Miles cruised 62, fuel purchased $0, slip fee $82, daily high temperature 80°f
The ancient city of St Augustine brings to life the depth of religious fervor. We are at the St Augustine Municipal Marina which is on Matanzas Bay. The bay derives its name from the word massacre. The Spanish Catholics slaughtered the French Lutherans because in April 1517 Martin Luther objected to the Pope selling absolution for past and future sins in the town square in Germany.
Years later in the new world (Florida) the Catholic French planned to attack the Lutheran Spanish in St. Augustine by ship. At the same time the Catholic Spanish planned to attack the Lutheran French by land. There was a huge gale that destroyed the French fleet. The French survivors sought refuge north of St. Augustine. The Spanish saw them and offered them aid. As the Spanish rescued the French they asked them what was their religion? When the French answered Lutheran they were slaughtered. I have provided a much more detailed account of the incident at the end of the blog. It is a very good read.
One of the highlights of St Augustine is Flagler College. Founded in 1968, the school is located on 19 acres (77,000 m2), the centerpiece of which is the former Ponce de León Hotel, built in 1888 as a luxury hotel. The architects were John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, working for Henry Morrison Flagler, the industrialist, oil magnate and railroad pioneer. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We took a tour of the St Augustine jail. It had previously been located near the Ponce de Leon hotel. Henry Flagler didn’t like the fact that his upscale hotel guests could see the jail from the hotel. Flagler donated the money to build a new jail with the stipulation that it be must be a minimum of one mile away from his hotel.
Flagler College has $130 million of Tiffany stained glass windows in their cafeteria.
One of the punishments used at the jail besides hanging was the bird cage. Prisoners would be locked in the bird cage and hoisted up a tree limb. They would be forced to stay in the cage for several days. Townspeople visited the jail and would throw rotten fruit and rocks at the jail bird.
We were underway at the crack of 9:30 am. The Lions bridge is just north of the marina. As we preparing to cast off I noticed a trawler circling by the bridge. I knew we needed to get going to catch the next bridge opening. Just as we cast off our lines I saw the bridge open and then start to close after the one boat passed through. I called the bridge tender and advised that we know we just missed the opening and would stand by for the next convenient opening. He asked what was our air height which is 17’6.” The bridge is advertised as being 18′ high. The bridge tender advised it was 4′ higher in the middle. So under we went with what appeared to be 2′ to spare. A bad height calculation would tear off our radar dome.
We cruised 62 miles up the St John’s River to the South Amelia River to Amelia Island and the Fernandina Harbor Marina. It was very blowy all day from the west and the ICW was once again littered with sailboats and trawlers. We were getting a 2 mph push from the tide so we were cruising at 11 mph. A Sabre 40 called Magic rolled us and almost broke our liquor bottles. He did the same to all the boats ahead. No radio calls to alert his victims. He made lots of friends today. We will see him again. It is an interesting culture on the ICW. If you call ahead on the VHF and ask permission to pass it does not matter if you rock that sailboat until the spreaders hit the water on both sides. They give us a hearty wave and off we go.
I had called ahead to the Fernandina Harbor Marina for a slip a few days ago. Kevin the dockmaster advised we would have to tie up on the outside of the dock on the ICW side which, would be rolly. I called him back this morning to see if an inside spot opened up. Kevin advised no changes. When we arrived at 3:00 pm he said we could tie up on the inside of the dock. There were a few boats on the outside that were rocking and rolling. The tide was low and the entry for the marina was narrow with a strong current and a thick mudbank a few feet away on the east side. In we went. The space for us was about 4′ longer than our boat. The wind is honking at almost 30 mph on our beam. CL has as much windage as a sailboat with our acres of canvass.
I made a few passes and quickly realized the bow thruster was useless against the wind. My major error was underestimating the windage as the crew tried to toss the dock lines to the dock hands. As they tossed the lines the wind blew them back. I realized I had to get in really, really close to allow the crew to get the lines to dock hands. I pulled up past the dock space and backed in as best I could into our tiny space. Victory, the dock hands caught the two spring lines and I was able to bring her in just as nice as you please using only the engines. I never touched the steering wheel from the time we entered the harbor. Twin engine boats are steered only by their engines at slow speeds. Another landing we could walk away from.
This is an areal view of the Fernandina Harbor Marin
It must be time for the musings of Lake Bluff’s version of Captain Jack.
Rain, then sun
and then there’s sleet
is the weather pattern here
it seems to change
every minute or so
first it’s calm
then it’s snow.
What do we seek
this coming week
from this weather grief
will the rains stay
or will they go
will it change
we hope so
are the experts right
we hope no.
Carl (Chef) Wooden – quote of the day.
She watched the gap between ship and shore grow to a huge gulf. Perhaps this was a little like dying, the departed no longer visible to the others, yet both still existed, only in different worlds. – Susan Wiggs
Susan Wiggs began writing as a child, finishing her first novel, A Book About Some Bad Kids, when she was eight. She temporarily abandoned her dream of being a novelist after graduating from Harvard University, instead becoming a math teacher. She continued to read, especially reveling in romance novels. After running out of reading material one evening in 1983, she began writing again, using the working title A Book About Some Bad Adults.
