afternoon. The strongest winds are generated by hurricanes, except for those in a rare tornado. Hurricane winds have reached 175 knots along the N Gulf coast.

(50) While a tropical cyclone may be expected to affect this region about every 2 years on average, destructive storms have been infrequent on Mobile Bay during this century. Nine tropical storms have come within 50 miles of Mobile Bay since 1950. In September 1979, hurricane Frederic, generating 115-knot sustained winds and a 12-foot storm tide, became the first hurricane since 1926 to directly strike Mobile. During the storm, Dauphin Island reported gusts to 126 knots.

(51) Tropical cyclones are a threat from late May through early November, while September is the most active month. Most storms approach the area from SE through SW. They are often in the process of recurving and intensifying before moving inland. Mobile Bay is protected by Dauphin Island to the W and banks and shoals to the E. However, during southerly gales it is not usually safe for vessels of over 25-foot draft to attempt to cross the bar.

(52) Visibilities may be briefly restricted to near zero in heavy showers or thunderstorms throughout the year. However, fog is more persistent and is most likely in winter and spring when warm air from S occasionally moves across relatively cooler waters. During this period, it is associated mainly with SE and S winds. From November through April, visibilities fall below 0.5 mile on 4 to 8 days per month. Conditions are usually worst during the late night and early morning hours, improving during the early afternoon.

(53) The National Weather Service maintains offices in Mobile. Barometers may be compared at these offices or by telephone. (See Appendix A for addresses.)

(54) (See Appendix B for Mobile climatological table.)

(55)Pilotage, Mobile and Mobile Bay
(56) Pilotage is compulsory for all foreign vessels and U.S. vessels under register in foreign trade. Pilotage is optional for coastwise vessels that have on board a pilot licensed by the Federal Government.

(57) The Mobile Bar Pilots Association maintains a station on Dauphin Island and operates two pilot boats, ALABAMA and MOBILE PILOT, based at Fort Gaines. The boats have gray hulls and white superstructures with blue trim and the word PILOT on each side of the wheelhouse. The boats monitor VHF-FM channels 13 and 16, and the station monitors channel 16. The pilot boats and harbor tugs are interconnected with the harbormaster’s office on the intraport radiotelephone system, VHF-FM channel 65A. The pilots board vessels day or night in the vicinity of Mobile Entrance Lighted Buoy M (30°07'30"N., 88°04'07"W.). For boarding, the pilots request that the pilot ladder be rigged 6 feet above the water on the lee side of the vessel.

(58) Pilots can be reached by telephone (251–432–2639 or 251–432– 2630) by radiotelephone through the Mobile Marine Operator, or through ships’ agents. The pilots request a 48-hour advance notice of arrival and a 1½-hour notice of sailing.

(59) Bon Secour Bay extends about 14 miles E of Mobile Bay entrance. Oyster beds are very extensive along the NE shore of the bay. The bay is the route of the Intracoastal Waterway, which crosses Mobile Bay Channel at a point 2.6 miles N of the latter’s entrance. The waterway is described in chapter 12. A marina on the N side of Mobile Point about 0.8 mile E of Fort Morgan provides berths with water and electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, ice, a launching ramp, wet and dry storage, marine supplies, pump-out station and a 20-ton lift. The approach to the facility is marked by private daybeacons and was reported navigable by craft drawing 8 feet or less in 1982.

(60) Bon Secour River empties into the E part of Bon Secour Bay. A dredged channel leads from the Intracoastal Waterway through Bon Secour Bay and into Bon Secour River, a total distance of 3.9 miles. There are two turning basins on the S side of the river at miles 1.6 and 2.5 respectively. The channel is marked by a light and daybeacons. In 1982, it was reported that a depth of 4 feet could be carried for about 1.3 miles above the dredged channel.

(61) South Fork Channel leads S from about 1 mile above the mouth of Bon Secour River for about 1.1 miles to shallow Oyster Bay. A fixed highway bridge crossing South Fork Channel limits navigation into Oyster Bay to skiffs only.

(62) The town of Bon Secour is on the N side of Bon Secour River about 1.5 miles above the mouth.

(63)
Small-craft facilities
(64) Small-craft facilities on the E side of South Fork Channel and at the town of Bon Secour can provide berths, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, marine supplies, launching ramps, storage, and hull and engine repairs. The largest marine railway, at a boatyard on the E side of the arm leading to Oyster Bay, about 0.4 mile N of the fixed highway bridge, can handle craft to 80 feet. A channel marked by private stakes, with a reported depth of 7 feet in 1982, leads to the boatyard.

(65)
Chart 11376 - (Chapter 7)

(66) Weeks Bay, on the E side of Mobile Bay about 6.8 miles NW of Bon Secour River, has an average depth of 2 to 5 feet. A marked channel, with a reported controlling depth of about 4 feet in 1982, leads through the entrance and across the bay to Fish River. About the same depth can be carried into Magnolia River on the E side of the bay.

(67) The approach to the bay is marked by a light about 1 mile W of the entrance. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 56 feet crosses the bay at the entrance.

