IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH – to make me happy, as one might guess from the above title for today’s blog. Since leaving the area of NC last year at the beginning of this adventure, the docks all become “fixed” — meaning that they do not float up and down the pilings of the dock structures. The tides are so very minimal, that there is not really a need for floating docks. BUT , let me whine here for a moment, for me the activity of getting off and on the boat becomes quite difficult due to short legs, fear of heights above 2-3 feet, and skinny assed docks. I do use a small step stool, but even then, the task requires a crane in some situations to haul my butt off the boat. There is JOY now as we have arrived in the land of floating docks once again. Altho’ that also means that we are nearing the end of this adventure where my emotions are of NO, I don’t want this to end, and YES, it is time to get back on the dirt.
All the way from Malaysia and the Grand Banks factory came this small vent cover via DHL. We lost one to the sea somewhere along the way.
Among many sites I saw the other day when wandering around was this Constitution Monument in the park/plaza near the Bridge of Lions at the center of town.
CONSTITUTION MONUMENT 1813
The Spanish government instructed the Colonists to erect this monument to celebrate the newly formed Spanish Government. After a change in the Spanish government in 1814 when rule was returned to the Monarchy, St. Augustine was instructed to destroy the monument. St. Augustine refused to do so and today this monument still stands. It is believed to be the only standing and surviving monument in the World commemorating that campaign.
So here I am in the oldest city in the USA and off I go to seek the Fountain of Youth, just like Ponce de Leon did many years ago!! WOO HOO WHAT A RIP OFF THIS WAS —- after paying my entry fee, and waiting for the bus load of school children to clear out – into the well house I go seeking the JOY JUICE to cause my body to return to its 20 year old self!! I am thinking, THIS is exciting……..yuck,,,,nasty ‘ol mineral well, sulphur tasting water! But hey, I am looking for miracles here, so I gulped my portion down quickly!!!
HA — joke is on me, as the following morning when I gazed at this face of mine in the mirror, all I saw was the same ‘ol me! So much for this Fountain of Youth business. My guess is that Ponce de Leon and his crew were so danged thirsty , shrunken, and withering away that by rehydrating with this “fresh” water IT WAS the Fountain of Youth to them.
This archaeological site also was found to have a settlement of early Native American Indians known as the Timucuans. It is interesting to note that their shelters/homes were constructed in the same manner as those of Pocahontas’s tribe in Virginia and the tribe of Indians discovered at Shiloh in Tennessee.
HISTORY The history of St. Augustine is interesting and fascinating. Being here for a few weeks allows time to explore and visit many of the old historical buildings and museums in the city. Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain in 1513. In 1565, Pedro Menendez, along with 700 soldiers and colonists, settled here establishing St. Augustine as the oldest city in our country. About a hundred years later the fort, which still stands today, Castillo de San Marcos, was built for defense of this vital territory. Did you know that Geronimo was imprisoned here for a period of time?? This fort, the city gates and walls and the surrounding bodies of water helped to protect the city from foreign and Indian invasions. Altho’, pirates had no problems finding their way.
South of here at the Matanzas inlet is a smaller fort called Fort Matanzas. It’s purpose was to further protect St. Augustine.
In 1793 the construction of the Cathedral Basilica de St. Augustine was begun. The simplistic, serene beauty of this Cathedral was lovely to see. As with many old buildings, this too had burned at one point in time, but there remains some walls from the original church that were incorporated in the reconstruction.
This is the tour for today!! Will bore you again perhaps tomorrow;;;;;;;;;;;;
MARCH 12, 2017 ——So, for most of the day today I was running on “old time” – which was just fine as we are docked in St. Augustine, FL with winds at 21 mph, rain and ugly intracoastal waters!!! A GREAT DAY for a nap.
Our past two days of cruising brought past Daytona, thru some very flat scrubby geography, and some narrow channels with much shoaling. Makes for interesting navigation —- ooppps — bumped that sandy bottom at one point. NOTE that the operative word is “bumped” – not going aground. WHEW………..
