Category Archives: Destinations

Celebrating our Nation’s Independence Day from a Boat!!!!

By: Donna Chance, Texas Marine Writer / Blogger

Celebrating the 4th with Friends and Family

There are so many unique ways to celebrate the birth of our great nation, on the 4th of July. Many families love to do backyard BBQ’s with home spun fireworks displays. Others can’t wait to go out to patriotic parties, watch patriotic movies or attend one of the many world class fireworks shows! ? They take place in cities and towns all across America!

Kemah Fireworks Show Top 10 In The Nation

This year a local area event has won the honor of becoming one of the Top #10 firework shows in the nation to watch from a boat! It was the Kemah Boardwalk’s 4th of July Fireworks Show in Texas. The very best way to see this show is from your boat. If you have one, do not miss this one of a kind experience. It is well worth the effort. If you do not have one go check out the many exciting boats that has to offer. Can you imagine being out on Galveston Bay in a 2019 Avalon 25′ Catalina Entertainment with its own fiberglass bistro. It is like having your own all inclusive resort on the water. This pontoon island has 4 barstools, 2 front and back cabana loungers for watching the fireworks from! To read the full article on the “Top 10” events in the U.S. CLICK HERE! Also, check out this gorgeous image of the event courtesy of Landry Inc.

Rock the Dock Party

Also, the Rock the Dock party on the 4th at the boardwalk is wildly popular and shaping up to be the best one yet. There will be bands like Diamond Jack playing out on the boardwalk with lots of other great activities going on before the show begins at 9:30 pm, over Galveston Bay. The boardwalk is loaded with plenty of other stuff to do as well. If you are hungry there is several restaurants to choose from like the Aquarium Restaurant, The Flying Dutchman, Bills Burgers of New York, Bubba Gump, Landry’s Seafood and more. There is also plenty of snack shops from funnel cakes to Starbucks, whatever you could want is there. For those wishing to stay overnight there is a hotel to stay at, right on the Boardwalk.

Plenty to Do

The Kemah Boardwalk itself has so much to do and you will not be able to finish it all. There are various entertainment stages, wild rides, amusements, a train, a marina, a general store, cruising, remote control boat pond, games galore, a fantastic zipline and the famous Boardwalk Bullet rollercoaster. For more info on attending the celebrations CLICK HERE

Bigfoot Finds His Way To Crystal Beach!

By: Donna Chance, Texas Marine Writer / Blogger

Do you believe?

Bigfoot makes his way to Crystal Beach
By Cody & Destiny Martin


Local resident claims he recently spotted a dark figure resembling Bigfoot on Goat Island.

Commercial fisherman Delino Comeaux says he was out checking his crab traps on the foggy morning of February 10 when he witnessed what appeared to be a hairy, upright-standing figure near the water’s edge of Elmgrove Point.

“I had just got done pulling my last trap into the boat, and I spotted some movement out of the corner of my eye. At first glance, it looked like a big hog, but then it stood up on two legs.” Comeaux says at that point the creature retreated back into the overgrown vegetation of the island.

Other Nearby Sightings

Late last year, a photographer from Galveston, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported seeing a similar being near the Point Bolivar Lighthouse. “I came to capture some of Bolivar’s beauty at dusk and saw what I thought to be a large, ape-like animal through the lens of my camera. When I looked with my naked eye, it was gone. Just like that!”

Sightings of Sasquatch, as he is known in the South, are a fairly common occurrence, though there have never been reports of the unproven creature being seen on the Bolivar Peninsula until now, according to the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy.

Why Here

Resident believers have theorized that the misunderstood monster may have been seeking warmer climates due to global cooling and receding ocean levels, and found himself in the vicinity of the timbered area of Anahuac during the time of Hurricane Ike in 2008. Following the storm, he was most likely caught on a raft of pine trees that became lodged on Goat Island, and as a result has been living there ever since. It is also purported that the primate survives on crabs, oysters, and shrimp. Assumedly, he may be a pescetarian.

