Saturday, December 31, 2016

What Can I Say About St Augustine Florida Other Than It Is The Most Touristy Of Touristy Stops, But They Do Touristy Insanely Well

On the 21 December the weather was chilly, there no way we were making it far enough south for a crossing to the Bahamas, so we decided to spend Christmas exploring St Augustine. We have had brief visits before, a night in the mooring field, meeting friends at A1A1 micro brewery, exploring the sailors exchange or west marine, but this time we decided to be tourists. 
St Augustine has a festival of lights that runs from Nov 19 to Jan 3, they hang over three million lights, so if all you wanted to do was sit on a balcony at the pub or stroll and enjoy the lights its pretty spectacular.  They have an abundance of trolly trains shuttling the hoards of tourist around, all singing different off key Christmas songs, it cant help but make you smile and cant help but get you into the Christmas spirit. 

There is just so much to see and do I just wanted to tell you about three stops we made

Because of the generosity of boater friends we got hooked onto the pirate series Black Sail a fictional pirate adventure about the Golden Age of pirates and the survival of New Providence. Island -- a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers. So I cover my head at the violence and leaning in closer every time Long John Silver hits the screen, I am hooked. So hitting up the St Augustine Pirate & Treasure museum was a must. It was exceptionally well done and though there was nothing linking the Bahamas reading about Calico Jack, Anne Bonnie, Long,  John Silver was a hoot. 

Secondly, we visited the Government House Museum Dugout Canoe exhibit. #1 it was free, every sailors dream, but it was also interesting. In 2000 there was a drought causing Newnans Lake near Gainesville Florida to drop. A science teacher was out with his class when they came upon 101 prehistoric canoes which had been hidden for centuries.  Before the drought ended and the rising lake waters covered the canoes again it was revealed that the canoes aged from 500 to 5000 years old. Happily, there was also a Canadian link to the Haida people and their  seaman ship connection and famous big red cedar canoes. 

Lastly we explored Flagler College or the Ponce de Leon Hotel built in 1885 by Henry M Flagler a millionaire developer. It is said that his first wife was sick and on the advice of doctors they should winter south, so the Flagler’s did, but sadly his wife passed. Henry was hooked on the area and became a key figure in the development of the Florida east coast.   

Interesting fact: When electricity was first installed at the Ponce de Leon by Thomas Edison Henry’s buddy, Flagler had to hire staff to turn the lights on and off because  the guest were afraid to touch the switches.

As a closing note we enjoyed our time in St Augustine very much, the mooring balls were solid, the marina facilities were clean, and theres a great Wednesday night gathering at Anna O Malley's but, we pulled anchor early on Christmas morning, no water stagnates under this captains keel

Told Ya, It Was Touristy

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