Visit Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce

Crawfish Fest April 30th

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Apr 16 - 0 Comments

The 4th Annual Crawfish Fest & Cookoff will be held on Saturday, April 30th. This event has become the major fund raiser for the Chamber of Commerce, and has been a huge success in the past. Each year, it gets bigger and better! Without this event, the Chamber would not have been able to fund the new pavilion on King Fisher Park. Funds from the continuing Festival will go toward continuing improvements for our community.

Starting at 10:00 am, gates will open to the public with lots of food, crafts, live entertainment, kids activities, horseshoe tournament, and other contests. Along with our great raffle items, the Chamber will include two HUGE raffle items, that will carry through until our Fireworks Display for drawing. One, a beautiful ‘Seascape” King size quilt, and other, a Core AR15/scout. Raffle tickets for these items can be purchased for $5 or 5/$20.

Of course the cook-off itself is a huge success, with awards for a Bloody Mary contest, best decorated booth, and this year we will have a People’s Choice Award. Visitors can purchase a wristband for $20, and receive five voting tokens. With the wristband, you can sample cooker’s crawfish, and vote on your favorite. The Chamber will also be selling Crawfish plates for $20, which will include 3 lbs of crawfish, corn and potatoes. And if you don’t like crawfish, there will be plenty of local food vendors.

Admission will be $2 for all adults and children six and under are free. Great Cajun entertainment with Boudreau Zydeco band, will be opening and closing for our local Tom Dorn and the Seadrifters. You can’t go anywhere and have this much fun, all on the front beach of Port O’Connor!! SEE YOU THERE!!


7-10 AM: Vendor & Cooker Check-in & Setup

10 AM Open to Public

11:00 AM – Kids Games begin

11:30 AM: Crawfish served until sold out

12-2 PM: Boudreau Cajun Zydeco Music

12:30 PM: Bloody Mary Contest Judging

12:00 PM: Horseshoe Tourney Registration

1 PM Horseshoe Tournament

2 PM Boiled Crawfish Judging

2:30-4:30 PM: Tom Dorn & the Sea Drifters

3 PM Best Side Dish Judging

4 PM People’s Choice Turned In

4:30PM Crawfish Eating Contest

5 PM Awards Announced

5-7 PM: Boudreau Cajun Zydeco Music

Heroes on their way…

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Apr 16 - 0 Comments

On May 19 we will have the privilege of welcoming veterans of our Armed Services to our area.

On that day a small group of veterans from Combat Marine Outdoors will arrive in Seadrift for their annual fishing trip.

And it’s also the day that wounded warriors arrive in Victoria, to be joined on Saturday, the 21, by hundreds more for the tenth annual Warrior’s Weekend in Port O’Connor.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and greet them!


It’s Almost Shrimpfest Time in Seadrift!

Archived in the category: Announcements, Events, General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Apr 16 - 0 Comments

Are you counting the days down? Come enjoy two days of festival fun and “Dancing under the Pavilion” at our 36th Annual Shrimpfest – June 17th & 18th – on Seadrift Bayfront overlooking the beautiful San Antonio Bay.

We will have Food and Crafts booths, observe or participate in many contests: Horseshoes, Washers, Volleyball (Co-Ed Teams), Shrimp Gumbo Cook-Off, Shrimp Eating contest, Kid’s Fishing Tournament, and the our 1st Annual Shrimpfest Fishing Tournament.

There will be a Kidz Korner with Identikid, Face Painting, Rides & Games, and Inflatable Monster Obstacle.

Our famous Shrimpfest Pageant is back and it will include Miss Shrimpfest (14¬-18 Years), Junior Miss Shrimpfest (11-¬13 Years), Little Miss (7¬-10 Years), Tiny Miss & Little Mister (4¬-6 Years), Teeny Miss & Tiny Mister (1¬-3 years), and Baby Miss & Mister (under 1).

Dance under the stars to La Soledad and The Emotions on Friday and Todd Dorn & The Sea Drifters with closing by Larry Joe Taylor on Saturday.

Gates Open 3pm Friday & 8am Saturday – Gate Fee $5 on Friday and Saturday, $10 starting at 6pm Saturday – Kids under 6 FREE (Must be accompanied by an adult).  Don’t forget to buy your Shrimpfest T-Shirt early May or at event! Come one, Come all!

All Registration forms can be found at or call (361) 237-0406.

Clint’s Island Paradise as it was about 10 years ago, painted by Phyllis Hatton.

Clint’s Island Paradise as it was about 10 years ago, painted by Phyllis Hatton.

Some have told me that I am living their dream, while others have said that I must be out of my mind.

In March 2006 I retired from the Victoria Police Dept. after 22 years of service, having performed those duties for exactly half of my life. Though I’ve missed the camaraderie, it was time to move on, and I’ve never looked back.