But after years in hiding, Bigfoot is ready to embrace the boundless experiences Bolivar Peninsula has to offer. From Spring Break to Labor Day, and every weekend in between, catch him enjoying the sights, sounds, and local events that make Crystal Beach so unique. Photo ops will be available every Saturday through the summer at the Big Store. Follow their Facebook page @TheBigStore for more details.

To read more here is a link to the current issue:

Family Vacations for Boating

It’s about to be that time of year again. You know, the time when you pack up the entire family and hit the road for that long awaited family vacation. Most families do not realize how close they are when traveling, the American interstate system, to some of the nation’s best boating hotspots. So, this summer it would be well worth your while to budget in extra time for some boating pleasures. The chances of you being near the perfect fishing, swimming, exploring, skiing or just cruising lakes, oceans, reservoirs or rivers is highly likely. Get out the old map or simply google it and you will likely see a myriad of opportunities that will be worth towing along the family funship! Checkout these “Family Vacations for Boating.”

In Texas, alone, there are hundreds of massive lakes, reservoirs, bays, ocean inlets and rivers to launch at. In Louisiana, the Salt Water launch opportunities off I-10 (East or West) are endless. If you love Saltwater fishing and you are heading down I-10 take a trip over to Galveston Bay and launch at anyone of the dozens of marinas or public use boat ramps that string their way along the coastline right off the I-10 corridor between Orange and Houston.

Here is a map of the lakes you have access to in Texas alone-Click Here

Here is a map to the beach accesses along part of the I-10 coastline you have access to:

Don’t forget to bring the fishing and skiing equipment also. At most marinas they also have equipment rental available, so don’t let a forgotten ski get in your way. Head on out into the great unknown this summer but don’t forget your boat when you leave. It will be well worth the extra trouble.




Top Boating App for Navigation

To get the App…………….Click Here

World’s Most Popular Marine & Lakes App! A favorite among boaters. Find the same detailed charts that are on GPS plotters. This app includes the overwhelming value of Navionics+. Alternatively, you may have found a free version on the store offering basic features but Navionics+ can be purchased In-App.

NAVIONICS+ includes:
Chart layers you can purchase that will permanently reside on your device:
-NAUTICAL CHART for all essential cartographic reference detail. The most accurate and thorough set of information based on Hydrographic Office data, Notices to Mariners, new publications, our own surveys, and reports from users. It provides port plans, safety depth contours, marine services info, tides & currents, navigation aids and more.
-SONARCHART™ HD bathymetry maps with up to 1 foot contours featuring extraordinary bottom contour detail, great for increasing awareness of shallow waters and locating fishing areas at any depth level. Be part of the community and contribute by uploading your sonar logs to enhance it.
– COMMUNITY EDITS made by users (rocks, wrecks, etc.) and shared for all to benefit.
√ CHART UPDATES: we deliver more than 2,000 updates every day! Take advantage of our updates as frequently as you like.
√ ADVANCED MAP OPTIONS to highlight Shallow Areas, select Depth Shading, filter Depth Contours, and adjust shorelines to selected Water Level. Includes a Fishing Mode.
√ NAVIGATION MODULE for advanced route planning with ETA, distance to arrival, heading to WP, fuel consumption and more!
√ DOCK-TO-DOCK AUTOROUTING quickly creates detailed routes even through narrow waterways and channels, based on chart data and navigation aids. POIs are automatically shown nearby your destination.
Note: Download detailed maps by zooming in or from Menu>Download Map. Tap Menu>Update All to keep your charts updated. Check for coverage.

featPermanent FEATURES available in this app:
TRACK your journey, view speed, distance, time and COG. Save to archive, see stats and playback.
ROUTES: create and edit, based on speed and fuel consumption.
Measure DISTANCE, add MARKERS, get WIND FORECASTS and sun/moon cycles.
MAP OPTIONS: Satellite/Terrain, Safety Depth and Easy View (not on Govt. Charts).
SYNC Tracks, Routes & Markers among your mobile devices.
MAGAZINES & GUIDES for location-based articles.
SONARCHART™ LIVE – connect wirelessly to a sounder to create your HD bathymetry map in real time. Select devices also allow for a fishfinder in split-screen. Logs are uploaded to Navionics automatically to enhance SonarChart™.
PLOTTER SYNC – Raymarine Wi-Fi enabled plotter owners can transfer routes and markers, upload sonar logs for improved SonarCharts™ and update their eligible plotter card connecting to Navionics through this mobile app.

