Dolphin Spotting in Surfside

It’s that time of year again and we are so excited. It’s dolphin season! Dolphins are seen in Surfside predominately in the Spring and Summer months because they prefer warm water. The Gulf will usually get warm around April or May.

The most common type of dolphin in the Gulf is the Bottlenose. (In the Gulf, we do not have porpoises.) Most live in large groups called schools or pods, which allow them to be more efficient hunters and more effective in avoiding predators. Females are usually smaller than males. Dolphins are known to display altruistic behavior. This means they will help another individual or even a member of another species without gaining any benefits themselves.

There are many regular spots on the island to see these beautiful mammals. The most common time to see them is when the seas are calm.
The best and easiest dolphin viewing is from your Coastal Sisters beach rental house! Grab that glass of wine, put your feet up and enjoy.
You can also see them playing and swimming off the Jetty and to the sides of the Jetty. Another great spot is anywhere off the Intercoastal Waterway. But my favorite, most consistent dolphin-spotting-spot is just off the Coast Guard station.

Marine Mammal Quick Facts
• All dolphins are whales, but not all whales are dolphins.
• Pygmy and dwarf sperm whales secrete an inklike substance, like squid, when avoiding predators.
• There are no porpoise species in the Gulf of Mexico.
• The largest population of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins lives in the Gulf of Mexico.
• When first spotted by early explorers, manatees were believed to be mermaids.
• The closest living relatives of manatees and dugongs are elephants.
• Most baleen whales have two blowholes.
• Florida manatees have nails on their flippers


June 2017 Great Texas 300 Race!

We have some special events that happen in Surfside and this one is no exception! There’s nothing like seeing hundreds of sail boats float by our homes. The sailors travel from Padre to Galveston with a stop over in Surfside! So, whether you are watching from your deck, or waiting down on the free beach for their stop, show your support and cheer them on. This event happens every year in June and we have all the details from their website below:

www.gt300.com

Notice of Race

The Great Texas Catamaran Race

A Catamaran Race AS BIG AS TEXAS!

Hosted by the Great Texas Fleet

South Padre Island to Galveston, Texas

Wednesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 17, 2017

Description: The Great Texas Catamaran Race is an offshore beach catamaran race along the

Texas Coast. Starting in South Padre Island and finishing in Galveston, the race will cover

approximately 300 miles along the Texas coast over the Father’s Day weekend. The race will be

conducted in four stages with each stage starting and ending on the beach!

Race Schedule: Tuesday June 13, South Padre Island

• 12:00pm Boat Inspections, 7:00pm Opening ceremony, rules review, weigh-in, and

starting position draw

Wednesday June 14, South Padre Island to Mustang Island (91 nm)

• 9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag

– ETA approximately 6 pm

Thursday June 15, Mustang Island to Matagorda Island (91 nm)

• 9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag

– ETA approximately 6 pm

Friday June 16, Matagorda Island to Surfside Beach (50 nm)

• 9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag

– ETA approximately 3:30 pm

Saturday June 17, Surfside Beach to Galveston (40 nm)

• 8:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag – ETA approximately 3 pm Awards at 7pm


HGTV

We are very lucky on Surfside Beach to have not one, but two visits from HGTV’s Beach House Bargain Hunt! And one of the homes is our rental!

The show Beach House Bargain Hunt features a couple who are on the search for a coastal property. Their real estate agent shows them 3-4 homes, and then they decide which one best fits their needs and budget.
It’s such great publicity for the island, and shows what amazing things we offer here.

If you’ve been dreaming of that beach house but maybe you can’t quite afford to purchase it just yet, you can still afford to rent one of our Charming Rentals! We have price ranges for all vacation needs and budgets.

To tune into the first aired episode filmed on the island, go online to HGTV.com and look for Season 15 Episode 12. Stayed tuned for the next aired show.
In the meantime, give us a call at Coastal Sisters and come see what all the fuss is about!


Wedding Season

Love is in the air! We are so excited here at CS about all the wedding calls coming in!
It is that time of year when brides are planning their special day on our beautiful Surfside Beach.

We have the ultimate backdrop for your glorious day. And at Coastal Sisters, we have the perfect home or homes for the wedding party, and family members. It’s stressful enough to plan a wedding, let us take the work of accommodations off your plate. We will handle all of those details.

We can arrange it so the whole family is close and comfortable. You’ll have full kitchens, separate bedrooms and even a large deck to enjoy. Some of our homes even have pools! You could also use the house for the reception. How convenient is that?

