Monday, April 30, 2012

Hunting the Manatee

Yes, you read that right.  Sunday morning was about hunting the elusive Manatee.  And yes, I was going to shoot it.  With the camera silly.  Y'all should know me better.  I do say elusive because she was there.  I could see her swim by as I stood in the middle of the ramp.  Mostly all just underwater.  Bill said I could see her if I was at the top of the ramp.  Where did she go.  I went back and forth at the top of the ramp wondering how you call a manatee.  "Here Manatee, here girl.  Please come back."  All I found was the ever growing line to board the HMS Bounty.

This woman gave up as the sun was hot and the humidity was climbing.  She decided it was cooler to hold up the tree.

People also thought they could just see it from the river and also see other sights by going on a trip on Victory III.

Well, I gave up the hunt for a bit.  It was Sunday and that means brunch.  Hey, now wonder the line was so long.  The pirates were having brunch too.

Since it was hot and that line was starting to inch closer and closer to the ramp on our side we decided to stroll through the oldest side of the city.  We heard someone singing a Jimmy Buffet tune.  It was one of the festive street musician.

We had past this one winery before.  Each time it was closed.  This time it was op......nope.  He was just leaving for a break.

We need to come back and try it.  Just down the road we found this one.  It looked interesting and we love wine tastings.

We ended up purchasing the Watermelon Wine.

After dinner I tried Manatee hunting some more.  The guides from some of the Eco Tours were on the dock and said the Manatees do come in often.  They seem to like the marina. Well Patti, what's your problem?  Everyone sees them.  Ahhh, they must be camera shy.  My friend from the other dock must have decided it was too busy there too, so came to the dock one up from us for dinner.

Hope y'all have a great couple of days.  I am off to visit with family.

Patti and Bill :-)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A day on Enigma

Except for running up to take a shower I stayed on Enigma the whole day.  I did look out of the companionway a few times when I got something to drink.  Each time on the dock across from us there was a line at the top of the ramp and people constantly going up and down the dock.  They were all going to tour the inside of the HMS Bounty.

I really need to get more into cutting stuff out of my pictures.  That silver tube in the lower front is from El conquistador.

Bill went for a walk.  I wanted to go but my tummy said no, so I stayed aboard and played games and read.  It was 91 degrees here.  The heat usually doesn't phase me but I thing it is starting to get humid.  Lots of water and the fan pointed at me was enough though.  Bill brought me something to eat  and he was going out to find dinner.  My tummy still said NO!

He had found another part of town.  The oldest part of the city.  I had given him my camera to take a few photos since he wasn't bringing his nice one.  My little point and shoot fits in his pocket.  tI can do a number of things.  I do need to read more on it.  Here are two shots of the old city streets.  I can't wait to go myself.

I love browsing in these old towns.  So much history.

I am leaving early tomorrow morning to get a car and drive to see my parents and my sister and her family.  They are in Lithia, Florida.  West of here.   I hope to post something about today either later this evening or first thing in the morning.  I will be gone for a couple of days so there will be no posts for a few days. 

Patti and Bill  :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sigh----Another Day in Paradise.

I was up real early so I could beat the rush to the showers and then come back to write the blog yesterday.  I didn't know it but Bill was waiting for me to finish using it.  Living on our boat we only have one computer.  It was going to be a slow beach day for us.  It ended up being slow, but no beach for me.  Bill looked at the Sunshine Bus Schedule online.  The next one did not leave the Bridge of Lions, which would be closest for us, until 12:45.  It was 11:00 now.  That would just not work.  We walked to the Visitor Information Center.  She did not know exactly where or when it left but did have a map and schedule.  They were what we saw online.  We have found here that some things are sllooowww.  For example, if a menu has a change the online menu in the establishments website does not for a few weeks.  So for these to match was incredible.  

