Friday, November 16, 2007

Texas Clipper

Finally, and after many delays, the Texas Clipper launched in 1944 will be sunk as an artificial reef 17 miles off SPI on Saturday morning. She doesn't look as pretty as this old file photo and much of the rigging has been cut down, but lots of boats are going out to watch the reefing.

This is huge news, as it seemed that everything conspired against the artificial reef program, including finding more asbestos and PCBs that was ever suspected. Millions a year will probably come in economic revenue for SPI and Port Isabel for diving and fishing opportunities. We're not sure how you keep the divers and fish hooks away from each other, but we'll work on that as we learn more.

And it's not just about corals and reef fish that would grow around the ship, but large fish like tuna also like to circle over structures like this. I've watched loads of depth finder stuff over the years and unless you go 80 miles out, or up to the reefs off Mansfield, it's like a desert in the Gulf - except for shrimp, of course.

The only bummer for some people is that they're expecting the ship to be blown up. Sorry folks, the Texas Clipper will go down by opening some water valves, no kaboom. But it's still a proud day for the local community.

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