Again these past two days we saw many sailboats, and smaller motor boats up on the shores of spoil islands and along the shores. The majority of the boats seem to be sail boats. Also there were several smaller fishing and ski boats hanging up in their lifts at the end of docks —BUT THE DOCK FROM THE LAND TO THE BOATS WERE ALL DESTROYED! Walkways just popped off. Even though Hurricane Matthew was a CAT 1 and 2 storm, he sure made a big swath along the South East Coast.
As we cruised North we saw many motor home/ trailer parks in this section of Florida. I think that we see a lot of these being towed and driven NORTH on I-95 every late Spring at the Snow Birds head back home. Life looks rather laid back and easy —- at least at this park area.
ONE of the pleasures we enjoy is anchoring out (when Salt Lick is fully supplied with food and drink). This setting is on ROCKHOUSE CREEK. The view is looking East at sunset towards the Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Our arrival yesterday in St. Augustine was made by extending the cruising day knowing that the weather was going to deteriorate over night for Sunday. After a very long day on the water, we walked into town in search of oysters. FINALLY we found a place, Cafe Maya, that was serving raw oysters. The perfect dinner, eaten on a second floor porch overlooking one of the narrow streets in Colonial town of old St. Augustine. A musician was playing across the street which was nice, the restaurant kitchen was not functioning, so they were not busy due to no grill, fryers, ovens, etc…..very quiet and peaceful way to end the day. The entertainment was watching this guy trying to start his motorcycle by having a couple of his buddies push him……needless to say THAT was not successful!
We are docked for a few weeks while Hank goes off for business and I make a short trip to see a friend. We will attend a boat rendezvous later on before leaving St. Augustine.
MARCH 7, 2017 Departing Vero Beach we cruised up the lazy Indian River and arrived at Cocoa, FL. We have been here for two days enjoying the weather and a trip to visit the Kennedy Space Center.
SPECIAL NOTE!!!!!! Since leaving Naples, FL we have been tossing “messages in a bottle” for our niece Meghan and her husband , Justin. These bottles contain “messages” written by those attending their wedding last September whereby wedding guests wrote notes of love, encouragement, advise, etc.. We have tossed about 8 or 9 of these bottles with several more to go. GUESS WHAT ??? THREE OF THEM HAVE BEEN FOUND. It is so exciting and a ton of fun!!!! ONE of the bottles contained Hank’s message to the newlyweds. JOY!!
Along the way we saw this abandoned boat off in the shallow waters with orange spray painted letters USCG —OK. We noted several other smaller boats also aground at spoils islands due to Hurricane Matthew.
The dolphin have been very frisky and having a lot of fun playing in our wake or riding the bow of the boat. We keep attempting to get videos of them, but none are good enough to “publish”. Hopefully we will get a good one soon to share with you.
We think some of the “booty’ from Hurricane Matthew comes in the form of floating oars, boat fenders, etc. – both of which Salt Lick has picked up along the way. Moving closer to home will no doubt exhibit more in the way of debris and destroyed property.
Wed. March 8th, we visited the Kennedy Space Center. Very interesting and when up close to these space machines, one is humbled by the bravery, scientific knowledge and pure faith that they would make it to the Moon and back. Lives were lost in this process, but the Space program continued until the mission was accomplished. What exciting times those were. Our race was with Russia in the beginning. Sputnik had us all in an uproar. I imagine each of you alive at that time, stood out in your yards looking skyward as we watched the “moving white glow” cross thru the sky. Later on, the International Space Station was created and built for multiple countries to participate in the research and science of space living. Russia being among those other countries involved in the joint venture. Our World and this STAR called Earth are a small part of an extremely large Universe! How very humbling that is to us.
Anyone remember the First astronaut into space? And what year??
