Friday, January 23, 2015

New Skyline of Port Isabel -- 1/12/2014

Herb and I are driving to Port Isabel from Brownsville on Hwy 48 when he says, "What is that???  It appears to be in the ship channel."  As we get into town we turn right onto Port Road to get a closer look.

We aren't the only ones.  Several cars are in the area, turning toward the street that leads to the Laguna Madre Yacht Club clubhouse. 

A beautiful sight to behold is a drilling rig.  We see the water marks and think it had been in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps moved to make way for the USS Constellation aircraft carrier that is due to come in to the Port of Brownsville for wrecking.  

Noble Driller

Herb writes a friend who has knowledge of those things, but gets a reply telling us it will reside there permanently, having been taken out of service due to the falling price of oil.  He further says it is a semi-submersible drilling rig that is actually used in deep water, and is being stacked (meaning stored) in Port Isabel for an undetermined time.

Doing a little research, I learn that Noble Driller is rated for a water depth of 5,000 feet, and a drilling depth of 25,000.  I also noted when a rig is cold stacked, the crew is laid off the its doors are welded shut.  

As I  take photos, I see people walk about on the deck and the tugboat below, Sea Spirit, moving possibly to direct a crane on deck.  This is amazing to me and I wonder what it would be like to work on a rig, or to shut one down.  

Sea Spirit

I love our friend's quote, "It will be part of the skyline now, just like Sapphire Condos."    Second only to the Jesus statue near the jetties on South Padre Island, it must be the most locally photographed subject in recent history.

More detailed information and a beautiful aerial photo are found in this link.

Once home, I aim my camera off our south facing veranda.

Using less zoom, it still can be seen as taller than its neighbor drill ship....

And my favorite is at night....

Noble Driller
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, January 12, 2015

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mosaic Campus -- 12/21/2014

While in Pearland, Herb and I are invited by Roxie and Ed to attend their church on Sunday -- but wait -- 'the church has left the building!'  Christmas services will be held in a store front in a strip mall in Pearland, which they call their Mosaic Campus.  

Building for Lease

St. Andrew's (the pumpkin church)

Upon our arrival we are invited to have refreshments served on the counter near a large cross adorned with different cheerful colors of broken pieces of tile.  

Coffee was served, but not on the floor.  Amazingly, the cup does not get broken there.

                                                Photo Courtesy of Herb Stark

Another mosaic cross hangs on one wall.  I ask someone how they came up with the name of Mosaic Campus, and learn that it is the thought of differences coming together.

                                    Photo Courtesy of Roxie Woodward

...and an altar for Eucharist is set up in the front of the room.

                                                                     Photo Courtesy of Roxie Woodward

When the meeting begins, the speaker comments that usually in a church service, he may remind attendees to silence their cell phones.  However, today cell phones will be part of the interactive service.

Questions are asked, and responses are texted to a number, which flashes them onto the screen.

Spiritual as well as humorous questions are mixed together in the program (as in a mosaic, I suppose.)

One question is, "What is something you would ask for?"  Among the answers that appear on the screen is, "A bigger boat!"  I can guess who texted that!

Another question was, "Where do you call home?"  Thinking of boats, my first thought is to text "Seattle is one,"  but I am too slow.  

                                                                               Photo Courtesy of Herb Stark

The response to one question is to be a group discussion, and someone is heard to say, "Today it is OK to talk in church."

                                                                       Photo Courtesy of Roxie Woodward

 The slide below is one of my favorites....

                                                                                                            Photo Courtesy of Herb Stark
Willie of Willie's Tug,  
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Sunday, December 21, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

About Town -- 12/17/2014

We will call this our Christmas visit to Pearland.  As we leave in the motor home heading for Houston, Herb says, "We are on vacation."  


Miraculously on a moment's notice, Kathy at Advanced RV Park has space for us for several days, so we are set. 

We meet our family for dinner at Center Court Pizza and Brew in Pearland.

With much to see in downtown Houston, we do a bit of exploring, utilizing the Red Line of the Park N Ride Metro Rail.  What fun!  Reminds us of our travels in Seattle.

What a delight to see the Market Square Clock Tower, officially named Louis and Annie Friedman Clock Tower, on Travis Street.  There's quite a story about its being lost and found -- details here.

Back to Pearland, we take advantage of the Tom Bass Regional Park adjacent to the RV park for our morning walks.  The jogging trail has several loops and we manage to find our way around to many of them, stepping off about five miles.  What a workout!

Stop, Herb!  I need a photo.

Willie's Tug not Allowed

Some lessons are learned the hard way, as noted in a previous blog post, but we arrive back to the RV park well before 6:30P, since we didn't bring our passkey!

Safely Inside!
Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   December 17-21, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

LMYC at Christmas -- 12/13/2014

The Laguna Madre Yacht Club monthly social, held in the clubhouse at Port Isabel TX, always begins with appetizers and the beverage of one's choice.

Bring your own, or purchase from the well stocked bar.

Only Crumbs Left

The Club's new reporter.  Lillian, greets each person with her camera as they arrive.

A photo of the photographer...with Herb....

Eileen, with help from husband Lynn, serves a tasty dinner of Tex-Mex casseroles, jalapeno cornbread, and is seen setting out the green salad.

 During the business and announcements part of the evening, Lillian and David display the club's burgee.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, December 13, 2014