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

December 30, 2018

Looking Back at 2018

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” –Alan Turing

In January we decided to get away from our cold wet winter in Texas. We headed to Costa Rica for ten days of relaxation and adventure. 
February was all about family. Kyle and his family came for a visit and we spent every minute we could with Eric and his family.
In March we finally had time to get Texas Pearl hauled. We spent the month fixing the damages we received during Hurricane Harvey.
April was our last month in Texas, so we spent a lot of time with our grand daughters, family and friends before we headed back to New York.
In May we finished getting The Pearl ready for the summer season, reconnecting with old friends and having fun with our family in Pennsylvania.
In June we cruised west on the Erie Canal and had our grandson aboard for a visit...so many wonderful days. 
In July, Kyle and his family spent a week at the lake with us, lots of fun activities kept us busy. By the middle of the month we were back in Texas saying good-bye to my Daddy.
We spent most of August in the Thousand Islands, meeting new friends and catching up with some old ones.
By September things were beginning to slow down in Ithaca. Graham came and stayed again and we took a car trip to Quebéc City.
October and fall were here before we knew it and we said good-by to Ithaca, The Pearl and our family in Pennsylvania. 
We spent November catching up with our Texas family and friends and settling back aboard Texas Pearl. We also worked on lots of home and boat projects.
December was all about getting ready for Christmas, a little get away to Austin and having more fun with family and friends.

December 27, 2018

2018 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 on a computer.

Stan and I both keep logs of information about our travels. Mine are more about the places we've been and the places we've stayed, his are more technical (engine hours, maintenance etc.). For information on where we've docked and anchored, please refer to my Travel Logs. This year we took two short trips from Ithaca. We spent two weeks traveling west on the Erie Canal and almost three weeks in the the Thousand Islands. Not as many miles as we use to put under the keel...but an adventure just the same. The totals below are from the time we left home in 2011 till the end of 2018. See other years stats here.

     166   Different anchorages
     120   Different marinas
     349   Different towns visited
       23   State & providences visited
         3   Countries visited
      223   Most miles traveled in one day
18,993   Total miles traveled

2018 Travel Stats
     914 Miles traveled
     287 Gallons of diesel purchased
     165 Engine hours
       18 Generator hours
     168 Days on board
       32 Days of travel
         3 States/providences visited
       24 New Towns visited
       50 Locks traversed
     133 Days at a marina
       21 Nights at a dock
         7 Nights at anchor
         0 Nights on a mooring ball
         7 Days on the hard (hauled out)

December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas

“Whatever you do, live a life of adventure and meaning so brilliant that, like a Roman candle, it lights up the world. Dazzle us. Astonish us. Be extraordinary.” —President George H.W. Bush

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...2018 was another wonderful year and we feel blessed to enjoy the life we have. We're fortunate to be able to spend six months a year in upstate New York and six months in Texas...it's the best of both worlds. In both places we get to enjoy being on the water and the company of our family. 

Highlights of our year...a trip to Costa Rica, getting Texas Pearl back to her pre-hurricane status, cruising the Western Erie Canal, spending three weeks cruising around the Thousand Islands, a trip to Quebec City and having our grandson stay on The Pearl. But the true highlight of our year is the time we spend with our family and especially the time we spend playing with our four wonderful grandchildren.  They’re each growing into such special, amazing little people, they bring a lot of joy and love to our life and we feel fortunate for the time we get to spend with them

We wish all our friends and family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy happy New Year. We look forward to more adventures in the coming year.

December 11, 2018

A Day by the Sea

“Vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else.” —E.F. Benson

Our weather in south Texas has been dreary and cold lately, but today we were given the gift of a beautiful day. I guess we appreciate them more when they are harder to come by. We spent the day with our friends John and Janice at their beach house at Indianola. Their house sits on the point, the inlet of Powderhorn Lake on one side and Matagorda Bay on the other. It's a spectacular place to watch dolphins play, try your luck at fishing, birdwatch or just relax. It was a wonderful day...with a breathtaking sunset to finish it off.
Their beach house still needs a name, so if any of you have any great suggestions please let me know. 
There's still a little construction going on, but that didn't get in our way.
Looking towards Powderhorn Lake
Neighbors in Indianola
Let natures show begin....

December 3, 2018

Dec. 2 - Beautiful Weekend

“May the waves kiss your feet, the sand be your seat and your friends outnumber the stars.” —Author Unknown

The first weekend in December was amazing here in Rockport...lots of sunshine, light winds and amazing temperatures. We enjoyed lots of community activities, visiting with friends at the winery, playing with our little girls and walking on the beach...I wish the weather every day could be this nice. People were out everywhere enjoying this beautiful weekend and the birds seemed to enjoy it just as much. Here are a few pictures of the entertaining pelicans I saw on my beach walk.

November 26, 2018

Nov. 20-22 Winter Visitors

“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” —Henry David Thoreau

We had friends from upstate New York come down to Rockport for a visit. Our weather wasn't great but it was quite an improvement over what they left behind. Having company is always fun and it gave us a chance to play tourist for a little while...rediscovering things in our own backyard.
We had decent weather the first day, George and Maryann were with us, so we took advantage of the sun by having lunch over looking Fulton Harbor and taking the ferry over to Port Aransas.

Fulton Harbor...full of shrimp and oyster boats.
One of the ferries that take people over to Port Aransas. We saw lots of dolphins on our way over to the island.
A cold windy day at the beach on Mustang Island.
From Port Aransas we drove down the island and back to Rockport through Corpus Christi (The Beach Loop). Corpus Christi Bay and the waterfront are beautiful.
Catching up on the back deck of Texas Pearl
The second day we visited Fulton Mansion. It was built in 1877, by an East Coast entrepreneur named George W. Fulton and his wife Harriet. They made their fortune shipping cattle tallow and hides between Rockport and New Orleans. The Fultons named their home Oakhurst for the majestic windswept oaks that surrounded the property. The historical significance of the house lies in its noteworthy architectural style, unique construction methods and advanced mechanical systems, which featured gas lighting, central heating and indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water. All systems that were not typically found in homes in this region at that time. It was the showplace of the town that was named for them.

Through the years the mansion passed through a succession of owners. It was a private residence, a restaurant, a backdrop for a trailer park and a recreation center. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department took ownership in 1976 and returned the mansion to its original grandeur and opened it to the public in 1982. In 2008, the mansion became the property of the Texas Historical Commission. 

This is the back of the mansion over looking Aransas Bay. The oak trees still look a little gnarly from the hurricane.
Learning about the Fultons in the visitor center.
The mansion has withstood several devastating hurricanes in it's time, the latest was Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Structurally the house was not damaged, but water blew in through the chimney flooding part of the home. We were able to tour the house, but the rooms were not decorated. These pictures show how the house looked before the storm...and hopefully how it will look again soon.
The view from Harriet's bedroom on the second floor.
Our next stop was Goose Island State Park to visit The Big Tree. Although The Big Tree at the park is no longer the largest live oak in Texas it's still one of the largest in Texas and in the nation. A 1000 years of weather has taken its toll on the tree, but it still stands tall stretching out it's huge limbs to welcome visitors and inspiring them to imagine all the history and people it has seen. The tree took a real beating from Hurricane Harvey and is slowly putting on new limbs and leaves...and one day for future generations it will look regal again.

Maryann and George at The Big Tree
Facts about The Big Tree (click to enlarge)
We spent the third day enjoying Thanksgiving with our son and his family. The girls loved seeing pictures and videos of Maryann's horses.
Maryann taught the girls different steps they teach their horses. They were having a great time.