Listen To The Captain

Galveston, TX


One of the other boats in Galveston Island Bay. Sorry the dolphins can’t be seen here!

“You COULD get wet”

The captian on our little cruise boat made this statement a few times as we circled around Galveston Island Bay.  I was just thrilled to be riding the waves, breathing in and thrilling in the salty air and climate of the tropical breeze, watching the wild dolphins jumping in pairs everywhere we looked. I was in the bow, my favorite spot, just relaxing and enjoying the moment.


Filling my lungs with warm, moist air.
Slight breeze blowing through my now kinky hair
Makeup is melting but I really couldn’t care
Relaxed with trusted loved ones
Is the best kind of fare


My brother,  sister-in-law and I were in Galveston for the day, and had unexpectedly found this little “Dolphin-Watch” tour boat, $10 for 45 minutes. I love being on the water, so this opportunity was a great treat.  While we waited in line to board, the coastal air was hot and humid but this Minnesota girl didn’t mind, and there was a thin overcast haze, so the sun was not directly on us.

As we stepped onto the little boat via a narrow gate, the friendly, grey-haired captain greeted us, and I was “lucky” enough to get the last outside seat right on the bow.  I smiled apologetically to my brother and his wife.


Heading out on gentle waves
between the docks of the bay
Face into the salty breeze
enjoying the slight rolling sway
Hoping to see dolphins
But it’s already worth the price
The sky isn’t a clear blue
But this sure is damn nice


The captain was also our tour guild, and he pointed out all the docks and the big grey and blue ships in the harbor and gave his dissertation on what  their different functions were.  As he rattled on, I found myself more intrigued with the pelicans and terns who were dive-bombing for fish.

I’ve seen pelicans and terns in my travels, but they usually played the role of scavenger behind boats and ships; these were quite amazing. Rising in the air as they flew across the water, they would reach a pinnacle in height, their head tilted and eyes zeroed in on their prey. Then suddenly they shifted, and beak first with their wings tightly pressed against their bodies they would dive into the water, making a splash and coming up with lunch in their bills.


I spotted the dolphins leaping in pairs or in groups
As the pelicans and terns dive bombed like troupes
So glad I was sitting at the top of the bow
As if I swam among them
Not just watching the show


“Ok” the captain raised his voice above the noise of motor boats in the bay. “We are going to cross some bigger waves, and you COULD get wet!”

I wasn’t worried. I looked forward to getting a little wet. As we bounced across the waves, my face was merely treated to a fine sea mist, which was just fine with me. His warning seemed to me to be given out of legal necessity in case someone complained about a few drops of water.

We circled wide around the dolphins and pelicans and the captain gave his innocuous warning again…did I miss the glint in his eye? I wasn’t too concerned, though this time I did move my purse to the inside of the cabin. As we came across the waves, I held my face over the bow expectantly, anticipating the fine, refreshing mist of the tropical-like waters…

The shock of the force and completeness of Mother Nature’s joke was on me as I was, instead, treated to the drenching of a salt-water bath.  As the  boat dipped and careened, I literally had to hold on to the rail to keep from going overboard, my toes curled to keep from losing my flip-flops.  Someone had just dumped several barrels of water over me, I was sure of it.  My brother, who was safely seated inside, later told me that “The wave came in over your head” …yes, he said it with a laugh.



A blue-eyed captain and a salt water breeze
I’ll take them over the northern deep freeze
But he’s not kidding
When he says “look out”
If you choose not to listen
You have no cause to pout.


I was completely soaked; the wettest person on the whole deck. Even my purse, which was just inside the cabin, and its contents were wet.  Apparently I had been in the perfect spot to take the brunt of the wave. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself, along with everyone else, and the captain just smiled and continued to steer his boat. When we departed, I slogged around in a wet, hot, humid mess. The temp was in the high 90s; I wasn’t cold.

And as I changed out of my wet, sticky clothes in a local gift shop bathroom, where there was just enough room for me to turn around, I smiled at what a good time I had had for a mere ten dollars.