Dan Holiday is a 78-year-old retiree in St. Augustine, Fla., who is leading a group of volunteers who are stubbornly, slowly, creating something quite improbable — and quite eye-catching — at a berth on the San Sebastian River.
It’s an old shrimp boat named the Apple Jack that’s had its white wooden hull coated in black tar. That’s had its pilot house removed, and three soaring masts put in its place. That’s being fitted with hand-sewn cotton sails and honest-to-goodness authentic hemp ropes.
All those are steps toward its transformation into the Espiritu, which would turn this shrimp boat into a credible replica of a three-masted Spanish caravel, much like the ones that sailed in and out of St. Augustine in its early days.
“It looks like a sailboat to me,” Holiday told the Florida Times Union. “And we’re going to sail it. We’re going to take it out and show it off.”