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

February 21, 2016

Feb. 20 - Jacksonville, FL

Ortega River Marina

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Dr. Seuss

We've been Jacksonville for a week staying busy visiting with friends, meeting new friends, working on the boat and eating.

Our local friends, Barbara and David, told us about a great place to eat. Definitely not a fancy place, but the food was outstanding. Southern Charm is a down home joint run by a local character and chef that personally greets each guest as they enter his little diner. The place is only open a few hours each day for lunch and then again a few hours for dinner. Friday was his shrimp and fish buffet. Along with the main course we had some of the best sides I've ever eaten...mac and cheese, potato salad, cole slaw, collard greens, fried green tomatoes, cheesy grits and cinnamon rolls. Art "Cracker" does all the cooking, he howlers "shrimp up" or "fish up" when each batch is done and his staff brings plates of fresh food to your table as long as you want to keep eating. We were as full as two little ticks when we left.

One of the things we've always enjoyed in Jacksonville is the Riverside Arts Market...a nice combination of farm fresh items, crafts, music and food. It's located near a neighbor called Five Points under the I95 bridge. Today was a beautiful day to spend at the market, along with the normal vendors the market was hosting a chili cook off. There were twenty five booths filled with free samples of chili and cornbread with all the fixings. The sample cups looked small, but after tasting ever contestants chili, a few pieces of cornbread and a couple of cookies for dessert we were stuffed.
Art busy cooking up fresh shrimp, fish and green tomatoes
This was my plate after going through the line...
then they start bringing you plates of fish and shrimp.
The Riverside Art Market
Vendors of all kinds...
and lots of good food too.
A few of the beautiful winter vegetables 
I think these may be the largest shrimp I've ever seen. The lady told us the red ones taste like lobster. 
The view from the market
The Chili Cook-Off
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

February 17, 2016

Feb. 17 - Jacksonville, FL

Ortega River Marina

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow" —Lin Yutang

It felt like coming home when we came through Jacksonville...we spent a lot of time here in 2014. Hopefully this visit won't be as long, but it is a good place to catch up with friends and do a little work on the boat. It's also a great place to leave the boat when we go back to Texas for a visit. It's a straight shot down I10 from here to Houston and then south. We've made that trip 23 times in the last five years.

We don't know exactly when we'll go home, probably next week when we've had time to put a coat of Cetol Gloss on the bright work and when we've had time to visit with friends we haven't seen in a couple of years. The cruising world gets smaller and smaller the longer you're involved in it. We saw friends in almost every city we visited on the way north this month. It's always fun to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones.

Jacksonville will be our home for the next 6 weeks or so...we plan to stay in Texas until after Easter and then slowly head north the first part of April. We are looking forward to crossing the Florida/Georgia state line...we've been in Florida for two years. Definitely time for a little new scenery and more adventures.

Old friends from Charleston...Sandy, Rickey, Maryann, George, Susie and Stan
The Pearl's home for the next 6 weeks
The marina's new deck, pool and bath house
The view from the marina's new deck area...overlooking the docks.
Stan touching up some of the worse spots before we put a coat of Cetol Gloss on all the teak.
View from the flybridge at sunset
The baskets I've been working on this winter. This one is 8" across and about 3" high
This cute little one has a lid and is 4" across and a little less than 2" high.  
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

February 11, 2016

Feb. 10 – Cocoa, FL

Indian River – Anchorage

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” ―Cesare Pavese

Just a quick update to the blog to let everyone know where we are…life isn’t very exciting at the moment. We spent Tuesday in Vero Beach, it was cooler and windier than Monday, so we were glad we had spent Monday wandering through the beach area. Tuesday we took advantage of the local bus and went to Publix, had lunch and did a little shopping. Before returning to the boat we visited with friends that are docked at the marina. We spent the rest of the day hiding on the boat from high winds and cold temperatures. We have to keep reminding ourselves we’re in south Florida.

Today we moved north to Cocoa, which is a cute town we enjoyed visiting in 2011, but today we decided against going ashore. The high winds and cold temperature makes a ride in the dinghy very uncomfortable. In fact we spent most of the day driving from the lower helm so we could stay out of the wind and stay warm. Kind of fun for a change, but we both would enjoy a warm day…at least the sun has been out and that helps. This summer when it’s hot, I hope we remember these days.
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

February 9, 2016

Feb. 8 - Vero Beach, FL

Fritz Island - Anchorage

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

One of the things we enjoy most while cruising is finding small local places to eat or visit where we can talk with locals or just watch the world go by. While we were in Ft. Pierce yesterday, we found the Sailfish Brewing Company, not far from the marina, which had a nice selection of locally brewed beer. Another place we love in Ft. Pierce is the Importico's Bakery. It's a nice place to enjoy a relaxing breakfast and a great cup of coffee. We usually like sitting at one of their sidewalk tables where we can watch the town begin to wake up, but today it was just too cold to enjoy that.

The day warmed up quickly with winds far less than there were on Sunday, so we had a nice short cruise to Vero Beach. We've been cruising the east coast for five years and this is the first time we've stopped in Vero. It's a popular place with cruiser because everything you need is easily accessible and everyone is so friendly. They have a wonderful free bus system that takes you anywhere you need to go. Some refer to this area as Velcro Beach, because cruisers pull in for a few days and just can't seem to leave...we'll see what happens. We plan to stay a few days to relax, provision and visit with some friends.

Sailfish Brewing Co.
A glass of Lone Friar and White Marlin
Importico's Bakery
OK...this is a little too cold for winter in Florida.
The winds were so high on Sunday we had white caps in the ICW
Vero Beach
The sunsets have been amazing lately
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.