Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Feathers and “Fins”

with one comment

Having killed our rats and brought Saturday’s projects to  stopping points, we deemed Sunday the perfect day to get out enjoy living on the coast. We don’t just go around “deeming” indiscriminately, by the way, so you know I’m not exaggerating.

I rummaged around in the shed till I found a yellow motorbike, backed her out and, in true Charlie Daniels fashion, ‘ jumped on and fired that mother up’.  That lucky Bluff girl settled her sweet self behind me and, to quote my favorite redhead, we were “off like a June bride’s panties”.

Traffic on the JFK causeway wasn’t too bad, with the exception of some dick head was too busy playing with his cell phone to stay a respectable distance from my taillight. I didn’t exactly twist the wick, but I tweaked it, a little, getting over the Intercoastal Bridge and took the exit that leads to interesting places by the Intercoastal Waterway, including “Clem’s Marina”.

Clem’s is home to some boats and a nice fishing pier, all near the grass beds that are an important part of the food chain.  I spotted some nice-sized redfish feeding while Jill was photographing a few sea birds, including brown pelicans. I remarked that I don’t remember seeing Brown Pelicans until about ten years ago.

In times past, the use of DDT and other chemicals ending up in the bays and estuaries caused the pelican eggs to become brittle and thin, cutting the birth rate till the birds were on the verge of disappearing.  The use of those pesticides was banned and the pelicans survived.
Unlike the white pelicans, which are shy and form flocks, the brown ones are solitary and are more at home around human activity.

Jill got the photographs she wanted, we mounted (the motorcycle) and scramanosed (as we say in Español) for the State Highway formerly known as “Park Road 53” which would take us to the burgeoning metropolis of Port Aransas, Texas.

Port Aransas (originally “Sand Point”) has been a tourist destination since, at least, the turn of the 20th century.  The catching and eating of fish have been important industries and pastimes since before the first European set foot on the island;  worthy restaurants abound.
Jill had her eye on a place called, “Fins”, near the ship channel that allows large vessels to make their way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Port of Corpus Christi.

Fins’ parking lot was nearly full, partially due to a charter boat operation next door.  From our table on Fin’s deck we could see a charter unloading its customers and their catches.

Our first visit to Fins left us entirely impressed.  Their thick red seafood gumbo is the cook’s own recipe.  As with New Orleans (and Flour Bluff) gumbo, there is not a hint of okra.  Crab replaces shrimp, and there are big chunks of fish Andouille sausage.  Fins has not seen the last of me.

While Jill finished her tea, I wander to the end of the deck to get a photo of the boat docked next door.  The “Gulf Eagle” was a pretty impressive craft, from my vantage point.

From that vantage, I could also see the deck hands bringing out the catch and calling for the charters to pick up what they’d caught.

By the time we’d left the restaurant much of the catch had been distributed but it was obvious that the fishermen had a good day.

We’d decided to ride around the bay and take a coffee break in town. It’s a motorcyclist’s perk to shortcut past the long line of cars waiting for the Port Aransas ferry.

We crossed the ship channel and semi-circumnavigated the bay.  The wind had come up, some, as we made our way across the long Nueces Bay Causeway and over Corpus Christi’s Harbor Bridge.  Other motorcyclists in the wind, both figuratively and literally, gave us the low wave in recognition of our coolness.

We’re alive and in Texas.

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Written by fiddle mike

June 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Texas

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Lovely photos Mike – I am a seafood fanatic so your restaurant really sounded perfect to me, whenever we go out to eat I am looking first for seafood, if we are way inland then I look for fresh water fish… we can get good Salmon/Trout and prawns and if all else fails then I go to meat! A good read, I’ll be back!

    Andrew aka the Rider

    June 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

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