(68) Small boats go to Marlow on Fish River and Magnolia Springs on Magnolia River. State Route 98 highway bridge over Fish River at Yupon has a fixed span with a clearance of 35 feet. A small marina on the W side of the river just below the bridge has berths, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, electricity, ice, some marine supplies, and a launching ramp.

(69) State Route 32 highway bridge crossing Fish River at Marlow, about 5.5 miles above the mouth, has a fixed span with a clearance of 22 feet. Gasoline is available at a small marina just below the bridge on the W side of the river.

(70) East Fowl River enters the W side of Mobile Bay about 13.8 miles N of the bay entrance. It extends generally SW. The entrance is marked by lights and daybeacons. State Route 193 highway bridge, about 1.0 mile above the mouth of the river, has a fixed span with a clearance of 45 feet. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 47 feet crosses the channel connecting with West Fowl River at about 30°23'53"N., 88°08'39"W. A marina on the N side of East Fowl River just E of the bridge has berths with water and electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, ice, a launching ramp, limited marine supplies, and a pump-out station. East Fowl River leads into West Fowl River, and thence into Fowl River Bay; these are discussed later in this chapter.

(71) Fowl River, the NW branch, joins East Fowl River about 2 miles above the mouth. It is navigable for about 3 miles by small craft with local knowledge. An overhead power cable with a reported clearance of 52 feet crosses Fowl River about 2.5 miles above the mouth in about 30°27.0'N., 88°08.4'W.

(72) Great Point Clear is on the E side of the bay about 16 miles N of the entrance; a light marks the shoals extending W from the point.

(73) Point Clear, Battles Wharf, Seacliff, and Daphne are summer resorts along the E shore. Many of the numerous boat landings are in ruins and constitute a danger to small boats navigating close inshore. A large hotel on Great Point Clear has a prominent water tank. A privately dredged channel with a reported controlling depth of 5½ feet in 1999. The channel, marked by private lights and daybeacons, leads to a yacht basin at the hotel. Berths, electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, and water are available at the basin.

(74) Fairhope, on the E side of the bay about 17.6 miles above the entrance, is a town with bus connections. There is a 1,450-foot municipal pier at the town. A channel marked by private daybeacons, with a reported approach depth of 9 feet and alongside depth of 5 feet in 2005, leads to a marina in a basin adjoining the N side of the pier. Gasoline, water, ice, electricity, and a launching ramp are available. In 2005, the marina was reported to be temporarily closed. Fairhope Yacht Club is located in Fly Creek, N of the municipal pier. A dredged channel leads E from Mobile Bay to a turning basin about 0.1 mile above the mouth of the creek. An overhead power cable, NE of the turning basin, has a reported clearance of 48 feet. The entrance to the channel is marked by a light. A municipal fish dock, on the W side of Fly Creek about 0.3 mile above the entrance, can provide gasoline and diesel fuel. Marinas on the creek can provide berths with water and electricity, pump-out, gasoline, diesel fuel, and marine supplies. Lifts to 36 tons can handle craft for hull, engine, and electronic repairs.

(75) Fairhope Yacht Club race course, W of Fly Creek and about 2.2 miles in diameter, is marked by private daybeacons.

(76) Theodore Ship Channel leads from a point in Mobile Bay Channel about 15 miles N of the entrance NW for 4.5 miles to an anchorage area and thence through a 1.5-mile landcut to a turning basin at an industrial park. The Federal project depth is 40 feet to and in the turning basin. The channel is marked by lights and a 123°35' lighted range. The S side of the anchorage area is marked by daybeacons. A barge channel extends 1.2 miles from the head of the turning basin. (See Notice to Mariners and latest edition of chart for controlling depths.) A fixed highway bridge with a clearance of 45 feet crosses the barge channel about 0.15 mile above the turning basin. An overhead power cable close W of the bridge has a clearance of 73 feet.

(77) Dog River, emptying into the W side of Mobile Bay at a point about 21 miles N of the entrance, is used considerably by yachts and small boats. A channel marked by daybeacons and lights leads NW from a point in Mobile Bay Channel about 1.3 miles above Gaillard Island to the mouth of Dog River. State Route 163 highway bridge crossing the mouth of Dog River has a fixed span with a clearance of 73 feet. The railroad bridge 7 miles above the mouth has a 22-foot fixed span with a clearance of 8 feet.

(78)
Small-craft facilities
(79) There are several small-craft facilities on the river at which berths, electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, storage, marine supplies, and lifts to 70 tons are available; engine, and electronic repairs can be made.

(80) Along the W shore of the bay, N and S of Dog River, there are numerous small-craft landings; many, however, are in ruins.

(81) Mobile, 28 miles N of the bay entrance, is one of the largest and most important seaports on the Gulf of Mexico. A fully equipped ocean terminal, excellent transportation facilities, large shipyards, and all kinds of marine supplies are available at Mobile. Principal foreign exports are marine supplies, paper products, lumber, wood pulp, flour, aluminum, chemicals, grain, soybeans, coal and bunker oil, iron and steel products, and fertilizer. The principal foreign imports are bauxite, mahogany, crude rubber, sugar, newsprint, seafood, rubber, pig iron, ores, molasses, automobiles, fishmeal, frozen foods, and chemicals. The coastwise trade consists mainly of petroleum products, shell, lumber, iron and steel products, chemicals, and food products. Inland waterway transportation facilities for handling iron and steel products, ore, sugar, grain, and coal serve the Warrior, Tombigbee, and Alabama River systems with connections to the Mississippi River.

