The Port Aransas collection trip

July 20 - 22, 2007: MAAST, MARSH, and DFWMAS all joined together for a fun collection trip near Galveston, Texas. The plan was to scoop out some peppermint shrimp out of the ocean, play in the water, and enjoy a bonfire. We had a great time, and here are some pictures to prove it...

It was a decent drive from Ft Worth to the coastline, probably about six hours total. Fortunately, I was just a passenger helping foot the bill for the gasoline. Robert, a friend of mine, drove since he'd made this trip several times and knew the area well. Several of our group rented rooms at a location about 45 minutes away from the event, because it was near a great Nerite snail breeding ground. This is Robert.

This first picture is a pretty accurate representation of what things looked like...

...but for the next few pictures I tried to make things look a little more perfect. Sue me.

After we got settled in, we met on a nearby pier.

All that work for this?

I think this kid had the right idea.

Steve did pretty good with that net after all.

This crab trap was tied to the pier, and inside were both carcasses and live crabs.

This picture is from the end of that same pier looking back at our accomodations.

While fished off the pier, while others went in search of critters.

Nerite hunters, unite!

We found other stuff out there, including some odd crabs that pinched if you weren't careful, ghost shrimp, pipe fish, flounders and more.

To keep the snails alive overnight, we had styrofoam coolers in our rooms full of saltwater, air pumps and heaters. When we didn't have the option to use electricity, such as in the back of Robert's truck, we used battery powered air pumps or power inverters.

As night approached, we had to take a ferry to get to the bonfire. This is a drive-on ferry that takes a few minutes to get your vehicle to the opposing shore, as there is no bridge. There are quite a few ferries in operation, so it isn't too bad. Below, we are waiting in line on a Friday night.

Driving on the ship. Once parked, you turn off your engine for the short trip.

A ferry is returning to get more passengers.

There's our destination approaching.

The bonfire was a on pitch dark beach. Taking pictures was pointless. You could hear the ocean nearby, and saw everyone enjoying themselves. Kids played near the fire, roasting marshmallows. Plenty of beer was consumed. We were out there for a couple of hours, then it was time to head back to the ferry, and then to our room for the night.

The next day (Saturday), we went to the hotel were many were staying as it was almost time for the BBQ to begin. Some explored the area while others helped get things set up. The BBQ was fun, and quite a few DFWMAS members won raffle prizes. There were quite a few more people there, but when it got interesting, I'd put my camera down to enjoy the food and the entertainment.

This vendor described one of his newest products, a Lumenbright reflector. It was one of the prizes.

Yes, that's me winning a sump, of all things. ;)

Matt, our club president, won some goods.

As did Rick, our treasurer.

There was a poker game, but I merely observed. Steve (aka Bigbird), the person that organizes the event each year, won the pot. He's the one wearing the starter shirt.

Check out the cool t-shirts they made up.

Anyone that donated stuff to the raffle got listed on the back of the shirt.

We had a few hours to kill, so we took the ferry again, and it began to rain.

Another ferry ahead of us.

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