Carey and Debbie above Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring

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(click on photos to enlarge)


"Corpus Christi Area 2005"

    Bird Island Basin, TX >> Port Aransas, TX

    March 28 through May 19, 2005

Story by Debbie


Sorry, but this story page isn't finished yet.  If you've made it this far and want more, consider dropping us an email by clicking the EMAIL US link to the left.  Or, you might review where we've been in the meantime by clicking the CAMPSITE LOG link.  Or, perhaps read some tales of adventure by clicking the MOUNTAIN BIKING link.  Or, feast your eyes on some slide shows, via the PHOTOS link.  Your move...





Springtime bluebonnets in Texas.


pins and bib overview

The grand entrance to Padre Island National Seashore.Left to Right: Mainland Texas, Laguna Madre, Bird Island Basin, Padre Island, Malaquite Beach, Gulf of Mexico

Carey on the nature trail.About as dramatic as the scenery gets around here.Pretty flat.  Flat is good, when you don't want to disrupt the wind.




This area is very popular with birds, and consequently, birders.

A ranger-led tour group came around every morning.

A wide variety of birds could be seen, such as this squadron of egrets (?)Sandpiper, piping.Looks like a whooping crane to this non-birder.

Damn gull.These guys pretty much hover, looking down until they spot something to eat......then they dive suddenly into the water......and finally scream and yell about it afterwards.  Noisy idiots.

Big white ones.The pink Roseate Spoonbills were by far the coolest.

Another purposeful looking bird, looking for din out little minnow......Gotcha!






first campsite

Our first campsite was inland a bit from the water in an effort to stay out of the way.No hookups at Bird Island Basin so we lived off solar power.The view out my office window, toward the boat ramp.




The whole area was undergoing a big construction project.They put in a new road so the boaters could go straight to the boat ramp at 4 a.m. without waking all the campers up.The old road, here used by construction trucks, went right along the beach where everybody camped.This cool machine excelled at removing old bollock poles.

About two months later, the new road was finished.




Carey heads out with the 4.6 sail on our first day windsurfing this year.Way too much wind for a first day, but what the heck, let's rip!


Debbie, all suited up and about to head out, in more reasonable conditions.

the twins

These so-called "twins" always sailed together and in close formation, often to Debbie's annoyance.See, here go the twins setting off together.  That's Debbie in the distance.


debbie flummoxed thereby

 Debbie giving the twins the evil eye.







guy who can't stay put

This guy repositioned his rig about a dozen times in two days.




Debbie was amused by this "baby in an aquarium" view.



brad and jan

Brad and Jan, very well equipped fulltime van dwellers.


joy and mom

Later, another van moved in, home of Joy's Mom (shown), Joy's Dad (not shown), and Joy herself (not shown).Ah, there's Joy, out for a kayak ride.


kim and travis

Naturally, the only picnic table for about a half mile soon attracted some tent campers.Not just any tent campers, but super skanks we dubbed Kim and Travis.This is the unfortunate view we had into their tent, about 10 feet from our front window.  Good thing we have electric shades.

One day they went shopping and left all their food out, much to the delight of the birds and wandering scuzzos who helped themselves.Fortunately, Travis didn't chop these innocent baseballers to tiny pieces with his menacing doublebladed axe.After a couple of weeks in that tent, they abruptly packed up and left one afternoon.  Hallelujah!






We dubbed this fella "Tyson" on account of his fearsome visage, birdlike bark, and tendency to stand on his own leash.




malaquite dump

View of the Gulf near the Malaquite Beach campground on the other side of the island.This is a little more organized campground but still pretty primitive.We came over every few weeks to empty our waste tanks and refill with fresh, clean water.







magic eraser

Dirty Igloo (before Magic Eraser)Clean Igloo (after Magic Eraser)



pinky and the brain

Pinky and the Brain chatting with Kim.Pinky and the Brain setting sail.




weekend crowds

The water got pretty crowded on windy weekends.More weekend action.


weekday lack of crowds


But weekday mornings, Debbie often had the water all to herself.I could keep an eye on her out my office window while working at the computer.Debbie sailing away from trouble.



Every now and then a big barge goes down the channel, maybe a mile out.






A youth studying a "How To Windsurf" book before taking to the water.  Smart.Just like the book shows!





should I go?


Debbie assesses the conditions... okay, let's go! "I made it back in one piece!"






Chris (in the middle) sailing during the Austin Windsurf Club weekend trip. Jay from AWC on a nice wide board. Vanessa from AWC in the middle of a crowd.


"Please tell me that doesn't say UK1." Sure enough, it's Drolls setting up inches from our doorstep.Drolls and his burly buddy Tim take to the water as Jay decides it's a good time to head the other way.




germans, misc

A guy screaming in German into his phone atop his rig at 7 a.m. works as well as any rooster, we learned.