Tell us your wish list for your special day, and leave the rest to us!
Sharon 713-204-8054


May Events in Surfside

We have a lot going on the weekend of May 6th.

Election Day-It is our election for City Council members. If you live in Surfside, get out and vote! Every single one counts on such a small island.

Surfside Volunteer Fire Department BBQ and silent auction.- 11am-2pm. We love our volunteer fire department and will do anything to help them. All proceeds go to help fund the fire department and their needed equipment. Donations for the silent auction are needed and you can call Brenda at
979-824-6833 to contribute!

Old Guys Surf Reunion-a gathering of “seasoned” Surfside Surfers reunite to honor the past, former surfers who have passed and tribute them with surfboards on the beach and flowers tossed into the water. Then they picnic together at Stahlman Park and share stories of the past.

Memorial Day Weekend-one of our biggest and popular 3 day holidays on the island! It is recommended if possible that you come in Friday evening with all the groceries you need, and not leave again until Sunday or Monday. We have seen the causeway close because of traffic!



Turtle Season!

Every year on the Texas Coast between April and July, is the long anticipated Kemp Ridley turtle nesting. We love our sea turtles in Surfside Beach. They are the unofficial mascot. They have been endangered in past years, and most recently after the BP spill. That’s why the Turtle Island Restoration was started.
Starting in March, volunteers from all over the island get training to be able to patrol the beaches and look for either grown turtles, a nest of eggs, or baby turtles making their way out to sea. The training includes what to look for, what to to do and not to do, and how to secure the area. These turtles have so many obstacles in life that is has been necessary to protect their journey back to the water, and thus turn around their endangered status.

A big part of what the patrol people do is just making tourists aware of what to look for on the beach and who to call.
More often than not, the mama turtles will make their way through the sand to the dune area to dig their hole and lay their eggs. They lay usually around 100! Then the mama buries her eggs and makes her way back to sea. This is where the patrollers and tourists come in. If you call this number, the babies have a much better chance at survival when we report that we see a nest.

The Turtle Island Restoration volunteers come out and collect the eggs to harvest back at the lab. Once hatched, the volunteers release the babies back into the water. This cuts down on prey getting them, a car running over them, or a bird swooping down to get them.
So please, when you visit the island and see a nest, a mama or eggs, report it immediately to help us protect this treasured part of Surfside Beach.


Surfside Marina Crawfish Fest!

Every April, The Surfside Marina outdoes themselves with their annual Crawfish Boil. It usually happens on the first Saturday of April, and this year it’s April 1st.

It is a big gathering of locals and visitors who get to taste the different scrumptious versions of the mud bugs. Crawfish cooks from all over the area come together and battle it out for the title of best crawfish. Once the dishes are cooked, judges taste a little of each, and then the public gets to judge for themselves. The winner gets bragging rights for the year.

It starts at noon on Sat. April 1st and goes on all afternoon. Tables fill fast, so it’s better to get there sooner than later.
The best part of this festival is that entry is by cash donation. The money raised goes to the Surfside Fire Department.

Everyone come out and support a great cause while having some fun and great food!
Wear some sunscreen! See you there!


Summer On the Island

Things are really start to hop around here. We are getting calls left and right for rental homes for Spring Break, Winter Break, Mother’s Day, reunions, weddings, and Summer. Surfside Beach is such a great place to come that we have so many returning customers every year. They love bringing their families to a nice, big rental home, and have the chance to unwind and spend quality time together.

What sets apart from other coastal towns is the laid-back and quiet lifestyle. There’s still a lot to do, but it’s not the hectic and heavy traffic you’ll see other places. We often joke that we are on “island time” and who doesn’t need that in their lives?

But if you get tired of napping, relaxing, and reading books, then of course there are other things to do. There’s the wonderful surf to play in. You can lay out, swim, boogie board, surf, paddle board, sail, fish or float.
We have places that rent jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards. You can charter a boat for all-day deep sea fishing or fish off the jetty. You can also go crabbing off our special pier. Or you can just sit on the front deck of the house and beach watch.

Most of us also enjoy long walks on the beach looking for shells or sea glass.
We also have some new restaurants in town that we are loving! Fun places that you can take the whole family.
Whatever you decide to do in Surfside, it will be fun and relaxing.
Remember, there is only one rule in Surfside: Leave only your footprints.
We can’t wait for you to get here.


