Views of the Neighborhood

Today’s Views of the Neighborhood is all about the ferries that connect our island to the mainland. There are two ways on and off the island. The first is a causeway at the South end of the island and the second is a ferry ride at the North end.

Here is an archive photo of Mitzi the first ferry to serve our Island in 1922.

First Ferry

This next archive photo is of the Nellie B in service in the 1930s and 40s. In 1968 the Texas Department of Transportation took over ferry operations and the rides became toll-free.

PA Photo

Now in modern times, the Ferry service has the latest equipment and technology.

This sign gives ferry riders an idea of how long the wait will be in enough time to turn around if they choose.

Port Aransas Ferry

This is a shot of the latest ferry put into service in 2010. It carries twenty-eight cars. There are two of these giants.

The next photo is of the older and smaller twenty car model of which there are six.

This photo is of the landing at Aransas Pass on the other side of the channel.

Here is a shot of the Port Aransas side of the channel

You may have noticed that each of the Ferries has a name. The names of the Ferries are past Executive Directors of the Texas Department of Transportation. Here is a close up of the Arnold W. Oliver.


These mothballed oil drilling rigs are across from the Port Aransas side.

It just so happened that a freighter was passing by.

Then a barge going in the opposite direction

In front of the barge is a dolphin surfing the bow wave.

My producer said to leave out the drilling rigs, freighter, and barge pictures but then Dan Antion’s voice hit my ear. “Leave ’em in,” he whispered.

Ferry operations are twentyfour hours a day seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year.


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    The photos of the Gulf activities are always fascinating, as it’s a foreign world to me. Love the snapshot of the dolphin in front of the barge…. šŸ™‚

    1. Was lucky to catch the shot. Only took one to get it. Thanks, Gwen.

  2. Great pictures, John. What are the plans for those mothballed oil drilling rigs? Are they just going to disassemble them in time or use them again in future?

    1. They’ll hold them there until needed. If not needed within a few years will be dismantled.

  3. Looks like a busy day on the water. How often are the ferries on time?

    1. They tend to be on time unless weather is a factor. Low tides and high winds cause delays. Traffic build up is not usually a result of delays just too many people wanting to visit. Ferry waits can be as long as an hour.

      1. Still sounds better than the Long Island Railroad. šŸ˜€

  4. Another great day around the neighborhood, John. Thanks for leaving all the pictures in!!

    1. Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do. I’ll be making brunch today as payback. šŸ˜€

  5. Of course you know I got even happier when I saw the drilling rigs and ships šŸ™‚ Nice photos and history of the ferries, I love the photo with the old cars. I know you’ve mentioned it before, but what’s the timing on the ferries vs. causeway? I think I’d enjoy both. I also thing my wife would want to avoid both.

    1. The ferry ride to Aransas Pass takes three minutes. It takes fifteen minutes to reach the causeway. If for some reason you can’t take the ferry then the drive around is an hour. Of course, destinations dictate which method is best. Sometimes the causeway is the only practical route. Other times it is the ferry.

      1. “Aransas Pass” sounds like it should be paired with “shoot out” or “rendezvous” but maybe you and/of your producer would prefer “shopping,”

      2. Home of Walking-Mart and Lowes

  6. LOL, I’m glad you heard Dan’s whisper. I enjoyed all the photos. Although I admit the ones of the ferries were best. I loved the 2 of the 20s and 30s, particularly seeing the old cars. I didn’t realize (maybe forgot) about the causeway. Good to know there is that exit as well. Thanks for another lovely Sunday stroll, John. Mega hugs.

    1. Thanks for coming along , Teagan. It was a lovely day as well. šŸ˜€

  7. The first time I saw the ferry, I thought, why don’t they build a bridge? Then I woke one morning to see the top of an oil rig sticking out of the fog as it passed through the channel. This time I thought, Oh…

    1. Maybe a draw bridge would work. Where is the romance in that though? Thanks, Greg.

  8. You captured the essence of the ferry experience with the rigs as part of the scenery. Loved the old photos! The weather has been glorious! Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Jo. The weather has been beautiful and I hope you are enjoying it.

  9. Wonderful pics, John! Once you’re on the Causeway, what is the driving time to the other end as compared to that 15-minute ferry trip?

    1. Ferry trip is 3 minutes. The causeway is 15.

      1. Wow. That surprises me. Thanks!

  10. Good morning,
    John, and thx for those pictures. When we come to Port A and are on the ferry, we know that we’re on island time.
    Have a wonderful Sunday,

    1. Definitely, Pit

      1. We LOVE island time. šŸ™‚

      2. Hey, Pit. I found this in the spam folder. Thanks for the comment. I see it is the German foxfire.

  11. Your breathtaking pics make me wish we treated our oceans and waterways with more respect, John.
    Well done, buddy.

    1. Me too Hook. Thanks.

  12. I’m glad Dan’s whisper made sense to you, John. It does to me, too. What amazes me is the no-fee part. Texans obviously are a different breed than Chicagoans, who would find some way to make a few bucks off such a venture, ha!!

    1. In the beginning that was so. Once the Republic got involved no more. Thanks, Debbie.

  13. Photo number two: How the Mafia came to Port Aransas.

    1. Ha ha ha. They had their own cement boat.

  14. Yep, lots of fun hanging out with the ferries. My kids and I marveled at the dolphins as we went from Galveston to Bolivar Island. Where we were the locals called the ferries the poor man’s cruise. That got a chuckle out of my dad. Memories. Thanks for this, John.

    1. My pleasure, Audrey.

  15. Glad you included all the pics, John. Especially like the older ones.

  16. Interesting photos John. I love the one at the bottom with the dolphin leading the way. šŸ˜‰

    1. I was quite amazed to catch that with one shot. Lucky I would say. Thank you. šŸ™‚

  17. I’m glad you listened to Dan’s voice in your head when it said, “leave em in!” šŸ™‚ They really helped tell the story of your channel, and it’s a really nice documentary piece.

    Loved the Dolphin!

    1. Thank you, Deborah. That was a lucky snap. Only took one picture. šŸ™‚

  18. This post gives a different view of Port Aransas than your other posts. I’m so happy you took Dan’s advice. It must be a lot of fun watching the boats and ferries coming and going.

    1. Yes, this one just looked at the ferries. (Although I got distracted by the boats) Thanks, Michelle.

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