Tuesday....the sky was clear, deep blue...the air was MUCH fresher...the rains have passed. For now. I was out walking first thing in the morning along the river and through the park! I was no longer a shut-in case of 'what is there to do indoors'?!! AKA - a happy camper!!
All around the fishing village, Port Aransas, as you walk/drive the streets, you may take notice of the smaller, scaled down replicas of the "Farley Boats". Some are made into planters, others decorated with a sea theme...but all have an eye catching look about them tho all very diverse. The Farley Boat is/was in fact part of Port A's history since the early 1900s. They were built by the Farley Brothers...a tarpon boat built for fishing in the Gulf of Mexico's bay waters. Of course, with me driving around this area of the south Texas Coast, I rarely pay much attention to them any more, but when I first noticed them years ago, I was intrigued by them and wondered the reason so many could be seen in and around the area....until I read about them online...
an excerpt from Wikipedia:
- In 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Port Aransas and was introduced to tarpon fishing. He enjoyed tarpon fishing so much that in 1937, while Congress was debating his Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937, he traveled to Port Aransas specifically to catch tarpon. He hired Barney Farley, the famous fishing guide and brother of Fred Farley. The president brought his own 35-foot fishing boat and Barney Farley agreed to take the President out on the boat. After an unsuccessful outing, Barney Farley convinced the president to fish from a Farley Boat. The President caught so many tarpon that he returned to Port Aransas later that year to again fish with Barney Farley on a Farley Boat.
Read about the beginnings and history of the Farley Boats here.
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Corpus Christi is, for the most part a Port City...meaning importing and exporting cargo by ship. Most times, when I photograph the large cargo/tanker ships, it's usually at Port Aransas entering the ship channel from the Gulf of Mexico. For instance, this post. Well, there are actually three separate channels...the Lydia Ann channel, the Aransas Channel and the Corpus Christi channel...comprising a 20 mile stretch of waterways...all connecting the Gulf with the 8th largest port in America...the port of Corpus Christi. The channels are 45 feet deep. Instead of showing the ships entering or leaving as I normally do, I thought I'd catch an inbound tanker coming IN TO the port of Corpus Christi, sailing UNDER the Harbor Bridge in a series. Keep your eye on the Blue and Yellow Smoke Stack...
Tanker in Corpus Christi Bay.........Ship nearing the port entry passage [small boat at the tanker's bow is the guiding tug boat]
Passing the WWII Museum [USS Lexington] ......Just feet away from the bridge-buildings in foreground are restaurants, gift shops and Texas Aquarium
Smoke stacks seen passing under Harbor Bridge [a 6 lane highway connecting the city of Corpus Christi with Rincon Bay -to locals it's known as North Beach] entering the Port and Port authority.. And of course, ships are both domestic AND foreign.
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Oftentimes I see the very tiny 'butterfly clam shells'. I usually stop and check them out because of the many many colors and swirls in the shells' patterns. The interior of the shells are just as pretty if not more so. The inside can range from a pearly off white to pink, purple and sometimes an ocean blue.
Growing up, landlocked in the foothills of Colorado, I never witnessed this 'til one year we vacationed along the Gulf Coast. I had forgotten about it until we relocated here after retiring. I remember the first time I saw this activity years ago. And I wondered just what the heck these guys were doing. Finally the curiosity got the better of me and I had to ask one gentleman. He was happy to explain it all to me. He was plunging for fish bait close to shore. I never asked just how they know where to do the plunging, but they do! 99% of the time they come up with a glob of wet sand...and bait! For the most part, the bait is then carried to a bucket filled with Gulf water to keep the bait alive. The bait? They're called GHOST SHRIMP. And the pumps are inexpensive and he told me they can easily be 'homemade' too. A few weeks ago, I happened to 'catch' sight of the activity once again and asked permission to take a couple of photos...
Plunging for Ghost Shrimp - Ghost Shrimp Pump