Yesterday the tavern mentioned as the oldest was the oldest in the Colonial Spanish Quarter.  After lunch yesterday we stopped for a couple of drinks at the actual oldest tavern, the St. George Tavern, in the oldest city, St. Augustine.  I had my camera but it was sooo dark and nothing really to take a photo of.  Just the usual taps and glasses behind the bar and the walls mostly decorated with mirrors with beer ads. We watched some of the updates of the NFL Draft.  Being a Jaguar fan i was very happy with their first round pick of a wide receiver.  And a good one to boot.

This is a view of half of St. George Street before the days rush.

We walked across the street for happy hour (oops, happy afternoon).  Wine and complimentary pizza.  It was a nice, relaxing day in St. Augustine.

This is a little guy that crossed our path on the way back on Thursday.  He is on the bottom of the screen.

Patti and Bill :-)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Being the Tourist in St. Augustine

I have not written for a few days.  We were up early to do more of the tourist thing and I was tired when we finally got back to the boat.  The last post I wrote was going to the Castillo de San Marco.  Well the following day we did the self strolling thing.  We had the free tour books and maps.  First up was the Pirate Treasure Museum.  I really liked this.  It had the stories of many of the pirates and where they were from.  It had many interactive things you could listen to or touch.  Bill really liked the bar of gold that was in a locked box but had a handle so you could lift it to see how much it weighed.  I was like a little kid lighting the cannon a few times.  Sadly you could not take any pictures inside.  But of course that was to help preserve many of the items.  After this we just strolled around.  St. George Street is a mostly walking only, with all sorts of things to see.  This was the oldest tavern in the Colonial Spanish Quarter.  We had the sangria.  Very refreshing.  It also had some mindless games to play.

Then off to lunch and more window shopping. 

The next day the HMS Bounty came into our dock.  This was the one used in the Clark Gable film Mutiny on the Bounty.  I took a picture of it coming through though the Bridge of Lions so you could see how tall the masts are.

Then it docked at our gas dock. From where we stood it turned pretty sharp and did not go out as far as we hoped for us all to get a clear shot.

Then came many people to board her for a tour.  Since we used to be docked in New London Connecticut we could see the USCG Eagle and had gone aboard her a few times so we went in the other direction to try to avoid the crowds.  Did some more walking and stopping for lunch and appetizers at a few places.  At one time many of the places used mills. 

The next day was a walk to the Fountain of Youth.  The first thing you do is get to drink the water.  They have cups all set up for you.  I don't think I look any younger.  We will see how I feel tomorrow.

The grounds were absolutely beautiful.  They are still excavating the area.  They found some Indian burial grounds.

They were cooking and skinning hides for clothes.

Peacocks ran around the grounds.  The white one just simply refused to face me and the colorful one did not want to open the tail feathers.

On the walk back I took a picture of the City Gate.  You drive around this actually.

And there were these cute little cars/carts you could rent.  They are two-seaters.  If you look closely the headlights have eyelashes.

I think Friday will be a beach day. 

Patti and Bill :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Castillo de San Marcos

We walked to a small place for breakfast then over to the Castillo de San Marcos.  I love that everything is in walking distance.  We were told that the entrance was free this week because it is National Parks Week.  So if you can go to any National Park, Admission is free.  I really like Free.  Construction of the castle/fort started in 1672 and was completed in 1756.  The walls are very fragile.  They are made up of Coquina which is limestone that is made of shells. This was used because it was good at deflecting or absorbing projectiles.  You enter the fort by going over a drawbridge.  So cool.  From there you go into a beautifully kept courtyard.  Actors and park rangers abound for pictures and tell you who they are and give a little bit of history.

Some of the weapons used in this time period were pretty scary.  This was used by the British when they attacked the Spanish.

Up on the gundeck is where some of the cannons used.  By the time it was finished it held 74 cannons of different sizes.  It also held 4 bastions, one in each corner.

One mom and dad knew that this history stuff was going to be boring for the youngsters, so they brought paper and crayons and had them draw things they saw.  Smart mom and dad.  Kept the kids quiet while they took turns walking around.