(83)
Prominent features
(84) From about the center of the bay, the industrial complex on Hollingers Island and the battleship ALABAMA moored at the entrance to Tensaw River are conspicuous. On nearing the city, the 37-story RSA Tower and other tall buildings near the waterfront are first seen. Next seen are the water tanks NW of Garrows Bend. At night, the fixed red lights on the water tank at Great Point Clear are visible from Mobile Bay Channel. An aviation light at Brookley Field, S of Mobile, and the occulting red lights on the radio towers at the mouth of Tensaw River are prominent.

(85)
Channels
(86) Main Ship Channel, the dredged bar channel, and Mobile Bay Channel leading from the entrance to Mobile River Channel were discussed earlier in this chapter.

(87) From a point 25.7 miles N of the bay entrance, Arlington Channel, a dredged channel, leads WNW from Mobile Bay Channel to a turning basin in the W part of Garrows Bend. (See Notice to Mariners and latest edition of charts for controlling depths.) The channel is marked by a 289.3° lighted range, lights, buoys and daybeacons.

(88)
Coast Guard
(89) Sector Mobile Office is at the W end of the channel.

(90) Garrows Bend Channel, a dredged channel, leads NE from the turning basin to a causeway between McDuffie Island and the mainland. (See Notice to Mariners and latest edition of charts for controlling depths.)

(91) Mobile River Channel extends from Mobile Bay Channel for 4 miles to the bridge at St. Louis Point. Federal project depths are 40 feet from the mouth of the river to and inside Mobile Turning Basin, thence 40 feet to St. Louis Point, and thence 25 feet to the mouth of and in Chickasaw Creek for about 2 miles to just below Shell Bayou entrance. (See Notice to Mariners and latest editions of charts for controlling depths.)

(92) Threemile Creek leads W from Mobile River Channel just S of Magazine Point. About 0.6 mile above the creek entrance, Industrial Canal leads S for about 1 mile. Depths of about 9 feet can be carried in the creek to the canal, thence 12 feet in the canal. Cement, gypsum, sand, gravel, and lumber terminals are on the canal. The large bulk material handling plant of the Alabama State Docks, with over 1,600 feet of berthing space in 40 feet, is on the south side of the entrance to Threemile Creek. (See Wharves.)

(93) The old ship channel around the S end of Pinto Island, which leads to Tensaw River, had a controlling depth of 8 feet in 1972. The channel is unmarked.

(94)
Anchorages
(95) In emergencies, light-draft vessels may anchor in Mobile River above Cochrane (U.S. Route 90) highway bridge crossing at St. Louis Point with the permission of the harbormaster.

(96)
Bridges
(97) There are no bridges over the main channel from the Gulf to the State docks. Above the docks, at St. Louis Point, Mobile River is crossed by Cochrane (U.S. Route 90) fixed highway bridge; the vertical clearance is 140 feet. Just above the Cochrane bridge, at the mouth of Chickasaw Creek, is the CSX railroad bridge with a swing span with a clearance of 6 feet; the channel is through the S draw. The bridgetender monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and works on channel 13; call sign KQ-7197. (See 117.1 through 117.49, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.)

(98) A CSX railroad bridge with a lift span and a clearance of 5 feet down and 60 feet up crosses the Mobile River about 1.5 miles above Twelvemile Island. The bridgetender monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and works on channel 13; call sign KQ-7197.

(99) Twin fixed highway bridges with clearances of 125 feet cross the river about 18 miles above the mouth.

(100) Five bridges cross Threemile Creek below the fixed highway bridge at the head of navigation. The first, CSX railroad bridge, has a swing span with a clearance of 10 feet. The channel is through the N draw. The bridgetender monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and works on channel 13; call sign KQ-7197. The second, the Alabama Terminal Docks railroad bridge, has a bascule span with a clearance of 6 feet. In the open position, the draw overhangs the channel above a height of 59 feet. Beyond the Industrial Canal are the U.S. Route 43 highway and the Southern railway bridge with swing spans having a minimum clearance of 1 foot. The channel is through the N draw. (See 117.1 through 117.59 and 117.115, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.) About 0.15 mile below Route 43 highway bridge, an overhead power cable crosses with a clearance of 53 feet. About 0.4 mile above the Southern railway bridge, the Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio railroad bridge has a fixed span with a clearance of 12 feet.

(101) Twin highway tunnels cross under Mobile River between Mobile and Blakeley Island about 1.5 miles above McDuffie Island.

(102) Weather and pilotage information for Mobile is discussed earlier in this chapter.

(103)
Towage
(104) Diesel-powered tugs and oceangoing tugs up to 4,000 hp are available at Mobile.

