St. Augustine: the wrap up

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I love seeing dolphins play off the bow when we’re sailing.  They make me so excited. I clap and try to encourage the “show”.  What I’ve never seen, until the instant I made this image, was a dolphin playing with his catch.  I was trying to get a nice shot of a couple of dolphins for my grandchildren, when I was amazed to see one throw a fish high out of the water and dive for a catch, only to throw it again catching it mid-air.

A trip to Florida is not complete without a trip to the beach, I think.

Brand new to St. Augustine is the St. Augustine Distillery. This small business began as the idea of a couple of friends fascinated with making craft spirits.  They secured the appropriate building for their distillery, the historic FP&L Ice Plant, and caringly restored the building.  They are collaborating with local farmers to plant things to be used as ingredients to produce fine craft spirits.

Benjamin showed us around and at the end of our tour made us a Florida Mule with the vodka.  Having just opened this winter, they are presently producing only vodka and gearing up for the introduction of rum, whiskey and Florida’s first bourbon.

For Easter, we rented a car to visit my mom and other family members in South Florida.  The car was also a good way for us and our marina neighbors, Jaye and Dan, to get to the grocery store.  This would be the last trip for provisions before we head north out the inlet.

I loved being able to spend a few days with Mom and Ron and to see two of my brothers and their families.  We attended some Easter festivities and spent an afternoon on Las Olas Boulevard having lunch and shopping.

I saw my nephew, Kishore, in an Easter production at his church.  He’s the tall, cute one right in the center looking at the camera. You can’t miss his bright face, even amongst all the other bright faces.  Perhaps an up and coming actor, but, the best thing is, he loves Jesus.

And, I spent too little time with my great-niece, Marley.  She’s a sweetie with a big personality you can’t help but adore.

One afternoon, we met with cruising friends, Linda and Michael, and caught up with their adventures.  We first met in the Bahamas in 2005 and saw them again many times throughout the Caribbean.  When we headed back up the islands, they continued through the Panama Canal.  They have now nearly circumnavigated.  To be continued….. as they have taken a pause to come home to the US to care for Michael’s mother.  They both have the spirit of adventurers.  Just a few days after visiting with them, Michael had a heart attack.  He’s recovering and at home now.  If you will, pray for his restored health and continued adventures.

On the way back to St. Augustine we stopped in Stuart to meet up with cruisers, Al and MaryAnn.  We met a couple of years ago in Virginia where they were working on their steel boat, Goose.  They are on their way to a missionary hospital in Honduras.  Along the way, they are gathering supplies of all sorts that will be valuable to the people in Honduras, and telling all they meet about Christ.

In my “St. Augustine Streets” post, I mentioned Stephan.  I knew you’d want a face to go with the name.  So, when we returned to St. Augustine after Easter I found him.  Here he is.  A really nice guy from Abitibi, Quebec.  You’ll have to imagine the French accent.

The end of our month in St. Augustine was nearly upon us and Rob had been tracking the weather.  It looked like a slight possibility of good weather to sail north.  So, we prepared for departure fully expecting we would have to wait a few days longer.  But, because the currents in St. Augustine are pretty strong, and we wanted to leave at daybreak, we left the docks at slack tide and picked up a mooring to wait for the right time to leave.  For my non cruising friends, by picked up a mooring, I mean tied up to one.  These floating balls are secured to the bottom and hold the boat in lieu of anchoring.

This is our mooring neighbor from Norway.  The little boy standing on the deck is watching as a storm approaches.

The St. Augustine Municipal Marina has been given a grant to encourage them to provide easy pump out of holding tanks.  It has worked.  It doesn’t get easier than a “pump out boat” arriving at the side of your boat for a no fee service.

We had some storms come through for a few days.  But, that gave way to prettier weather.

We booked our first ever kayak eco tour.  I was excited.  Though a bit gray, the conditions were still favorable for kayaking.  Joe, our guide with Eco Tours, Paul and Lynette from Vero Beach, and Rob me paddled along the bay front from the city marina, under Bridge of Lions, past the Castillo de San Marcos, up Hospital Creek, and past Bird Island.  Paul and Lynette were newbies, too.  I’m not sure they enjoyed it as much as I did.  I’m anxious to talk with my friend, Sandy, about kayaks and ready to go again.  So much fun.

While kayaking, I made this image of the The fort, Castillo de San Marcos which is located on the shore of Mantanzas Bay.  Construction took twenty-three years (from 1672 to 1695).  The Castillo is made of a stone called coquina made of ancient shells that have bonded together.  Under attack, the fort fared well because the impact of the canon balls was absorbed by the coquina.

The second annual Paseo Pastel/Chalk Walk featured career chalk artists, art educators, college and high school students competing for prizes.  And, a special area for any children wishing to create their own masterpiece.  I love that this is a free event for any artist making it an opportunity for all to share their unique vision.  Even the chalk was provided. The event was held on May 4th.

We love our home church, but we enjoy visiting the different churches when we travel.   We enjoy seeing the different ways people worship.   While in St. Augustine, we visited The Cathedral Basilica founded in 1565; Trinity Parish, an historic Episcopal Church founded in 1821 (It has the most beautiful stained glass windows); and Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church built in 1889.  These are a couple of images of Flagler Presbyterian.

Some last images before leaving St. Augustine and onto our next port – wherever that will be.