Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.


Navy Bee gunner at NAS JAX.

Jacksonville Florida still feels like home to us—a place where we made fast friends at friendly Ortega Landing Marina, where Wayne worked a couple contract jobs and I did my first two stints at West Marine. 

We caught up with marina friends we hung out and cruised with: Ron and Dee, Don (whose wife MaryAnn weathering hurricane Zeta in Mexico!), and Larry and Lena. I used to take morning walks with friends and got to enjoy a morning walk with Kate on this trip. 

We also stayed at Naval Air Station (NAS) JAX Mulberry Cove Marina and grocery shopped in the base commissary.

Mornings on the base kick off with revelry, evenings with taps, and the Star-Spangled Banner. There’s a lot of “Sirs” and “Ma’ams” and while we’re on the base, we never worry about locking anything.

Sandy, Bertie’s dog still has a spring in her step. Dames Point Marina, Jacksonville Florida.

Another former morning walking buddy, Bertie, now at Dames Point Marina, with her dog Sandy, who sometimes joined us on our walks. I paid Bertie a visit at Dames. Sandy came out to play, but didn’t join us for walkies.

Dames Point Marina’s former bar. Jacksonville Florida.

Dames Point Marina isn’t quite a going concern anymore, but Bertie’s still welcome there. It’s an intriguing historical and industrial area, close to another base, Mayport.

Chamblin Bookmine, Jacksonville Florida.

Chamblin Bookmine, Jacksonville’s crazy warren of a bookstore, nearby both Ortega Landing and the base, is the same as it ever was. However, none of the books on my list were there so I managed to escape with as full a pocketbook as what I entered with.  Still, I’d rather purchase from an independent bookstore, so I was sorry my writer’s reference wish-list books were not there.

We were also in the area to check out a boat in nearby Ortega River Marina. It’s a “project boat,” and we’d like to look at more than one before we decide that’s what we want. 

NAS JAX Mulberry Cove Marina docks.

We dropped by NAS JAX Mulberry Cove Marina because if we purchased a boat in the area, that might be where we’d stay before we and the boat we buy are ready to cruise. We saw lots of vacant slips, so we figured that would be a good possibility. 

Nope, we were told, as the gal at the marina flipped through her page-and-a-half waiting list.

NAS JAX Mulberry Cove Marina mooring balls.

What about the mooring balls? We asked, as most of those were also empty. Nope, we were again told. Given the other marinas in the area are also full, that makes ending up in JAX as live-aboards while we ready for cruising a bit less likely.

Sailboat in the Green Cove Springs Marina workyard.

We pressed on to Green Cove Springs Marina, where we dry-docked and worked on our former sailboat. They’re under new management, a definite improvement. Fresh paint in the office and the yard was much cleaner. Even the former smoking area outside the office was cleared out—no ashtrays or smoke in evidence.

A closer look at that sailboat getting spiffed up in Green Cove Springs. 

Alas, there were few boats for sale, no sailboats that were the size we were looking for.

Coat of arms outside a boat in the Green Cove Springs Marina workyard.

The yard hasn’t lost its quirkiness, as evidenced by the plate armor standing outside one of the boats in the yard. Someone dug it out of the trash and a neighbor said maybe it would get used instead of a mermaid for the boat’s figurehead.

Bertie Weaver at Dames Point Marina leaves her mark.

Meanwhile, we’ve just begun looking for our next cruising boat. 

So, Bertie, we’re with you. We too hope our ship comes in before the dock rots. We believe it will (come in before the dock rots).

Location Location

How I know I”m back in my Sothern home: Spanish moss.
I love the way 
the light catches in moss before dipping below the flat horizon.

We are currently in Ft. Pierce, Florida, as of this eve. Tomorrow we get our  COVID tests and await the results before we get to socialize here in the commons areas—RV park rules.