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June 15, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Getting tanked.

Ready to trip you up.

Oh, Ok, you can bring water wings, although the locals prefer a surfboard.

You know how it is, the best spots are always kept secret from tourists. Don’t want to spoil a good thing with an out of town crowd. It’s safe to reveal this one without fear of reprisals as few of you will risk getting seriously tanked.

Teenage girl with surf board. (Harper's Bazaar/LAnd Rover shoot/ MENA/Flickr?

Got the outfit and lookin’ for action. Parents’ summer nightmare.(Harper’s/MENA/Flickr/

The Texas coastal shelf is long and shallow which means the water heats up quickly, and the waves are fairly modest in size and short-lived.

Easy to learn how to surf. We were called Ripple Riders.

The most exhausting part is muscling the board back out from the beach frequently as the rides are usually short.

Determined Galveston surfers got creative.

Found waves without having to get in the car and travel across country.

OK, you do have to get in a boat or on jet ski – at least it’s not the jammed Gulf Freeway and you can work on your tan while getting there.

Doesn’t take long at all to motor out into the middle of the Galveston Bay Ship Channel.

There you sit until one of the giant cargo ships or tankers ghosts by creating a huge wake creating a surfable wave that can last 15 minutes.

Take a look “Tanker surfing: catching the perfect wave in Galveston Bay” (abc13. news video)

If you’re awash with envy, here’s more videos.

Or surf on over to Tanker Surf Charter Expeditions (video/info)

Man surfing on wave created by tanker. (image

Waving him on. If you prefer, hang out on the chase boat with the camera and beer cooler. (

Get the most out of your vacation and away from most of the crowds.

Just promise you won’t get so into the fun that you get sucked into the channel surfing dangers. And stay a safe distance from the big ship’s props.

You’re just a little flea-sized spec in a very crowded, serious business waterway.

Man surfing among shrimp boat and tanker. (

“What? We only promised there wouldn’t be any car traffic. Mind the shrimp nets.” (

A tad scary?

Hey, what’s summer for if not to gather something to talk about next fall?

Summer’s for the while and wild.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

HRH RC Cat wishes you to know that despite the extreme heat wave advisory we are now under that she is snoozing away in the AC working diligently in her dreams purrhaps on A Special Proclamation for the realm. She just brushes Staff off when we inquire, but we are puzzled by her odd mutterings of “a snow white blizzard”.  Staff is worried the darn cat is considering taking over the freezer as a summer residence. 

Sally Fields as Gidget. 1965 TV series (ABC tv press release (,no cr seen/

Planning an old fashion vacation: “Tanker surfing? Sounds great. Sign me up. Here’s daddy’s credit card”. (1965 “Gidget”/ABC/USPD/


  1. Kate Crimmins / Jun 15 2016 7:17 am

    Way too dangerous for me. Oh yes, I would also have to wear a bathing suit! That would be scary for everyone else.


  2. easyweimaraner / Jun 15 2016 7:18 am

    I’m not brave enough to ride the waves near such big ships :o) you have a heatwave? we wear PADDED jackets(in june that’s crazy!)… the sun came out a little bit today, but just for a while before we got rain :o(((


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 15 2016 7:48 am

      They can’t stop! And they can’t see you! Easy, I get nervous being near tankers in sailboat – with the engine ready if the wind switches (tankers can block the wind. People scoff, but if you’ve been anywhere near those silently moving mountains…shiver)
      Molly is so mad. All spring she couldn’t play outside because of the rain. Now it’s 78 F. at night and 97-98 F (with high humidity) with today probably breaking 100 F. We’ve had her coat furminated and are brushing like crazy to keep her as cool as possible, but yuck. She gets to play with friends early mornings a couple of hours twice a week as the dog splash pad and pool is open and she loves to swim. But it’s so hot. Molly is sure we are the meanest dog parents int he world and sulks looking out the window. Enjoy that jacket! (and we have told Molly no tanker surfing for her) Thanks for pawsing to chat


      • easyweimaraner / Jun 15 2016 7:54 am

        I once saw a painting where a giant steamship smashed a sailboat. the title was over-sailed and I watched the details for hours… and then I had nightmares for a long time :o( It wasn’t an important artist and the painting was in a small museum, but it is always in my mind…


      • heretherebespiders / Jun 15 2016 1:31 pm

        Someone recently asked me if I’d consider shaving the dog…can you imagine! She would be mortified.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 8:00 pm

