Anchorage and Marina Survey of Padre Island, Port Aransas and Rockport Texas

Topics Introduction Laguna Shores Causeway Launch Ramp Area Port Aransas Rockport THE SAILING ROUTES


I have lived in Texas for 58 years. I have visited the Corpus Christi region for a few days from time to time and even sailed through the Bay once in the Texas 200 once. I know the region sort of but I thought I'd go look it over once again, with an eye to where we would spend each night of our Labor Day Weekend of Sun, Fun, and Sailing.

Laguna Shores

The first night will be in North Laguna Madre in the vicinity of the causeway between Corpus Christi and Padre Island. I wanted to check the north western shore, first. I found two possibilities, the Laguna Shores Trailer Fish Camp and the Bluff Island Marina.

Laguna Shore Trailer Fish Camp

The proprietor of the fish camp said the launch fee is $3.00 and we could use their dock, for sleeping that night. There is a restroom really close to the dock, and a bait store. N 27.61687 W 097.29670

Laguna shores channel, ramp and store

The problems with this location is the water near the dock is quite shallow, meaning we'd have to dock with the center board up, which makes moving about the cabin problematical.

Laguna Shores Channel to Laguna Madre

Another is the water is kind of stinky. It is stagnant, being as how the wind blows in this direction usually so detritus, collects and rots here. Plus getting out we'd be motoring into the wind in what is often shallow water.

Bluff Island Marina ramp and store

Just a couple of miles south lies the Bluff Island Marina. This is a bit fancier place. There are two restaurants, a boat repair facility and a dredged marina. The water is four feet deep, so we can sleep with the board down.

Laguna Reef Restaurant near Bluff Island Marina

The fee for this marina is $20 per night. I fear it might be a warm spot for sleeping as we'd lie athwart the prevailing breeze. There is also the problem of getting out to the channel, upwind and in shallow water. Its location is N 27.61209 W097.29794.

Causeway Launch Ramp Area

I next traveled across the causeway after a little adventure where Laguna shores Road debauches right onto the John F Kennedy Causeway. Cars on the cause way are whizzing past at 70 miles per hour and you must turn from a dead stop, exciting!

First I checked out Marker 37 Marina and Bait store. The requirement for launching here is to purchase $5 worth of stuff from the store. There is a channel to the south leading back to a fancy subdivision.

Marker 37 Ramp

I figure we might launch here, and then anchor on the edge of that channel, possibly near the bulk head on the eastern end for the night, this will get us some distance from the highway, but allow us to catch a breeze.

Marker 37 "Facilities"

We will also not be near the channel to be bothered by passing boats. This will give us easy access to the facilities at this ramp. There aren't any obvious public facilities nearby.

Marker 37 Store

Snoopy's Restaurant

There are however two restaurants, Snoopy's and Docs where we might enjoy and evening repast. Its location is N027.63132 W097.23914

Doc's Restaurant and the Causeway

Port Aransas

After stopping to get lunch and realizing that food is kind of pricey on Padre Island, I drove to Port Aransas where I met Pelican John and his dog Blue. John tried to interest me in celestial navigation classes, was friendly and gregarious. He was however on his way to wash a boat in order to earn some money so we didn't talk long.

While there I reserved slip 1102, but I think we might move some where else after the office closes as this location is close to the ramp and thus likely to be noisy in the early Morning.

Port Aransas Harbor Master Office

Port Aransas Marina From Harbor Master Office

Our likely Evening berth.

Its funny that I found this door locked at 1330. It was open 15 minutes later, so I made a reservation.

This is the view from the harbor master's office. Location N 27.83928 W097.06406.

This is where I want to sleep Saturday night.


After checking out our slip, I boarded the Ferry and drove to Rockport. There are three Marina's around Rockport. The Cove Harbor Marina complex is a new facility south of town. There's the venerable Rockport marina where I have spent a couple of nights, before setting out to go sailing in Aransas Bay. The fanciest marina, may be in Key Allegro, a posh subdivision in Fulton, the Key Allegro Marina

Cove Harbor Ramp

Cove harbor has nice facilities

Cove Harbor Transient Docks

The Cove harbor ramp may be a good place to leave the truck and trailer over night, since its away from town, and there would be other trucks an trailers parked there over night.

Cove harbor has nice facilities, restrooms, showers, and a laundromat. it would be easier to check in here than at Rockport harbor.

The docks are new, and give a good access to the sea breeze, very important in August when we will be there.

Cove harbor's fee for the night is $35.00, its a very nice place. It's location is N 27.99394 W097.07493.

A problem with this location is it is about 10 miles from downtown.

Rockport Harbor

My perferred berth in Rockport

Rockport has a fair, most weekends during the summer near the port

The Rockport Harbor is convenient to Downtown Rockport, where one can find a group of touristy shops, plus the martime museum.

N 28.02478 W097.04778

This is my preferred slip, has good air Flow and a view, close to the aquarium.

There is a green sward near the Rock port harbor where there are often vendors and events.

Rockport Marina fee would be $20. Problems with Rockport are

  1. Checking in, the office will be closed that day, so we must call Danny 361-385-0522 or Sam 361-385-0524 to check in

  2. We must be lucky to find a slip that will allow the breeze to blow through the boat while tied up. The marina is nearly full of month to month tenants.

  3. They don't take reservations

Key Allegro Restaurant

Key Allegro Transient Dock

Key Allegro Marina Store

The Key Allegro Marina is on the leeward side of a posh subdivision of Fulton on the north end of the Rockport Ski Basin. There are four seemingly fancy restaurants nearby.

The transient dock is well out in deep water, it should experience a nice breeze. Its location is N 28.04226 W097.03153

The Marina store has a friendly staff. They also offer a shuttle to help get boaters around town. The fee for the marina is $26.00 per night.


This is Saturdays probable route, 18 miles as the crow flies, we'll leave early and probably arrive in the late afternoon.

This is sunday's probable route, 17 miles. Probably arrive in the late afternoon.

The Plan:

  1. Arrive and launch Frimi around 2pm.

  2. Drive the trailer to Rockport (would like some one to come along and wait on Frimi while we are gone.)

  3. Return to Frimi and wait for others to arrive.

  4. Have dinner in a selected restaurant

  5. Take to bed early, say by or before 10pm

  6. Arise at sunrise, make breakfast, visit the facilities.

  7. Set Sail

  8. Arrive Port Aransas when we get there.

  9. Find some place to stay cool. Drink beer, and contemplate life,

  10. After sunset, move boat to a quiet breezy spot.

  11. Sleep

  12. Arise at Sunrise, make breakfast, visit facilities

  13. Set Sail

  14. Arrive Rockport when we get there

  15. Visit facilities, drive crew to their cars in Padre, island.

  16. Crew may return and stay with the boat

  17. Visit maritime museum, bars, the fair, go swimming, shopping etc.

  18. Monday morning early retrieve Frimi, drop mast, prepare for Road

  19. Drive home