Sunday, March 12, 2017



On Saturday morning we are up to get away from Palm Coast fuel dock. There is a sailboat in front of us on the dock, so Palm Coast has no way to dispense fuel to other boaters when they open at 7am. We get ready to go fairly quickly for us. The dockmaster helps by giving us a push away from the dock into the channel. We had tied in a fairly tight area on Friday afternoon. We idle down the canal, and turn north into the ICW again. This part of the ICW has nice homes on the mainland and the beach side of this dug canal. We pick up speed, but not too fast as it is a no- wake zone. We are on our way to St. Augustine. We have made an appointment with the City Marina there to stay for a week. After about 5 miles, we get to the Matanzas River, which we will follow to end up in St. Augustine. The Atlantic Intercoastal WaterWay was created by dredging existing creek or river channels, and connecting them with dug canals where needed. It made the job easier when it was done, and it makes for scenic cruising. Sometimes the adjacent land to former creeks or rivers is kept as park lands or wildlife refuges. Today one side is houses on the water, and the other side is shallow creek and bay areas. We get to St. Augustine municipal marina around noon. We are on a finger pier off of the main dock which extends out to the office and fuel dock. Only a short walk to the land.
       After tying up the boat, and hooking up power, Barbara and I decide to go ashore and check out the marina facilities: notably the laundry and showers. It is a public park area also, so there are restrooms for boaters and the public. We meet a lady by the bulletin board who is very personable. Her name is Barbara also. She invites us to walk to an old part of town where they are having a street fest. It is a nice afternoon, and we see some local bands playing in yards as part of this street fest.
Our 15 minute walk turns out to be about 4 hours. We get back to SummerTime late afternoon and elect to eat on board.
      We get up and go to the near by Methodist Church on Sunday. It is less than a half mile walk. The building is very beautiful inside and out. It is what happens when someone else pays for your architect and building. We will learn on our upcoming history tour that Mr. Flagler wanted the original church's land, so he built them a new church with his architect for their land and location. It is a nice sermon, and we walk back through the old town section on our way back to SummerTime. The narrow streets are crowded with people touring. We stop at a Mexican Burrito place and get lunch on the way back. The burritos are big, and the one I get is cooked on the grill after it is made. It was very good. We spend Sunday afternoon aboard SummerTime relaxing, and discussing what we will do for the next few days.
      We buy a ticket, 3 day, for the Ripley Red Train. It will go to the tourist areas, and let us get off and on as we wish. We catch the train (runs every 20min) and go the full 1hr and 20min ride to see where we might wish to go the next 3 days. After the full circuit, we get off at "Castillo de San Marcos". It is not only old, but has a varied history. It has flown flags of multiple countries. It is "Presidents Day" when we visit, and a lot of people are out and about on holiday. The Fort is doing extra events for this day. We get to see muskets and cannon fired.
It takes us about 3hr to tour the fort. We visit a few other old buildings in the old town. On Tuesday we book the trip to a Chocolate factory. It is a small, private factory, and we enjoy the tour.
We visit more old houses in a different part of old town close to the marina.


For Wednesday, we get started earlier. We go to the Lightner Museum, a kind of mini "Smithsonian".
It is a nice museum, with varied collections that were put in Flagler's second resort hotel by a second private owner. His first resort hotel became Flagler College. After our museum tour, we have lunch in the "Alcazar Café". The café is in the pool of the hotel. It was the largest pool in the US when it was operating at the beginning of the 1900s.


The Café is very upscale, great sandwiches, better dessert, and a person playing soft rock on a classical guitar the whole time we are eating. We leave the museum and go to the St. Augustine Distillery for the tour. We have toured wineries and breweries before, but never a distillery. It is a small distillery that makes rum, bourbon, and gin from local crops. We leave with some Pecans in bourbon coating.
       Thursday we stay on SummerTime and rest. I do some minor things aboard. Mostly we work on our bookkeeping, trying to reconcile the credit card receipts with the bill. And I took a tour to "Price's Barber Shop". Saw it on one of the tour rides, and figured I would go back as I was starting to need a hair cut. I call and no appointment is needed. It has racks and taxidermy mounts all around the wall up high. Kind of a new, North American version of the "Trophy Barber Shop" in Baytown, Tx. In the evening we go into Old Town to eat at a jazz hall. The performing trio at "Prohibition Kitchen" put on a very good show, interacting with the crowd. The burgers are very good also. And so is the dessert. We tour a few shops on our way back to SummerTime. Friday we do more things aboard. Barbara does laundry up on shore. On Saturday, I tighten some hoses that are leaking from the water pump replacement in Fort Lauderdale.
      We have had a very good week in St Augustine. It was a city on my bucket list of cities to visit. Mostly for its history, and the fact it was a Spanish colony long before the Brits who controlled the rest of the colonies, got possession of Florida. Visiting St Augustine by boat enriched the experience of the history, we came the same as the early explorers.  Barbara states it is her favorite stop on the loop. I think it is the chocolate factory tour and the Alcazar Café that makes her say this.

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