Does not include Bermuda, which can be found on Boating Caribbean & South America. Visit for the lake list.

Updates are available with iOS 7.0 or higher devices. GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. To enjoy our charts in HD, search our apps for iPad.

Newly Updated Features

· Dock-to-dock Autorouting, a unique breakthrough in boating navigation, quickly creates detailed routes even through narrow waterways and channels, based on chart data and navigation aids. POI nearby the destination like the harbor master, marinas and moorings, fuel stations, restaurants and bars, shops, taxis, launch services and more, now appear automatically within the Autorouting menu (requires Navionics+ subscription)!
· New POI categories added.
· Get chart details directly on-screen with new cross hair info box and access with one tap.
· Redesign of Menu for easier access to archives
· Bug fixing and optimization
· Attention: detailed coverage of Hong Kong is temporarily removed.



The National Park Service: 100 Year Birthday Bash celebrations will begin in earnest in 2016. They are inviting visitors from around the nation to come enjoy the celebrations at a nearby national park! Celebrations will be going on all year round from essay and photo contests to actual events taking place at the parks themselves. These events will be fun for the entire family, so be sure and watch for them.

The National Park System began in 1872 with its first real park “Yellowstone” and went on to embrace over 450 sites in the United States. The service to take care of these national treasures finally came around 1916. The various categories these parks fall into are National Parks, National Monuments, National Memorials, National Military Parks, National Historic Sites, National Parkways, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, National Scenic Railways, National Scenic Trails and more. Yellowstone was the beginning of this great story and President Teddy Roosevelt took the park service to a whole new level. Read about its history and the upcoming celebrations at the link below.

National Park Service Story………………………………..Click Here

Share Your Story

Big Thicket National Preserve’s Celebrations:

Big Thicket Centennial Photo Contest


The Benefits for Families who Engage in the Great Outdoors

The Benefits for Families who Engage in the Great Outdoors are numerous! In a world driven by technology, it’s simple to forget the natural world surrounding us. Rarely do you see children in public today that do not have their eyes glued to a screen of some sort. Bring your children to spend time in the outdoors and teach them the benefits of that.

Each minute that kids spend in front of electronics is another minute they’re not spending time outdoors! Here are some reasons you should raise your kids in the outdoors!

Teach Them Patience

What better lesson to teach your children then the virtue of patience! Hunting can be a fantastic lesson that patience and perseverance can lead to great reward.

Encourage Activity

Staying active helps reduce stress and anxiety, and can help children with both behavioral issues and attention spans.

 Educate Them

The more you educate them now, the more they know in the future. Help to promote self-sufficiency for future generations.

Keep Them Healthy

Let them run. Let them jump. Let them climb. A healthy childhood can lead to a long-term healthy lifestyle.

Spark Their Curiosity

Get your kids involved and interested in the outdoors. Show them things they’ve never learned before and let them ask questions. Fresh air is good for the mind, body and soul. Get your kids outdoors and let them appreciate all it has to offer!




