Condo Bliss – Square Grouper

Jeff and Stacy Logan came to visit us for a week. They flew into Palm Beach Airport on Monday and rented a car. We met them at Guanabanas in Jupiter for dinner. We knew the tropical atmosphere of Guanabanas would quickly acclimate them to south Florida. On Tuesday we gave them a tour of Stuart which included a visit to Bathtub Reef beach and lunch in the sandbox at the Pelican Cafe.  Since it was Valentine’s Day we wanted to avoid restaurants and do something special. We called around to find stone crab claws. Only one seafood store had a few claws. We bought them and three 1.5 pound Maine lobsters. We steamed the lobsters and dined outside on the pool deck next to the river.

Priscilla, John, Stacy and Jeff

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Nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like Maine lobster

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On Wednesday we went fishing on the Lady Stuart. The boat was less than half full compared to the full load the last time we went. The reef fishing was slow and we only caught a few odd fish such as cobia ( too small to keep ), bonita and grunts. It is always fun on the water but no keepers.

The Lady Stuart

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In the afternoon Jeff and I went to the Snook Nook bait and tackle shop to buy some tackle for snook fishing off the condo dock. This included a lure, bobbers, hooks and DOA (dead) shrimp for bait.

Fishing on the condo dock for snook

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We wanted to grill out on Wednesday but it was windy enough to blow the plates off the table so we joined Beachcomber Dan, Iris and Mary at Conky Joe’s. Conchy Joe’s has great seafood and a great view of the Indian River.

On Thursday Jeff and Stacy planned to take the Island Princess sightseeing cruise but unfortunately it was sold out. ( note to self, book a week in advance ). We went for a morning walk and then went back to the Snook Nook to purchase a fishing rod to compliment the fishing reel Jeff brought me as a condo gift. We bought an Ugly Stick rod for dock fishing and a surf casting rod. In the afternoon we went to Bathtub Reef beach and surf casted while Priscilla and Stacy collected sea shells.

John and Jeff surf casting on Bathtub Reef Beach

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In the evening we went for an early dinner and a show at the Lyric theater. The entertainment was “Two Women? from Jersey. They were hilarious comedians. “I told my husband if he cheats on me he better decide in advance which family member he wants me to stab in the eye with a fork. That way it is family and personal.” The comedian was Sicilian.

Friday we went fishing with Captain Henry and mate Jim onboard the 44′ fishing boat Sunday out of the Pirate’s Cove Marina. Captain Henry said his father built a few small fishing boats when Henry was young. His father would take him fishing on Sundays which was his fondest memory of his youth. We put a few Mahi in the box in the morning and a few more in the afternoon. It as a good day on the water and we all caught at least two fish. Mate Jim gave us his favorite recipe to deep fry Mahi. We went to Basin’s seafood market and bought 2 pounds of stone crab claws and then went to the Publix supermarket to buy the ingredients for our Mahi dinner. We had a marvelous feast.

John and Priscilla onboard Sunday

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Stacy put a Mahi Mahi in the boat while Jeff cheers her on

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Priscilla put one in the boat too

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On Saturday we went for our morning walk over the Sewall’s Point bridge and then returned to the Pirate’s Cove marina to go on an Eco tour. Our tour guide and boat driver Nancy was passionate about ecology and saving the environment. She has been an environmental advocate for over 40 years. She shared many opinions regarding how the state of Florida could do a much better job of environmental protection. The cruise included a stop for lunch at bird island.  Bird island is a 1.5 acre rookery on the St Lucie River for over 3,000 birds. It is an amazing sight.

Captain Nancy onboard her Eco pontoon boat

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On Sunday we had brunch with Beachcomber Dan, Iris and Mary at Piertros. Pietro’s is located on the beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There is an umbrella rental company that rents blue umbrellas that make a beautiful contrast to the white sand outlined by the deep blue of the ocean. We have lunch at Pietro’s almost every Sunday while we are in Florida.

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After brunch we went to Hobe Sound to view the murals. We met some locals while looking for manatees near Pirates Cove. They recommended seeing a series of murals painted by a group called the Highwaymen depicting the history of the area. We went to the chamber of commerce to get a map of the mural locations. Today is Sunday and the chamber is only open weekdays.

There is a manatee

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Our next stop was the Jupiter lighthouse which has a lot of historical significance in the area. It was built during the Seminole wars when the US government decided the best place for the Indians that lived in the Everglades was to relocate them to the Midwest. During the civil war the Confederates stole the prisms from the lighthouse and buried them nearby so the Union fleet did not have use of the lighthouse to identify the Jupiter inlet.

Jupiter lighthouse

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A view of Jupiter inlet from the top of the Jupiter lighthouse

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The lighthouse is maintained through donations.  They sell commemorative bricks.  This brick was purchased by Jimmy Buffett.  It is located across the channel from the Square Grouper bar where he recorded the music video with Alan Jackson – It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.  A square grouper is slang for a bale of marijuana.  Occasionally the local fisherman would find a bale floating in the ocean and they called it a square grouper.

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Bonus photo – The Waterways Cruisng guide for Cuba arrived.  Time to start planning our next adventure.

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