National Geographic : 1966 Feb
Spaniards discovered a substance they called coquina. Made of countless tiny shells of Donax variabilis(the same mollusk that tints the sands at Matanzas Inlet), stuck together by time, lime, and their own weight, coquina is softer than most stone, easy to quarry and shape, but resilient. As the English learned, firing cannon balls at a thick coquina wall is like throwing pebbles at a rubbery round of cheese. They either bounce off or are absorbed, and the wall remains intact. The castillo, now administered by the National Park Serv ice, is St. Augustine's greatest historic attraction. Close to half a million visitors a year come to marvel at it, for even by modern standards it is a fantastic piece of engineering (pages 222-3). I spent hours roaming its ramparts and the dark chambers that lie between its inner and outer walls. My best visit, though, was with a man named Luis Arana, like Mr. Manucy a historian for the National Park Service. The fort is his specialty. On a sunny spring afternoon I walked with Mr. Arana 218 across the greensward that now surrounds San Marcos. A With solid blows, planker Michael Hall sinks a nail into a wooden hull at the DESCO boatyard in St. Au gustine. World's largest manu facturer of commercial shrimp boats, the company turns out 100 vessels a year. Shrimpers from Kuwait to Borneo, Brit ish Guiana to Italy, work from the Florida-built trawlers. Powdered with dust from sanding a trawler's hull, yard worker Lee Green wears a mask to protect his lungs.