Uhhh, that's probably not a good idea.Kirstin and Klaus caught their own dinner when not windsurfing.



Netfisherman prepares to cast...... take that, fishes! (despite his enthusiasm, I never saw him catch anything)




enemy alfateers

Generator-running, powerboat-driving Alfateers moving in.Their folding motorboat was actually  pretty cool, but not very appropriate right here.







second campsite, rain

Our second campsite, near the water.Nice sunsets right under our awning.The downside of this spot became apparent when it rained.A slimy, muddy mess.






joe and april and burrito

One day our big rig was joined by a small cousin on the shore.We quickly dubbed this adorable little rig The Burrito.

The occupants of The Burrito were Joe and April, from Kansas City.







Sat 4/30 cold big wind day

The last big cold front of the year arrived on Saturday 4/30/05.

kayakers flee

These hapless kayakers packed up and left first thing in the morning after arriving noisily around midnight Friday night.

Henri put on quite an airshow.A ripping duck jibe by Henri.Brad and Henri pacing each other.

Brad enjoyed some good flights on his smallest gear, too.

This guy really didn't have quite small enough gear for the conditions...... but he nonetheless came in all smiles after an epic battle.His girlfriend seemed a bit skeptical to take over, despite his assurances that it was calming down.

More tailwalking action.


db ducks

In calmer times, Debbie decided to learn to duck jibe.Here's a still frame from a video of her getting it figured out after only a few days.  Great fun!


ck carve360

Carey trying to learn a Carve 360... never made it past about 200 degrees but had fun trying!


ck jump

Carey launches the not-so-svelte 104 liters of Electric Rock skyward.


whoops, too many jumps

Whoops, too many jumps!  Time for a new boom.





burliest windsurfer ever

Gotta be the burliest windsurfer ever.


surly camper

Gotta be the surliest windsurfer ever.



conference, san diego guy, etc

Debbie consults with the other regulars about the forecast.



joy's mom and dad packing up after the storm/flood

The morning after the water rose silently during the early night.Campsites along the shore were soaked, and Joy appeared stranded!Most smart people took this as a cue to leave for the season.Somebody smart also figured out how to nest all his sails together.



henri and gal pack up

Henri and Brad talking smack.Henri and girlfriend packing up to drive back to Canada.Henri's setup for hauling a ton of gear.


brad and jan depart

Brad and Jan drying everything out before packing up.Brad scales their van to get ready for rock climbing in Utah, their next stop.All packed up and gone until next spring.  Adios amigos!



left alone

We're all alone at last on the point. Debbie kicks back and does a little reading under the awning.




until adonis returns, with snapper

Hey, that Coachmen trailer looks awfully familiar...... oh my, Adonis is back!  (with wee Snapper)



ricky arrives

Debbie spots something strange coming down the beach road...What the...Her brother's friend Ricky rolls up on a landsail board!Incredulous.


Ricky and his friend brought three trucks, one travel trailer, two sailboats, and a pile of windsurf equipment. Their sailboats out in the Laguna Madre.



adios, hosers

Au revoir, hosers!  We're leaving too.




port A



Campground at Port Aransas is on the other side of a vegetated berm from the beach.Our campsite was remarkably like a parking space.

World's largest cinnimon roll.

Port Aransas park and pier.Black waves crashing onto a seaweed strewn beach.  Just like the brochures, I'm sure.

View south from the Port Aransas jetty.  When the wind is right, this is a good wavesailing spot.Half-nekkid children frolic in the narrow band between the seaweed and the water.




bird preserve

Port Aransas is a major stopover for lots of migratory birds.We rode our little bikes over to look for some.This little flitter was trying to hide amidst the greenery.This big-beaked fella was easy to spot.Chalkboard log of what people had seen so far today.



The channel and park at the north end of Padre Island.Instead of a bridge, there's a ferry from Port Aransas toward Rockport, about a half-hour up the coast.It is big enough to carry motorhomes, but we left ours parked this time.





We took the car, loaded with windsurf gear just in case we saw something good.Rockport is a relatively scenic little beach town.Rockport's immaculate, sandy beach was delightfully devoid of seaweed and dog droppings.Historic Fulton Mansion.Nice view from the historic porch.



George's not quite so historic beach home (in the middle).Debbie checks out the view from George's porch.George has the only little harbor like this along this part of the coast.




bib, one last time

We drove down to Bird Island for one more good session before calling it a season.Debbie enjoyed the outing, despite missing her birthday by one day.



state inspection at freightliner and we're done

Waiting among the big trucks at Freightliner of Corpus Christi for our annual inspection on our way back to Austin.








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