Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ferries and Beaches

Another day off, and once again, I play tourist with my trusty camera today. It was pouring when I woke up, and usually, days like this, I'd much rather stay in bed and watch movies. But, I was feeling adventurous today, so I got in the car and drove out to see Port Bolivar, on the north side of Galveston Bay.

To get to Port Bolivar, I took Highway 87 to the north part of Galveston Island. At the end of the harbor, you'll find the ferries. When I started driving, it was raining, but as I got closer to the ferry, the rain stopped and the sun came out part of the time. I took it as a sign that mother nature approved of my plans today. The ferries is a free service run by the Texas Dept of Transportation to get to and from Port Bolivar. The free ride is approximately 20 minutes of enjoyment. A smooth operation, these ferries have taken on many in their long years of service.

Here's an interesting sign telling people who want to ride the ferry what to do:So, I got into the line of those so eager to ride the ferry; but, seems as if I got there a little late, as I found myself on the end of a long train of riders ready to get on this particular ferry:
As we all loaded onto the ferry, we turned off our engines and listened to the captain announcing instructions on the rules of riding this ferry. No smoking; turn off engines; no pets unattended, etc. And with a toot of it's horn, we began our ride. As we pulled out of the harbor, I took a picture of this other ferry...who's name made me glad I was not riding it, for my health, I suppose:The ferry I was sitting on was named Dewitt C Greer. As we made our way out to Galveston Bay, I took a foto of another ship, a US Coast Guard ship, and I though of their motto: Always ready!I took pictures of the rear of the ferry, noting the long trail of white substance from it's backwash. Also those filthy seagulls...As the ferry kept tugging along further into the bay, I took pictures of other ships passing out to sea. It seemed haunting and mysterious, as I watched these large ships venture out closer to the mists and fog that seem to reach out and overtake these vessels, absconding them from view. I let my imagination run wild and wonder, is that the end of the world? or perhaps the veil to another world? One by one, the ships vanish in the gray shadows, to worlds beyond my sight.
And there it was, out of the mists of the ancient seas stood the lone lighthouse, the Port Bolivar lighthouse.Built and rebuilt since the time of the Civil War over a century ago, the lighthouse served to guide ships for over 60 years, and has saved many lives over the years since, having served as a hurricane shelter during the 1900 and 1915 hurricanes, two of the worst storms to ever hit the area--the first killing at least 8000 to 12000 people, nearly wiping Galveston off the map. Over 200 people were saved by seeking shelter in the lighthouse during the terrible storms.

Though it has been retired from service and is now privately owned, it still towers among the shores of this wild and beautiful land.After getting off on the ferry, I needed to stretch my legs, so took more fotos of the lighthouse and the adjacent Houston Audubon Society's Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary.Further exploration of the area led me to some heifers; I thought to myself, wow, don't they look delicious!Who doesn't enjoy eating out a tasty heifer?
I eventually found myself on the beaches of Port Bolivar and Crystal Beach. By then, mother nature had become quite upset, as evidenced by the storms that moved in from the seas. Moody isn't she? Not one to argue with a force of nature, I took some fotos of the beaches before things got too rough...What was strange was that when I looked at the both ends of the beach, I was surprised that the mists from the sea had suddenly appeared on the shores. More ominous than the crashing, violent waves, I thought it best to pack up my gear and return to parts more familiar...In the thunderstorms, I made my way back to the ferry, once again at the end of the long line of those waiting to load up. The sun that had partly lighted the beginning of my journey had disappeared, replaced by the cold, furious downpour and the violent flashes of light and echoes of warring thunder.I wasn't so sure at first if the ferry would be able to take the pounding, but this ferry has years of experience with the rough stuff. So, the ferry worked it's towards it's destination, a surprisingly smooth ride for all involved. By time I got off the ferry again, I was tired but hungry. So I phoned a friend, who thankfully, was in the mood for something good, and so ended my tour for the day, spending some time with a lovely lady, feasting on some tender, tasty treats.


  1. I know a couple of ferries who'd love you to take them for a ride.

  2. Well there is nothing like eating out after a rough ride on a ferry

    Love the song

  3. CP, sometimes one needs to replenish one's energy after such rigorous activities...or maybe take a nap.

    It is a great fave line,
    "I'm a goddess on my knees" ;) She must pray a lot!

  4. I suppose there ain't nothin better than feasting on your friends tender, tasty treats.

    Glad you made it back in time. Where would you have gone if the ferry had stopped for the day?

  5. Or something else you can do on your knees

    I agree with Tatas it does look like there is NOTHING there. Would have sucked being stuck for the night

  6. Tatas: If the ferry had stopped running, I suppose I'd've gone up the road some more just to see what was out there...the locals call highway 87, the road to no where...

    CP: it scrubbing the floor? There were quite a few seaside restaurants and beachside motels/inns around the area. It's pretty rural, but I'm pretty much down for anything, and sometimes, solitude can be a wonderful thing...esp out in the wild ;)

  7. On a road to no where hey.

    Do you have a death wish with a storm on it's way?

  8. Tatas, Highway 87 going north is the hurricane evacuation route for the smart folks. The suicidal ones stay behind and drown when the tide washes over their homes.

    I love watching a good lightning storm, though, it's so beautiful and terrifying and awe inspiring to see nature's fireworks!