Rebuilding Ingleside-On-the-Bay After Hurricane Harvey Part 2

Updated on March 23, 2018
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After my recent 3 week stay in South Texas, I am working on a Series of Texas Strong Stories. The mixed emotions are still fresh in my mind

Rebuilding Ingleside On the Bay After Hurricane Harvey

Still standing.  What kind of tree is this?
Still standing. What kind of tree is this? | Source

Exploring Ingleside-on-the-Bay

As I explored Ingleside on the Bay, the beauty astounded me. There are so many different trees that Hurricane Harvey couldn't knock down. Everywhere I looked there were palm trees of all kinds, fruit trees full of fruit and some very unusual ones that I don't know what they were. (Like the one above)

Hurricane Harvey did its fair share of damage to this community. Homes and business alike were taken apart and strewn about. The one thing it couldn't do was break the bond that this community has for its neighbors.

Every morning I headed out to see if there was something I had missed the day before. With the fog being so thick in the mornings I was sure there was some hidden treasure I hadn't captured. I headed down Inglewood Drive to a park my friend had told me about.

Ingleside On the Bay

Singing Trees

I'm almost at the park when a sweet crackling and humming sound caught my ears. The singing trees where blowing in the wind. Anyway, I thought they were trees. I looked closer at the trees and realized it was very tall groups of bamboo that were the cause of the music. As you can see from the photo below why I thought they were trees at first. As I passed the row of trees, a pale green building caught my eye.

I add this part to show the beauty that surrounds this area and the feeling you have as you walk about. I had never seen such beauty mixed in with such devastation as I have found in this area. I want you to understand how I find my stories I write about.

These singing trees was music to my ears.
These singing trees was music to my ears. | Source

Cove Park

I turned the corner and stopped as I entered an empty field. This was what was left of Cove Park. Nothing like I expected to see. Along one side was trash from the bay hanging on a fence, but right in front of the cove was one park bench to sit on. Across the here, a pale green color caught my eye once again, so I head that way. I walked past what was left of the boat ramp and onto a small fishing pier, where many birds greeted me. These birds seemed to pose for pictures, so I watched and waited. I couldn't believe that this small pier had survived Hurricane Harvey.

As I turned to snap the picture I had been waiting for, I spotted a small building. I just stared at the sign, Dolphin Connection, I knew this was a story to be told. Walking over to it, my heart felt a tug of remorse, the damage made me sad. There was little left of it.

These birds like to pose for pictures
These birds like to pose for pictures | Source

Dolphin Connection 6 Months after Hurricane Harvey

Still got a ways to go.
Still got a ways to go. | Source

Sonja Strong's Story to reopen Dolphin Connection

This is her story of trying to get life back to normal. More than 30 years ago Sonja Strong and her husband started this business as a way of sharing their passion for dolphins with others. With her knowledge of Dolphins and their behavior, she wanted others to understand these awesome creatures.

Six months ago Hurricane Harvey changed her whole life. She lost her home, her passion, her boat, her dock, but not her desire to share the dolphins with others.

Two weeks after I got back to Oklahoma I spoke with Sonja on the phone. She had just that week gotten back into her home. She was filled with mixed emotions. The outside of the house was done, but there was nothing inside. She told me she didn't even have basic supplies, she had lost everything in the hurricane.

During this conversation, she voiced that she wasn't sure if she could rebuild Dolphin Connection because the money was not there.


A Different View

Behind the Dolphin connection is what is left of the boat dock.
Behind the Dolphin connection is what is left of the boat dock. | Source

My second interview brought great news to my ears and heart. A group from Ohio had come down and helped her finish her home. She was happy and on top of the world as we spoke.

For the last 30 years, Sonja has dedicated her life to educating others about dolphin by doing dolphin tours. So what is the Dolphin Connection all about? You take a ride on a boat ride to go see dolphins up close and personal. You get close enough you can almost touch them.

Bahia Marina

Temporarily  loading and unloading passengers from the Bahia Marina.
Temporarily loading and unloading passengers from the Bahia Marina. | Source

Happy to Announce

I am happy to announce she is opened for business. Not off of her own dock, but for now she will be loading and unloading passengers at the Bahia Marina.

She is not sure when her own dock can be rebuilt, but she holds out hope that it will happen.


Sonja has filled many pages with information on the behavior and habitats of different dolphins, not only salt-water ones. She believes the more you know about them the more likely you are to love and respect them. The dolphins that swim in Ingleside Cove and the La Quinta Channel have a personal connection with her, they are the reason she finds strength every day to get up and fight for another day.

My Final Thoughts

Sonja is #TexasStrong in every effort she makes to recover from a life-changing event. Let us show her we support her efforts by dropping by her website and leave her a kind word of support. Her struggle to recover is far from over, but at least now she can see the Sunshine through the clouds.

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    • JoannaBlackburn profile image
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      Joanna Blackburn 2 weeks ago from Guthrie, Oklahoma

      Deanna, thanks. I am working on some stories from Rockport too. I have lots lined up and will continue to write these stories.

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      Deanna 2 weeks ago

      Good read!! Thanks for not letting others forget what were going thru still here in the Rockport area!!

    • JoannaBlackburn profile image
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      Joanna Blackburn 2 weeks ago from Guthrie, Oklahoma

      Thank you. Working hard on my next article.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 2 weeks ago from London

      Great read,,loved all the pictures.waiting for next dear.

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      abccraft@gmx.com 3 weeks ago

      very well written artical

    working