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Illusion pulled into St. Augustine on a beautiful, warm and sunny day. It was so warm in fact (65 degrees) that Brian and I quickly shed a few layers of clothing – I think the average number of articles of clothing I’ve worn this trip has been somewhere in the ballpark of 10! including socks and gloves and all that jazz – and lowered the dingy into the water. It was a short motor over to the city marina dingy dock, where we tied up and checked in. With an empty propane tank in hand, we headed into town to run some errands and explore in the process.
Often I find that our attempts to find this or that specific item or part for the boat takes us on the off-the-beaten-path tour of a town. Because we had visited St. Augustine a week-and-a-half before on our road trip across Florida for a dingy (oh yeah, did I mention we lost our dingy on our offshore leg to Charleston?), we already knew where to find the cool consignment shop. Having previously spent much time in the shop buying lines to replace the most conspicuous-looking ones on Illusion, we spent several hours poking around Sailor’s Exchange all told and the vegan/vegetarian bakery next door made for a killer combination .
Upon wandering a little bit farther down the block, we also discovered a screen-printing shop that produced signs and other large format posters, stickers, decals etc. One of the guys who worked there gave us a mini tour of the facility, which was rather large. It was good for me and exciting to get a close-up look at a commercial screen-printing shop, since I’ve been considering trying to up my screen-printing production (almost non-existent at this point) for my Forest and Fin designs. I’ve got a few ideas that I’m toying with; we’ll see what 2011 holds for Forest and Fin….
But back to St. Augustine, the beautiful walled city with Spanish-influenced architecture and cobblestone streets. The city reminds me much of Charleston and Savannah, but also of many European cities that I visited during my studies in Italy. Although St. Augustine is a city of great history, it seemed to me to have more of an eclectic feel. Many of the houses that we passed during our search for propane were decorated with trinkets, driftwood, stained glass, and old-school cars. One house in particular possessed an elaborate gated fence created from various shapes and sizes of driftwood woven together into a beautiful arched entrance. I would have certainly liked to spend a little more time in St. Augustine, but as the light began to fade, Brian and I headed back to our floating home to fry up some potatoes and enjoy the setting sun.
The temperature fell quickly overnight. The next morning a heavy fog once again blanketed Illusion, and Brian and I decided to carry on since we weren’t below the freeze line yet. With little idea of where we wished to stop on our way down Florida, but a good idea of some projects that needed to be done before we go offshore again, we cast off from St. Augustine into the unknown to make our way south.
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