Cruisers’ Thanksgiving in Vero Beach

Thanksgiving morning (50 degrees out but sunny) Looking out over the Vero Beach mooring field

Thanksgiving morning (50 degrees out, but sunny) Looking out over the Vero Beach mooring field

Our 3 SYC boats rafted together

Our 3 SYC boats rafted together

It’s hard to be away from family during a holiday. Those are the special times we share, giving thanks for just being together, because that is what really matters. Our family, with four children and their spouses, plus step-families and in-laws may not have traditional holiday gatherings, but we always find ways to be together and celebrate during the season. This year is the first time we will not be with any family for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Cruisers gather together here in Vero Beach and become ‘family” for the day. The CLODs sponsor and organize a Thanksgiving Day dinner for all boats that are staying here over the holiday. What is a CLOD? I had to ask that myself since I did not recognize it as a nautical term. A CLOD is a “Cruiser Living On Dirt.” 🙂 Remember when I wrote that Vero Beach is often called Velcro Beach because so many cruisers take up residence here when their cruising days are over? They are wonderful people who make this day special for those of us who are away from family by cooking turkeys and hams. Turkeys and hams just don’t fit inside most boat ovens.  All the boaters bring the side dishes. It was a very nice day.

A tag sale in the morning

A tag sale in the morning

The "parking lot" filling up with dinghies

The “parking lot” filling up with dinghies

 

Over 150 people gathered together for dinner

Over 150 people gathered together for CLOD-sponsored dinner

There was no shortage of delicious food!

There was no shortage of delicious food!

Cruisers filled the dining hall, the porches, and the patios

Cruisers filled the dining hall, the porches, and the patios

Cutting Class (Marcia and Dan) with us

Our Thanksgiving table with Marcia and Dan (Cutting Class)

There was no turkey in sight, but this white crane kept an eye on the festivities

There was no turkey in sight, but this white crane kept an eye on the festivities

 

 

 

 

 

Shenny Rendezvous in Vero Beach!!

We arrived in Vero Beach on Sunday afternoon (Sunday, November 17th) and joined Cutting Class on mooring ball #17.  We hadn’t seen Marcia and Dan since they left Shennecossett Yacht Club a week before we did, waaaay back in September. Mooring ball #17 – that’s our house number back home! How appropriate!

Mooring #17 - "Home away from Home" for SYC boats

Mooring #17 – “Home away from Home” for SYC boats

We plan to stay here at Vero Beach through Thanksgiving, kick back, chill out, relax, and do boat maintenance, laundry, and provisioning. Vero is a very popular place for cruisers – nice lounge, laundry, bathhouse, free bus to shopping. Did I mention FREE bus to shopping??  And only $15 per night – a bargain compared to New England mooring fees. Vero will become crowded as Thanksgiving approaches. It is well-known for its cruisers’ Thanksgiving. The town provides turkeys and hams and the cruisers all bring the side dishes. Vero is also known as “Velcro Beach” because so many cruisers settle here after their cruising days are over.

Vero Beach City Marina ~The lounge with wifi, tv, books, magazines ~The laundry ~The fuel dock

Vero Beach City Marina
~The lounge with wifi, tv, books, magazines
~The laundry
~The fuel dock

Some boats are eccentric or have quite a sense of humor. This is one-of-a-kind! Is the owner lonely?

How can this person relax and nap in the hammock when these other two guys in the cockpit are playing loud music on their banjos?? Do these three companions hold up their end of the conversations?

Monday was a beach day, a real beach day! A short dinghy ride brings you right across the road from the public beaches.  We all went swimming. Swimming in November!! We northerners think the water temperature was just right -about what it is by late August back home.

On our way to the beach!

Kindred Spirit and Cutting Class on their way to the beach!

Vero Beach

Vero Beach

And then there were three! San cles arrived in Vero Beach and joined us on Mooring #17. We have all kept in touch as we traveled south at our own speeds and needs;  and are delighted that we reached Vero around the same time. Now it’s really  a rendezvous/reunion! What fun it is to all be together again!

San clés, Kindred Spirit, Cutting Class

San clés, Kindred Spirit, Cutting Class

Reunions = HAPPY Hour. Shenny boats know how to put together some awesome appetizers. Who needs dinner after this spread?

Yummy! A toast with Bahama Kalik beer to our Bahama Bound group.

