It’s Monday morning and I awoke to a really nice sunrise. We arrived in St Augustine on Sunday afternoon, yesterday, and were immediately struck by just how beautiful this city is. I have never really heard much about St Augustine but visiting here was highly recommended by a number of folks.
Wow, we are sure glad to be here. We have a friend, a past SAGA 43 owner, Peter who moved here a few years ago after visiting here on a trip south with his wife. After many years of cruising out of Maine, where they have had a home for many years, they decided that spending the winters in a warmer place was a good idea, so here they are and about to enjoy their 4th winter.
Peter took us under his wing within hours of our arrival and showed us the sights. We drove around town and out to a great beach bar to have a beer as the sun set over the harbor.
After a few hours with Peter I see that there is so much to do here that my head is swimming with possibilities. Perhaps we will have to extend our stay to more than a few days. One of the best parts of this city is that there is so much to see within a short distance of the waterfront. However, to make it easy, Peter gave us a few dining ideas. The brew pub he recommended, where we ate last night was great. I highly recommend the stout. Excellent.
Yesterday we continued our way down on the ICW and again enjoyed the sights.
In the morning, as we crossed the St John’s River we spied this shipyard working on several mega-yachts. I have seen this one Azteca, in one of the magazines that I get at home. Check out the link and see just how amazing this boat, er ship, is. This must be a yard with flexible capabilities as they also had a Aegis Cruiser in a dry dock right near Azteca. I’ll bet that the interior is a bit different between the two ships. You don’t want to tangle with one of these, that’s for sure. Even though Azteca is a BIG boat, she is dwarfed by this cruiser. As we head south, so far from home, it’s amazing how different things are and yet the same. Here we were, motoring along over 1,000 miles from home and what do we see but Aphrodite, the historic barrel-backed commuter yacht from Watch Hill RI, near our home waters. We also saw her in Annapolis in early October. Heading south? There seems to be a pattern here for many boats. As we continue south we do tend to bump into boats that we have seen before. If we see her again, perhaps I will have to visit to borrow a cup of Chivas Regal or Grey Poupon. Perhaps not. Plenty of Christmas spirit along the way. Do these decorations look out of place to you too? Nice pad though if a bit over the top. As we passed Jacksonville we spied the Mayo Clinic, a group, the Rochester MN group anyway, that I worked with during much of my career. This location looks a lot different than the one that I often visited in the cold MN winters. With all the marshland we have been seeing I have been wondering when we would see an air boat zipping along. Pretty neat, and VERY LOUD.Off they want across the marsh. I need one of these!However, the marsh does often give way to development. And develop they do. Homes on top of homes all along the coast as we got closer to St Augustine. But, still plenty of lovely woodlands to enjoy in between developments as they can’t build on marsh at least not any more. And, the ever present pelicans. Brenda likes to call them pelidactyl. I agree, they do look primeval. I just can’t get enough of these guys. But, they look a lot more contemporary when viewed against the backdrop of an arching bridge. Get it, arching bird, arching bridge?This trip is just so full of wonder for me. I can’t imagine how it’s going to be when we finally get to the Bahamas, the land of 80 degree water with 100′ visibility. Tiki bars, you know the ones with little umbrellas in the drinks? I am soo ready!!!
For now, St Augustine beckons and I am there, totally… Tiki? That will have to wait for now.