Wednesday, August 24, 2011

St. Augustine, Florida

 Talking with the crew of Lightspeed the other day they mentioned Steve and Carol of the former Red Sky were on the hard in St. Augustine. They now own a 40ft. Manta. Last time we crossed paths was in the Virgins. Jumped on the Harley and made the three hour ride across the peninsula.

St. Augustine is without a doubt a first class tourist destination. Food , drinks and plenty of history. St. Augustine is the oldest continually settled town in N. America. Very attractive well kept city!

The Easterbrooks new home is called Emerald. They were supposed to splash the other day but concerns about Irene caused a postponement. I am sure they are in the water now and glad of it. They have been on the hard for six weeks.

After I left Emerald and before heading back to the West Coast I went looking for some espresso and stumbled across the fort guarding the entrance to the estuary. Castillo de San Marcos. Took the six dollar tour and found this fort to be the best I have ever experienced.
 Notice how cats make a nice garage for the Harley. Carol and Steve outside A1A, a bar downtown that brews beer.In the background is part of the scenic downtown.

 Flagler is a common name in these parts . This is the Flagler College. Many buildings in town with the moniker. Been informed Ole Flagler was a robber baron of Standard oil. He liked the Florida coast and there were no amenities so he built some. This college was originally a hotel. He also built the Jacksonville to Key West Railroad. Portions were destroyed in a hurricane and the state rebuilt and used the trestles for the overseas highway to Key West. Wikipedia is a wonderful thing! Thanks to Queenie for steering me in the right direction.
 Castillo de San Marcos quadrangle. The grounds and the fort were in excellent nick. San Marcos had never been breached by an opposing force. The walls were made of cochina. A type of limestone that has lots of exposed shells and is quite soft. When a ball strikes it is absorbed rather than fracturing harder surfaces thus maintaining the integrity of the walls.

 The access to the gun deck
 Canons came in all sizes and some were cast in bronze and others in iron. The designer of the canon put the crest of the country and his id on the units. This canon was captured from the Spanish at Veracruz.
 This is a bronze 16 pounder. Throws a solid sixteen pound ball about 3 miles.
 A sentry tower is visible in the back and a pizza oven down on the grass. The sentry had views covering most of the harbor and the elevated position made sneaking up on the fort in the flat Florida countryside almost impossible.Not sure about oven. Land based fortifications were known to heat the shot and fire at ships in order to cause fires. Even today fire aboard is worst nightmare for mariners. The oven is not close to any access so not sure about purpose. Meant to ask Park Ranger but clouds were building and in a hurry  to get on scooter and go!  Just in! The oven was for heating shot and was installed by the Americans. Apparently the Americans filled in the moat and made the area another battery with which to pound vessels. After the invention of exploding ordnance the oven would not be necessary.
This is a bronze mortar. Close distance weapon with limited accuracy but at close distance can throw a lot of metal.On a ship this would be a carronade. Very effective at close range.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Given my walking papers on Friday. 8-10 week assignment turned into 8 months. What is the old saying about sailors and ships rotting in port. Looking forward to the next adventure!!

All in all a great stop on the road. PAID all my debts and am debt FREE!!! Trying to do a little on LCB everyday, although the heat can be oppressive in Florida this time of year. Put new Raymarine repeaters on this weekend. A good start. Will tackle new bulkhead coverings this week while waiting on TS Irene.

Noam Chamsky

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ozello, Florida Tri

 This competitor unfortunately came in last.
 Good turnout and beautiful day on the Gulf.

Little remiss in publishing this post. In the Spring I had planned to enter the Ozello Tri. Run, Bike and kayak race in the quaint town of Ozello. Located amongst the saw grass on the Gulf. Due to some more skin removal due to squamous cell carcinoma I had to be a volunteer as could not afford to get the stitches wet.

Pretty good turnout and first time for me as a volunteer in an event. Entered many times in running events over the years but first as a volunteer.