The Osprey 1 is fittingly named; it was Osprey Cruises' first and only boat back in 1971, when the company first started. Back then, the 70-foot vessel's main routes were for carrying fishermen and spectators up to 100 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico for fishing trips and wildlife watching. And it does so today, too?it's just ceded some of its star status to the fleet's newer vessels.
And they're a compelling bunch. Take the aptly named The Thriller, a high-speed offshore racer for adrenaline cruises. Or, perhaps even more enticing, The Black Dragon. It's a recreation of a 17th-century Spanish galleon helmed by a crew of costumed pirates, rather than their less-reliable parrots. On pirate cruises, these swashbucklers share pirate stories, send passengers on treasure hunts, and generally introduce them to the grog-and-swordfighting lifestyle. Many trips happen upon schools of dolphins along the way or offer evening jaunts amid captivating sunset views.
Around the globe, each of Gracie Barra's more than 300 schools shares a common curriculum: Brazilian jiu jitsu. The school's instructors instill the traditional martial art throughout the world, venturing beyond Brazil to nearly every continent on Earth. At the McAllen branch, the instructors possess the same International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation certifications as their colleagues across the globe, and call on their training in the Gracie Barra curriculum to teach the martial-arts technique to all ages and experience levels. Additionally, they schedule programs such as muay thai and women's fight-fitness classes that incorporate self-defense tactics for beating up unwanted calories.
When Daniel Bryant founded Breakaway Cruises in 1995, the tour company had a fleet of one—a dolphin watch boat, the Xcape. Nowadays, the Xcape is still bringing tourists face-to-face with live dolphins, but it no longer works alone. Gliding behind one of the new parasailing boats, aquatic adventurers rise up to 600 feet above the waves without having to harness a flying fish to each shoe. Meanwhile, fishermen can seek out sand trout, redfish, and speckled trout aboard assorted fishing boats. Jet skis round out the fleet, along with a second dolphin watch boat.
The seeds for the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art were planted in 1935, when the Brownsville Art League began to meet and discuss fine art. In the 1960s, a member took the league to the next level by designing a small art studio where they could house and display their collections. In 2002, it grew again, this time into an official museum featuring a lineup of permanent and rotating fine art. Despite the expansions over time, the core mission has stayed the same: to share art with the community and enrich the cultural landscape of Brownsville. Here are some more facts about this community institution.
Size: 17,000 square feet of bright space that holds over 350 pieces of fine art
Eye Catcher: works by luminaries, such as Marc Chagall, N.C. Wyeth, and Alexander Calder
Permanent Mainstay: Pedro Meyer's Heresies, a collection of photographs and digital images, which are combined to create striking pieces that challenge the viewer's beliefs about what's real and not real
Events: every year, the museum hosts two juried art shows?one just for students?which showcase work by artists from all over the world
Past Exhibits: La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo's Intimate Universe, complemented by an exhibit of photographs of the artists by Nickolas Muray
Special Programs: the art-making classes for adults and kids, which garnered the museum a commendation from the Texas Art Education Association for outstanding service to the community