As we were crossing the bridge from Port Isabel to South Padre Island for the start of a fun filled winter vacation on South Padre Island, we couldn’t help but notice the huge speed boat parked at Pirates Landing pier.
And when we noticed the name of the boat was the “Thriller” we immediately added it to our list of fun things to do on South Padre Island. Turns out that the Thriller is a 55′ long and 12′ wide catamaran hull designed speedboat that is powered by over 1000 horsepower and will zip you across Laguna Madre Bay at 50 miles per hour – how fun would that be! So we signed up and couldn’t wait to go.
After we left the pier, it didn’t take long before we were skimming at 50 miles an hour across the bay. And the grin on my grandson’s face when he got to take the co pilots seat and take the wheel for a spin was from ear to ear! After having the wind blast us for a while we slowed down, went through the only swing bridge in Texas, and cruised through a portion of the Port Isabel harbor and all the shrimp boats.
That route took us back to the shipping channel that leads to the Port of Brownsville. In this channel we spotted our first of many dolphin playing in the bay. What an amazing and seemly friendly mammal! And they really seem to enjoy their life in the bay and getting all the uh’s and ah’s from the tourists – in fact, they could be some of the biggest hams and showoffs around!
From the shipping channel we headed over to the South Padre Island jetty and the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. What a pretty site with the waves breaking on the shoreline, the towering condos along the beach, and the kites from all the kiteboarders enjoying the surf and wind.
Next was a leisurely cruise by the bay side of South Padre Island and past the marina, dolphin watch and fishing boats, and Pier 19 (a very good restaurant). About this time the sun started to set – unbelievable sunset! Then engines roared to life, the wind parted what little hair I have left, and we had a high speed ride back to the pier just as it got dark. Great experience.
What made this trip really fun was that it was more than just zipping across the water at 50 miles an hour – it was:
- a scenic tour of Port Isabel and the shrimp boats
- an opportunity to view one of Port Isabel’s most valued treasures – a beautiful sunset
- a chance to watch dolphin frolicking in the bay
- a cruise by the South Padre Island jetty to wave at the fisherman
- a scenic ride along the bay side of South Padre with views of the condos and hotels, restaurants, beautiful boats in the marina, and several kiteboarders enjoying the wind
And all of that for a reasonable price. What are you waiting for, call the Thriller and book a ride. Have fun and leave your hat at home if you value it! But bring your cameras.
Return to our South Padre Vacation Article.