The Battle of Fort Velasco

There’s a very important part of history in Surfside Beach in which many are unaware. This excerpt is taken directly from FortVelasco.org and explains in great detail the historical significance. The Surfside Historical Commission is working hard to get the Fort rebuilt, and we residents are all thrilled!
2003.005p.0021

An Explanation of the
Battle of Fort Velasco

It has come to my attention that many of our friends do not know what the Battle of Velasco was about; several, much to my surprise, had never heard of it. So, I have established a brief explanation of the events and their context in Texas history.

In 1828, Mexican General Meir y Teran headed a Border Commission expedition across Texas to verify the northeastern border between Mexico and the United States of the north. He noted a preponderance of wealthy, autocratic anglos and realized that Mexico would soon lose her hold on this very valuable province. As a result, and in part to head off the anticipated separation, Teran made several suggestions to the Mexican Legislature which were later incorporated into the Law of April 6, 1830.
In 1830, the Mexican Legislature enacted the Law of April 6. This law prohibited slavery throughout Mexico (including Texas), established customs houses and garrisons at key entry points to Texas, halted anglo immigration from the United States of the north, terminated unfulfilled empressario contracts, and established tariffs.
Reaction to the Law of April 6, 1830, among anglo settlers in Texas was furious. Some colonists were invigorated in their call for separate statehood for Texas (as opposed to the state of Texas and Coahuilla), while others clamoured for revolution and an independent Texas republic. Most colonists did not realize that Austin’s and McGloin’s colonies were relatively unaffected by the law since their contacts were completed and legal land titles were only a matter of paperwork away. The establishment of customs houses created a great deal of political strife, due mainly to poor choices in customs officers, and made it a bit more difficult to do business in some instances. The establishment of garrisons and building of fortifications caused an uproar, especially when colonists learned garrisons were to include inmates from Mexican prisons (this did materialize and did cause some problems, but only in a very small percentage of the overall garrison force in Texas).
In June of 1832, three illegal aliens — from the United States of the north – were arrested by Col. Juan Bradburn, in charge of the garrison at Anahuac on Galveston Bay. When it finally came to charges, they were accused of illegally being in Mexico and of practicing law in Mexico without benefit of a license. When civil authorities attempted to intervene, Bradburn declared them illegal under the Law of April 6, and held his prisoners for military trial. Revolutionary activists then took over the action and minor skirmishes ensued. A stalemate was reached when Bradburn withdrew into an unfinished brick fortification. Realizing they could not take the Mexican position without artillery, the Texians under William McAlpin Robertson sent to Brazoria for cannon. At about the same time, Samuel Williams, Austin’s secretary in San Filipe, dispatched Texian militia to Anahuac in support of Bradburn (they did not arrive until the situation was resolved). At Brazoria, colonists organized a militia, commandeered a schooner and loaded it with cannon, and headed down the Brazos River to Velasco and Anahuac. Col. Domingo Ugartechea, in command of the garrison at Velasco, refused passage since the colonists intended to attack the Mexican post at Anahuac. The Texians reorganized into companies under John Austin and Henry Smith, fortified the schooner, and made plans to attack Fort Velasco. The plan was for Austin’s company to attack from the north, while Smith circled between the fort and the shoreline and attack from the driftwood piles; the schooner was to drift downriver into cannon range and bombard the fort. About midnight, before everyone was in position, a colonist under Austin had the misfortune of having his gun discharge and became the first casualty of the action. Ugartechea fired 109 of 113 rounds for his main cannon before surrendering due to a lack of ammunition and no hope of reenforcements; the Texians were receiving both supplies and additional men all the while. Ugartechea surrendered with the Honours of War – his men retained their assigned arms and minimal ammunition – and was removed with his garrison across the river to Quintana, where they were to await transport to Matamoros. Hearing the news of the Velasco defeat, Bradburn knows he cannot hold out; he awaits the arrival of Col. Jose de las Piedras from Nacodoches to turn over his command and flee for the Sabine. With Velasco and Anahuac cleared of their garrisons, and Piedras soon recalled to Mexico, Texas was left with virtually no official Mexican presence.
Several months after the battle, when Mexican authorities visited Velasco to inquire into the matter, the colonists declared they had acted in support of Santa Anna, then campaigning in central Mexico against President Bustamente. No one was fooled, but it was enough to satisfy the Mexican government – until the problem of anglo predominance could be dealt with. Many colonists were dismayed at the lack of support from the United States; with that support, they could have pitched their lots for independence.
During the conflict, S.F. Austin was in Mexico City, lobbying for repeal of the more odious provisions of the Law of April 6; covertly, he was wrangling for separate statehood for Texas. Three years later, he would lead another militia into Bexar at the start what would become the revolution of 1836.

Jim Glover
Brazoria Militia

velasco