          Shiver. I did shave a rescue bouvier once who had been on the streets for months and looked dreadful – so matted it was like wearing thick felt. One of the most knowledgeable local Bovier people worked with me trying to brush/cut through, but finally we had to get the clippers. She just looked at me and said, “He’s got to tay inside until he grows out or he’ll sunburn. Funniest thing – he was striped like a zebra with just the shearer under coat and a nice silver with full coat. We had a pair of salt and pepper Bouviers. One dog that when from Raggs to riches. Rescues are eternally grateful

          Liked by 1 person

  3. susielindau / Jun 15 2016 7:18 am

    I love the idea of tanker surfing or any kind of surfing. Surfs up!!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 15 2016 7:50 am

      The best part? It’s always cooler on the water than the beach. Nothing like a giant tanker to motivate soemone to learn faster? Thanks for surfing over with a comment


  4. mukul chand / Jun 15 2016 7:19 am

    sounds like fun


  5. Paul / Jun 15 2016 8:07 am

    Whoa! cool.


  6. roughseasinthemed / Jun 15 2016 8:35 am

    Tankers are huge, but nearest surf to us is Tarifa. Nearest I’ve got to swimming with boats was in Tenerife.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 8:03 pm

      Being anywhere near those giant ships and tankers is not fun for me. Although the have to stay in their channel (and follow certain rules of passage) there’s still unpredictable dangers with engines, props and vessels that large. Intriguing to watchm though. Thanks for sailing by with a comment


  7. Chez Shea / Jun 15 2016 12:19 pm

    Think I’d enjoy watching the action from my deckchair!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 8:01 pm

      Even better you can eat shrimp on the back porch of a local dive and watch in total comfort! Thanks for waving over a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chez Shea / Jun 17 2016 5:54 am

        Oh yum. Sounds heavenly!


  8. heretherebespiders / Jun 15 2016 1:32 pm

    I never tried surfing – where I grew up you had to be “in” to do it. I was so far out I was orbiting the planet formerly known as Pluto. But I think that tanker wave looks nice and small – I’d give it a go!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 7:44 pm

      And you had to have the surfing hair, outfit, and lingo. And parents that would let you drive the car to the beach. So many obstacles. Some of the beaches have some nice sets of even smaller waves – you could do those easily (if you can stand the sunburned shoulders) Thanks for coasting in with a comment


  9. The Coastal Crone / Jun 15 2016 3:40 pm

    Never heard of this but I am not surprised. Looks dangerous! We have small waves here but when a storm comes the surfers are out there. Stay cool any way you can!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 7:40 pm

      We almost always head to the coast to check out the waves before storms – to watch, not ride. The beach patrol has their hands full enough with the bullet proof kids. You’re right – it’s the baking and crowded vacationing tourists season (Is that the mountains calling?) Keep the sunglasses and hat close by. Thanks for splashing down here with a comment


  10. marthaschaefer / Jun 15 2016 5:37 pm

    I see a rash of Darwin awards being handed out over this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 7:36 pm

      Yes, and the events can be enjoyed over and over on YouTube…from hospital rooms? Thanks for awarding such a cool comment

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ally Bean / Jun 16 2016 7:44 am

    Not much for surfing in the water, but online I can surf the internet like a pro. And the only tanker that I need is one filled with cold beer. 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 7:35 pm

      Sounds like you have perfect afternoon activities well figured out! Thanks for filling up the comment pile


  12. shoreacres / Jun 16 2016 11:42 am

    Those people are stupid. People in boats have been killed by those bow wakes — remember the guy a few years back who got surfed straight up onto Redfish Island? Granted, it’s great fun to watch the dolphins bow surf (could that be where this idea came from?) but dolphins are far more nimble than human surfers, and have one huge advantage: they live in the water, and can dive away from danger without drowning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 16 2016 7:20 pm

      I actually remember a couple who go too close on their sailboat to an achored tanker and had to walk their hands down the giant hull. That was scary enough – you don’t realize how big those things are at a distance. The dolphins are great, but the ship channel is too scary for me. Thanks for diving in with a comment


  13. the dune mouse / Jun 16 2016 12:12 pm

    I’m a couch surfer myself!


  14. PiedType / Jun 16 2016 11:36 pm

    A wave is a wave is a wave to some people. I’m into mountains myself.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 17 2016 7:30 am

      I wonder if surfing skills translate to snowboarding. Still want to try that. We’re in extreme heat warnings here – mountains are certainly calling – tell some of that snow to hang around a little bit longer! Thanks for waving along


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