"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

December 31, 2016

Looking Back at 2016

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” —Dr. Seuss

In January we began our cruising year in the Florida Keys where we enjoyed the company of cruising friends and a full schedule of fun activities.
January was a little cold and wet in Marathon, so in February we decided to move our boat to Jacksonville and go home to Texas.
We spent March catching up with family and playing with our grandchildren.
In April we finally moved the boat out of Florida and enjoyed visiting with friends on our way north to Charleston.
May was spent in the Chesapeake revisiting favorite places and catching up with more friends.
In June we left the boat in Baltimore and went home for a visit and we helped our oldest son and his family move to Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful month spent with family. 
July we headed to New England...were we enjoyed the sights, the weather and more friends.
We made it to Maine in August where we enjoyed hiking, beach combing and eating lobsters.
We spent the first week of September in Camden, Maine where we enjoyed the festivities of the Windjammer Festival. Then we slowly moved down the coast to the Chesapeake Bay.
In October we winterized The Pearl, said goodbye to old friends and headed home to spend time on the Texas coast and the Texas Pearl.
November was filled with boat projects...sun shades for both boats, fender covers, engine room projects and refinishing teak. It was also a time for crafts projects and volunteer work at the aquarium in Rockport.
December has been filled with family...especially our grandchildren and Christmas celebrations. We were blessed to be in Pennsylvania to welcome our newest grand daughter Cora Rose to the family.

December 26, 2016

2016 Travel Stats

Click here to go to The Pearl's travel map.
(expand the drop downs on the right side of the map for more information)
This blog post is best viewed in web version.

Stan and I both keep logs of information about our travels. Mine are more about the places we've been and stayed, his are more technical...sorry to the guys who read this blog that would enjoy more technical info, but that's just not my thing. For information on where we've docked and anchored please refer to my Travel Logs

These totals are from the time we left home in 2011 till the end of 2016.
     157   Different anchorages
     101   Different marinas
     301   Different towns visited
       23   State & providences visited
        3    Countries visited
     143   Most miles traveled in one day
17,091   Total miles traveled

 2011 Travel Stats 2012 Travel Stats 2013 Travel Stats
3987Miles traveled2678Miles traveled 3112Miles traveled
1085Gallons of diesel808Gallons of diesel1014Gallons of diesel 
566Engine hours379Engine hours425Engine hours
211Days on board209Days on board248Days on board
96Days of travel68Days of travel70Days of travel
13States visited10States or providences11States visited
71Towns visited55Towns visited62Towns visited
8Locks traversed106Locks traversed2Locks traversed
146Days at a marina121Days at a marina170Days at a marina
11Nights at a dock46Nights at a dock3Nights at a dock
48Nights at anchor30Nights at anchor50Nights at anchor
4Nights on a mooring ball10Nights on a mooring ball25Nights on a mooring ball
2Days on the hard 2Days on the hard0Days on the hard
 2014 Travel Stats 2014 Texas Pearl Stats 2015 Travel Stats
1143Miles traveled1708Miles traveled1027Miles traveled
279Gallons of diesel 1054Gallons of diesel 340Gallons of diesel 
163Engine hours196Engine hours112Engine hours
141Days on board32Days on board123Days on board
34Days of travel25Days of travel33Days of travel
3States visited5States visited2States visited
23Towns visited16Towns visited15Towns visited
0Locks traversed11Locks traversed2Locks traversed
115Days at a marina18Days at a marina67Days at a marina
13Nights at a dock5Nights at a dock2Nights at a dock
12Nights at anchor9Nights at anchor23Nights at anchor
1Nights on a mooring ball0Nights on a mooring ball21Nights on a mooring ball
0Days on the hard0Days on the hard10Days on the hard
 2016 Travel Stats
3434Miles traveled
1037Gallons of diesel 
453Engine hours
208Generator hours
208Days on board
75Days of travel
12States visited
59Towns visited
1Locks traversed
107Days at a marina
6Nights at a dock
35Nights at anchor
60Nights on a mooring ball
0Days on the hard

December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas

“The best keeps getting better all the time.” –Allan Jackson

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...2016 was another amazing year and we feel blessed to have the life we are living.  Our year was divided between adventures on the water and delightful time spent with our growing family.

We traveled from the Florida Keys to Maine this year. Exploring new places, revisiting old favorites, making new friends and catching up with old friends along the way. I won't go over highlights in this post...you can read the rest of the blog for that.

