Ferry Company Operates Alabama Service - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ferry Company Operates Alabama Service

Anyone who wonders what the ferry service in Bay St. Louis will be like, can find out by taking a short trip to Alabama.

The same company that operates the Dauphin Island to Ft. Morgan ferry will be running the service between Henderson Point and Bay St. Louis.

Hornblower Marine operates the ferry. The diesel powered vessel measures nearly 200 feet long by some 50 feet wide.

After a steel ramp drops on the concrete loading dock, passengers drive their own vehicles aboard, onto a steel deck that can accommodate up to 32 cars.

Crew members then collect the fares.

It's a light load for the trip to Ft. Morgan on this Thursday afternoon. Visitors from Tennessee, Missouri, and Mississippi, along a few locals from Alabama are the only fares.

The 30 minute voyage across Mobile Bay is like a pleasure cruise. Visitors enjoy the late summer sights, making this more tour boat than transportation mode.

Gregory Duke is an eleven year old Tennessee visitor.

"It's really fun. 'Cause I've seen like a shark, like a kind of fish like a swordfish. And, hey, I just saw a huge fish jump over there. I'm enjoying the sights. It's better than an aquarium," he said.

His mother also enjoyed the trip.

"It makes it exciting actually. It's fun. It's a gorgeous day. I recommend it," said Christy Duke.

Not surprisingly, the Alabama ferry service also got its start in the wake of a hurricane. It was back in the early 80's when a serious storm took out one of the local bridges, that the service began. It proved so popular with visitors, it's been around ever since.

Thirty minutes from launch, the landing ramp drops on the Ft. Morgan side. The process then reverses itself. Cars roll off, then another line rolls aboard.

More sight seeing on the return trip. Abundant oil rigs, jelly fish and shrimp boats.

"It's relaxing. It's easy. Very simple," said Missouri visitor, Lindsay Decker.

A successful ferry service must be regular as clockwork. And this one is. 30 minutes from Ft. Morgan, we rode off the boat, driving away onto Dauphin Island.

By Steve Phillips

Powered by Frankly