Of course some modernization needs to be put in like a store and the restrooms.  Ladies was nice, men, looks like you have to hold it a while enter.

After this we walked around and were a bit thirsty.  OMG, another Irish Pub!  What a surprise!   We took a horse and carriage ride.  Since we jumped aboard a little into it the driver gave us a break on the price.  this is a good day for us.  We got some pizza and met up with Bonnie and Peter before they left to go back to Connecticut.  We heard they got some snow yesterday.  Maybe another touristy thing today.

Oh, and by the way to our friends back in Isle of Hope,  they also have that lovely Spanish moss here. Who knew?  LOL!!

Patti and Bill  :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wandering the Docks and Meeting Old Friends

We weren't meeting up with our friends until later in the afternoon so I decided to wander around the docks here.  I went over to where there was a group of people and kids pointing at the watter and laughing.  I looked down and saw the water churning.

These were a school of Skipper Jacks.  They feed on the minnows around the docks here.  A dad was teaching his son how to fish for them by slowly dragging the bait through the water.  He was imitating the minnow.

Nothing was happening so I walked further down to get a picture of the Bridge of Lions. It didn't come out to well as there was a lot of boat traffic being a Saturday morning.  On my way back I noticed this little guy sitting on someones power cord.  The people on the boat said he is there all of the time.

Then I passed the group fishing.  Apparently they gave up the rod and reel for an easier approach.

Since we were meeting up with friends from Connecticut around 2:00 we figured we would just go to the Santa Maria Restaurant next to the marina for some appetizers.  It was a nicely decorated place.  Very nautical like.  The lamps on the ceiling I thought were interesting.  They were made out of blow fish.

Finally Bonnie and Peter arrived.  They were on time which was kind of shocking.  Peter and Bill have been friends since college.  I won't say how long ago that was but they went to school via horse and carriage.  Nah!!!  Bonnie thought she would never see us again and I thought it would be the usual 10 years.  This is the couple that bought our Person 30, Lady Di.

Bad thunderstorms rolled in and nixed our dinner plans.  Oh well.

Patti and Bill :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 2 in St. Augustine

Friday was a pretty quiet day here in St. Augustine.  We didn't do any exploring of the town.  First on hand was to go to the Marine Consignment Store.  The Sailors Exchange is pretty good size and jam packed with marine stuff.  On the way here part of the pedestal that holds the Chartplotter busted.  It is made of old wood that just got really soggy and salty.  We do lean on it a bit since it is attached to a metal  u-brace that goes into the floor.  Bill was ingenious enough to tie it with rope for the remainder of the way here.

Looks pretty right?  NOT!  Besides, we need that line for something else, I am sure.  We didn't find what we were looking for in the store.  We did see an air conditioner that would fit in the forward hatch for only $400.00.  But what if that broke, no warranty.  Good price but we were afraid it would end up costing us more in the long run. 

So we took a nice ride in the little red corvette.  Back to the airport.  Returned the keys.  :'(  Took a taxi back.  Then it was time to walk over to the second Irish Pub.  Remember I said there were four.  The Irish Clam Chowder was yummy.  So was the rest of the food and of course the Irish Beer.  Coming back there was a rope and signs across our finger slip.  It was for the El Conquistador.  I think they forgot we shared this dock.

Kinda hard to see there.  Saturday hopefully will be more of an exploring day, although they do call for Thunderstorms all day.  I am writing this at 9:30 and the sun is out with very few clouds.

Patti and Bill :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Our First Day in St. Augustine

This is going to be an interesting stay.  So far we have signed on for a month here at the Municipal Marina, aka City Marina.  I think it may not be a very quiet one.  We are on a dock with some touring boats.  Next to us is a nice 34 convertible though.  No one is on it, so far.  The harbour tour boat, The Victory III, is very close, like 3 slips over on the other side.  Constantly in and out.  Never got a pic yet, but can hear the people going on and off.  Also, at 7 am the church bells ring.  Good Morning.  On the other side of Victory II is the Pirate Ship The Black Raven.  I may do this tour as I love the whole pirate thing, even before Johnny Depp.

