Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Four days ago we left Houston Texas, dragging a barge full of black gold towards Corpus Christi.
It's a trip that normally only takes 24 hours.

But Mother Nature was up to her old tricks again. The first 24 hours found us running at full speed, which is a blistering 9 knots.
That's right, 9 knots. Race horses run twice as fast.
We like to say we're built for power not speed. It makes us feel good to say that for some reason.

When we arrived at the entrance to Aransas Pass, the waterway that would allow us to get to our dock, we were informed that there was no room at the Inn, so to speak.
No dock space.
Our only choice was to stay outside the entrance, in the Gulf of Mexico, and run very slow, in circles, waiting for the ok to go in.

The next 2 days the fog set in, thick as pea soup, so we continued our pattern of doing big slow circles, waiting.
There's something about running for three days, in circles, going nowhere, seeing nothing, that grates on me. It's a mental thing, and I do have issues.
It's like being in your car and driving around the block, in a circle, at 5 miles an hour, for 3 days. It's just more fun to drive 60 on the interstate, isn't it?

What drove me crazy was I couldn't even play with my camera. You can only take so many pictures of fog, before you loose your audience. Not even a bird showed up. I guess they don't like fog either.

Finally today, the fog lifted and we were invited in by the river pilots, to the friendly confines of Aransas Pass.

The sea buoy was the first thing that interested me in days. Finally, a subject.

As we motored into the channel, a lone gull came out to do a fly-by. Just checking us out.

I was so happy to see something other than fog, that I was photographing anything.
I was like a deranged gunman with a AK-47, just shooting away.
Even driftwood was making my pulse increase.

Then one of my favorite subjects appeared, just for a peek.

This guy seemed to be sounding the alarm to his feathered friends, telling them it could quite possibly be feeding time.

This guy was the first one to the table, executing a perfect nose dive, to feast on some local delicacies.

Our propellers turning at 250 RPM must churn up those unsuspecting morsels just right, because after the word got out....

more visitors showed up.

And then all hell broke loose!

It was like feeding time at the zoo.


Alison said...

Oh my goodness - I can't begin to imagine what that must have been like..... going round and round in the fog for three days... Aaagh!

Karen said...

OK, first... I could never do what you do. Nope, not made of the stuff that would let me wait out three days in slow circles in the fog. You're made of steel.

Love the bird shots, how cool! Pelicans remind me of prehistoric times... good captures!

SueAnn said...

Great series of photos Mark!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Awesome shots....I'd go crazy circling like that...glad your scenery changed! Have a wonderful leap day!

Marilyn said...

Wow! Love that last picture of the pelican. I don't think I could sit there for even a day in the fog. What do you do? It would drive me crazy. You must be a man of great patience.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I would lose my flippin' mind out there, seriously.

Thank goodness the birds showed up!!

Jerral Miles said...

Love these birds, especially the vivid pelican.