Nov 3-6: St Augustine - Back to work!
Friday kicked off our next few days of maintenance, work and more prep. Sounds crazy but there is still lots to do. Okay, maybe we will start tomorrow instead!?!
We decided to browse through the main street stores and enjoy one more tourist day, finding cute buys and clothes with sayings like 'These aren't hot flashes they are power surges!' (That will apply to me sooner than I like.) So far it was a Mermazing day!
Andrew kindly took the purchases back to the boat while I relaxed at a nearby quiet little pub. When he arrived back we were both completely content to sit, relax, enjoy some light munchies and just talk for a long, long, long time.
The afternoon became evening, and then dinnertime, so we strolled a few blocks to a quaint Irish Pub where conversation continued over oysters and fresh fish for dinner. Our time together was so completely refreshing! Months, maybe years of stress had fallen away in that one afternoon. What a great day!
The sun was just setting, casting an orange glow over the moored sailboats as we headed back in our tender. We realized, if it had been dark we may not have been able to find our boat among all the others. We would need to find a solution.
Saturday we were ACTUALLY going to get to work. We had been delaying our grocery and supply shopping day because it was nearly 2 miles one way. It would take a while to walk there! Of course we could Uber but we try to do as much walking as possible since you get very little exercise on the boat.
On our way we decided to stop off for a chocolate tour at the Whetstone Chocolate Factory, since we would walk the calories off anyway. It was a sweet detour before heading off to get supplies!
As we focused on our work we unfortunately stopped taking pictures, but we could not miss taking a picture of Sporty's River Boat Car Wash where you can 'get your car washed for $5'. Too fabulously weird, and built exactly like a river boat. Hilarious enough to inspire us the rest of the way.
The West Marine and grocery store were nestled among other stores in a very cute plaza with interlocking brick sidewalks and manicured flowering gardens. We found many supplies, including a light for our tender and some blow-up solar powered LED lights with different colour settings. They were ideal for identifying our boat at night.
After a quick lunch (so we stick to our grocery list) we bought another load of provisions at the grocery store, strategically packing them to stay safely in our wagon for our 40 min walk back.
By the time we arrived at the boat we were exhausted and ready for an early night. Andrew is tired just seeing how many steps we walked...lol.
Sunday morning we relaxed in our pj's while we read our Bible together and had an in depth chat and prayer time. For us this journey is about more than just the adventure, it is about re-focusing on what is important and God is at the centre of that. We are so thankful for all He has done in our lives and in our son's lives.
Afterwards Andrew hopped in the tender with our folding wagon which he used to cart fuel tanks to the gas station and back. Since diesel is not available at the marina we have to top up our tanks manually.
While he was busy I completed a thorough clean of the boat in preparation for a visit from our friend Layton and his family. Our afternoon with them was so lovely.
After lunch we took a walk through George Street, grabbed some ice cream and headed to the boat for a brief tour and some munchies. What a treat to be able to enjoy some time with such a talented family!
Today (Monday) is our last day here. Although I am tempted to beg for a few more days to explore there are many sights ahead still to see so I will relent to getting underway. We had to fit in one more fuel run and hopefully fill the propane tank.
This time our walk was an interesting contrast of sights. Initially we walked past an army headquarters with a cemetery beside it. Students were walking up and down the rows of headstones writing down the names of fallen soldiers who fought for their country abroad. Just past the headquarters were officers homes and large estates with gorgeous fountains and manicured lawns.
About 15 minutes later we arrived in the lower income area of St. Augustine, passed Bethel Baptist Church at 222 Riberia Street. In 1963 this church provided meeting space for the NAACP Youth Council which picketed restaurants that refused to serve black people. Civil rights meetings were held here and many from this church sacrificed their lives for their freedom, within their own country, the US.
Our stops have given us new insights. We have encountered homeless vets who live on the streets, and the challenges that African Americans have faced. When you see key places and walk along the streets where battles for freedom have been fought, these issues have gained deeper meaning for us. The research and journey continues.
This evening I wrapped up my blogs and Andrew completed final prep and planning for tomorrow's journey. We are off for Palm Beach where we will hang out until weather clears . . . and we can finally cross to the Bahamas!