(105)
Quarantine, customs, immigration, and agricultural quarantine
(106) (See chapter 3, Vessel Arrival Inspections, and Appendix A for addresses.)

(107) Quarantine laws are enforced in accordance with regulations of the U.S. Public Health Service. (See Public Health Service, chapter 1.) Mobile has several hospitals and clinics.

(108) Mobile is a customs port of entry.

(109)
Harbor regulations
(110) The Alabama State Docks Department has jurisdiction over the bay, harbor, and that part of all the tributary streams in which the tide ebbs and flows, and extends to the outer shoal 5 miles SSW of Fort Morgan at the entrance to the harbor. It has supervision over harbor pilotage, State wharves and shipping, as well as authority in all matters relating to the arrival, departure, loading, and discharging of all vessels at State wharves. Most routine functions are administered through the harbormaster.

(111) The harbormaster controls all of the waterway traffic in the area, assigns berths, and enforces the rules and regulations of the port. Ships are normally taken to their berths by the bar pilots, but any subsequent shifting or redocking of vessels in the harbor is done by the harbormaster and his deputies. The harbormaster’s office is in the Administration Building at the State Docks and is connected by the intraport radiotelephone system with all pilot boats and tugs on VHF-FM channels 16 and 65A. The harbormaster can be reached by telephone (251–441–7250).

(112)
Speed limit
(113) No vessel, except launches, shall exceed 6 m.p.h. in the inner harbor between Mobile Channel Light 76 to and including Chickasaw Creek, and shall take all possible precautions to prevent disturbance of vessels berthed at marginal wharves.

(114)
Wharves
(115) The Port of Mobile has more than 150 piers and wharves, most of which are located on both sides of the Mobile River between the mouth and the confluence with Chickasaw Creek about 4 miles above the mouth. Facilities are also on Theodore Industrial Park Ship Canal, Arlington Channel, Threemile Creek, Industrial Canal, Chickasaw Creek, Hog Bayou, and Black Bayou.

(116) The facilities on the W side of the Mobile River are generally for handling cargo, while the facilities on the E side are service and industry related. Only the deep-draft facilities are described. For a complete description of the port facilities refer to Port Series No. 18, published and sold by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (See Appendix A for address.) The alongside depths of the facilities described are reported; for information on the latest depths contact the Alabama State Port Authority or the private operators. All deep-draft facilities have rail and direct highway connections, and almost all have water and electrical shore power connections.

(117) General cargo at the port is usually handled by ship’s tackle; special handling equipment, if available, is mentioned in the description of the particular facility. Floating cranes to 110 tons are available.

(118) In the port area, the Alabama State Port Authority and private companies operate warehouses and transit sheds having a total of more than 3 million square feet of dry storage space. About 36 acres of open storage space is available.

(119) Facilities on Mobile River, W side:

(120) Alabama State Port Authority, McDuffie Terminal, Ship Wharf No. 1 (30°39'13"N., 88°01'58"W.): 1,015 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 45 feet alongside; deck height, 15½ feet; one traveling gantry shiploader with 96-foot conveyor boom, served by a 72-inch electric belt conveyor; loading rate, 2,000 to 3,200 tons per hour; shipment of coal by vessel; bunkering vessels; mooring bunkering vessels; owned and operated by the Alabama State Port Authority.

(121) Alabama State Port Authority McDuffie Terminal, Ship Wharf No. 2 (30°39'25"N., 88°01'58"W.): 1,050 feet of berthing space; 45 feet alongside; deck height, 15 feet; one traveling gantry shiploader with 222-foot boom conveyor having 105-foot outboard reach, served by a 96-inch conveyor system; maximum loading rate 4,500 tons per hour; receipt and shipment of coal by vessel; bunkering vessels; owned and operated by the Alabama State Port Authority.

(122) Mobile River Terminal Co., Ship Pier (30°40'13"N., 88°02'09"W.): S side, 255 feet long, 12 feet alongside; N side, 1,000 feet long, 42 feet alongside; deck heights, 10 feet; receipt of iron, manganese, and fluorspar ores, and other dry bulk materials; owned by Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co., and operated by Mobile River Terminal Co., a subsidiary of Warrior & Gulf Navigation Co.

(123) Alabama state docks, Berths 2 through 8, Piers A through D, and Bulk Material Handling Plant; owned and operated by the Alabama State Port Authority. These docks form a modern port terminal, open to all users alike. The facilities include many concrete wharves, fireproof shipside transit sheds and covered warehouse space, grain elevators, bonded general cargo warehousing, terminal rail connections, and numerous auxiliary facilities. The largest crane at the terminal is a 100-ton stiff-leg derrick. Floating cranes up to 80-ton capacity are also available, as are smaller cranes, lift trucks, trailers, and conveyors.

(124) Berth 2 (30°41'41"N., 88°02'16"W.): 989 feet of berthing space; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of containerized and conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades.

(125) Berths 3, 4, and 5 (30°41'53"N., 88°02'18"W.): 1,505 feet of berthing space; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades, steel and forest products, and heavy-lift items.