Yummy! A toast with Bahama Kalik beer to our Bahama Bound group.

By Wednesday, the weather, once again, changed to the dark side – rain. And more rain. And some more rain. At first, we were able to do things in between the showers, but by Thursday, the rains were downpours. I felt as though I were sleeping underwater at night – the sound of water rushing beside me, under me, and over me. Is this what a submarine is like?

The Shennecossett Reunion grew – Bill, one of our SYC launch drivers, lives in Vero Beach during the winter and Connecticut in the summer. He came out to visit us in that dreadful downpour. Now that’s the spirit!

~Al welcomes Bill aboard ~And returns him to shore in the rains

~Al welcomes Bill aboard
~And returns him to shore in the rain

After the rain, comes the clean up. Our decks may be very clean from the rain, but the dinghies were filled with water.

~Dan bailing his dinghy out ~Dave baling his dinghy out ~Dan bailing our dinghy out?? How did you manage that, Capt Al? Thank you, Dan!

~Dan bailing his dinghy out
~Dave baling his dinghy out
~Dan bailing our dinghy out?? How did you manage that, Capt Al? Thank you, Dan!

With clear skies again, we went over to walk on the beach. The sea was much rougher than just a few days ago.

Warnings on the lifeguard stand . ~Red flag for small craft advisory  ~Small red flag near the ground was a "no swimming" sign

Warnings on the lifeguard stand .
~Red flag for small craft advisory
~Small red flag near the ground was a “no swimming” sign

~Bigger waves ~Close-up of the beach erosion from the recent storm

~Bigger waves
~Close-up of the beach erosion from the recent storm – layers of little shells

The nicer weather also meant it was a good time for boat maintenance.

Dave and Al working on a chain gang. Oops, No! Working on their chain plates.

Dave and Al working on a chain gang. Oops, No! Working on their chain plates.

I do “boat maintenance” as well; it’s just not as exciting as chain plates, water pumps, and stuffing boxes. I cook, clean, organize, do laundry, and do more laundry. But I also have fun, such as kayaking and watching my egret friend.
M kayaking

Vero Beach City Marina holds a Cruiser Happy Hour every Thursday. Everyone gets together and shares appetizers, conversations, and stories. Vero is a great place to connect again with new and old friends. Boats we have met along the way have appeared again here – Classic Cyn, Hydrotherapy, Horizon, Traveling Soul, Salty Paws, Moonraker, Simple Life. The camaraderie among cruisers is amazing. Cruising is the great equalizer, and there is no cruiser stereotype. We come in all shapes, designs, and sizes.  It does not matter what size or type of boat you have, what you once did in your land life, or how much money you have.

~Making new friends - Good food and good conversation!  ~Salty Paws' crew jamming

~Making new friends – Good food and good conversation!
~Salty Paws’ crew jamming

Shennecossett sailors ~Sue and Dave on san clés ~Marcia and Dan on Ctting Class ~Michele and Al on Kindred Spirit

Shennecossett sailors
~Sue and Dave on san clés
~Marcia and Dan on Ctting Class
~Michele and Al on Kindred Spirit

SYC closed out the marina happy hour and went over to the Riverside Cafe for dinner

SYC closed out the marina happy hour and went over to the Riverside Cafe for dinner

The glow of the bridge as we dinghied under it on our way to the Riverside Cafe

The glow of the bridge as we dinghied under it on our way to the Riverside Cafe

Cruisers exchange boat cards. What’s a “boat card”? It is a business card for boaters so that we can easily share information, especially since we rarely have paper and pens with us when we meet on the water. Boat cards have evolved over the years, transforming from simple text and graphic to photos of the boat and the people. Boat cards usually include the name of the boat, the make, homeport, crew’s names, emails, and phone numbers.  We were advised to include a picture of ourselves because it makes it easier to remember people if you have that extra memory jog. Generally we remember people by their boat names anyway. We are collecting quite a few already, but how do you organize them? Power vs sail? Homeport? Where you met them (if you even recall that?) I haven’t figured that out yet.

"Boat cards" - cruisers' version of the business card!

“Boat cards” – cruisers’ version of the business card!

Kindred Spirit's boat card

Kindred Spirit’s boat card, designed by Al’s daughter, Alicia.

