Big chill melts as Spring Break warms up
The beach was not quite deserted, but the large number of Spring Breakers were not there in force over the weekend.
However, there appeared to be a large number of people in town, judging from the crowded restaurant parking lots on Saturday night.
Traffic on Alister Street was steady, and an influx of autos, trucks and recreational vehicles was swelling the Port Aransas population early Sunday afternoon despite the rainfall and 55-degree temperature.
Despite the soggy conditions, the RV spaces in I.B. Magee Jr. Beach Park were filled, there were numerous people fishing on the south jetty, and beach visitors were dressed in various garb, from fully-bundled to swimsuits.
Beach campers gathered in clusters around tents, families hunted along the shoreline for shells, a kayaker dropped a fishing line in the water about 300 yards offshore, and those who were determined to stay on the beach entrenched themselves and waited out the weather.
Marshall Bankstons, Jeffrey McCammon and Ruben Littleton are three University of Texas at Austin students who set up Spring Break headquarters on the beach, near Pole No. 13 On the Beach.
"We are Spring Breakers who do not care about the cold," Bankstons said.
"It's pretty warm in there right now," McCammon said, regarding their makeshift shelter.
Of course they also had the necessary accoutrements that provide for a memorable Spring Break: beer and Mardis Gras beads (the latter being a sort of Spring Break commodity that is traded on the beach for another commodity).
"We looked at the forecast and saw there was going to be rain until Monday, but we said that regardless, we will be there and we will have a great time," Bankstons said.
McCammon said there were many others in their party from Austin who wanted to party like Spring Breakers, but opted to stay in Port Aransas condos or motels instead of roughing it on the beach.
"I could have stayed home and stayed in a room," McCammon said.