We spent a few nights on a ball at St. Augustine waiting for the right weather to jump outside. Captain Rusty Nail and Missy laid low this visit but you can check their exploits last spring. Being anywhere for a few days almost always provides entertainment; and I mean that in the nicest most sympathetic way. No sooner than we’d settled on our mooring ball in the San Marco field, right in front of Castillo San Marco, Russ points to a boat facing the wrong way. Oops.
The marina work boat had come along side and we could see the operator on his cell. This looked like a case of “overruns ball now caught on propus”. The boat owner dives in to check things and after a while a dive boat shows up. The tide is coming in now; maybe that will help? We watch expectantly and next thing you know, out pops that ball from underneath the stern swim platform. Not very attractive – all round with a stripe, no hair and the dive doc noted an 8 on the APGAR scale.
Shortly, with business concluded, the marina boat hip tows not-so-proud papa to another ball and nearly runs over that one. Couldn’t help but chuckle and shake our heads.
Wednesday dawned with a hazy smoky film in the air; the huge swamp fires burning near the FL/GA border made their presence felt. We smelled it yesterday morning, now today was a visual. That afternoon, while changing the engine oil, the soot and ash fluttered down, covering our once very clean boat with gray flakes.
Lunch was enjoyed at this fabulous restaurant, The Floridian, tucked away on Cordova St not even a block from a corner where we always turned left not right. One White Tree tipped us off to this great find where salads could be topped with shrimp, fresh catch or tempeh. Sandwiches, entrees, wraps are crafted using locally sourced ingredients and the iced tea was delicious. We opted to wait 10 mins for an outside table on the patio protected by shrubs and honeysuckle.
Lunch calories were burned during our walk to Auto Zone, about a mile out of the historic area on Rte 1. Checked about an oil pressure sender- no luck with that, but we did score 3 gals of oil on sale which saved us $15 and with an easy to carry handle at the top- what could make a walkin’ cruiser couple happier? How about chocolate? Yes, a walk past Whetstones for a dish of gelato and a rest in their air-conditioned sitting area.
Thursday we nibbled our way along St. George Street, ending up at The Gifted Cork for a wine tasting. On our trip south we discovered Stewarts Produce Market across the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island. Their produce selection is good as are the prices. You can also buy meats, cheese and many staples too along with unusual foods and ingredients. This time we saw a box of chick peas- in the shell- a new sight.
Another plus, and I use the word loosely, is the up close and personal view you have of the fort, the various tour boats- as they too have of you,