Sights along Florida’s ICW: St. Augustine to Vero Beach

We left St. Augustine (STM 778) early on Friday morning, knowing that we would have 3 long traveling days ahead of us in order to reach Vero Beach (STM 952)  – 174 statute miles on the ICW or 151 nautical miles. It was three long, tiring days without much to see or do; and yet somehow I did manage to take some photos.

There were curiosities along the way:

Award for most decorative fixed bridge supports, somewhere around Daytona?

Award for most decorative fixed bridge supports, somewhere around Daytona? That’s all tiles, not paint!

This tug was docked right on the ICW in a residential area. Notice the artwork – I do believe that may be the Pink Panther???

This tug was docked right on the ICW in a residential area. Notice the artwork – I do believe that may be the Pink Panther???

This half sunken sailboat with a structure on top was right off the ICW – ActionTeamFamily You Tube. ???  Of course I googled it to find out the story.  I found two videos by a family, mostly of their children -“an introduction to the action team family our boat and our mission check it out!”  Both videos end with a request for donations to support their “environmental life style.” Hmmm, still not sure about this.

ActionTeam Family You Tube

ActionTeam Family You Tube……. ?

A US flag marks a crab pot. Perhaps there is a reason, but I really did not think that is an appropriate place for our flag.

A US flag marks a crab pot. Perhaps there is a reason, but I really did not think that is an appropriate place for our flag.

Some folks are ready for Christmas even though isn’t even Thanksgiving.

Decked out for the holidays!

Decked out for the holidays!

We were in manatee waters now, and eagerly looked for them as moved along. They are difficult to spot, but we did see 10, but not close enough to get a good picture.

Manatee signs all along the Florida ICW. Maybe more signs than manatees??

Manatee signs all along the Florida ICW. Maybe more signs than manatees??

Through one stretch, if you looked east, it seemed as though you could just head out tot he ocean. But don’t dare! The waters are only 1-4 feet deep.

Looking east

Looking east

At the same time, if you looked west —

icw west shoreline

ICW looking west

The residences on the ICW vary from mansions to nice homes, all with docks, to fishing camps and trailer parks —

Beautiful mansions on the ICW

Beautiful mansions on the ICW

ICW condos

Condos

A canal off the ICW

Homes with a canal off the ICW

Fishing camp on the ICW

Fishing camp on the ICW

This was a delightful surprise – a herd of deer grazing right on the ICW.

Herd of deer grazing

Herd of deer grazing

The scenery does change as you move along from day to day. The first day was a series of bridges – 4 fixed and 3 “restricted” which required an opening. These restricted bridges opened “on request”. We heard an interesting short exchange between a boat and a bridgetender. When the boat inquired if the bridge opened “on demand,” the bridgetender replied that it is never “on demand,” it opens “on request.”

Haulover Canal Bridge

Haulover Canal Bridge

Haulover Canal was a neat little stretch. The ICW literally make a sharp right turn to enter it. It felt a a little strange to make that kind of a turn with a boat.

Turning into Haulover Canal, pelicans on watch

Turning into Haulover Canal, pelicans on watch

Inside Haulover Canal, which was short and narrow, there were people fishing on the banks.

A wave from a fisherman

A wave from a fisherman

The bridge is at the end of the canal. As we passed through, the pelicans were everywhere, flying, diving, swimming.

Pelican action

Pelican action

Just past the pelicans, was a couple with a kayak fishing in the shallows. I wish I had his email to send him these pictures. Look at what he caught!

He caught a BIG one!

He caught a BIG one!

Spoil islands are a byproduct of dredging in the ICW to maintain passable depth. They vary in size and amenities. Some have picnic tables and camping sites for boaters to use. On a nice weekend day, these tiny islands became an oasis of fun for people who want to be on the water, camp, play and fish.

A small "spoil island"

A small “spoil island”

Another spoil island

Another spoil island

Island camping on a weekend

Island camping on a weekend

Over the three days, I tried to photograph the dolphins. I really tried. You have to know when and where they are going to jump or surface, and you have to have the camera focused and ready at that spot. That all requires clairvoyance and more expertise with a camera than I possess!

My dolphin photography attempts

My dolphin photography attempts – fins and tails

This one went right past our hull!!

This one went right past our hull!!

Finally, we arrived in Vero Beach and joined our Shennecossett friends, Marcia and Dan on the mooring!! Yeah!! We will be staying here until after Thanskgiving.

