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Sail away with the Wednesday Night Regatta


Watch the Regatta every Wednesday, rain or shine, from the Lawrence Street T-Head. Photo by JoAnna KoppBy JoAnna Kopp
October 25, 2018

Every Wednesday night of the year, sailors meet at Coopers Alley L-Head and participate in Wednesday Night Regatta. These evening social regattas have been going on for years, for good reason: the race starts at 6 p.m., so sailers and onlookers get fantastic views of the sun setting over Corpus Christi Bay.

Dave Fuertes is a member of the Corpus Christi Midget Racing Fleet (CCMORF), the friendly organization that puts the weekly event together. Fuertes has been doing the Wednesday Night Regatta since 1995. He was brought into it when he met a guy at a bar and was invited out on his boat.

“It’s something nice to do in the middle of the work week,” he said. “If you live in Corpus, you might as well be on the water. My favorite thing about it is just being out with other folks that enjoy sailing. I love the camaraderie of it — it’s fun but competitive.”

Watch the race from the shore at the starting line on Lawrence Street T-Head. Bleachers fill with onlookers when the weather is nice. The race usually comes to a close at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to be a part of the race, there is plenty of space to hop on a boat as a crew member. The members of the CCMORF always welcome new sailors onboard. To get on a boat, try hitchhiking at the marina for a ride the day of, or send a message on the Facebook page to get in touch with a sailor in advance.

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Score a Strike at a Corpus Christi Bowling Alley

Corpus Christi offers two great options for bowling, the perfect date night, or a fun family activity.

LIGHTHOUSE LANES

Members of the military, or anyone in the public who becomes a member of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, has access to Lighthouse Lanes Bowling Center.

Lighthouse Lanes prides itself on being military-friendly and even hosts an “active duty” night every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On these nights, all active-duty military members who show up in uniform can bowl for free from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. This includes gear and a shoe rental, too!

This Corpus Christi bowling alley features 12 automatic scoring lanes, all of which have available bumpers — a great option for those looking for kid-friendly activities. It also offers free Wi-Fi, a bowling pro shop, and an interactive scoring system. Birthday party packages and youth leagues are available.

Lighthouse Lanes Bowling Center is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 1-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The bowling alley is closed on Sundays and Mondays as well as on federal holidays.

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Catch Fantastic Fish on a Charter Boat

People who love to fish know: Corpus Christi is a top city in the nation for fishing, whether in the surf, from a pier or boat, in one of the bays, or on board a charter.

Renting a charter boat to head into federal waters for deep sea fishing is a bucket list activity for many. In Corpus Christi, any number of expert anglers are available to take individuals and groups in search of some of the best fishing in the world. They help clean and pack your catch, which you can take home or even have prepared for you at several local restaurants.

Red snappers rank as a top fun fish to catch in the Gulf of Mexico. These beautiful aquatic creatures put up a challenging fight once hooked. Red snapper also are full of nutrition. The white, flaky meat has a lot of lean protein, vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and potassium and is low-calorie.

These fish make the trip out to the deep blue sea an adventure worth sharing with friends and family. Some of the better charter boats in the Coastal Bend include:

Ryan Bailey Guide Services

Captain Bailey’s new 22-foot center console boat can take up to four anglers in search for redfish and spotted seatrout. An excellent teacher, he’ll help you land a fish, whether or not you’ve ever handled a fishing pole. When you’ve got your catch, he will make certain your fish are cleaned and filleted and ready to take home to cook to your liking.

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Follow a pod of dolphins

The best way to catch a glimpse of playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins is to get on a boat. Dolphins love the speed boost they get from the waves off a boat or ferry and are often spotted playing in the surf alongside the watercraft.

The Corpus Christi region is chock full of commercial dolphin-watching tour boats, but one of the most famous vantage points for a clear glimpse of these beautiful creatures is on the free ferry ride between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass. You can also spot them on the ferry to San Jose Island, or on a ride in Corpus Christi Bay with the Japonica.

More than 1,800 dolphins have been spotted in the Coastal Bend region during the cooler months. When the waters heat up, they head out to the cooler depths of the Gulf of Mexico. The ones left behind can be found feeding in the Port Aransas channels.

Individual dolphins can be identified by the shapes of their dorsal fins. They are protected by the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Humans are not allowed to get any closer than 50 feet, so stay back!

And by the way, there are no porpoises in Corpus Christi, only the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, which are thinner and more talkative than porpoises. Or, at least that’s what some people think. Porpoises actually make sounds inaudible to the human ear!

Also, dolphins live in large groups, while porpoises usually live in pods of only two to four. Porpoises are mostly found in Pacific waters.

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See Color Year Round at South Texas Botanical Gardens

South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offers color, classes, and coastal culture year-round. The beautiful gardens cover 180 acres that back up to King Ranch and are laden with lush greenery, exotic flowers, a butterfly sanctuary, and a hummingbird garden.

The center also has demonstration trial gardens, an imaginative sensory garden, exotic parrots and reptiles in residence — just to name a few of the many exhibits and features.

And since South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center only closes on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, it’s a great place for family outings any time of the year.

PARROT TALKS

Meet the gardens’ wide collection of more than 40 birds anytime, but visit at 1:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for special presentations.

REP-TALES

Visit the Resident Reptiles exhibit anytime as well, but come at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays for special presentations at one of the newest exhibits. About 40 reptiles occupy tanks and other enclosures in the Visitors Center.

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Tour Corpus Christi Bay on a Day Cruise

The Texas Tease

At 74 feet long, the Texas Tease can hold up to 60 passengers for two-hour tours that can travel 50 miles off the shoreline. It will also soon be serving catered meals and alcoholic beverages on dinner and sunset cruises. Until then, it sells snacks, water, soft drinks, and setups on its two-a-night cruises, three days a week.

A double-decker boat, the Tease is air-conditioned on the lower deck, a vast difference from its sister tour boat, the open-air Japonica, which can only travel up to 1 mile from shore.

The two-hour cruises on the Tease run two a night, one leaving the dock at 6:30 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The Sunday cruises leave at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tours are $30 for ages 11 and older and $20 for ages 10 and younger.

The Japonica

The Japonica is a 35-person capacity boat, offering one-hour cruises as opposed to the two-hour excursions possible on the Texas Tease. As the 50-foot, open-air touring boat cruises through the bay, the deckhand points out the sites such as the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, North Beach, the Harbor Bridge, and the downtown skyline. You’ll also learn insider information about some of the more unusual boats docked at the city marina.

Japonica’s one-hour cruises run daily May through Labor Day weekend. The schedule varies during the off-season, depending on the weather. Tickets can be purchased at Cathy’s Boutique and Gifts on Harrison’s Landing at the People’s Street T-Head and are $15 for ages 11 and older and $10 for ages 10 and younger.

For more information on full moon, sunset, Harbor Bridge light show, and private party cruises, visit the website at harrisonslanding.net or call (361) 881-8503 ext. 2.

Find more articles like this in Vacation News

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