Trip Art

FRI 10/8

We could go on and on about how romantic an evening boat ride sounds: the quiet flow of the current, your sweetie's face against the setting sun. But that ain't squat compared to witnessing a gator nail his prey firsthand. "We once saw an alligator leap out of the water like a dolphin," says Tina Proctor of Artist Boat, an organization that leads artsy canoe trips through Christmas Bay, Armand Bayou and other surrounding areas. "We could see his feet, the whole side of his body -- he was only six feet away from us." Proctor can't promise that kind of Discovery Channel action during this Friday's paddle through Christmas Bay, though you will see "plenty of critters and some of the most pristine areas in the Galveston Bay," she says. Dress to get wet, pack a lunch and arrive early for a paddling demonstration. After a two-hour kayak tour, you'll beach on the wetlands for a quick watercolor lesson -- the perfect opportunity for you and your first mate to kick back, watch for gators and capture the moment on canvas. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, October 8. Group meets at Ernie's Bait Camp, 2211 East Highway 332, Beach Exit 6 at Christmas Bay. For information, call 409-770-0722 or visit www.artistboat.org. $20 to $40. --Steven Devadanam

Take a Dive

SAT 10/9

Interested in some buoyancy compensators? How about some spare air? Then you're either way too into metaphor or you're a scuba diver, which means you belong at this weekend's Scuba Diving Flea Market in Clear Lake. Yes, our brownish, oily Texan waters are great places for spotting wildlife, spearing fish and, of course, practicing conservation activities. The members of Bay Area Divers will greet guests with barbecue and door prizes, and there'll be plenty of opportunities to buy, sell and learn a thing or two about scuba -- even for those of us who think a "regulator" is someone who hangs with Warren G. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 9. C.D. Landolt Pavilion, 5000 NASA Road. For information, call 281-474-9406 or visit www.bayareadivers.org. $4. -- Julia Ramey

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