Sunset Dinner Sail On South Padre IslandImagine this - you're on vacation in South Padre Island (sounds great so far), aboard a beautiful sailboat with your family (getting better), a guitar player singing island songs, sipping a beverage of your choice as you sample some fresh shrimp (yummm) as you cruise Laguna Madre Bay enjoying an unbelievable sunset - wow, it just doesn't get much better than that! That's what I imagined when I heard about the sunset dinner cruise on so we immediately signed up! And it lived up to it's promise - we had a fantastic trip.
Mr & Mrs Texas Outside raced hobie cats for 9 years in California, until my crew fell off (she claims I dumped her) in the heat of a race in the Monterey Bay with the wind blowing 30 and swells of 8 feet and sharks everywhere (so she claims) and a life jacket too small (so she claims), and since catamarans were still in my blood, I was excited about climbing back on board a cat for a sunset dinner cruise.
The Southern Wave is a 48' catamaran with a 25' beam (a fancy sailors term for wide) that can hold up to 49 guests. Southern Wave offers cruises for dolphin watching, snorkeling, fireworks, and sunset dinner cruises which is what we signed up for. The Southern Wave is berthed at a dock in South Padre Island's entertainment district and as soon as arrived we were warmly greeted by our hostess for the evening, who did everything she could to make sure we had a fun time, from fetching beers from our coolers, to serving us some extra appetizers, to just checking to make sure all was well.
As soon as we stepped on board, our grandsons immediately started scampering all to the boat and settled down once they found the trampoline between the hulls - not for jumping but perfect for a cruise and watching the bay flow between the hulls. The rest of our group and the rest of the guests found a comfortable place to settle in and enjoy the scenery as we serenly cruised by the shoreline.
We shoved off shortly after we boarded and started heading north along the western shoreline of South Padre Island. We cruised by the entertainment district and all the fun bars, waving at the patrons who seemed envious of us being on a beautiful catamaran and I could almost hear them thinking, "I want to do that!"
Shortly after we shoved off the music started with some Jimmy Buffett songs and the aromatic smells of Cajun jumbo butterfly shrimp cooking on the grill. Island legend, Matt Theiss, entertained us the entire trip with his great voice and good guitar picking and medley of island and tropic songs, requests, and tunes appropriate for a sunset cruise on Laguna Madre Bay.
The shrimp were cooked to perfection and it wasn't long before they were quickly devoured.
As we cruised by some beautiful homes along the bay and a variety of wildlife, the smell and sizzle of grilled onions, seasoned chicken, and beef made my stomach growl and mouth water!
And it wasn't long before I just happened to be the first in line for some excellent fajitas and all the fixings. The fajitas were followed by some delicious fresh fruit.
And when the sun started to set to a great song by Matt, all my troubles went flying with the wind and I started to feel that life just can't get much better than this - cold beer, full stomach, family and new friends, great music, a beautiful sailboat with gentle waves lapping against the hulls, and an unbelievable sunset!
We enjoyed it so much we were ready to sign up for the New Years Eve Fireworks Cruise, but they were booked! Maybe next year.
If you're planning a trip to South Padre Island, you should consider a cruise on the .
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