On our side of the dock there are kayaks to rent.

Small sailboat rental from Eco tours.

Para-Sailing.  I have always wanted to try this.  My insurance says I can't jump out of a plane, but nothing about this.

And lastly, a thrill speedboat ride on El Conquistador.

Yes, that blue sailboat sharing the finger slip on the other side is Enigma.  It is gonna be interesting when they start that baby up. There were no flights to Savannah the day before so Bill rented a car, the last one before they closed and stayed in Savannah that night.  He had to get the car for two days.  He told me it was a little red convertible.  My eyes flew open.  I used to own a red convertible Mustang.  I wanted to go for a ride.  YES, SWEET!!

 Little Red Corvette.  I was humming that Prince song for a while in m head.  It was pouring when we came back so we went to the first of four Irish Pubs.  JP Henley's was across the street.  70 beers on tap.  Wow!  And I had a nice glass of Honey Mead.  I haven't had that since our last trip to a Mid Evil Faire.
Friday will be more of an exploratory day.

Patti and Bill  :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Isle of Hope to St. Augustine

Finally Tuesday morning has arrived.  I had butterflies in my stomach.  The plan was to leave at 7:00.  Well, no.  I did not say goodbye to Chris and Andrew yet.  They were off on Sunday and Monday and didn't come into work until 8:00.  My excuse anyway.  Bill and I finalized everything at the office and turned in our keycards.  To our surprise our community of cruisers had gathered on D-Doc to bid us farewell.  Even Gertie the kitty on Drift Away was talking and all of the dogs were there.  And where was my camera, somewhere on the boat.  Besides I was too busy saying goodbye with tears in my eyes.  For pictures of this and our actual leaving of the dock you can visit Dave and Pam's Blog at  Finally around 9:00 we were off.  Brian came along to help.

First we travelled through the river where Bill pointed out the building where he thought he could run/buy a restaurant.  Brian told us that it used to be a hotel but was now condos.  Looks to me like the model for this must have been legos.

Then we finally approached the Atlantic.

And oh what a fun ride this was.  Wind on our nose and waves crashing over the bow.  No raising the sails here and only doing 4 knots.  This is gonna be a long trip.  The sunset was beautiful though.  I took a lot of pictures since Enigma was bouncing so much and I told Bill to stop it but nooo.  Oh course he can't, he left his magic wand back in Isle of Hope! This one was my favorite.   I love the fluffy cloud and blue sky above.  Not too bad for a little point-and-shoot camera.
Sometime at night, actually sometime Wednesday morning Bill was resting below and Brian and I were on deck.  Brian looked forward and then at the chartplotter, then back.  A shipping lane.  Lovely.  Then I looked to the port side.  OMG!!!!  Huge ship, but what was it doing?  It seemed to switch directions.  Then we heard a call.  It was requesting a pilot boat.  Bill came up and decided to swing around and let it pass on our starboard side.  Too much excitement for me.  I went below for my 2 hours of sleep.  No picture of the sunrise.  I slept through it.  Did see some warships around Jacksonville.  Not too close.
That line is Enigma's lifeline.  Still rough seas.  They were about 8 ft. at some point.  And still on our nose.  We originally thought we would be docked around 7 a.m. on Wednesday.  Mother Nature had other plans.  We finally made it to the inlet and......a barge working at the mouth.  UGH!

After waiting for the Bridge of Lions to open we docked around 6 p.m.  We had to get Brian back so he was on time for work Thursday.  Bill took him to Jacksonville and I stayed on Enigma.  I really needed to sleep.  Of course I had to read two days of Drift Aways blog posts first.  Six Kleenex later I layed down to sleep.

Patti and Bill :-/