|Posted by yachtmoonlight on April 8, 2012 at 9:40 AM|
As we’d had to abandon our shopping trolley of goodies in the supermarket the previous day (when we discovered John had lost his wallet), we went ashore on Thursday (9th Feb) and caught the bus to the supermarket again, with me keeping a very tight hold of my purse!
The bus driver recognised us and told us they had checked the bus CCTV and a homeless man known to the bus drivers was seen getting on the bus just after we got off, sitting at the same seats and then putting something from the seat into his rucksack. They had contacted the police but as there was no clear evidence that it was John’s wallet he had picked up, there wasn’t anything they could do.
We felt a little better that it was a homeless person who had taken the wallet and not just someone who was greedy. It’s very easy to say that he should have handed it in, but then we’re not hungry, homeless and desperate.
Of course it was also have helped if the same man had been seen getting back on the bus later that day with a new coat and a new pair of shoes, rather than several cases of beer which is what actually happened.
We took the free marina ferry ashore in the morning as it was a bit too windy and choppy for our little dinghy, and while John caught up with all things internetty in the marina lounge, I waked up to the Post Office to find out if we could have John’s replacement credit cards sent there (we could) and then had a meander around a few of the shops on the way back, including a rather nice second hand bookshop which was made all the nicer by their half-price sale.
Back on the boat for lunch, I watched with great amusement as John took the top of his yoghurt pot and dropped the lid. As he bent down to pick the lid up he managed to dip his nose right into the pot of yoghurt, which I found disproportionately hilarious.
John was still very upset about losing his wallet, so while he went ashore on Saturday, I set about making him a new one. My sewing skills not extending to an actual man’s wallet, I opted for a (very manly) drawstring purse with turtle motif. Once it was finished, I made cardboard credit cards, driving license and PADI diving cards and put those in the purse along with $150 (the amount of cash in his wallet when he lost it).
(John's new 'wallet')
I think he liked it (he made all the right noises), he seemed to be pleased with the effort I had gone to if nothing else and to my amazement, he did actually use it for a couple of days until he found a replacement leather wallet in one of the touristy shops!
We received some good news that afternoon, when we heard that our applications to extend our stay in the US had been accepted. Our stay had been due to run out on 22nd May and with a provisional date of 15th May, which we had been told could easier slip into June, we were rather worried that we would have to leave before the boat could.
I was amazed on Sunday when John said he would like to have a look around some of the small antiques shops and the second hand book shops as shopping and John don’t usually mix well!
We had a lovely day and found a really interesting shop selling old newspapers, magazines and music, film and space travel memorabilia and a was rather pleased to find a Douglas Adams book I didn’t have (‘Last Chance to See’ which I can highly recommend) along with a Jacques Cousteau book and a book of some of JJ Audubon’s famous bird pictures, all of which were half price.
After a quiet day on Monday (during which the only exciting thing that happened was John dropping a carton of eggs on the way back from the nearby grocery store), we had a very nice Valentines Day morning on the boat before getting dressed up and heading ashore for lunch in the French restaurant situated in the former swimming pool in the Lightner Museum!
(The swimming pool restaurant)
We enjoyed the restaurant’s classical guitarist and the food was wonderful and very French (including snails). The only thing that hadn’t got right for an authentic French restaurant was the service – it was far too good and the waiter was far too polite.
After lunch, we looked in a couple of the antiques shops that surround the old swimming pool and John spent a very frustrating few minutes trying in vain to explain to the owner of one of her shops that the ‘sextant’ she had on display was actually an octant.
I had been given a rose when we left the restaurant and John put it in a very posh vase for me when we got back to the boat, just before we both fell asleep for the afternoon being totally unaccustomed to drinking wine at lunchtime!
The wind had calmed down a little by Wednesday, so we took the dinghy ashore and walked a couple of miles away from the town, past rundown motels and a scruffy restaurant that had bullet holes in the windows (!!!) to get to the lighthouse.
(St Augustine lighthouse)
Pleased to have made it there alive, we had a wander around the grounds, into the old keepers house that is now a museum and then up to the to the top of the lighthouse, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but I found the metal staircase that was just bolted to the walls a little unnerving.
(The old keeper's house)
(The lighthouse staircase)
There was a great view at the top, only marred slightly by the hoards of biting insects that pounce on unsuspecting visitors as soon as they step out onto the platform and then mercilessly chase then round and round the lighthouse, gnashing away at any exposed skin until they finally give up and dive back inside again!
(The view from the lighthouse)
A few chaps were building small wooden boats nearby and John went over to have a look. The signs proudly announced that they were building traditional old boats using traditional methods and when John questioned whether using screws to hold the bits of the boat together classes as ‘traditional methods’, the chap hard at work on one of the boats looked a little perturbed, so I dragged John away before we suffered the same fate as the scruffy restaurant!
(Did they use metal screws in 1760???)
We took the bus to Kmart in the morning, where I was very happy to find that they had 30% off all their Nintendo games (which were already cheaper than in England) and I thought I was very restrained only buying one!
John wanted to go to Home Depot (just like B&Q and equally as exciting) so we headed there next.
Not finding what he wanted to buy, John was even more annoyed that I had somehow managed to buy clothes in a DIY store (a nice pair of gloves which will be great for mountain biking when we get home!)
A quick stop in Barnes and Noble for a cup of tea and a meander around the books and we headed for Publix, choosing to go the (very) long way round. This was entirely by choice and not because we got hopelessly lost. Honest.
I made homemade pizzas for dinner that night, which would have turned out much better had the cooking gas not run out halfway through!
I had a day pottering around the boat on Friday while John took the gas tank ashore to get it filled, which required a two mile walk through a neighbourhood that apparently made the lighthouse area look like Kensington and of course back again, this time carrying a much heavier gas tank, so the poor poppet was quite tired by the time he got back!
We spent Saturday making use of the wifi in the marina lounge. That night, the wind started to build up and by Sunday it was blowing 20-25 knots and with the wind over tide, it made the mooring field quite bouncy!
It was also quite chilly, so I decided to use up some bananas, oranges and lemons by making muffins and cakes, which gave the added benefit of the oven warming the boat up.
That evening, John became the first person ever to injure his foot with a toothbrush. He dropped the electric toothbrush (minus brushy bit), which landed pointy bit down and into his foot, which then swelled up and went quiet a fetching shade of purple!