(126) Berths 6, 7, 8 (30°42'05"N., 88°02'20"W.): Berths 6 and 7 are 1,138 feet long; Berth 8 is 584 feet long; roll-on/roll-off is 130 long; deck heights, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional and roll-on/roll-off general cargo in foreign and domestic trades, steel and forest products, and heavy-lift items.

(127) Pier A, South Wharf (30°42'15"N., 88°02'24"W.): N side of Slip A, 570 feet long, 40 feet alongside; head of Slip A, 120 feet long, 40 feet alongside; deck heights, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades.

(128) Pier A, North Wharf and Slip B, End Wharf (30°42'24"N., 88°02'31"W.): S side of Slip B, 1,502 feet long, 40 feet alongside, deck height, 11 feet; head of Slip B, 457 feet long 40 feet alongside, deck height, 6 and 11 feet; storage warehouses; receipt and shipment of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades, forest products, and mooring company-owned floating equipment; operated by the Alabama State Port Authority and Mobile Bay Towing, a Hvide Marine Co.

(129) Pier B and Slip C; End Wharf (30°42'27"N., 88°02'23"W.): S side, 1,532 feet long; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades, and shipment of forest products.

(130) Pier C (30°42'39"N., 88°02'26"W.): S side, 1,532 feet long, head of pier, 885 feet long; N side, 1,411 feet long; 40 feet alongside; deck alongside; deck height, 11 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades, steel, aluminum and forest products, and heavy-lift items.

(131) Pier D, South Wharf (30°42'50"N., 88°02'35"W.): Berth 1 and face, 1,000 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; mooring vessels.

(132) Pier D, River End Grain Elevator Wharf (30°42'54"N., 88°02'49"W.): 800-foot face; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; 38,700 square feet covered storage; 13.1 acres of open storage; shipment of grain by vessel; occasional receipt of conventional general cargo in foreign and domestic trades.

(133) Bulk Material-Handling Plant, Barge Wharf (30°43'26"N., 88°02'37"W.): on S side of Threemile Creek; 550 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 8 feet; shipment of dry bulk commodities, including coal, coke, bauxite, gravel, potash, manganese, and iron ore by barge.

(134) Plains Energy Corp., Mobile Terminal Ship Dock (30°43'40"N., 88°02'37"W.): 800 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 12 feet; receipt and shipment of crude oil; owned and operated by Plains Energy Corp.

(135) BP Oil Co., Mobile Terminal Barge Wharf (30°43'56"N., 88°02'38"W.): 400 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 20 feet alongside; deck height, 8 feet; receipt and shipment of petroleum products by barge; owned and operated by BP Oil Co.

(136) Facilities on Mobile River, E side:

(137) Vulcan Materials Co., Blakeley Island Yard Dock (30°43'48"N., 88°02'24"W.): 400-foot face; 40 feet alongside; 740 feet of berthing space; self-unloading vessels unload limestone into elevated receiving hopper serving an electric, belt-conveyor system extending to an open storage area; owned by Alabama State Port Authority and operated by Vulcan Materials Co.

(138) Alabama State Port Authority, Blakeley Terminal Wharf (30°43'39"N., 88°02'24"W.): 550-foot face; 30 feet alongside; deck height, 11 feet; 700 feet of berthing space; receipt and shipment of general cargo; owned and operated by Alabama State Port Authority.

(139) Gulf Atlantic Blakeley Terminal (30°43'00"N., 88°02'20"W.): 58-foot face; 34 feet alongside; deck height, 12 feet; 750 feet of berthing space; receipt and shipment of crude oil and petroleum products; bunkering of vessels.

(140) Midstream Fuel Service, Mobile Wharf (30°43'03"N., 88°02'19"W.): 69-foot face; 22 feet alongside; deck height, 8 feet; 200 feet of berthing space; loading barges for bunkering; owned by Midstream Fuel Service, Inc., and operated by Midstream Fuel Service, Inc., and Tenn-Tom Towing, Inc.

(141) Midstream Fuel Service, Supply Wharf (30°43'01"N., 88°02'17" W.): 200-foot face; 18 feet alongside; deck height, 8 feet; 200 feet of berthing space; handling materials, supplies, and equipment to and from barges; owned and operated by Midstream Fuel Service, Inc.

(142) Shell Chemical Co., Blakeley Island Terminal Wharf (30°42'51"N., 88°02'15"W.): 120-foot face; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 15 feet; 1,000 feet of berthing space; receipt of crude oil; shipment of petroleum products; owned and operated by Shell Chemical Co.

(143) Gulf Coast Asphalt Co., Mobile Terminal Wharf (30°42'26"N., 88°02'11"W.): 116-foot offshore wharf; 900 feet of berthing space with dolphins; 42 feet alongside; deck height, 8 feet; pipelines extend from wharf to storage tanks, total capacity, 403,000 barrels; receipt and shipment of asphalt and petroleum products; owned and operated by Gulf Coast Asphalt Co., L.L.C.

