Blue People, Red State - Winter 2010 travel blog

Padre Island campground




drying wings

exclusive island

even more exclusive

pirate boat

drafted pirate

distant hotels

peas in a pod

shrimp boats

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pirate boat

We've visited Padre Island twice from the land, and the boat tours in the vicinity also looked like fun. However, Padre is over an hour's drive away, so we'd just about decided to leave the boats for another time, when our campground offered a bus tour to a boat ride. The price was reasonable and it made sense to leave the driving to someone else, so we signed on. We should have done a bit more research about what sort of boat this tour was on...

We were expecting something focusing on nature, the water birds, fish, and empty sand dunes that abound in the region. Instead we ended up on a pirate boat. As we sailed past the picturesque scenery, the crew had the passengers fighting with swords, firing canyons, dancing around, squirting each other with water pistols, painting our faces, etc. etc. It was amazing how everyone got into it, considering no one had anything stronger than tea to drink and everyone was over 55. Once again I had to wonder if we all were in our second childhoods. Although the crew worked very hard to involve us in this "theater on the sea," it was hard to avoid the beauty all around us. All the action came to a stop when a group of dolphins swam around us and put on a show. It's always amazing how they seek out human beings, even when no food handouts are involved.

We sailed the costal waterway that goes south to Brownsville. Occasionally large vessels travel this area and keeping the channel deep enough for them is an endless task. The sand that gets moved out of the middle of the causeway gets piled on the side, making deserted islands for the waterbirds to enjoy. Closer to the harbor there were also exclusive islands full of ritzy homes with nice boats tied up in the back "yard." We had to wonder how the ritzy people feel about having this noisy pirate boat sail past their quiet haven every day.

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