Friday, October 05, 2012

Fort Clinch and St. Augustine

Savannah was a great time for us. We enjoyed visiting and seeing sites we hadn't seen before. It's likely we will return some day.

We moved on Wednesday and traveled down to Fernandino Beach on Amelia Island, Florida. Interestingly, we met a woman from Florida in the New Lisbon Family Camp in Indiana, who told us about Fort Clinch State Park. She said that the park sits at the entrance to a river where the nuclear submarines enter to go to the base. I had never heard of such a thing, so we decided to come and see for ourselves.

It is true, although we didn't see any subs. They do come into the river and right by the campground. The only problem is that there are two campgrounds. One is the beach camp and the other is the river camp. The subs cannot be seen from the oceanside camp unless you walk out on the dunes walkway and onto the beach. And since 9/11, they do not announce or advertise when a sub is coming in.

We did go visit the fort which is in remarkably good condition. Many of the buildings at Fort Clinch are still standing. Construction on the fort began in 1847 as a masonry fort. The fort was built at the mouth of the St. Mary's River to protect the natural deep-water port of Fernandina. Although it was never fully completed, it still served as a military post during the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II. It was quite impressive and the admission fee was only $2.

We've been walking every day as usual, but yesterday we walked on the beach waiting for the sunrise. We weren't disappointed either. We see quite a lot of wildlife, including dozens of horseshoe crabs. Unfortunately they are all dead. I don't know if they died of natural causes or if a storm washed them up. They are all sizes, but quite a few are the size of a dinner plate. We have had a lot of rain since we have been here, but we are still able to get out at times. On one of our trips out, we saw this tortoise in the road. I got out and helped another visitor move him over off the road. He didn't like that much and hissed at us. LOL This morning we walked out on the half-mile long fishing pier. It seemed to go on forever. We talked to one of the fishermen out at the end. He was very nice and answered all our questions about fishing on the pier.

The beach campground here is very nice. It is a single loop with 21 sites, all back-ins. Only 30 Amp service is available and water, but they have an extremely nice bathhouse. You do have to walk to the beach, but it is a newly constructed pier. The other camp is also very nice, but it would be very difficult to maneuver Phaeton Place around the trees to back into a site. It is totally forested, so no satellite systems would work either. We liked the beach area, but if you are in a smaller rig, the river camp would be good.

We broke camp after our morning walk and came south to St. Augustine. We wanted to do some shopping at the factory shops. Sites are getting pretty pricey the further down we come in Florida.  Tomorrow we plan to be in Melbourne to see Brandon and Megan. We've seen Brandon a couple times since their wedding a year ago, but we've only seen Megan once and we are ready for a visit!

Till next time. . .


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