Thanksgiving in St. Augustine
27 November 2015
Wednesday November 25
All of this easterly blow is causing coastal flooding. It's called a mini nor'easter. It is 56° at 6 a.m. It will be warming into the low 70's here this week. The winds have had us pinned to the dock. The winds are a little lighter and in the right direction this morning. We turn the engine on while we have our coffee and oatmeal. We are underway again at 7:15. Beth and Peter drove out to the ICW to wave at us. A nice send off from Jacksonville. The winds were out of the east at 15-25. Without the sails we were doing 8.5 knots with the tide. I always enjoy this stretch of the waterway. The houses are beautiful. We were at the Bridge of Lions Bridge in time for the 2:00 opening. The municipal marina is just south of the bridge. They were very busy so we had to hang out for a while, waiting our turn to get into our slip. The current is strong here today and it is a little tricky getting in. After we checked in we phoned Uber to take us to Winn Dixie. There is a potluck dinner at the marina tomorrow for Thanksgiving and we need some provisions. After shopping and putting everything away, it was time for dinner. We decided to take a walk and find a place to eat. The "nights of lights" started last weekend and runs until the new year. The lights were on at dusk. The Bridge of Lions Bridge is lined with lights. The moon is almost full. There are lights on every shop, restaurant and draping all of the trees. It is spectacular. The shops are on narrow streets and alleys and have a European flair. There's an ice cream shop and fudge shop on every corner. The town is full of jewelry stores, art galleries, and beautiful churches. An open air tour "train" passes by and everyone is singing christmas carols. We had dinner at the Florida Cracker Cafe. We sat outside where a guy was playing the guitar. After dinner we walked some more. We walked around Flagler College. I looked up to admire the moon and a flock of seagulls flew overhead. The white birds against the dark indigo sky with the moon in the background was surreal. We head back to the marina and retire to watch a little t.v.
Thanksgiving, Thursday November 26
We take care of a few boat chores this morning. I put the corn pudding in the crockpot. Judy, Don and I walked to the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. We found the visitors center and visited the gift shop. We also discovered a beautiful old cemetery. We were back just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. There is a potluck dinner, for the cruisers, on the lawn of the marina. There were two forty foot tables and everyone brought their own chairs. We saw Pat and Gail from Bath, N.C. and an Australian couple that we met in Brunswick. A few of the resident boaters cooked turkeys and a ham. There must have been at least 60 people. There was quite an assortment of side dishes and desserts. All of my favorites and then some!
Friday November 27
It was decided that we would leave the marina at 9:00a.m. Judy and I were happy to get a walk in before we left. At 7:30 we hit the ground running. Judy wanted me to see Flagler College up close. We walked around the college. The spanish architecture and the grounds with "beach"volleyball and swimming pool were beautiful. Then we cut through one of the buildings. It has amazing mosaic tile floors, tiffany windows and unbelievable woodwork and crown molding. After leaving the college, we walked through the historical district. We saw the oldest house in the U.S. and many beautiful gardens. The bougainvillea is blooming here along with the poinsettias. Then we walked by the posh boutiques on King Street. We somehow managed all of this in an hours time. There is more to see and I could stay a few more days. When we got back the men were ready to go. We waited a few minutes for one of the dock hands to help us with our lines. It is almost slack tide but there was still a bit of a current. We managed to run with the tide all the way. In just three hours we are in Marineland. Our friends from Bath, Pat and Gail, arrive at the same time. The marina here is small and unassuming, but there are 40,000 acres of estuary preserves next to it. We are on the ocean side. After lunch we walk across the A1A to the beach. It is a beautiful day. The University of Florida has ocean research labs here. Dolphins are trained at Marineland, the worlds first oceanarium, and you can swim with them. There were movies made here in the fifties. This has been a fun "off the beaten path" stop. Judy and Don joined us for Mahi Mahi burgers. Judy made key lime ice cream sandwiches for dessert. We had log books and charts all over the table to help us plan the next few days of our journey . We are all tired from all of the walking and call it an early night.