KAYAKING WITH PORPOISES
by: Eddie Trapp
Sunday, July 8, Carol and Junior came to Galveston to fish with Jean, Zack, and me after we had seen Shark Boy in action. Spent night in Galveston and Monday morning stopped at Randall’s, an Albertson type, huge grocery. If you live in a small town or rural area are you amazed at stores like these as I am? An olive bar with seventeen kinds of olives, some as big as golf balls. Well, almost. Just scoop out how many you want at about five dollars a pound.
As we drove toward San Luis Pass, as promised, I stopped to interview the ancient Slim Reissiz who parks a mile or so west of Galveston on FM 3005 near some horse stables. Hand painted signs on his pickup side boards offer pecans and Mexican vanilla. On the back it says, “There goes Slim.” He says he is seventy five but to me he looks a hundred and five. Day after day he mans his post. Sunday had been his slowest day in twenty six years as he only grossed eighty five dollars, far from his average of about four hundred. His pickup seat beside him is piled high with everything imaginable. Good luck, Slim. Hope to see you again soon.
Today we planned to assault the place Shark Boy had been. Before crossing the $2.00 toll bridge over San Luis Pass we drove around the edge of the bay and caught a lot of mullet with cast nets to use for bait in case there were none at our fishing place. At the Shark Boy place we caught catfish, whiting, and sharks but nothing very large. Junior and I unloaded kayaks and planned to paddle out to an oil rig that looked about an inch tall from shore. After paddling out over a mile the rig still looked about an inch tall so we anchored in the big waves, or swells, and caught more fish but nothing large. An hour later the up and down kayak was making me sea sick so we paddled back to shore with the south wind speeding us along. Our twelve foot kayaks performed like surf boards as we neared the white water and was a lot of fun. Caught more fish from the shore.
Tuesday we returned to the same place but the wind was too high to fish. At the west end of the toll bridge we drove down to the bay side. Right next to the very nice San Luis Pass County Park. There we were able to fish away from the strong southwest wind. At the north end of the park ten to twelve porpoises cruised back and forth. Junior says they stay in the area almost continually. As the fishing slowed I unloaded our kayak and paddled toward the porpoises, or dolphins as we call them. Easing into their midst I wondered if they would tip me over. Many times I’ve seen these critters around Galveston but never from this close. Each time they surface the first thing they do is exhale and blow water out of the hole on top of their head. Then they inhale before going back under. Only above water for about three seconds. I had observed this from a distance many times but this was the first time to be so close that I could hear the air as it whooshed out of the hole. Some would come within five yards of me and if they were behind me I would hear the blowing noise and jerk my head around to see how close. Loaded up and went to try our regular spot southeast of the toll bridge.
There we caught several fish and I saw a man nearby with an expensive pickup and camper top on the back. You may remember years ago I told of visiting with a man that taught at Chicago University. This guy was parked in the same spot so I went by to talk. Sure nuff, it was Professor Pete, now retired and he had been camped there at the pass for ten days. Had a generator to power his air conditioning and big screen computer. All the comforts of home. We quit fishing early that day, cleaned up back at the room, and went to Salsa’s Restaurant by the seawall to watch the All Star baseball game. Three of us drank water and Jean had tea. Why mention that? Read on.
Wednesday morning was pouring rain and windy. News on television announced an E. coli advisory for Galveston Island. Everyone boil your drinking water. Made us wish we hadn’t had water and tea the night before. Afraid to even brush our teeth. With the bad weather and bad drinking water we decided to move on toward the ferry, cross and start home. Convenience stores had signs announcing the E. coli and no carbonated fountain drinks would be sold. Just made me want one that much worse. After the ferry ride we were officially off of Galveston Island and a different water supply allowed us to get a sody water.
Friday I carried On The River, Volume Six to the printer in Paris and it will be ready soon. Volume six contains articles 601-700 that were originally published from 2000-2002. To order your copy call 903 439 8110 or email me at the address at the end of this article.
Make sure your dogs and other pets have plenty of shade and water. Maybe buy a mister, a small water hose with tiny holes in it that make a mist to keep your dog cool. Birds will come and take a shower in it to fight the heat. If you don’t want a mister, at least keep a pan out with water in it about two inches deep so birds can bathe.
Things you’ll never hear a daddy say: Well how bout that? We’re lost and will have to stop and ask directions. You know, Punkin, you’re thirteen now and ready to start dating. Here’s my credit card and keys to my new car. Have fun. What do you mean you want to play football? Isn’t ice skating good enough for you? Your mother and I are going away for the weekend. Why don’t you plan a big party? No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring so quit griping; we’re going to the mall. What do you mean you’re getting a job? Don’t I make enough money for you?