Gun Boat Escort

Adventure Location: Port Aransas Jetty, TX
Adventure Report Date: 1/27/2019
Click a picture to enlarge it.

The Port Aransas Jetty sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey. The OFM decided to take time to check for how much and how bad the damage was for the fishermen. It turned out to be a different day that he thought it would be.

The sand parking area has changed a huge amount. There is shallow lakes where we used to park and new semi-soft sand places to drive to get to the area we used to fish before the hurricane. We forgot to take a picture to show this minor inconvenience because things were happening in the channel when we arrived.

This first picture is from the jetty looking out to sea and shows how big pieces of the walkway are tilted and broken from the hurricane. It also shows a ship on its way out to sea. 

When we stepped onto the jetty that ship was right across from the Teams. It had Coast Guard gun boats escorting it out to sea. The gun boats were very active in circling and running around protecting the ship. It was quite a show. Here is one of the gun boats and you can see one of the machine guns forward on the boat.

In just a few minutes all the excitement was over and the OFM crawled out from behind the big rock where he was hiding from possible bullet encounters. One thing for certain all kinds of things happen here at the jetties and we have seen some interesting sights over the years.

Now back to the jetty evaluation. We turned to look inland and saw the wreck of the University of Texas Research Pier was still in place. According to the newspaper article we found (and lost), the physical plant, research in progress and basically everything was totally ruined and /or destroyed. This pier was a reinforced concrete pier out to a small house in the channel.

Research was carried out with the use of this pier that is not normally available anywhere else in the world. It is all gone now. We moved in closer to check what is the damage. Well it is pretty close to total devastation. You can see the rebar and other structural parts are beyond repair. The way the columns were tilted seemed odd to the OFM. 

Well when we found the newspaper article, it said a drilling ship had slammed the pier during the hurricane causing the pier failure. Now that adds up with the way the columns were damaged.

We were lucky that Google still had the picture of the ship up against the remains of the pier in their Internet site. We took a copy of the picture to show our readers what the clean up folks found when they got to the site.

That is not a pretty site to us.

The jetty has had some topping damage in several places. Some of the big rocks have moved a good bit. All in all it is now fishable but if you were familiar with the jetty before, you will have to learn new places to scramble around on for fishing now. 

We do consider it a different than before but still a good place for trying to have tooooo much fun.

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