As wonderful as our cruising life is, the real joy of our life is our family. We really enjoy spending time playing, hugging, kissing and learning from our incredible grandchildren. Watching these little people grow is truly a gift. On December 8th we welcomed Cora Rose into our family and we were so excited and thrilled to be there for her birth. Kyle, Brytanie, her big brother Graham and the rest of the family are already in love with her. What a great Christmas present.

We look forward to new adventures on the water in 2017 and spending time with our grandwonders Mayven, Graham, Eelyn and Cora.

November 15, 2016

Nov. 14 - Beautiful Fall Day

Rockport Harbor

"It's amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday." ― John Guare
It was a beautiful day to be on the water, although our purpose for cruising today was to fill our fuel tanks...any excuse to be on the water on a day like today is a good thing.

The best fuel price in the area is in Con Brown Harbor, about ten miles south of Rockport. We had a leisurely cruise south, took on 225 gallons of diesel, had a nice lunch on our cruise back and then anchored by Mud Island to enjoy the rest of the day and watch the Super Moon come up. We gave some thought to spending the night on the hook, but we both have obligations in the morning, so we enjoyed a moonlit cruise back to our dock.
My favorite house on the ICW
Entering Con Brown Harbor
Fuel dock
What a beautiful day
It was fun watching all the dolphins playing today
Sunset and Moonrise

November 9, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

November 6, 2016

Nov. 6 – Rockport, TX

Rockport Harbor

“The world above is a wonderful place. But everyone knows the true magic lies...under the sea, where the water is clear and the fish swim free.” ―Sebastian, The Little Mermaid
One of the things I enjoy doing when we stay in Rockport is working at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. It's located across the parking lot from the boat, so my commute is very short. Working there gives me a chance to contribute to the community, visit with people from all over the country and get to know other volunteers who live in the area.

I worked this week and was lucky enough to be in town to enjoy a cruise on Archimedes (Texas Floating Classroom). The aquarium sponsored this floating educational classroom so the children in the area could have a chance to learn about the water they live by. On Thursday evening they had a sunset cruise for the volunteers, a way of saying thank you for the work that we do. I enjoyed the chance to spend a few hours on the water on such a beautiful evening.

A few of my favorite residents of the aquarium...this is Marley a spotted moray eel.
Giant hermit crab
Archimedes - Texas Floating Classrom
Leaving the harbor, the building to the left is the educational building of the aquarium.
Learning a few things while enjoying a pretty evening on the water
Some of the aquarium volunteers enjoying a sunset cruise

November 2, 2016

Nov. 2 – Totally Out of Florida

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” – C.S. Lewis

We finally have our car back in Texas. It’s been sitting at Ortega River Marina for almost seven months. I drove Stan to the airport in Houston on Saturday and he caught a late flight to Jacksonville. He arrived about 9:45 eastern time and took Uber to the marina. The car was in great shape and started quickly, so he thought he'd drive west just a little before he stopping for the night. Fate had other plans...he couldn't find a hotel room anywhere from Jacksonville to Pensacola. Every room was full, seems Florida State University played in Tallahassee on Saturday and everywhere was packed.

After dropping Stan off I drove to my brother's house in Sugar Land. I spent the evening and most Sunday catching up with my sister in law and nieces, and had a chance to play with my great nephew…we had a wonderful time. Paula and I didn't go to bed until after three. I kept in touch with Stan during the night and knew he had decided to drive straight through. What else can you do when you can’t find a room?

By the time I got up Sunday morning Stan was in Baton Rouge and I knew he would beat me home. We left our house around 2:00 on Saturday and Stan was home by 2:30 Sunday...875 miles by air and 1135 miles by car. After more than 2 ½ years…we are finally and completely out of Florida.

October 26, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

October 23, 2016

Oct. 23 – Texas Pearl Cruise

Rockport Harbor

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” – Anaïs Nin
Last weekend we had a chanec to take the Texas Pearl out for a cruise. We went up to San Antonio Bay and anchored close to Panther Lake...a place where Stan has spent a lot of time fishing in the past. The weather was nice, although still a little warmer than we'd like. It as a beautiful evening and we enjoyed watching the Hunter Moon come up over the horizon while doing a little fishing.

This was the first time we pulled a dinghy with us. It seemed to work well
Just a little crowed on the water today.
While Stan fishes...I take pictures.
Poling through the shallow areas
A beautiful evening for fishing
Can you see the LARGE alligator in the foreground? He was longer than our little boat! We all kept an eye on each other.
A pretty sunset with Texas Pearl in the distant.
The beautiful Hunter Moon rising in the east
Looking for flounder to gig
The flounder Stan gigged weren't the largest we've seen, but they made a great late night dinner. Straight from the bay to the frying pan.