Thursday, December 5, 2013

St. Augustine

We are on the San Sebastian River in St. Augustine, founded in 1565. This is what Florida is supposed to be like! Sunshine; warm, humid days; palm trees; and sandy beaches.

Waterfront houses are crammed in tighter than matchsticks in a box.

People screen their porches against no-see-ums and try to outdo their neighbors with boat docks bigger than homes.

I rummaged in my duffle for a pair of shorts, and cycled three miles to the ocean.
 At low tide, herons and egrets converge on the oyster beds in the lagoon behind the sand dunes.

We have an added bonus here in St. Augustine--people to visit. Our friend Bobby led us by bike to the town square, where we watched an ice sculptor and sampled free Hannukah latkes. The city is preparing for the holidays with tens of thousands of twinkling white lights on every tree branch, telephone pole, and storefront.
Flagler College is housed in the former Ponce de Leon luxury hotel, built in 1888.

We headed next to the American Legion hall, for the best deal in town for chow! Half-pound hamburgers for $5, and for vegetarians, a generous cheese and mushroom quesadilla for $4.50.

On Day 2, we emptied our wallets. We hired a diesel mechanic, a sailmaker, an electrician, and a marine jack-of-all-trades to fix about half of the problems on the boat. On Days 3 and 4, we spent hours fixing another one-fourth ourselves. We are tied up at a full-service marine center, which specializes in BIG boat work--replacing $20,000 props on mega-yachts.. Our 30-foot sloop Echo II is dwarfed by our dockmate, a 77-foot catamaran.

Time to reward all our hard work: happy hour on Echo II with Pope's cousin Laura.

And finally... dear readers, can you stand yet another sunset? This time, a swirl of pomegranete and cornflower over the docks.

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