For me there are some things that just never get old. Taking a boat to look for dolphins is one of those things. And dolphins there were. We found a whole pod of them following a shrimping boat around stealing fish from the nets. The Shrimpers don’t like this, just as they don’t like pelicans eating the scraps at the dock. But a shrimp boat tosses out a lot of stuff that isn’t shrimp, and there is always a cloud of birds around the back end of a shrimp boat.
Like everyone else, I was a bit worried that BP would put an end to all life in the Gulf Coast. And they may well get around to it, but at least at the moment, there are still lots of fish, shrimp, and dolphins milling around in the waters around Galveston, Texas. There are also a lot of pelicans, sea gulls, cormorants, and all those funny little birds that dart in and out with the tide.
The dolphin tour we took left from a small marine behind Willy G’s restaurant near the Stand District of Galveston. A nice collection of old warehouses that have been turned into a tourist trap, as so many warehouse districts around the world have been. The Strand has a new system of parking meters which involves the removal of all the old style coin operated parking meters. Now there are solar powered computer terminals that allow you to enter the number of your parking space and pay with a credit card if you so desire. You then get a nice printed receipt which tells you exactly what time your meter will run out-which is very nice indeed.
While we were waiting for the start of the first dolphin tour of the day we spotted a lot of small fishing hanging out around the docks near the tour boat. There were a lot of Mullet, schools of Perch, a few small Red Fish, a lot of Jellyfish, and a couple of full sized Sheepheads chewing on the many oysters growing on the sides of dock. This was a pretty good show in itself.
It was a balmy 93 degrees at 10 a.m. in early September, but it felt pretty good once we were moving on the water. We saw the sites of Galveston Harbor, giant ships from around the world, ferries loaded with cars, shrimp boats, and varied and sundry bits of machinery to do with the hauling oil from the depths of the sea. There is an Oil Derrick Museum and clearly on display is a Blowout Preventer much like the one that broke on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig.
We only saw one dolphin as the tour started, but after a tour of most of the harbor we found a shrimp boat and that was where we was a dozen or so dolphins rolling around in the water and making the occasional jump into the air or slap of the water with their tails. Yeah, that was worth ten bucks.