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

April 30, 2017

April 30 – Alexandria, VA

Old Dominion Boat Club

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” ―Tim Cahill
One of our main reasons for visiting Alexandria was to visit friends we meet in 2014 when we took the Texas Pearl home from Florida. A casual meeting at a marina in Panama City gave us a chance to make some very special friends...it's one of the best parts of cursing. Larry and Gail were on the home stretch of their Great Loop adventure that year and we've been lucky enough to see them every year since. 

We've enjoyed being docked at their boat club at the foot of King Street, meeting some of their boating friends and spending Saturday night at the clubs annually pig roast and sock burning party, where we got to meet some of their children and grandchildren. Thank you for letting us join the fun...we had a great time. 

The view of the Old Dominion Boat Club from the Torpedo Factory
Part of the delicious dinner we had at the boat club Saturday night
Part of Larry and Gail's family
The purpose of the sock burning is to shed your winter socks and celebrate the upcoming spring equinox (which has already passed) and the beginning of the boating season.   
Sunday Gail and Larry took us on a tour of the area. They drove us around Alexandria giving us a little history lesson, down the George Washington Parkway to Mount Vernon and then over the Arlington Memorial Bridge into Washington DC to see some of the monuments. It was a great tour but the best part of the day was spending the evening at their townhouse catching up and enjoying a great meal. They've been wonderful hosts and we're so glad we had a chance to come visit.

The original entry to Mount Vernon..the way George Washington would have come into his estate. We're hoping to stop and visit Mount Vernon on our way down the Potomac later in the week.
The Martin Luther King Memorial wasn't complete when we were in DC the last time, so it was nice to get to see it today.
"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope"
The Jefferson Memorial...across the tidal basin from the MLK memorial
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 Instragram or Google+.

April 29 – Alexandria's Old Town Farmer's Market

Old Dominion Boat Club

“The journey not the arrival matters.” ―T. S. Eliot
One of our favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is go to a local farmers market. Some people come strictly for the fresh fruits and vegetables...we enjoy taking in the whole scene, buying fresh baked goods, wandering the stalls sampling locally made cheeses and wines, talking to local people and watching the world come alive.

The Old Town Farmers' Market in Alexandria is the oldest farmers' market in the country held continuously at the same site. Local farmers and artists have been selling their products in Market Square Plaza since 1753, even George Washington sent his produce from Mount Vernon to be sold at this Farmer's Market.
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 Instragram or Google+.

April 29, 2017

April 28 – Alexandria, VA

Old Dominion Boat Club

“To travel is to breathe in the air of unimaginable places, taking in all the beauty the world has to offer.” —Kiana Azizian
We’re in Alexandria for a few days to explore, relax and catch up with friends. We haven’t been up the Potomac River since we spent a week in Washington, DC in 2011. We spent that week running, taking in everything we could…this time we are going to explore a more leisurely pace. Today we just wandering around Old Town taking in the architecture and having a great lunch at The Wharf
She Crab Soup and a Scollop Poorboy 
Alexandria History: Alexandria sits on the Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, DC; it’s nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Alexandria's timeline of history is filled with events that helped shape the United States into the country it is today. It was a vital seaport during colonial times, George Washington's hometown and part of the original Washington, DC.  

Alexandria served as one of the largest slave trading ports prior to the Civil War, but once occupied by Union forces from the onset of the Civil War, the city was both vital in the defense of the nation's capital and essential in the war effort as a transportation and hospital center for the Union. Even before the war, Alexandrians were making history toward achieving equality.  

Alexandria's Old Town district was established in 1946 and became the third historic district designated in the United States. Its remarkable concentration of historic buildings with a detailed past create a rich backdrop for today's vibrant contemporary lifestyle.

King Street - The heart of Old Town Alexandria
City Hall on Market Square also known as the Alexandria Market House was built in 1871 
Captains Row - This block draws its name from the sea captains who docked their ships at the Alexandria wharves and built their Federal-period row homes on this block of Prince Street. The cobblestones are said to be imported ballast, laid by Hessians taken prisoner during the American Revolution.
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 Instragram or Google+.

April 27, 2017

April 27 – Let the Season Begin

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” —John A. Shedd
We’ve finished all our boat projects and moved out into the sunshine yesterday. Our cruising season begins today…first destination is up the Potomac to Alexandria. Let the fun begin.

The Pearl in the shed...a great place to store the boat, but not a good place to live.
The Pearl out in the sunshine and ready to cruise
One last look at Olverson's as we left this morning.

April 19, 2017

April 18 – Work, Work, Work

Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." ~Willie Nelson

Just a quick post to update everyone on all the fun we've been having since we returned to the boat two weeks ago. We both have been working very hard on projects, putting in 8 to 10 hour days, but Stan has really been the one doing the hard work. I took a little break to return to Pennsylvania to spend Easter with our family while he stayed behind and refinished the salon floor.

The good news is we can see the end in sight and will be ready to cruise soon. By the weekend we should be done with the major projects...our first reward will be to move out of the shed and into the light. Living on a boat in a barn isn't a lot of fun...we need sunshine. 

Day Five: Put snaps (72) on two new sets of front window covers, finished repairing deck, fixed dock box, removed anchor chain to measure and replace and second coat of Cetol on name boards.  

Day Six: Third coat of Cetol on name boards, sanded and painted Kiwi Grip on deck that had been repaired, touched up a few others places with Kiwi Grip, changed fuel and oil filters, changed the engine oil, painted the deck chairs, painted Kiwi Grip on boarding stairs, polished some stainless, waxed more of the upper deck and added a coat of Cetol gloss to back window frame. 

Day Seven: Finished polishing all the stainless, wiped upper deck with Methyl Ethyl Ketone to remove old wax and dirt before waxing, applied first coat of Cetol gloss on name boards, caulked around a few windows, scrapped old paint off mast and waxed more of the upper deck. 

Day Eight: Second coat of Cetol gloss on name boards, sanded salon floor and applied first coat of Interlux Goldspar 60 Satin. 

Day Nine: Third coat is Cetol gloss on name board, second coat of Interlux Goldspar 60 Satin on salon floor and waxed part of upper deck. 

Day Ten: Third coat of Interlux Goldspar 60 Satin on floor and waxed more of the boat. 

Day Eleven: Fourth coat of Interlux Goldspar 60 Satin on floor and waxed more of the boat. These days are beginning to all sound alike...I'm thinking the caption needs a day off. 

Day Twelve: Serviced the generator, waxed more of the boat and cleaned the shower sump

Day Thirteen: The floor looks amazing but the sanding left dust everywhere so today I began cleaning...everything inside and outside of cabinets. Stan taped off the teak on the flybridge and then sanded it in preparation for a coat of Cetol. He also sanded the mast and windless and applied a coat of primer.

Before and after pictures of the deck
Before and after pictures of part of the waxing 
Window covers to block the sun completely
Window covers to add privacy and block direct sun...these are better because we can still see out, but when it's hot the others keep out more heat. 
The floor after Stan stripped off the old finish...I wish I had a before picture. Our floor is made of teak and holly, but we've never been able to make out the lighter holly stripes...until now. 
The floor after one coat of Interlux Goldspar 60 Satin 
Just a little dust...on and in everything. 
The floor under our stove always looked wonderful...almost like new, now the rest of the floor matches. I love it.
All of this stuff was in the cabinet under the sink. It's amazing how much "stuff" fits on this boat.

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 Instragram or Google+.