(144) Alabama Bulk Terminal Co., Blakeley Island Wharf (30°41'45"N., 88°02'06"W.): 142-foot offshore wharf, 800 feet with dolphins; 40 feet alongside; deck height, 10 feet; pipelines extend from wharf to storage tanks, total capacity, 1.2-million barrels; receipt and shipment of petroleum products, petrochemicals, asphalt, and crude oil; owned and operated by Alabama Bulk Terminal Co.

(145) Facilities on Chickasaw Creek:

(146) Mobile Marine Terminal, Chickasaw Wharf (30°45'47"N., 88°03'02"W.): 934-foot face; 23 feet alongside; deck height, 9 feet; receipt and shipment of conventional and containerized general cargo in foreign and domestic trades; operated by Crimson Shipping.

(147) Gulf Atlantic, Chickasaw Barge Wharf (30°45'50"N., 88°03'08"W.): 680-foot face; 20 feet alongside; deck height, 12 feet; receipt of crude oil; shipment of petroleum products; owned and operated by Gulf Atlantic.

(148) Dunhill Terminal (30°45'50"N., 88°03'15"W.): 456-foot face; 19 to 23 feet alongside; deck height, 12 feet; barge petroleum terminal.

(149)
Supplies
(150) Marine supplies of all kinds are available in Mobile. Bunker fuel, diesel oil, and lubricants are available. Large vessels can be bunkered at the Texaco Terminal Pier, Alabama State Docks, Piers B, C, and D North Wharf, or at other berths by tank barges. Water, almost chemically pure, is available at most of the berths.

(151)
Repairs
(152) There are three large shipyards in the Mobile area; all types of repairs can be made to deep-draft vessels. The largest floating drydock, at a shipyard on the W side of Pinto Island, has a capacity of 19,400 tons, an overall length of 732 feet, a minimum clear inside width of 105 feet, and a depth of 27 feet over the blocks. Smaller shipyards with marine railways and smaller floating drydocks are on Blakeley Island, on the W side of Mobile River at Mobile, at Chickasaw, and on Dog River.

(153) Salvage tugs, seagoing and equipped for heavy work, are available. Barges, derricks, pumps, and diving outfits are available for virtually any type of work.

(154)
Small-craft facilities
(155) Berths and other facilities for small craft are limited at Mobile due to heavy commercial traffic. Facilities for small craft at Fort Morgan, East Fowl River, Fairhope, Fly Creek, and Dog River are discussed earlier in this chapter.

(156)
Communications
(157) Mobile is served by four trunkline railroads, major airlines, and highway connections. Regular steamer communications with most major ports in the world and all the important Gulf, Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific ports are made from Mobile. Inland boats and barges serve the river ports in the interior of the State and also connect with Gulf ports. Radio station WLO at Mobile handles general commercial radio and radiotelephone business between the hours of 0430 and 0030. The station is equipped to handle traffic on VHF-FM radiotelephone and cable traffic. Radio station WNU, New Orleans, handles traffic for station WLO between the hours of 0030 to 0430. The harbormaster’s office is equipped with VHF-FM channel 16 and channel 65A on the intraport radiotelephone system which connects all pilot boats, tugs, and all waterway traffic in the area.

(158) Mobile River and Tensaw River are formed by the confluence of Alabama River and Tombigbee River about 45 miles above Mobile. In 1972, the reported depth to the confluence was about 14 feet. The channel in Mobile River is marked by lights, buoys, and daybeacons.

(159) Tensaw River is crossed at its mouth by two U.S. Route 90 highway bridges, which have fixed spans with a minimum clearance of 26 feet. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 46 feet crosses the river just N of the bridges. Twin fixed highway bridges with a clearance of 24 feet cross the river about 0.3 mile N of the U.S. Route 90 bridges. The S end of Blakeley Island has been extended E by dredged fill to the W side of the entrance to Tensaw River. The battleship ALABAMA is permanently moored on the E side of the fill at a State park.

(160) The Mobile-Tensaw Rivers Cutoff connects the two rivers about 8 miles above Mobile. The cutoff had a reported depth of about 13 feet in 1972. From the cutoff the channel into Tensaw River is marked by buoys and an unlighted range on the E bank of the river; the controlling depth on the range is about 3 feet. For craft drawing more than 3 feet, it is necessary to turn S at the E end of the cutoff, pass around the S end of Gravine Island, and then proceed upriver in the E branch.

(161) A railroad bridge over Mobile River, 8.3 miles above the city, has a swing span with a clearance of 4 feet. (See 117.1 through 117.49, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.)

(162) A railroad bridge crossing Tensaw River about 13 miles above the mouth has a swing span with a clearance of 11 feet. (See 117.1 through 117.59 and 117.113, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.) Tensaw River is crossed by overhead power cables on both sides of Gravine Island. The cable crossing the W channel about 1.7 miles below the cutoff has a clearance of 74 feet, and the cable over the E channel about 1.2 miles below the cutoff has a clearance of 68 feet. Interstate Route 65 twin fixed highway bridges, with clearances of 42 feet, cross the Tensaw River about 19.6 miles above the mouth.

(163) Light-draft boats can reach Tensaw River either by going up Mobile River to Spanish River and thence down that river, or from the main channel through the channel S of Pinto Island. An overhead power cable with a clearance of 68 feet crosses Spanish River about 0.1 mile below its confluence with Mobile River.

