We scheduled this dolphin tour from a woman who took small groups of 6 or less on her open party boat. We thought this would be more interesting than a large group boat.
This pirate ship was docked across from our departure point. You can take a cruise on the party pirate ship for a tour around the bay. that could be fun.
We did see lots of dolphins. Some even swimming right under the front of the boat. Unfortunately, I was not able to get any usable pictures of the joyful creatures. I had hoped that on this small tour we would get lots of dolphin background, like their habits, range, families, etc. Although Scarlet said she had been doing this for 20 years, we got very little information from her. Maybe we did not ask the right question.
The plan was to take a dolphin tour Monday afternoon, stay overnight there, and Mike and Marlin would do an all day deep sea fishing trip. Mother Nature had different plans. As we were returning from the dolphin tour, the fog came in thick and the temperature turned cold and very windy. The forecast was for more of the same the next day so we had dinner at The Buccaneer and called it a day.
One day we visited "The Old Hidalgo Pump House" which is the location of the steam-driven irrigation pumps that transformed Hidalgo County into a year-round farming phenomenon. The tour docent, a very enthusiastic woman named Viola, first explained that the Rio Grande Valley is no valley at all. It is the flood plain for the Rio Grande River, but was labeled as a valley in order to sell land. It is part of the World Birding Center, because the acreage surrounding the pumphouse is open with grounds and trails that have been intensively landscaped to attract birds and butterflies.
Inside the pumphouse, you can wander all around the huge machinery. The boilers, which were originally wood-fired with mesquite, then converted to oil, then natural gas, then diesel, are still in place. Our guide explain what the machinery was used for, how the water was pumped out of the river and into irrigation ditches that stretched 20 miles north from the river. This vast irrigation system totally changed the landscape of the valley from thorn scrub forest to rich produce farmland.
The canal that was dug from the river after the hurricane.