Winter Fishing Hotspots in Texas & Louisiana


If spending you’re winter months watching fishing shows and tinkering with your boat just wont do, then don’t do it! Hit the road Jack! Check out one of these incredible fishing spots to get in on some action. If you can take the weather above ground, the fish are more than happy to accommodate you below the surface. Who said you can’t fish in the winter. Remember the old cliché “Where there is a will, there is a way!” It couldn’t be more true when it comes to winter fishing for any determined angler. If you are winter fishing in Louisiana, near Venice, try a favorite local hotspot there. Just on the NW corner of Trinity Barrier Island (Lake Pelto side), offshore from the beach, resides a couple square miles of a fisherman’s paradise. Be careful getting there because the seas are normally choppy and there can be quite a lot of fog. The local charter captains call it “Horse Shoe Reef.” It is filled with a virtual smorgasbord of edible species. The entire area between Wine Island Pass and Whiskey Island, on the lakeside, is extremely productive fishing. The closest jumping off point would be Boudreaux’s Marina off Hwy 56, near Cocodrie. Two of the more popular game fish are Yellow Fin Tuna and Wahoo. They can be the most fun to catch; however, a tasty 300 lb Mako will give any angler a run for his money. The Yellow Fin average upwards of 110 pounds and the Wahoo are around 75 pounds. If you’re not in the mood for these two species, there are numerous Amberjacks, Black Fin Tuna, Mackerel, Grouper and Snapper (check seasonal restrictions).

Here are the actual coordinates for Horse Shoe Reef: Horse Shoe Reef Map Entergy Fishing Plant


There are some exciting winter fishing opportunities in the form of lakes used to supply cooling water to electrical generation plants in Texas. These 20+ unique areas furnish tremendous prospects for anglers. A Southeast Texas favorite is the Neches River Canal near the Entergy Power Plant outflow on the Bridge City side of the Rainbow Bridge (above). The unintended benefits of these areas are that the water stays warm year round, attracting fish like magnets. Some of these lakes have tournaments, so you can fish them during the week if you prefer less traffic. The warmth is usually highest at the outfall of the power plant and will get colder the further away you get. Be sure to pay attention to your boats fishfinder with its temperate readings. Also, the output and intake creates a current. It would be to your benefit to locate it. If its freshwater, Bass love hanging out on the edge of the current. The trick is to find the fish’s comfort zone; that is where they will congregate. Remember just because there is a power plant on a lake doesn’t mean it is running. Many power plants only run when the demand is greater; in Texas that is summer. In the case of the Entergy Plant above, it may also be closed during a hard freeze. Its cold out there so you may want to check before you head out.

Here are a few of the Texas lakes you may want to try this winter:

Martin Creek Lake

Lake Fairfield

Lake Welsh

Lake Bastrop

Lake Monticello

Fayette County Reservoir

Calaveras Lake

Braunig Lake

Coleto Creek Reservoir

Lake E. Walter Long

Gibbons Creek Reservoir

Lake Graham

Brandy Branch Reservoir

Squaw Creek Reservoir

2015 Rendezvous: Learn the Art of Fresh/Saltwater Fly-Tying

  • At the 2015 Rendezvous: Learn the Art of Fresh/Saltwater Fly-Tying on Toledo Bend. Have you ever wanted to learn the art of tying a fly. There are clinics all over the state to learn thisFlytying 3 (Custom) fun and addictive hobby for the entire family. One of the most popular is the 2015 Rendezvous where even kids can learn the art of fly-tying their own bait to fishing in fresh or saltwater. Texas now has plenty of opportunity to try out this type of fishing in its coldest rivers, like the Guadalupe near Canyon Dam, but also in Saltwater at the coast. More and more Texans are enjoying fly-fishing in saltwater. Not even a decade ago you rarely heard of anglers in this state who were remotely interested, now it is really catching on.

FlyTying 1 (Small)The Toledo Bend 2015 Rendezvous is a great weekend loaded with fellow fly-tying aficionados to teach you the ins and outs of this intriguing hobby for the entire family. The grounds and accommodations are set up for families and singles to participate comfortably. For more information on this event…………………Click HereFlytying 4 (Custom)



If you are interested in learning to fly-fish the flats in saltwater or simply casting techniques that can be used in the river or at the beach try this popular Orvis video for instructions on all this and more………..Click Here to View.

