Fort Travis at Port Bolivar - April 17th, 2023

Take the Galveston Ferry to Port Bolivar on Teacher In-Service Day

Takes 20 mins to board the Gilchrist with Mayor Bob operating as well

We quickly climb above deck to watch the ramps lift and engine start

The props churn up a wake as we start to move away from the landing

To the right, the Battleship Texas is still in drydock on Pelican Island

Families head to the stern as the ferry puts distance between the landing

Two ferries not in operation this morning are the RH Dedman & JW Johnson docked at the Ferry Maintenance Operations building

The R. Stoker Jr. is in operation and is bringing a load from Bolivar

We pass Seawolf Park on the left with the . . .

USS Stewart (DE-238), USS Cavala (SSK-224) & USS Tautog (SSN-639) sail

The USS Selma is beached beyond the peninsula without a pavillion now

Unload 50 plus stale hamburger buns on ecstatic seagulls at the stern

We still have plenty of buns for multiple trips across!

Get back in the car as the Gilchrist approaches the Bolivar landing

Stop at memorial markers at the entrance to Port Bolivar's Fort Travis

Bolivar Point has been a military strong point as early as 1815

Jane Long came to Texas in 1815 & stayed at Bolivar Point in 1820

Supportors of the memorial purchased bricks with their names embossed

The first Fort Travis Battery we visit is Battery Ernst, built in 1898

Named for 2nd Lt. Rudolph Ernst who was killed in the Mexican War, 1847

Battery Ernst was the docking site for the Bolivar Ferry 1930-1950

The girls are feeding seagulls bread by the spotting station behind Ernst

Public bathrooms and the Mazda are beyond the spotting station

Drive over to Battery Davis to feed more seagulls

Battery Davis had two "disappearing" 8 inch breech loading guns

Named for Lt. Thomas Davis also killed in the Mexican War, 1847

Panarama of the Battery Thomas Davis . . .

Davis' guns could be elevated (greater range) & lowered (disappearing)

The seawall in front of it was built around it in 1903

David tries to hand feed seagulls but has no takers

Battery 236, built in 1941, is in the background

Battery 236 had two long range 6 inch guns

The two guns were connected by an earth & concrete casement

Overlooking the same gun platform toward Battery Davis

Zooming in on Battery Davis from atop Battery 236

Find an airvent atop 236 while other visitors investigate the area below

Looking NE toward Battery Kimble which we will visit next

Looking down on Battery 236's second gun platform

Atop the battery are two concrete encased vent pipes

Drop back down and capture Battery 236's casement entrance

Construction began 10/19/1942 and was completed on 7/05/1945

Completed at the end of the war, the 6 inch guns were never received

Walk back to the covered pavillion where the girls are feeding seagulls

After placidly feeding the seagulls for ten plus minutes . . .

The girls launch their charge toward their surprised beneficiaries

The seagulls are used to this treachery are are airborne quickly

The girls knew they had no change but loved the quick change in mood

Drive over to the fourth and last Fort Travis Battery Kimble

Built between August 1917 and April 1922

The girls still have plenty of hamburger buns to share with wary seagulls

Look back toward Battery 236 we just visited

Battery Kimble had two 12 inch guns with a range of 17 miles

This location has been a defensive position since the Republic of Texas

Named for Galvestonian Maj. Edwin Kimble who perished in WWI, 1918

One of a dozen batteries built across the US & the last surviving example

Stairway to the top is blocked off for safety (deteriorating)

Chemical Warfare Service Room and Switchboard Room are locked up tight!

But not as tight as the Officers Latrine . . . they heard I was coming!

Kimble's guns were transferred to South Carolina & was deactivated in 1943

Blue Crabs and Brown Pelicans are very welcome in the area

Possibly foundations of old barracks demolished by a July 1943 hurricane

Battery Kimble's second 12 inch gun platform

The circles made a great aiming point for aerial bombing!

Walk around the front to find the girls still feeding seagulls

Battery Davis left & Battery 236 beyond Battery Kimble's 1st gun platform

Walk to the water's edge to view the seawall first installed in 1903

Now looking southwest toward Battery Davis & Battleship Texas in drydock

The first Galveston Lighthouse was constructed here in 1852 but fell by 1865

A favorite forward observation post along the seawall

Too muddy inside to get a fun photo of the girls defending the shore

Erin makes a final photo of Battery 236 a little more interesting

A final look at Battery 236, completed after threat of invasion was long gone, and never even had the 6 inch guns installed

Finally board the Gilchrist again and depart after a one hour wait

Look over at the two other ferry landings to the left

The engines rev up churn up a wake as we leave the landing

The middle landing has a barge with crane doing bouy maintenance

Look toward Galveston as one ferry arrives and another leads the way back

Final view of the three ferry landings at Bolivar Point

The Mayor Bob brings its vehicles and passengers to Bolivar Point

The girls hit the stern and unload their final hamburger buns

Erin hand feeds a seagull, keeps all her fingers, and clothes poop-free

David hopes to feed a seagull by coaxing it to land on his hat

But the wind keeps blowing the bread off once released

The girls finish off the bread by sharing with others as well as the seagulls

The seagulls would happily have eaten much more bread than we brought!

Only container ships travel the Houston Ship Channel in the distance

First photos of Seawolf Park with the pavillion torn down and cleared away with the last visit in March 2019

The Battleship Texas in the distance may join the Cavalla & Stewart soon

US Coast Guard Station and Army Corps of Engineers building

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas prepares for its next voyage

Return past by the sail of Tautog, the Cavalla and the Stewart at Seawolf Park

The R Stoker Jr has joined the RH Dedman & JW Johnson at the Galveston ferry landing dock by 330pm

Pull up beside the DC Greer before landing and heading back home

Pick up Rio at PetSuites and share today's adventures with each other