Shipwreck at Surfside

Shipwreck at Surfside

Dec 16, 2016 - As you ascend the bridge on Hwy 332 over the Intracoastal Canal going towards Surfside, look off to the northeast. There is a large rusty boat lying on its side in the marsh. I have seen it for years and always intend to try to get closer for a some shots. A few weeks ago the weather had turned sunny and we were driving around a bit off our usual route and ... there is was.

The Google map shows the ship circled in RED at the top right, the bridge is shown in the bottom left.

We quickly got out and started taking photos. It is fairly close from the end of the subdivision streets, but you are limited in the angle.

Shipwreck on the horizon - Edited with Topaz Simplify

Shipwreck on the horizon - Edited with Topaz Simplify

Here is a wide angle view of the ship from the end of the street. This part of Surfside has canals fronting the houses on stilts and lots of private boats. Beach houses in Surfside range from mega-mansions to OMG-is-that-thing-safe? I know I looked up city housing requirements once and they do require ramps for wheelchairs if you intend to rent your beach house, but some structures look rather shaky. There was one house we used to pass that was never repaired after Ike and one day.... it was just gone.

Mis Hijas out of Freeport, Texas

Mis Hijas out of Freeport, Texas

Here is a view zoomed close up. This is a BIG ship. We had always thought it was a shrimper, but I think it might have been a charter fishing boat. Lots of clear areas for customers to try their hand at fishing in the Gulf.

Mis Hijas translates to My Girl.

A study in rust

A study in rust

And a close up of the propeller and general decay. While we were photographing the ship a resident came out to make sure we weren't up to any mischief or going to dump trash. Bill Maroldo asked him about the boat and he told us the Coast Guard had brought it in from somewhere and anchored it next to the Intracoastal Canal. He didn't say when or why this had happened, but it was then moved to the present location by the winds and tides of Hurricane Ike. That would have been in 2008.

We were told the owner was "a guy with a lot of money who was put away for a long, long time" so I suppose the boat is in no danger of being moved or recovered. I can find nothing on the web under the boat's name or number, only a few arty photos such as the ones we took. Now, it is only speculation that the owner was a pirate but it could be true....

If you know anything more or even contrary to this story, please let me know in the comments!

Photo taken looking toward Surfside just after Ike. The caption is wrong, this is Hwy 332 and the shipwreck would be off to your left.

Photo taken looking toward Surfside just after Ike. The caption is wrong, this is Hwy 332 and the shipwreck would be off to your left.

Just a reminder of the destruction of Hurricane Ike. Surfside was south of the eye, which put it on the "clean side" of the counter-clockwise rotation.  Meaning it got less wind and rain than the "dirty side" which obliterated the towns on the Bolivar peninsula. We travel this road all the time; in fact Old Broken Wing hangs out under the Intracoastal Canal bridge.

Eight years y'all. We could get another storm any year.

Boot Road in Surfside

Boot Road in Surfside

We go to Surfside often; this is a great old fence along the marsh fairly close to the shipwreck. The roads all have proper names but we have renamed them; this is Boot Road. I have photographed Green Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Herons and even a Great Blue Heron perched on these fence posts. And a Swamp Sparrow.

Crime Scene - this was a Clapper Rail

Crime Scene - this was a Clapper Rail

And last time we were scouting out Crab Road, we found this next to the canal. Obviously a Clapper Rail provided a tasty meal for a wandering hawk. You just hate to come up on these scenes and you have to keep repeating "Circle of Life, Circle of Life".

Tricolored Heron off Casco Road in Surfside

Tricolored Heron off Casco Road in Surfside

You didn't think I would do an adventure with NO bird, did you? This high-stepping Tricolored Heron was in the new pond formed by last summer's pipeline construction near the Intracoastal Canal bridge. The surrounding marsh connects to a large lagoon that is open to the Canal, so it is somewhat affected by the tide. Fish must get trapped in the shallow waters when the tides recede and it has become a premier fishing spot for the waders.

Sorry about no EXIF data on the photos this week; I am in the midst of setting up my new computer and copying data for back up.

Christmas is just around the corner so I will be taking a short break until after the holidays. The weather has been chancy and although we have been out a few times, the results have been sketchy. Thanks SO MUCH to all the readers who commented on the Let's Talk About Light article - both here and on Facebook - and I do plan to do more of those next year. And I also want to do more posts on bird behavior. Knowing what the bird might do often gives you a better opportunity to get a great picture.

So, this is it until we ring in the New Year! Merry Christmas to all and I hope Santa brings you joy and peace (and great photographic toys!)

Going to the Dark Side

Going to the Dark Side

 Let's Talk About Light

Let's Talk About Light