Friday, November 12, 2010

St Augustine – A Day of Exploring

The Fort with the Bridge of Lions in the distance
The day started out warm but then the wind piped up out of the north at 15 kts and it cooled all day long (to 71!). If you ever get a mooring at St. Augustine, try to get one closer to the marina – it’s along ride for Hoolie relief, especially at night!

600 year old Live Oak
For entertainment we rode on the tourist “train” which just runs on regular wheels but is several cars long, like a train. It went to all the usual tourist stops but we selected two we wanted to see. The first was the oldest stone fort in America, built in the late 1600’s and was under siege many times but never fell. I always find it eerie walking along paths and staircases traversed by people hundreds of years ago (St Augustine was settled in 1565). There is one room where you can see the carvings in the stone walls by bored soldiers of visiting ships.

On another tour we were taken through typical workshops of the 1700’s with people dressed in the garb of that time demonstrating their art, fascinating. One was working with various woods and when I asked about Live Oak which I knew was prized for durability in ships, he replied that it's very hard to work since the grain sworls around - which makes it strong but hard to shape. There were whole avenues of Live Oak trees in St Augustine. I guess a world was possible without computers, TVs, radio, Wii, Playstations, cellphones, etc. Things got down to basics. When under siege, the town population would gather inside the fort to hopefully wait out the attackers. Things must have gotten strained but the fort was never taken by force.

Egrets were all over the marina
Saturday is supposed to be the pirate parade at 11:00 am and we’ll certainly see that. They will be dressed in the garb of their favorite pirate, should be fun.


Shirley said...
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