We’re on vacation. What do you call it when you’re retired and you go on a trip? Vacation doesn’t seem quite right. Every day is a vacation when you’re retired! Road trip sounds a little better. I guess it doesn’t matter. We’re not home, we’re not volunteering, and we’re not driving between volunteer locations. So, road trip!
One of my favorite places in Texas is Rockport. I love being around water.
BR (before retirement) every year we would spend a week or so at Goose Island State Park in Rockport. Usually we would come down here during the week of Thanksgiving. Seems like back then we spent all our time bird watching. We’d go out on Capt. Tommy’s boat, the Skimmer, to see the Whooping Cranes, and hit all the birding hot spots. These days we don’t spend as much time birding and have enjoyed finding other tourist attractions.
There is a very small, but nice, aquarium in town that is only open 1-4pm, 5 days a week. Entrance is free and there are enthusiastic volunteers waiting to answer questions and give helpful information.
A replica of the state-record blue marlin was donated to the aquarium last year. It weighs in at 972.2 pounds and is approximately 11 feet long.
State-record Blue Marlin
This cutie “Marley” is a Leopard Moray Eel. Marley was donated to the aquarium after the local restaurant he lived in closed in 2011. He’s about 5 feet long and is hand-fed shrimp and fish. Every 3 days he gets his favorite meal, mahi-mahi. Donated by the local HEB.
This Orange Filefish (Aluterus schoepfii) can be found at depths of 3,000 feet. It often drifts in sea grass with its head pointed down to camouflage itself.
The Lookdown fish (Selene vomer) is capable of making loud grunts with its swim bladder!
The Gulf Toadfish (Opsanus beta) looks a lot like a rock. The sign says they are not venomous, just ugly. It is one of just a few fish that can make sounds loud enough for people to hear.
Always a favorite of mine, the Seahorse tank. There are 54 species in the genus Hippocampus (hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster”).
Next time - a few more interesting fish and something you might not know about the Texas state shell!