July 18, 2014

New Thoughts In A Very Old Town

"In any given moment, a man's growth is optimized if he leans just beyond his edge, his capacity, his fear. He should lean just slightly beyond the edge of fear and discomfort.  Constantly.  In everything he does. Very few men have the guts for this practice."
David Deida,  The Way of The Superior Man


The month of July in Florida can be rather toasty, my friends … The humidity can soar to a funky factor that can be a real challenge to appreciate….drip drip drip, as the sweat beads creep down my chest…. but as a Southern guy at heart, it just feels natural… I actually love it.

And as I embrace the heat and humidity, it is a great time to feel so young in America's oldest city… I arrived back at Glory Days in late June, and upon arrival, immediately opened all the hatches and turned on all the fans I could find just to get some air moving around my Glory Days nest… there' no AC on board, but the thing I do with this wind tunnel I create with fans seems to work.

And as you can see from the photo below, it is also time to break out the shade tarps as she rested and smiled on her mooring ball #28.  

Here, I enjoyed a fabulous view of the water, the city, the bridge, and the occassional boat traffic in the area.  I was surrounded by about 30 other boats in the mooring field.  Shade tarps may look a bit tacky, but hey, they sure cool things down below.

And another thing, there is one heck of a current in this waterfront city … and it seems to be pretty constant, changing with the tides, and always a factor to deal with when approaching your boat or dinghy-ing back and forth to town… The tide here rarely has much of a slack period… what little there is is brief... so be careful should you fall in or go for a swim …. the flow is like a river, and you could get swept away if you aren't a strong swimmer… continual moving current like this also makes for an abundance of unwanted growth of algae and barnacles on the hull of your boat… I winced when I saw the barnacles because I was hoping get another season out of my bottom paint job… evidently not.

I should probably note that I have been reading a very powerful book by David Deida titled, The Way of The Superior Man…. the title is a bit misleading because it implies superiority over other genders … but that's NOT the case at all…it's full of great thoughts about being true to yourself and the more superior person one can be, to himself, compared to his old self… please humor me as I slip in a few quotes along the way here...

The St. Augustine City Marina is right downtown, and is a pretty decent spot to hang your hat for a while.  Although the slip rates at the marina were off the charts for me, the mooring field continues to be a pretty good bargain… the showers are clean and tidy, but there's only 2 men's showers
 for 100+ boats,  so choose your time wisely unless you don't mind waiting for your turn… 

Glory Days has enjoyed a month at this spot, but it's almost time to pack up and move a little further north.

"A free man is free to acknowledge his fears, without hiding them, or hiding from them.  Live with your lips pressed against your fears, kissing your fears, neither pulling back nor aggressively violating them."

David Deida.

Sunrise on a Sunday morning seems sacred and magical as I experience a very brief period of "slack tide" while the current is shifting gears to reverse its daily flow
… slish slosh slish slosh...

It's not unusual to find sea turtles like this guy in the marina, munching on that green stuff that seems to grow on docks… Cute little guys that linger all around the place.

St. Augustine, Florida… The oldest city in America. If you've never been here, it is surely worth a look.  Next year, they will celebrate their 450th anniversary.  I'm not much of a history buff, but I do know the place is crawling with stories, tales, mystery, and true facts about the origin and progress of this colorful place in American history.  Cobblestone streets, weathered store fronts, and a real fort are a few indicators of a time gone by.

As you would imagine, it is also a popular tourist destination with all types of attractions, sites, and activities centered around the Spanish occupation way back in 1565 and the days of Ponce De Leon…. some of it cheesy  some of it authentic.  

The original Spanish Fort pictured here still stands and serves as a centerpiece of the downtown district.  Can you imagine what it would have been like just trucking around that fort each day?  "Who will be tortured today?  Should I fire a cannon today or not?…."
I'm sure there are exciting stories as well as tragic one that occurred here.  I always wonder in my mind "if walls could talk…"  the heroic deeds done, the cowardly acts, the brutal force of nature, and the tender love between a man and a woman's first glance across the fort yard… ok… sorry i'm getting off the topic here… things wander, including my mind… I better go find it… back to the blog!


Besides being a mecca of history, it is also a beautiful waterfront city located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway.  Sailboats bobble on mooring balls while sea gulls glide over the historic Bridge of Lions that connects the mainland with Anastasia Island. Traffic moves ever so slowly during this high tourist season and the beauty of a congested street light in the summer's heat is touching indeed...