And the sun sets at Vero Beach City Marina

And the sun sets at Vero Beach City Marina

 

 

Old St. Augustine – a City of History

WARNING – long post!! We had a great time in St. Augustine for 4 days.

St. Augustine is a curious mix of history and culture with honky-tonk tourism. St. Augustine is the “oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States.” St. Augustine takes the adjective “oldest” to the extreme. In the touristy sections, there is the oldest store, the oldest school, the oldest house, the oldest colonial village, the oldest jail. Mixed among all of those OLDest things are a wax museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, magic shop, pirate museum with reenactments, and of course Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.

We arrived late afternoon on Monday, November 11th, and crossed through the Bridge of Lions (bascule bridge) to the south mooring field of St. Augustine Municipal Marina, where we would spend the next four days. It turned out to be a little longer than we planned because of some very rough winds and seas.

Our first sighting of St Augustine was the fort, Castillo de San Marcos (more about that later) and the Great Cross. In 1565, a Spanish admiral named Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed along the shoreline planted a wooden cross and established a city, St. Augustine, where the Great Cross stands today. The “Great Cross” of St. Augustine was erected in 1966 to mark the 400th anniversary of that day. Constructed of concrete, stainless steel panels and inscribed granite slabs, it was built to last, weighing in at 70 tons. Such construction was required both because of its height and the region’s tropical weather.  The Great Cross represents Christianity’s beginnings in America and marks the founding of America’s oldest city. It also has the distinction of being the tallest freestanding cross in the Western Hemisphere.

Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos

The Great Cross of St. Augustine

The Great Cross of St. Augustine

~View of St. Augustine from our mooring ~ The City Municipal Marina building - a very nice place to stay!

~View of St. Augustine from our mooring
~ The City Municipal Marina building – a very nice place to stay!

After settling on our mooring, we went ashore to explore. Every street and corner in St. Augustine had another delight to see. The architecture is clearly quite different from the “northern” cities and towns we have spent the last two months exploring

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, constructed over 5 years, 1793-1797.

The street is closed to traffic and lined with shops, cafes, and tourist attractions. ~ Seeing Christmas wreaths next to palm trees still seems a bit odd to my New England eyes and heart.

The street is closed to traffic and lined with shops, cafes, and tourist attractions.
~ Seeing Christmas wreaths next to palm trees still seems a bit odd to my New England eyes and heart.

A little fountain among the shops and trees

A little fountain among the shops and trees

Discovered a garden behind a shop

Discovered a garden behind a shop

The fountain of masks, Fuentes de los Canos, were given to St. Augustine by her sister city in Spain, City of Aviles, birthplace of Pedro Menedez, the founder of St. Augustine.

The fountain masks of Fuente de los Cantos

The fountain masks of Fuente de los Cantos

The Old City Gate is a noted landmark in St. Augustine. Constructed of coquina in 1808, the gate columns still stand today and reconstructed  sections of the earthworks adjoin it to the  east and west.

The Old City Gate

The Old City Gate

While strolling about, we studied the various tour options displayed throughout the streets and shops. Al decided to sign us up for a 90-minute presentation by a wholesale travel agency in order to get free tickets to the trolley bus and our choice of four places to visit. I was sure it was a scam and we would regret it. Except for losing 90 minutes of our lives, we lost nothing else, and did get the free tickets, saving about $80-$100.  Many of the other cruisers we have met along the way have done the same thing!

Ready to indulge in pure tourism, we started with two fun tours, a winery and a chocolate factory. Red wine and dark chocolate – two   of man’s finest creations! Our first excursion was the San Sebastian Winery. The tour was informative, especially about port (the wine, not the left side of a boat) and the wines tasted very nice. Jerry gave very good directions on how to taste wine.

~Jerry, our wine guide ~ oak casts of port wine ~the bottling room ~ our tasting time with Jerry

~Jerry, our wine guide
~ oak casts of port wine
~the bottling room
~ our tasting time with Jerry

Whetstone Chocolates is a small chocolate factory. Mr. Whetstone invented the process and machinery that Hershey uses to put almonds inside the kisses. Whetstone also makes those chocolate oranges that break apart into pieces.