Nationally Recognized S.E. Texas Artist-David Cargill

Tucked away in a quiet little “Ole Town” Beaumont neighborhood is a whimsical little piece of property all its own, an island of artistic passion loaded with an eclectic array of sculptures, paintings andCargil 5 stained glass pieces. Who knew that “Nationally Recognized S.E. Texas Artist-David Cargill” was endeavoring to produce such a magnificent repository of his life’s work behind the those architecturally  interesting gates to the entrance of his home.


As you step inside the gates, a sudden otherworldly sense of charm begins to permeate the place and you feel as though you’ve entered a foreign land, somewhere in Europe perhaps.  Meandering through the various nooks and crannies of the perfectly staged vignettes, that have been so painstakingly developed over the years, one feels truly blessed to be wandering in such a magical place. Everywhere the eye catches is a secret waiting to be discovered. There were things such as a small child peaking out from behind a bush and a Jesus statue gloriously raising His exceptionally large hands to the sky with a joyous passion that can not help but permeate the soul of its admirers. This place is filled with artistic pieces of every size, shape and caliber, with no one particular theme dominating over another.

One would expect to find mainly large pieces of Bronze statues at the home, similar to his well-known commissioned pieces, such as the Mirabeau B. Lamar head in the quadrangle at Lamar University. To the pathfinders delight there is everything from marble sculptures (like those of Michelangelo) to bronze children playing in the yard with gorgeous green patinas covering their aging bodies. There is even a clay terracotta piece stretched out lazily in a small venue near the house. Also, the artist has included everything from serious pieces like the image of Jesus dying on the cross with the details of that moment piercing through this facial expressions to a large funny camel in the side-yard with Eve standing on it’s back picking the apple. During the entire outdoor adventure the viewers eyes are continually drawn towards a massive plate glass window to catch a glimpse of towering overstuffed bookshelves, just waiting to be discovered inside the artists home.

Cargil 7Once inside the real joy begins as this artist studio and workshop reveals its most prized possessions. A favorite of many is the tall thick tree whose entire trunk is carved with intricate detail to tell a story and was titled “The Garden of Eden.” The artist wife was an amazing painter and artist all her own. The paintings adorn nearly every wall in the home adding a whole other dimension to the experience. One feels as though they have entered a museum. The perusing of the numerous old books, including a ancient hymnal from an old Church or monastery in Spain and an 1829 “Pilgrims Progress” was a great finish to this unexpected, yet momentous occasion.

Gulf of Mexico Wildlife Series: Pufferfish

Many people around the country have no ideal about the rich diversity of wildlife inhabiting the Gulf of Mexico waters. The Gulf Basin is so large that it is like an ocean, which explains its unexpected variety of species. Its is the ninth largest body of water on planet earth at 617,800 sq miles and up to 14,383 feet deep. This “Gulf of Mexico Wildlife Series: Pufferfish” will be covering the Puffer and many other species, along with their locations to Gulf coastal communities.

The first in the series of unusual inhabitants is the distinguished Pufferfish. Most do not realize the species even resides in the Gulf waters. Its unusual looks come from its ability to inflate itself when it feels threatened. It literally blows itself up like a balloon. It is located mainly in the South and Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It can be found in coastal shallow waters, such as bays and estuaries, near bridges, pilings and piers. Some may be found at depths up to 60 feet, in offshore waters. Its broad blunt head with oversize eyes tapers down toward the tail and it has prickly spikes on its brown skin with  black to grey spots. The male Puffer’s are usually covered in reddish-orange spots during spawning season. These fish tend to be solitary creatures but will hangout together, on occasion, at favorite hotspots, such as a good cover of pilings or a bridge.

Don’t ever try to feed on onePuffer fish in Gulf of these little guys. According to Wikipedia “Pufferfish are generally believed to be the second-most poisonous vertebrate in the world, just after the golden poison frog. Certain internal organs, such as liver, and sometimes the skin, contain tetrodotoxin and are highly toxic to most animals when eaten; nevertheless, the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in places like Japan when prepared by specially trained chefs, who know which part is safe to eat and in what quantity. This fish is just one of the many fascinating creatures out in the Gulf of Mexico making Saltwater fishing an adventure, to say the least.