"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

May 29, 2011

May 28 – St. Augustine, FL

Day 83 – Busy Day Exploring
Anchorage Inn & Marina

Our first stop today was the St. Augustine Lighthouse. There has been a lighthouse in St. Augustine since 1824, but during the late 1800’s it was replaced several times until the present one was commissioned in 1874. The original watch tower was Florida’s first lighthouse. The present lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps. At the top, a first order Fresnel lens serves the beacon. Fresnel lenses were originally divided into six sizes. The one in this lighthouse is the largest and has three bulls-eyes, which are approximately nine feet tall. Its beam can be seen nineteen to twenty-five nautical miles. The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter. One interesting thing we learned today is that all lighthouses have unique distinguishing features and no two are exactly alike. The daymark of a lighthouse is its colors, and they never change. The timing of a lighthouse’s flashing signal at night has a signature or pattern of light called a nightmark. This varies from one lighthouse to another, enabling mariners to identify the source of the light.

Our next stop was at Stewart’s Market to do a little shopping. It was the only grocery store close to the boat and I wasn’t expecting much. It was very small, but had wonderful meat and fresh fruits and vegetables. It was a true find…the meats were fresh and very reasonable priced.

After lunch we walked back across the bridge to do a little more exploring. I think we must have walked down every street in the historic downtown area. Every building seems to have some kind of history…very interesting. We walked through the Memorial Presbyterian Church. It was an amazing site. It was built by Henry Flagler and construction of the church was completed in less than a year so it could be dedicated on the first anniversary of his daughter’s death in March 1890. Flagler was very influential in the development of the east coast of Florida…his name is on everything.

We spent a quiet evening on the boat…enjoying a great meal of fresh seafood and vegetables from Stewart’s Market.

St. Augustine Lighthouse
 One of the views from the top
 Lens of the lighthouse
 Looking up at the center of the lighthouse with the 219 stairs spiraling up
 Flagler College...Flagler originally built this as the Ponce de Leon Hotel in 1888
 The British Pub...one of the neat old homes in town
 Memorial Presbyterian Church
 Memorial Presbyterian Church
 Some of the stain glass windows in the church
The dome rises 100 feet and encompasses several religious symbols. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are symbolized, as are the crown of thorns, the Trinity and the Hebrew written letters for God (Yaweh)
 At the base of Bridge of Lions

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