Archive for the ‘Texas Coast’ Category

Bay Fishing, A Three Hour Adventure.

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Click for Port Isabel, Texas Forecast

Here’s a fun afternoon.  Trying to stay clear of Spring Breakers, a group of us from our park headed off on a group fishing expedition.

Located on the mainland side of the bridge between Port Isabel and South Padre Island, we met at the Dolphin Docks.

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It is located across the street from the Port Isabel Lighthouse, which was built in 1852.

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At 2:00 PM we boarded our boat for a three hour tour.  Thankfully the boat wasn’t the SS Minnow.

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We headed out and went under the bridge and moved north in the bay.  The bridge is undergoing maintenance and upgrading to a sturdier structure.  A few years ago, a barge hit the bridge and two center sections of the span dropped into the bay.  Ferries were placed into service while the bridge was repaired.

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We had a hazy view of South Padre Island. They are hard to see, but there are the constant planes overhead toting signs for the beach-goers.

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Finally we anchored and began fishing with an endless supply of shrimp for bait.   We lined the rail and waited for the ferocious bites to ensue.

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Unfortunately for us, no bites.

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Others were luckier.  No huge fish, but one lady caught a stingray that put up quite a fight.    Most of the fish caught were fairly small, but some people might have made a meal of them.

As a group we were able to negotiate a price of $8.00 a piece instead of the normal $20.00.

After we were safely back in port, we headed to the island to have dinner at Daddy’s, one of our favorite restaurant.

Turtles and Sand – A Good Combination

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Click for Port Isabel, Texas Forecast

Our friends, Karen and Roland, paid us a visit from their haunt in Arizona.  It was great to see them and we headed off on some familiar journeys.

One day we headed across the border to one of our favorite restaurants, SeñoriaL, in Nuevo Progreso.  Again, they did not disappoint.

The next day it was off to South Padre Island.  The weather obliged by providing us with a beautiful 87 degree day.   It was a good day to visit a fairly empty beach.

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Here, a two year old Laughing Gull strolls the beach with its smaller buddy.

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One thing that you don’t want to miss is a visit to the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, located at the north end of the business area and near the convention center.

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You should try to time your visit so that you can listen to one of the presentations put on by the resident scientists.  They have volunteers that scour the beach for fresh nests.  Eggs are brought to the center for incubation and hatching.  The babies are then released at their nest sites so that they can imprint the location in their brains so that they can return to lay eggs later.

The turtles that survive their first year is quite low, maybe 1 in 200.   But the life expectancy of many of these turtles can exceed 200 years.  Below, we are “reflecting” on this magnificent creature.

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Many ill or injured turtles are brought to the center for treatment.  Some, if injured badly enough, stay forever. This Loggerhead turtle, below is at the center to recover from  an illness. These loggerheads, which can reach 500 pounds, aren’t very active and stay still long enough to allow barnacles to grow on their shells.

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Also, be sure to satisfy your hunger at our favorite restaurant on the island, Daddy’s Seafood and Cajun Kitchen.

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Be sure to try the Cowboy steak or the Whiskey Bay Fish Plate.  Outstanding sauce.

Road Closed Due to Flooding

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Click for Weslaco, Texas Forecast

Several days ago we decided to head over to South Padre Island where Tinka could try out her dysfunctional umbrella.

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But that is not the real story.  On the way to the island, we were surprised to find that Hwy 107 was closed due to flooding.

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About a half mile of the road was missing.

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It turns out that this is leftover flooding from Hurricane Alex back in June.   To alleviate flooding, levies were constructed and a planned “floodway” was constructed.  For the first time in over twenty years, the use of the floodway was activated to protect the upstream dams on the Rio Grande.

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The flooded area shown below is normally a sod farm.

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Earlier I showed you a picture of Hwy 107 flooded.  The picture below was taken from the same spot last week.  The road is now opened, mud plowed away and dry.

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The crops didn’t fare very well over the two months of inundation.

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The agriculture damage is unbelievable, but the residential areas have been spared.

Not Everyone Hates The Wind

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Click for South Padre Island, Texas Forecast

Most people have been complaining about the excessively windy days that we have experienced this spring.  Well apparently not everyone is upset.

As we drove down the road from the beach on South Padre Island, we noticed a lot of activity on the bay side of the island.

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Kite boarders and wind surfers were having a blast.  Dozens of kites and sails were visible along the bay.  There are several organizations that are promoting the various activities, Windsurf Inc., and the South Padre Island Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Organization, are just two.

Riviera Beach and The Baffin Bay Cafe

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Click for Riviera Beach, Texas Forecast

We met fellow bloggers and Montana owners, JoAnn and Doug,  a few years ago when we were in Arizona.  We keep up with their travels at their “Living Our Dream” journal.  We noticed that they were spending some time in Texas near Corpus Christi.

The distance between Corpus and Weslaco is about 180 miles.  They contacted us and suggested a lunch meeting somewhere half-way.  We settled on the Baffin Bay Cafe in Riviera Beach, TX., located 90 miles away for each of us.

Riviera Beach is located about 10 miles east of the small town of Riviera, TX on Baffin Bay, which is an inlet off of Laguna Madre, near the Gulf of Mexico.

We picked a nice 70 degree day and headed north up US 77.   Along the way we spotted a couple of oddities.  First was a US Post Office that is really easy to miss. The Armstrong, TX post office is in the driveway of a ranch entrance.  The flag pole is empty.  I guess indicating that the office is closed.

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Once we reached Riviera and turned off toward the bay, we noticed this hundred year old bank that appears to have been empty for some time. Notice the buckboard in the front yard.

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Ten miles east of Riviera, you run straight into the bay.  At that point, you’ll find the Baffin Bay Cafe.  It is a little overgrown, and therefore not very easy to spot.

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A local cat found it comfortable to bask in the sun on the roof.

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This place had been recommended by some friends but we wanted to reserve judgment. When we went inside, we found that the place was clean, but not very fancy.

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We met up with JoAnn and Doug at the prescribed time.

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We asked the waitress for recommendations and she told us that it really didn’t matter, “everything is fabulous”.   Each of us ordered something different and the waitress proved to be correct.  Every dish that we tried was great.  I guess when an out-of-the-way place relies on word-of-mouth advertising, they had better get it right.

There wasn’t much going on in the bay.  This is a look out of the restaurant window toward the bay.

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Next door to the Cafe is a boat ramp and an old bait store.  Neither building has seen a paint salesman in decades.

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On the unlikely event that you find yourself heading south from Kingsville, TX, you could do a lot worse than taking the detour to the Baffin Bay Cafe.

A final thought appeared on the way home.

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