(164) Blakeley River and Apalachee River are crossed at their mouths by twin fixed highway bridges with clearances of 16 feet. About 0.7 mile above the bridges, the rivers are crossed by U.S. Route 90/State Route 31 fixed highway bridges, which have a minimum vertical clearance of 16 feet. Overhead power cables on the N side of the U.S. Route 90/State Route 31 bridges have minimum clearances of 37 feet. A fish camp about 0.4 mile S of Vessel Point has berths, water, ice, and a launching ramp.

(165) D’Olive Bay, on the E side of Blakeley River, is entered through a channel marked by private daybeacons about 0.9 mile below the U.S. Route 90 bridges. In 1982, the reported controlling depth was about 3 feet across Blakeley River Bar and through the lower river into the bay. A yacht club in the bay has gasoline, diesel fuel, and limited marine supplies.

(166) Navigation is possible above Mobile to the inland Alabama ports of Jackson, mile 78, Demopolis, mile 214, Tuscaloosa, mile 340, Port Birmingham, mile 396.5, and various landings via dredged channels in the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River System. Mobile River joins the Tombigbee River about 45 miles above Mobile. Just above Demopolis, at the junction of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers at about mile 217, the waterway continues via the Black Warrior River and thence at about mile 385 divides into two navigable forks. The head of navigation on Mulberry Fork is at about 385, and on Locust Fork at mile 385. A Federal project provides for a 9-foot channel in the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River System. (See Local Notice to Mariners for latest controlling depths.)

(167) Six lock and dam systems are on the waterway. Each lock is 600 feet long and 110 feet wide, with a least depth of 11 feet over the sill.

(168) Several bridges and numerous overhead power cables cross the waterway. Bridges over the section of the waterway from the mouth of Tombigbee River to the junction with the upper forks are of the vertical-lift or fixed-span type; least clearance is 40 feet for the fixed spans, and 15 feet for the vertical-lift spans. (See 117.1 through 117.49, 117.106, and 117.118, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.) Only bridges of the fixed type cross Mulberry and Locust Forks; least clearance is 31 feet over Mulberry Fork, and 38 feet over Locust Fork. Least clearance of overhead power cables crossing the waterway is 40 feet.

(169) Waterborne commerce on the waterway between Mobile and Port Birmingham is in pulpwood, chemicals, petroleum products, shell, sand and gravel, limestone, ores, pig iron, coal, grain, and steel products.

(170) Charts for the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Rivers System are available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile office. (See Appendix A for address.)

(171) From just above Demopolis, AL, at the confluence on the Tombigbee and Black Warrior Rivers, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Tenn-Tom Waterway) extends N through the Tombigbee River and land cuts for about 203 miles connecting the Black Warrior-Tombigbee River System with the Tennessee River. The waterway provides a link between the deepwater port of Mobile and the inland waterways which were formerly accessible only via the Mississippi River system.

(172) From Demopolis, the waterway extends up the Tombigbee River for about 127 miles to just S of Amory, MS. For the next 42 miles to Bay Springs, MS, the waterway consists of a canal parallel to and separated from the river by a levee. The remaining 34 miles of the system traverse a cut through the divide between the Tennessee and Tombigbee River basins.

(173) The Federal project provides for a 9-foot channel from Demopolis to Amory and thence a 12-foot channel to the Tennessee River. The waterway’s 341-foot ascent is accomplished by 5 dams and 10 locks. The locks are 100 feet wide and 600 feet long and have a minimum depth over the sill of 15 feet.

(174) The minimum clearance of the bridges crossing the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is 52 feet at normal pool. Overhead cables have a minimum clearance as great or greater than the minimum bridge clearance.

(175) Waterborne commerce on the waterway includes coal, grain and other farm products, metallic and nonmetallic ores, chemicals and allied products, pulp, paper and other wood products, and petroleum.

(176) Charts for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway are available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile office. (See Appendix A for address.)

(177) Mobile River joins Alabama River about 45 miles above Mobile. A Federal project provides for a 9-foot channel in Alabama River from the mouth to Montgomery, AL, about 290 miles above Mobile. In 1981, the controlling depth was 9 feet to Claiborne, about 58 miles above the mouth; thence in 1972, 3½ feet to the head of the project. Greater depths can normally be carried from November to June. The channel is marked by buoys and daybeacons. Least clearance of bridges crossing the river is 17 feet for swing bridges, 42 feet in the up position for vertical lift bridges, and 36 feet (at Montgomery) for fixed bridges. The bridgetender of the Burlington Northern railroad bridge at Coy monitors VHF-FM channel 16 and works on channel 13; call sign WXY-960. (See 117.1 through 117.59 and 117.101, chapter 2, for drawbridge regulations.) Least known clearance of overhead power cables crossing the river is 50 feet. Least vertical clearance is 27 feet at the cable ferry guide cable about 112 miles above Mobile.