The Spanish Massacre the French in Florida,
One day in April 1517, a young lecturer in biblical studies named Martin Luther visited a small German market town and was outraged by what he saw. In the town’s central square, a representative of the Pope had set up a stand and was selling absolutions from sin to a long line of eager customers. These formal documents, called Indulgences, pardoned the bearer and his relatives – alive or dead – from any punishment for past or future sins. “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs,” cried the papal representative. It was a lucrative business.
Angered, Martin Luther composed a list of 95 reasons why the practice of Indulgences defied the doctrine of the Catholic Church and sent his list in a letter of protest to his archbishop. His complaint struck a chord of discontent within the Church and soon other protestors – Protestants – rallied to support Martin Luther’s cause. The Protestant Reformation was underway and with it began decades of religious conflict and bloodshed.
In 1565, the race for territory in the New World combined with the religious wars of the Reformation to spark a massacre on the shores of Florida.
By the 1560s, the French Protestants – Huguenots – were looking to the New World to establish a Protestant state in which they could practice their religion. They sent an expedition to the St. Johns River area of modern-day Florida and began a colony near what is now the city of St. Augustine. It was not long before news of this French intrusion reached the Spanish court in Madrid. To Phillip II of Spain the French were not only trespassing on land assigned by the Holy Church to the Spanish Crown, but they were also heretics violating the faith he was sworn to uphold. His immediate reaction was to dispatch one of his most brutal commanders, Pedro Menendez, at the head of a fleet of eleven ships and 1000 troops to uproot the French interlopers.
Reduced to five ships, the Spanish fleet landed on the Florida coast on September 4, 1565. The French Protestants split their forces, leaving a small number at their fort while the rest took to the sea to attack the Spanish. Gale winds blew the French ships out to sea in disarray while Captain Menendez attacked the French fort massacring its inhabitants.
One by one, the French ships wrecked along the Florida coast and a group of 200 survivors trekked northward along the Matanzas Inlet towards their fort.
The account of what happened next comes from Father Francisco Lopez, the chaplain accompanying Menendez’s expedition. We join his story as the Spanish are awakened in their camp by a group of local Indians – throughout his narrative, father Lopez refers to the French as “Lutherans”:
“On Friday, the 28th September, and while the captain-general was asleep, resting after all the fatigues he had passed through, some Indians came to camp, and made us understand by signs, that on the coast toward the south there was a French vessel which had been wrecked. Immediately our general directed the admiral to arm a boat, take fifty men, and go down the river to the sea, to find out what was the matter.”
[After waiting a short period, the captain-general ordered that those remaining in camp – including our narrator – join him in traveling down river to the French ship.]
“He said there should be in all twelve men to go in a boat, and two of them Indians, who would serve as guides. We set off immediately to descend the river to the sea, in search of the enemy; and, to get there, we had to march more than two leagues through plains covered with brush, often up to our knees in water, our brave general always leading the march. When we had reached the sea, we went about three leagues along the coast in search of our comrades. It was about ten o’clock at night when we met them, and there was a mutual rejoicing at having found each other.
Not far off we saw the campfires of our enemies, and our general ordered two of our soldiers to go and reconnoiter them, concealing themselves in the bushes, and to observe well the ground where they were encamped, so as to know what could be done. About two o’clock the men returned, saying that the enemy was on the other side of the river, and that we could not get at them. Immediately the general ordered two soldiers and four sailors to return to where we had left our boats, and bring them down the river, so that we might pass over to where the enemy was. Then he marched his troops forward to the river, and we arrived before daylight. We concealed ourselves in a hollow between the sand-hills, with the Indians who were with us; and, when it came light, we saw a great many of the enemy go down the river to get shell-fish for food. Soon after we saw a flag hoisted, as a war-signal.
Our general, who was observing all that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, said to us, ‘I intend to change these[clothes] for those of a sailor, and take a Frenchman with me (one of those whom we had brought with us from Spain), and we will go and talk with these Frenchmen. Perhaps they are without supplies, and would be glad to surrender without fighting.’ He had scarcely finished speaking before he put his plan into execution.
As soon as he had called to them, one of them swam towards and spoke to him; told him of their having been shipwrecked, and the distress they were in; that they had not eaten bread for eight or ten days; and, what is more, stated that all, or at least the greater part of them, were Lutherans. Immediately the general sent him back to his countrymen, to say they must surrender, and give up their arms, or he would put them all to death. A French gentleman, who was a sergeant, brought back the reply that they would surrender on condition their lives should be spared.
After having parleyed a long time, our brave captain-general answered ‘that he would make no promises, that they must surrender unconditionally, and lay down their arms, because, if he spared their lives, he wanted them to be grateful for it, and, if they were put to death, that that there should be no cause for complaint.’ Seeing that there was nothing else left for them to do, the sergeant returned to the camp; and soon after he brought all their arms and flags, and gave them up to the general, and surrendered unconditionally. Finding they were all Lutherans, the captain-general ordered them all put to death; but, as I was a priest, and had bowels of mercy, I begged him to grant me the favor of sparing those whom we might find to be Christians. He granted it; and I made investigations, and found ten or twelve of the men Roman Catholics, whom we brought back. All the others were executed, because they were Lutherans and enemies of our Holy Catholic faith. All this took place on Saturday (St. Michael’s Day), September 29, 1565.
Sent from my iPad