~Joe, our chocolate guide, wearing the hair net. We had to also. ~Reggie, the chocolatier, demonstrated the wrapping machine ~ Reggie, paints and molds the speciality chocolates

~Joe, our chocolate guide, wearing the hair net. We had to also.
~Reggie, the chocolatier, demonstrated the wrapping machine
~ Reggie, paints and molds the speciality chocolates

Railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler and partner in Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller, had a major influence on Florida, especially St. Augustine. After the death of his first wife and daughter in 1881, he built the Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Memorial Presbyterian Church, built by Henry Flagler in memory of his first wife and daughter

Memorial Presbyterian Church, built by Henry Flagler in memory of his first wife and daughter

Flagler liked St. Augustine, but found the hotels to be less than desirable. He hired two young architects, Carrere and Hastings, to build his dream hotels,  inspired by Spanish architecture.

We visited the Hotel Alcazar first. Opening in 1888, it was a resort for the very elegant, and very rich. The entrance is an open palm courtyard with an arched stone bridge spanning a fishpond.  Amenities for guests included a Russian and Turkish bath/spa, the largest indoor swimming pool of its day, as well as a three-story ballroom. After years of accommodating vacationing wealthy patrons, the elegant resort hotel closed in 1932.

Henry Flagler's Hotel Alcazar, now the Lightner Museum

Henry Flagler’s Hotel Alcazar, now the Lightner Museum

Courtyard of the Hotel Alcazar

Courtyard of the Hotel Alcazar

The Russian and Turkish baths and steam rooms have been preserved

The Russian and Turkish baths and steam rooms have been preserved.

That old plumbing looks pretty complicated!

That old plumbing looks pretty complicated!

Chicago publisher, Otto C. Lightner, purchased the old hotel building to house his extensive collection of Victoriana in 1946 and later deeded it to the city. The Lightner Museum opened to the public in 1974. The St. Augustine City Hall also occupies the former hotel.

Lightner was a mega-collector. He believed that everyone should be a collector. The museum houses exhibits of 19th century daily life such as dolls, buttons, marbles, matchbook covers, cigar wrappers, toasters, pocket watches, dolls, cut glass, Tiffany glass, mechanized musical instruments. Natural and scientific exhibits included a shrunken head, small Egyptian mummy, American Indian artifacts, stuffed birds and mammals, rocks, and shells.

COLLECTIONS! Just a sampling - Tiffany stained glass, Victorian dolls, Pocket watches, American cut glass

COLLECTIONS! Just a sampling – Tiffany stained glass, Victorian dolls, Pocket watches, American cut glass

Of course, the shells were my favorite.

Of course, the shells were my favorite.

Susan Sontag’s “About Collecting: Never Complete” really does justice to Lightner’s vast collections —

About collecting

About collecting

The swimming pool (largest indoor pool at that time) in the hotel has been transformed into a café by filling in the deep end of the pool! “Café Alcazar” is an unusual elegant little café right there in the museum. We listened to live piano music while we ate a delicious lunch in the deep end of the pool!

View of Cafe Alcazar from above

View of Cafe Alcazar from above

View of Cafe ALcazar from the floor (or the deep end of the pool)

View of Cafe ALcazar from the floor (or the deep end of the pool)

Winds as shown on SailFlow app ~check St. Augustine location - you can just see it.

Winds as shown on SailFlow app

And that brought our first day of touring to an end! The weather forecast for the next 36 hours was not good at all – gale force winds!  After midnight, the winds were “blowing a houlie” as our British friend, Sue, describes it. We didn’t sleep well even though we knew we were reasonably safe on the town mooring. The winds continued to blow a steady 28-32 with gusts of 36-40 for all of Wednesday. My SailFlow app showed the image to the left – reds/purples are not good! St. Augustine is a little blueish dot in the middle of the screen. One news report stated that St. Augustine saw 50. We were stuck on the boat for the entire day and another night.

A few boats were not as fortunate. The most seriously damaged was an anchored trimaran that broke lose and hit the Bridge of Lions, sinking. No one was aboard so no one was hurt.

Left - what we saw from our mooring Right - the salvage operation as we saw it from the Bridge of Lions

Left – what we saw from our mooring
Right – the salvage operation as we saw it from the Bridge of Lions

Back to Henry Flagler and his hotels. The next day (Thursday) we decided to tour Flagler’s Ponce de Leon, his first hotel in St. Augustine, opened in 1888. The Hotel Ponce de Leon was a more exclusive, and even more expensive resort, than his Hotel Alcazar.  If you wanted to spend time at the Hotel Ponce de Leon (or “the Ponce” as it was known), you had to reserve it for the entire season. Less wealthy folks who could only spend days or weeks on vacation had to stay at the Hotel Alcazar. The Hotel Ponce de Leon was the first large building constructed of poured concrete, and was cast, rather than built, of coquina quarried on Anastasia Island.  The mixture was made on the spot, poured into forms while soft, and rammed down three inches at a time. Coquina was practically indestructible as it hardened with age, and it’s color  contrasted with the terra cotta roof and towers.