THIS BUILDING IS SO LARGE THAT ONE HAS DIFFICULTY DESCRIBING IT!!!! The Stars on the painted flag on the side of the building are each 6 feet across and the bars/stripes are 8 feet across!!! The gray doors along the left side weigh several tons and will open to move the missiles out to the launch pad when the time comes.
All of this touring around created an appetite that we each satisfied when going to Cafe Margaux that evening. We set off on foot (without cell phones) as Hank said he knew right where it was. Well —- that really wasn’t the case, as we wandered around Cocoa Village for about 30 minutes looking for it. We asked two locals, and they didn’t know, and a random bar with some “interesting” characters hanging out in there had NO clue as to where we were talking about. Finally we found it in the back of a courtyard!!! Once we got there, our evening was saved by a delicious meal — escargot, salmon, pheasant and some lovely wine. It was a good day.
Today, March 9, 2017 we toured this hardware store after returning the rental car. I LOVE hardware stores and we were in need of a couple of fuses for Salt Lick. This place has everything!!! It has been in operation since 1885!!!! 132 years. It is in a great old building, with wooden , uneven floors, and dusty old shelves. There were several employees working there and they all know exactly where to find what ever a person is looking for. The fuses were located within seconds.
Tomorrow we will leave Cocoa Village Marina. Plans are to get to New Smyrna Beach.
Mary and Ralph Mace are our hosts here in Vero Beach. YEP —RALPH THE SHE-CAT – the stray who became my cat for 17 years — this is the guy that fed her, and adopted her for me, and for whom I named that cat after. Once again we are blessed with long time friends and family along this water trail that we can visit with and re-connect with. We have told them that we will be here for 6 weeks ——- hee hee — I think they are scared of that possibility! Hank and I had cruised for five days straight by the time we arrived here, so the first two days were spent in recovery mode. We were tired and exhausted. Thank you Maces for food and shelter!
Like the Belles, Shevers and several others previously introduced, the Maces have been in my life for 48 years!!
Remember the blog about going to the Columbus Zoo?? That was last July. The adult and young children that I took there on the Zoo tour are the daughter, son, grandchildren and “in-laws” of these two characters.
The “other” M and R here in Vero are my cousin Mary and her husband Ray Zeuch! This past Wed. we met for lunch and visited for a while. Mary is of the Shoemaker clan and my first cousin. Our Dads were brothers and we share the same Shoemaker eyes……..the rest of Mary is all her Mom, Aunt Lucille!!! Lunch at TOOJAYS. Mary and Ray Zeuch. Love you guys!
Anne Malsbary lives here too, but due to her having the flu, we have only briefly seen her when out for dinner earlier in the week at Chill and Grill. “HEY” ANNE — hope you get well before we leave!
It has been quite a number of days since my last blog, so here we go to bring you up to date with where we have been, where we are and where we are going!
THIS TIKI BAR – GILBERT’S was huge! Certainly upholding “truth in advertising”!
The following day we headed out for Miami and the compass heading of North!
After a long rainy and foggy day, we were happy to find the next morning with blue skies and the ability to see the Miami sky line! We crossed over the ship’s channel without any heavy traffic and motored our way North to Pompano Beach, FL. Docking there, we visited with a long time friend – Pat Weiner. It had been many years, perhaps 10 or more, since we had seen each other. Our evening spent together was one of sharing memories and creating some new ones with updating each other on our families and our daily lives.
BRIDGES, BRIDGES, AND MORE BRIDGES —————
Requesting the bridges to be raised is a common event along this part of the ICW. The bridges are multiple in number and each one has its own schedule of times to open with a minimal number that will open upon request. Approaching this one bridge we radioed to let the bridge tender know that we were standing by for the next scheduled opening! At which time the bridge tender comes back to state that the bridge was not going to open for another one and a half hours. UGH —- the day was coming to an end, so we anchored off to the side of the bridge.
FEB. 25, 2017 SATURDAY Early sunrise departure and off we cruised for destination of Vero Beach, FL.