This weekend we kick off St. Augustine’s 450th celebration. In 1565 a group of 800 Spanish soldiers and settlers arrived here to colonize La Florida and protect the gold fleet from the French who had established a colony just a few miles north on the St. Johns River.
We are also keeping an eye on the tropics as a storm develops with a possible track leading in our direction. It’s interesting that a hurricane hit our part of Florida just days after the new settlers landed. I’m sure they found the storm a terrifying experience, but it was also a blessing. The French had launched their war ships to attack the Spanish before they could get settled. Unfortunately for the attackers, the storm carried those ships south and left them wrecked on the beaches near Cape Canaveral.
The Spanish took advantage of the situation – first attacking and destroying the French settlement then later executing the shipwreck survivors making their way back up the coast.
Although that storm had its role in St. Augustine’s survival, I’m hoping Hurricane Erika doesn’t decide to follow its path. It’s one part of The St. Augustine Story I’m in no rush to reenact.