IF this is Friday, I must be well overdue for a blog post! I think that following Wandering Willy around has just kept me too busy to hit the keyboard.
And, I just discovered that this blog post will be relatively easy, as Willy has covered the whole Lexington tour and other areas – and also has a better camera than I do, so I don’t have to post anything about it!
The ‘Lexington Tour’ is of a WWII era aircraft carrier moored permanently in Corpus Christi, Tx.
But here is one area he did not cover. We found these ‘walk the planks’ out on the very front of the ship, and you can even walk out on the fenced one – way, way up over the water! We asked what they were for, once we figured out that this was the bow of the boat and not the stern as we had originally figured .
The ship had two catapults used to launch the planes off the deck. The catapult runs in a rail mounted flush with the surface of the flight deck, and a hook pulls the front wheel of the plane during launch. These ramps held the end of the catapult track so the hook assembly dropped out of the way of the exiting aircraft, before moving back to launch the next plane. So now we know.
On a day tour we headed north up island, onto Mustang island, to Port Aransas, then on a free ferry over to Aransas Pass on the mainland.
As ferries go, it was a fairly standard one that held perhaps 20 cars plum full for the 500 yd crossing. But what was unique to me was that there were about 4 ferry docks on each side of the crossing, and as many boats; so there was always one or two loading or unloading at the same time. I saw one dolphin surface briefly while loading. From there we headed further north through Rockport, Fulton, then across another causeway to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge near Austwell.
We wanted to see if any of our ‘Canadian’ whooping cranes were visible, but only saw a variety of other species. Another first for me, though was I believe my first sighting of a wild alligator! Photo courtesy of Wandering Willy.
Most of the birds at the refuge were too far away for my camera, but there were these wild turkeys around the headquarters area.
This beach we are camped on runs for an uninterrupted 60 miles of wilderness. I drove down to the 5 mile marker where the signs warn of deteriorating travel conditions, and the usual smuggler/alien signs common in these border areas. The coast guard patrols the coast regularly with their helicopter, and they also cruise the beach with the Lear jet at about 200’ elevation. After almost a week camped on the beach, I have finally seen my first watercraft out here. It appeared to be servicing or fueling an offshore oil platform. But we have seen no recreational anglers in boats (lots on shore), no canoes, nor kayaks or PWC’s, or trawlers or shrimp boats, even though the sea has been relatively calm.
I was having coffee on the beach this morning, and was pleased to see a couple of dolphins swimming by. I think that means that there are no sharks in the area? I was also pleased that I was able to actually able to capture one on (digital) film.
Other than that, Hailey and I have just been hanging out on the beach, enjoying the sea breeze, the relative solitude, and the many birds that frequent the area. On a hike back into the dunes, I also saw about 5 white-tailed deer, and three sandhill cranes flew by low and slow.
Now, go to the blog of Wandering Willy and check out our tour of the Lexington!