(178)
Cable ferry
(179) A cable ferry crosses the river about 112 miles above Mobile. The ferry carries vehicles and passengers and operates between 0700 and 1700 daily. The ferry guide cable is suspended 27 feet above the water. The ferry crossing is marked by signs on both sides of the river. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PASS A MOVING CABLE FERRY.

(180) The lock and dam systems on the river are Claiborne Lock and Dam, mile 63.0, Millers Ferry Lock and Dam, mile 115.6, and Henry Lock and Dam, mile 205.2. Operating hours of the locks are as follows: Claiborne Lock, 24 hours; and Millers Ferry and Henry Locks, 0600 to 1400 and 1800 to 0200. The locks are each 600 feet long, 84 feet wide, and have 13 feet over the sills.

(181) Waterborne commerce on the river consists of pulpwood, petroleum products, sand, and gravel.

(182) Navigational charts for the Alabama River are available from the Mobile Corps of Engineers Office. (See Appendix A for address.)

(183)
Chart 11376, 11378 - (Chapter 7)

(189) Pass aux Herons connects the SW corner of Mobile Bay with the E end of Mississippi Sound and is part of the Intracoastal Waterway. (See chapter 12 for Intracoastal Waterway.)

(190) Grants Pass, 0.3 mile N of Pass aux Herons, connects Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound. The channel is unmarked and is used only by small boats.

(191) Dauphin Island is a fishing village and summer resort at the NE part of Dauphin Island. A dredged channel leads from Mississippi Sound through Bayou Aloe to an anchorage basin at Dauphin Island Village. The channel is marked with lights and daybeacons. There are a marina and fish camps at the village; berths, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, and marine supplies are available.

(192) Dauphin Island Bay is a shallow bay at the E end of Dauphin Island between Dauphin Island Bridge and Little Dauphin Island. The bay is accessible from Mississippi Sound through a privately marked and dredged channel and from Mobile Bay through an inlet protected by a jetty about 0.2 mile N of Pelican Point. A channel marked by lights and daybeacons leads from Mobile Bay to the inlet entrance, thence a dredged channel leads through the inlet to an anchorage basin at Fort Gaines, thence a connecting channel leads from the anchorage basin to Dauphin Island Bay.

(193) Dauphin Island Coast Guard Station is on the S side of the inlet.

(194) In 1995-2001, shoaling to less than 4 feet was reported near the N side of the channel between Daybeacon 16 and Light 17.

(195) Fort Gaines has a small-boat basin where a U.S. Customs boat and pilot boat moor. On the S side of the anchorage basin, just inside the inlet, there are eight surfaced launching ramps, five piers, and a bulkhead docking area. A ferry operates from Fort Gaines to Fort Morgan.

(196) A large marina on the W shore of the bay has a 7½-ton mobile hoist. Engine and electronic repairs are available, as well as open and covered storage. Berths, electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, and marine supplies are available. An offshore breakwater protects the marina from N. In 1972, there was reported to be 8 to 9 feet at the berths and 5 feet in the privately maintained and marked channel that leads along the S and W shores of the bay from the connecting channel to the marina and N and W into Mississippi Sound. Dauphin Island Bridge across the mouth of Dauphin Island Bay has a fixed span with a clearance of 25 feet. An overhead power cable W of the bridge has a clearance of 44 feet.

(197) Heron Bay is a shallow bay used mainly by skiff-size crabbing and oyster boats; local knowledge is advised.

(198) Heron Bay Cutoff, locally known as The Cutoff, about 1.8 miles N of Cedar Point, is a pass joining Heron Bay with Mobile Bay. Tidal currents of considerable velocity run through this pass which is used only by small boats. A fixed highway bridge over the pass has a clearance of 16 feet.

(199)
Chart 11376, 11374 - (Chapter 7)

(200) West Fowl River enters Fowl River Bay about 4 miles NW of Cedar Point. It extends NE along the W side of Mon Louis Island, separating it from the mainland, and is joined to East Fowl River by a channel reported to be navigable by craft drawing about 2 feet or less. State Route 188 highway bridge, about 2 miles above the mouth, has a 30-foot fixed span with a clearance of 25 feet. An overhead power cable close SW of the bridge has a clearance of 33 feet. An overhead power cable with a reported clearance of about 30 feet crosses the channel connecting with East Fowl River at about 30°23'53"N., 88°08'39"W. The entrance to the river from Mississippi Sound is marked by private daybeacons from E of Cat Island to just below the highway bridge. A small marina on the E bank of the river about 0.5 mile below the highway bridge can provide berths with water and electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, ice, a launching ramp, limited marine supplies, and engine repairs.

(201) Coden is a small fishing village on Bayou Coden on the N shore of Portersville Bay, NE of Isle aux Herbes. A dredged channel leads from Bayou La Batre channel through Portersville Bay to the mouth of Bayou Coden, thence N to the State Route 188 highway bridge about 0.5 mile above the mouth of the bayou. A turning basin is on the W side of the channel about 500 feet below the bridge. State Route 188 fixed highway bridge has a 35-foot span with a clearance of 15 feet. There are seafood packing plants and several commercial shipyards that specialize in the construction of steel tugs and supply vessels.

(202)

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