Blue People, Red State - Winter 2010 travel blog

cruise ship

dry dock


loading grain

roll on, roll off

shrimp boats


no more fog

Although the weather has been warm, we've been socked in with heavy fog despite a stiff breeze, groping around like blind men with a cane. You can hear the sea and smell the sea, but you can't see the sea at all. Those noisy birds have hunkered down as well. It's dangerous to fly when you can't spot a fish beneath the waves through the murk. It was so bad a Carnival cruise ship scheduled to come in yesterday, had to wait until the cold front and drier air arrived. About 8pm last night it did.

We went downtown to take a boat tour near the dock where the Carnival ship had finally come in. Passengers disembarking seemed pretty mellow with the delay. It was clear that the ship had been to Mexico. There must hardly be any gaudy giant sombreros left in the country. Galveston is a pleasant cruise port. The historic downtown with shops and restaurants is a short walk away and wise cruisers build a little extra time into their vacation to enjoy this city.

On our boat tour we were surprised to see heavy industry and commerce located right next to the tourist attractions. A fifty mile shipping channel links Galveston to Houston and oil tankers headed to the refineries pass right by. Dry docks are busy building new drilling towers. Container docks are no longer here, but we saw ships loading grain and a ship called a "roll on, roll off" was unloading tractors made in Sweden. Busy shrimp boats headed out to sea, followed by enthusiastic sea gulls, looking for a handout.

In the midst of all this economic activity, dolphins bobbed up and down looking for fish. Large white pelicans with a wing span approaching eight feet, huddled on the rocks, resting up for their flight further north. In the sunshine it all was beautiful.

We've been enjoying pretty much having the place to ourselves, rarely standing in line or needing a reservation. According to the media spring break starts in Texas tomorrow. It isn't warm enough here for the bikini clad, beer bong guzzling college kids, but it will be interesting to see who else turns up.

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