In January 2000 I had purchased an acre of undivided interest on this barrier island, four miles across Matagorda Bay from mainland Port O’Connor, TX. The property is accessible by boat only, and the proper name for it is Matagorda Peninsula, even though in reality it is an island, becoming so in 1962 when the Corp of Engineers cut a quarter mile wide swath through the peninsula, making this piece of land completely surrounded by water. This enormous dredging project, now called the Big Jetties, created a jetty passageway for ships and tankers to access the local industrial factories via the Gulf of Mexico. The barrier island is roughly four miles long and 3/4 mile wide, totaling 1,500 acres.

With the help of a skilled carpentry friend, Louis Boldt, construction slowly began on an octagon designed two-story cabin, 600 square feet total. I boated 225 bags of Kwik-Crete across the bay, 20 bags at a time (that’s 18,000 lbs!), to pour a slab first, mixing four bags at a time. Keep in mind that ALL materials must come by boat across an often times rough open water bay, so the building process was slow and very laborious.

The day finally arrived when the cabin was dried in, so now I could at least get out of the weather and not have to boat back to the mainland at the end of each day that we were constructing. Other than some native salt water cedars in one area of the island, there are no trees, so I would have to put my own saplings in the ground. But would anything even grow on a barrier island surrounded by salt water?

Finding a source of fresh water would be vital in staying out here and any hopes of growing anything. I learned that provided you get far enough back from the bay shoreline, at least a quarter mile, an underground fresh rain water basin could be utilized. Fresh water is less dense than salt water, therefore it remains suspended above the salt water level. Sure enough, using a gasoline powered post-hole digger with extension, there was fresh water about 12 feet down. A four inch PVC sand point and casing was pushed down, and an above ground 12 volt Flojet pump was used to pull the water up through a half inch PVC pipe inside the casing. A solar panel keeps the single deep cycle battery charged that operates the pump. This fresh water was also used to mix the 225 bags of Kwik-Crete for the cabin foundation. I’ve had this fresh well water system for 16 years total now, using it for all of my outside water needs.

Having fresh water, I then began getting a grass yard and trees started. Laying down about twenty 10”x10” squares, I was able to get a St. Augustine grass yard growing, and it has done really well over the years, bouncing back even after being covered with salt water from hurricanes. In May 2002 I planted six small palms, 16 inches tall, across the front yard, and these palms are now over 20 feet tall! I’ve also been able to grow beautiful Norfolk pines, fig trees, a magnolia and other various plants and bushes.

After retiring in March 2006, I moved to the island full time, making it my only residence, having no dwellings of any kind on the mainland, and I have no regrets. My inside cabin water is rain water that I collect in two 500 gallon tanks, pumped into the cabin with another 12 volt pump connected to a battery bank with solar panels on the roof. My lights and ceiling fans are also 12 volt, and several inverters tied into the battery system operate any 110 volt items, including a TV that I have primarily to keep track of the tropics during hurricane season. My fridge, freezer, stove, water heater and winter heater all operate off propane, using 5 and 10 gallon tanks that I transport to the mainland to be filled.

Being conservative comes without even thinking about it now. It’s amazing how much a person can conserve, and do without, when you live completely off-grid and rely on Mother Nature for power and water. I have a generator that I use for a washing machine, and for drying them I use a solar clothes dryer … also known as a clothes line. The first few summers I also used the generator to occasionally run a window AC unit, but it hasn’t been turned on in over seven years now. I’ve pretty much acclimated myself to the sultry south Texas weather conditions here on the island. Plus, I hate the noise of a loud generator.

Aerial view of island compound

Aerial view of island compound

In 2008 I began my gardening and chicken raising endeavors, constructing raised planting beds, using a portion of island soil and hauling across bags of top soil, and also mixing in organic fertilizers of lime, seed meal and bone meal. I also began making my own compost using fresh grass clippings, cow manure, chicken manure, coffee grounds and sea weed that I collect from the beach and rinse off. I’ve also made raised planters from plastic 30 and 55 gallon barrels that wash ashore, cutting them in half lengthways. With gardening advice from my dad and lots of reading, I have grown wonderful tomatoes, peppers, squash, watermelons and cantaloupes. I also built a small greenhouse where I start everything from seeds before planting into the ground. There is a real sense of satisfaction being able to eat a delicious vine ripened tomato that you started from a tiny seed.

In September 2008 I built a chicken pen and coop, and began raising chickens, starting out with eight, and eventually having as many as fifty chickens. I’ve settled into getting 20 new baby chicks, and a few baby guineas, every three years when it’s time to replace the old ones. I order the chicks/guineas and they arrive at the Post Office, three days old and always very healthy. I love having chickens, and I use the surplus eggs to sell and barter with.
I go by boat to the mainland for supplies and to check for mail every 7-10 days, depending on weather conditions. I enjoy scouting the beach and bay shoreline for what treasures may have washed up. The only wildlife to speak of on the island are a few raccoons, coyotes and unfortunately an abundance of rattlesnakes. I’ve killed 26 rattlers since living full time out here, five of them within twenty feet of my front door! Funny story, years ago I received an email from a guy reading my articles, saying I shouldn’t kill the rattlesnakes, they are living creatures and should at least be re-located. I replied back that I would gladly attempt to capture and relocate them to his yard, I simply needed his address. . he never replied back. Idiot.

