After sailing up from Ft Pierce, we navigated in the St Augustine inlet, under the Bridge of Lions and settled into life on mooring #19. We planned a month there as were leaving the boat for a trip to New York for Sophie's Bat Mitzvah. And, we liked St Augustine last time, so we thought we'd stay longer this time.
This is a tourist town, but some events attract lots of locals as well as visitors -- the annual Blessing of the Fleet before Easter is one. The bishop is.accompanied by people who can trace their heritage to the original Spanish settlers, and they dress in period clothing. The fishing boats come in for the event as do pleasure boats of all types and sizes. With recorded music playing, it is quite spectacular.
We also had a chance to catch up with the 'old grads' from West Point. Chuck was in Florida, so we had him out to the boat and for a walk through town, then met Reg, Cindy, Bill and Betty for dinner in St Augustine Beach. Always good to be with those who knew you when!
Last time here we paddled in Salt Run and thought we'd do it again. Off we went around the corner, up to the marshes at the end. We thought we saw a pinkish bird fly away as we approached, but weren't sure. Hmmmm, what was that? Paddling back, now at very low tide, we came upon another pink bird on the mud flats. Getting very close we saw it feeding, swinging its head side to side, long bill in the water. Watching, watching...raised its bill -- yup! A roseate spoonbill, confirming our suspicions of what we had seen earlier. Seeing this bird had very special meaning for Patti, who has wanted to see one since learning about them as a child from her illustrated Bozo and the Birds record album. We had gone all the way to Mexico looking for them with no joy. And here they are, in St Augustine. Of course we didn't have a camera with us that day when we were about 10 feet from the bird. But, during a subsequent kayak outing, we did see one flying overhead. Wow.
Our stay anywhere wouldn't be complete without multiple long walks to provision, weighted down by shopping bags. This was no exception, but we did reward ourselves with a couple of lunches at the Yard Bird Cafe. Try the fried green tomato tacos -- best new food experience for us in a long time!
St. Augustine: 29d53.217'N 81d18.275'W