The Ponce de Leon is now Flagler College, a four-year liberal arts school.  I may not personally care for the ornate styles of his hotels, but I can certainly appreciate the creativity, genius, craftsmanship, and sheer human effort required to produce such a work of art and grandeur.

Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College

Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College

A college senior, Emma, was our tour guide on this very fascinating trip back in time. The dragon spout on the right was actually a light fixture. Each one held a red electric light that fascinated guests as they entered the courtyard – dragons breathing fire! Emma explained that, as a college, housing the women students in this building, the administrators did not feel that red lights would be appropriate. The dragons are now decorative only.

Flagler College senior, Emma, our tour guide ~ Dragon head lights line the courtyard

Flagler College senior, Emma, our tour guide
~ Dragon head lights line the courtyard

The ceiling of the Ponce de Leon lobby. The gold color is real gold paint.

The ceiling of the Ponce de Leon lobby. The gold color is real gold paint.

The tiling was done 24/7 in order to complete it in time for the opening. It is reported that as the tilers were finishing the tile in the main hall one of Flagler's associates made the innocent comment that it was 'perfect'. In response Flagler moved a tile stating, 'only God is perfect'. CAn you find the one "mistake?".

The tiling was done 24/7 in order to complete it in time for the opening. It is reported that as the tilers were finishing the tile in the main hall one of Flagler’s associates made the innocent comment that it was ‘perfect’. In response Flagler moved a tile stating, ‘only God is perfect’. CAn you find the one “mistake?”.

The Dining Hall at Flagler is amazing, with 79 of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass windows. Can you imagine being a college student and having your meals in this place??? Surely there are no food fights!  My photos do not capture the feeling and grandeur of the space.

The Dining Hall

The Dining Hall – Louise Comfort Tiffany windows

The Edison Electric Company powered the building with steam heat and 4,000 electric lights, making the Ponce one of the nation’s first electrified buildings. Thomas Edison designed and made the two clocks below. Notice the 4 o’clock – Edison used four Roman numeral ones rather than the typical IV for the number four.

Edison clocks

Thomas Edison clocks – Roman numeral IIII for 4 instead of the typical IV 

There were shops that sell Flagler College clothing and I noticed  interesting (cute) versions that played off of Harry Potter and Hogwarts- Hogwarts didn’t accept me so I am at Flagler.  After visiting Flagler, I can see it might just have that  “Hogwartish” flavor.

Next stop on our day was the fort, Castillo de San Marcos. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Construction began in 1672, 107 years after when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. It is constructed from coquina. The fort is part of the National Parks system. As senior citizens, we can now have a senior pass for $10 for lifetime admission to any national park (Isn’t it nice to be “old”?)

Castillo San de Marcos ~ the bridge over the moat ~the interior courtyard ~ the gate into the fort ~an interior wall

Castillo San de Marcos
~ the bridge over the moat
~the interior courtyard
~ the gate into the fort
~an interior wall

The cannons at Castillo San de Marcos

The cannons at Castillo San de Marcos

We needed lunch next! The A1A Brewery is right near the waterfront and brews its own beer. Too bad they can’t sell it except in the restaurant – it was quite good and a lot of fun to have those little beers.

A1A Brewery - Balcony seats and a nice sampling of their brews

A1A Brewery – Balcony seats and a nice sampling of their brews

The entrance to the Bridge of Lions

The entrance to the Bridge of Lions

For our last evening in St. Augustine, we joined a gathering of the “St. Augustine Cruisers”. This local group of sailors invites all cruisers staying in St. Augustine to meet at a local cafe for the evening. There were over 20 people at Cellar 6. We had a very nice time. We met another Morgan (Flying Pig)  that has been out cruising for some time. Al has followed their blog for years.

Night lights in St Augustine

Night lights in St Augustine

Saying goodbye to St. Augustine and the Bridge of Lions in the early morning light

Saying goodbye to St. Augustine and the Bridge of Lions in the early morning light