I truly love living on this barrier island, and being largely self-sufficient. My goal is to become more and more so, knowing that I’ll never be 100% self-sustaining, but I can try. I cannot imagine having to reside back on the mainland, and God willing, will never have to do so. I rarely get lonely out here on the island, but instead enjoy the peaceful solitude. My saddest day on the island, without question, was my faithful and beloved first mate boxer, Barnacle, drifting off to heaven as I held him in my arms. He now watches over me from above, and looks forward to me getting another puppy soon, and we will name him Corky.

In April 2014 I inherited two 2-week old kittens after they were found in the anchor box of a fellow islanders boat while it was parked on the mainland. Not knowing the kittens were there, the anchor was thrown off the side of the boat and one of the tiny kittens became entangled in the rope and went overboard. The kitten was rescued and I named her Anchor, and her sister I named Jetty. I bottle-fed the sister kittens for several weeks, and now they are beautiful cats that do a wonderful job in keeping my rat population in check.
photo-ClintI’ve met so many wonderful people during my years out here on the island. True islanders are good people, always willing to help when called upon, especially Bubba, Joe, Chuckie and Leo.

Being an off-grid homesteader on a barrier island surrounded by billions of gallons of salt water can be accomplished, it simply takes determination. . . and maybe being a little bit out of your mind.

CLINT BENNETSEN is a retired police detective and now lives full time on Matagorda Peninsula Island, and writes a monthly column for the Dolphin Talk. To comment or ask questions of Clint, he can be contacted at or

Who do we thank for a fine tradition? By Kelly Gee

Archived in the category: Events, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Apr 16 - 0 Comments
Commemorative Plaque at King Fisher beach, honoring more than 25 years of community Sunrise Services. Created by Darrell and Jo Beth Staff and Eclipse Tinting & Glass and erected by the Port O’Connor Community Service Club.

Commemorative Plaque at King Fisher beach, honoring more than 25 years of community Sunrise Services. Created by Darrell and Jo Beth Staff and Eclipse Tinting & Glass and erected by the Port O’Connor Community Service Club.

Easter Sunrise Service at Kingfisher Beach is a fine tradition in POC. Somewhere between 600-700 people joined together to celebrate the belief that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday over 2000 years ago. People came from as close as across the street and as far as 1,800 miles away to be a part of this special time. Locals, Weekenders, Snowbird Texans, POC children and grandchildren, families and extended families anxiously plan and await the worshipful experience of Easter Sunrise at the Beach.

The POC Service Club erected a stonework cross and commemorative plaque to honor more than 25 years of joining together for this traditional celebration. The beautiful stone cross, reminiscent of Jesus’ empty stone tomb, was created and donated by local artisans Darrell and Jo Beth Staff. The graphics work on the plaque was graciously donated by Eclipse Tinting and Glass of Port Lavaca owners Mike and Tammy Ward and their amazing daughter Cassie.
Doyle Adams and his precious son, who comes yearly to help, and men of First Baptist Church were up well before the dawn as they are every year to set up the sound system and chairs for the services. Cathy Osborne of Cathy’s Restaurant worked early before closing on Easter to provide homemade cinnamon rolls for those attending. Fisherman’s Chapel members brought coffee and juice, cookies and rolls and then served with a smile to start the day. (A special shout out to Susie, James and John for serving.)

Pastors Donnie Martin of 1st Baptist and Ernie McDonough of Fisherman’s Chapel, Raymond Grant and the melodious acapella choir of 1st Baptist all rose early and planned carefully and prepared well to share their heart, their music and their message so early that morning.

Someone asked me who to thank for the lovely morning. I want to thank each of these people. I also want to thank our community. It is a rare treat to see such a gathering of hope, love and joy in today’s world… The group that gathered crossed boundaries of every type including cultural, generational, geographical, and religious. There was no indication of who you associated with or those you didn’t. It was simply neighbors and friends gathered to celebrate a world changing historical event that offers hope, opportunities to give to others and for many, a reason for life. More importantly, there was unity in joy of the morning, differences did not separate and opinions did not cause avoidance.

Despite the fog and mosquitoes, humidity and chill, the atmosphere of sharing was warm and caring and greetings between old friends and friends not yet known was open and easy. Even in a small community, that is a reason for celebration, and may speak to the strength of the message of new hope and new beginnings inherent in the life of Jesus and the celebration of His resurrection. The morning was indeed a sunny one in our small town even without the sun appearing.

So when you are thanking those who worked to coordinate our Sunrise Services, don’t forget to thank God that we still have the opportunity to live where such a celebration is possible.

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