Monday, December 10, 2012

GA to FL

We left Golden Isles in fog again this morning, but today it disappeared quickly with the rising sun. We’re at Fernandina Beach, FL (Amelia Island) for the next two nights.

There are several undeveloped Sea Islands along the GA coast. The largest and most southernmost is Cumberland Island. This island was inhabited by the Timucua Indians some 4000 years ago and was part of Spanish Florida during the 16th century. Later, one of George Washington’s most successful officers during the revolutionary war purchased land here and his widow built an estate called Dungeness. Later, the brother of famed steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built another mansion on the burnt remains of Dungeness. This estate too, burned to the ground in 1945. The Carnegie family built several mansions on the island and when Lucy Carnegie died, she willed that her horses on the island be allowed to roam wild. They are still there.  The island is open to the public and there is day-dockage available.

Cumberland Island was also the setting for the wedding in 1996 of JFK Jr and his wife Carolyn. This famous picture of two beautiful young people is haunting, since their lives were so tragically cut short only three years later.

Just before entering FL, we passed the King’s Bay submarine base. The three huge structures which we had seen for hours across the flat marsh landscape are some kind of hidden dockage for submarines. The other structure is apparently used to de-magnetize the subs before the leave for sea. The ICW goes right by the entrance to this military facility and the Military Police boat guarding the entrance, made clear by his movements along side us, that he was prepared to fire first and ask questions later, had we decided to make a sudden turn…

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