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.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Twin highway tunnels cross under Mobile River between Mobile and Blakeley Island about 1.5 miles above McDuffie Island.