 If you'd like to learn more about the colorful history of St. Augustine, click this link… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Augustine,_Florida

"Your woman will be more fulfilled with 30 minutes a day of undivided attention and ravishing love than she will with a few hours of your weak and divided presence when your heart really isn't in it…." David Deida

And what does this have to do with St. Augustine, Florida?  Absolutely nothing!  But it IS what I am reading this month… thanks for allowing me… 

Built in 1924, The Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine is one of the prettiest bridges I've seen, especially at night.  The draw bridge will open for you on the half hour once you hail them on the radio for an opening…  

Other sights around the St. Augustine area.

Flagler college
Oh the magical buzz I get whenever a mighty osprey soars over my soul …. 


There's lots of funky old homes here… a walking path or a bike ride is a great way to view them...
Fireworks as viewed from Glory Days… Happy 4th all.

I loved this home… instead of a lawn their whole front yard was solid ferns… 
The Fourth of July brought out lots of
music makers
The town is bustling with folks walking all around… You'll see a fair number of street people, a few drunk people, geeky families with fair skin, street musicians, meter maids, and couples in love… Also, there's lot of restaurants and live music spilling out of nearby pubs and eateries… it's a good site for people watching… On the Fourth, I meandered here and there, taking in the sights as Glory Days was just in sight all  the time… waiting patiently for her next departure… she's like a horse in a stall sometime wanting to break free… easy girl.
July 4

Mind you, if you have a vehicle, the parking situation is horrible… there's no free parking anywhere until 5 pm, that is if you can even find a space… 

I bought a 3 day pass for $20, and corruptly changed the date on my pass from July 1 to July 7 to enjoy some extending time. It was so easy to change a 1 to a 7… ok, I broke a law….No one seemed to know it, but me... and God.  It's just a little civil disobedience, officer.

"Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship.  If a man prioritizes his relationship over his highest purpose, he weakens himself, disserves the universe, and cheats his woman of an authentic man who can offer her full, undivided presence."

David Deida

Ah, the Spanish Fort...The downtown district offers an interesting taste of Spanish architecture that has been well preserved with the likes of Flagler College (pictured below) and other aging structures that give St. Augustine a unique landscape view all its own.

Old style Spanish architecture prevails...
This replica of a 1500's vessel was on display here all summer… She's a nice backdrop to a very old city.

Here you can see the mooring field in the distance… Glory Days in right in the middle of the pack here… scratchin' her hooves to get going...


Once again, my daughter, Amy, was on hand for a few days to see her Dad in his element… She's a great boater and not bad at cooking and steering the dinghy into shore. Plus she's a good sport!
"Please help us to be normal…."
Amy, my little hippie girl here, about to board a flight back to Atlanta… Dad must stay on to watch the ripples and guard the sunsets.
I'm not a big fan of power boats, but this one 
seemed to have some class.

I'll close this post with another round of People Pictures with my goofy captions, as per requested by other fine blog followers just like you!

"We are really Russian immigrants just trying to fit in here."

"And YES, I can play the guitar while demonstrating perfect posture!
"We work the local pirate ship tour and steal money from tourists … and it's all legal!"

"Darling, why are we so sad on our country's birthday? Oh maybe because it is not our country?"
"Hey!  Who you calling a FLAG?!!"

Another peaceful sunset from the mooring ball… All is well... even tho there is turmoil all around the world, you would never know it from here… today… here and now… Peace to all.

….And crown thy good with brotherhood, from SEA to shining SEA!    Can I get an AMEN?!!

So what's next for Glory Days?  
Well, I am glad you asked that question, Maestro.


I will return to St. Augustine on July 22 to continue and resume this epic journey that began on Jan. 1.  My old traveling buddy and first mate, Dixon to Dynamo, will join me as we sail this baby north to Jacksonville, then another 30 miles south down the St. Johns' River to a place called Green Cove Springs.  Once there, Glory Days will take a rest under some shade trees to wait out the hurricane season "on the hard"…  

Here's the proposed route Dixon and I will take next week as we battle the forces of wind, weather, and local local IPA's to our 75 mile destination…
Onward !!

"Limited money and family obligations have never stopped a man who REALLY wanted to do something, although they provide excuses for a man who is not really up to the creative challenge in the first place. …" David Deida

1 comment:

  1. Ah.... Green Cove Springs. Drift Away's final resting place. We'll be back in Florida in October. If you need anything, Joe, just let me know. We're not too far from there.