Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Our Last Day at Fort Clinch Has A Surprising Send Off

Tuesday December 2, 2014
Fort Clinch State Park Campground
Fernandina Beach, Florida


It’s our last day here at the campground on Cumberland Sound right around the corner from the Atlantic Ocean. So it’s my last chance for a while to see the sun rise over the Atlantic.   Here are my favorite of my pictures starting with the first thing I see coming from Winnona over the boardwalk to the beach.



There is not another soul out.  Mine were the only footprints as far as I could see.



I get around to the ocean where the clouds are pink, the sun is golden between the clouds and the birds are on the move.



I’m walking beyond the sunrise into the pink clouds to the south.  You can see the birds lined up at the edge of the water all down the beach.






Today the sun is again dueling with the clouds for control.  The birds are flying all around. 





As the sun gets stronger the camera closes down the light in response.  I like the result.




I’ve begun to look forward to seeing my friend who has been here every day on the beach when I come down for sunrise.  This is our last meeting.



Walking back to the rig, the view is just wonderful.  It’s like a perfect picture. I’m going to take it back and make it my desktop.  I can see from the blue sky and puffy clouds that it is going to be a great day.




When a group of pelicans flies by, they bring a smile to my face and reinforce the good feelings.




I make us a scrambled breakfast with oven “fried” potatoes, clean up the kitchen and start working on our summer plans which will be definitely written in jello but have to be made since winging it during the summer in the places we like to be just doesn’t work out.


David has a couple of chores he wants to attend to today.  One of which is to repair an awning tear with some Eternabond.  Now if we could just figure out how to put a bleach solution up there without getting it on the person doing the application.

Love that telescoping ladder.




Doesn’t he look happy?  He actually loves to do this stuff.  Well a lot of it.



They say eternabond is forever.  That would be nice since replacing the awning for the SECOND time is not on our list.




Second project is to finish the clearance lights repair. 

Sometime on our spring/summer western adventure we noticed a few drips of water coming down the windshield inside the coach on the driver’s side after heavy rains.  Subsequent investigation showed that there are only two sources for water and both of them as it turned out were in need of attention.

Removing the overhead clearance lights revealed gaskets that had dry rotted and were turning to powder.  Behind them, the metal brackets in the recesses were heavily rusted.  

First step done previously was to get rid of the rust.  This was difficult because it was such a tight space.  David used scrapers, wire brush and then put a coat of Rustoleum’s  rust reformer on the metal to arrest the rust.

Winnebago recommended replacing the gaskets and sealing with a urethane sealant.  Although this was a PITA because urethane sealants do not clean up nicely, it does insure a more permanent water proof seal.   Unfortunately one of the lens covers had a crack and needed to be replaced. So today was the final step in this series of repairs. 









The other water source was behind the seal strip across the top of the windshield.  Removing that strip, exposed a heavily rusted cavity running from one side of the windshield to the other side.  Winnebago recommended cleaning out the rust, filling  the cavity with a black windshield sealant (also extremely nasty to work with and clean up)  and then pressing the seal back in place.  Easier said than done.   But look how great it all looks now.  Winnona is VERY happy.   No more tears!







After my chores, my main goal for today is to be able to sit down by the water and read and not have it be too cold or too windy.  I head out about noon when I’m pretty sure it’s nearly as warm as it’s going to get. 

But I still find that for me long sleeves and long pants and shoes not sandals are in order.   Other folks seem to find it fine for short pants and short sleeves even riding bicycles into the wind. 

Always nice to have a beach towel for covering up if you under dress.






So this is how David finds me on my last beach afternoon for a week.   I know big tears for me.




David sits down in his chair next to me and promptly falls asleep to the lulling of the tide.  After about an hour I need to get a bit warmer so we set out for a walk around the corner to the Atlantic. 


The fishing pier looks  lovely as we approach the end of the sound where it meets the Atlantic. The water looks calm.   But it’s a different story when we go around the end. 






I love the power of the waves!
Maybe this should be my desktop.
Life sure is full of difficult decisions.





David goes on back to the rig.  I stay for a while but as the afternoon wanes, it starts getting too cold for me.  I’m packed up and am starting back up to the rig to begin the ‘day before’ take down routine.  And then I hear something. 

I turn around and here comes the biggest ship I have seen anywhere near the shores of this sound.   I stay and watch.  This is what unfolds.   I’m betting Paul Dahl can write a blog comment longer than this post to explain all this to us.









There are 6 ships escorting this sub out to sea.   The the two big ones are named  Westwind and Black Powder.









The 4 smaller boats are arranged two in front of the big 3-some and two behind.  The sub is encircled.   These two are in front.





These two are behind. 





Whoa - I don’t’ think he’s Duck Hunting




Paul who’s the guy with the gun? What’s the threat he’s watching for?  He sure could be the proverbial sitting duck if there was trouble.

I’ve heard of HMS Blackpowder for His/Her Majesty’s service but what is HOS Blackpowder?


That was sure the excitement for the day, our tax dollars at work.  Certainly was nice of them to arrange this extraordinary send off for us near the end of our final day at Fort Clinch.





I watch them head out over the horizon.  After that I go back and finish up the day before moving pack up.
We’ll be on our way to Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest tomorrow.
Don’t think the Coast Guard will be there, but who knows.


  1. Once again wonderful pictures... lots of shells, ocean breezes and waves...ooooo that was exciting with a submarine, wonder what they were doing???!!!

  2. Your morning skies are fantastic and what a thrill to have the beach to yourself. The send off by submarine was extra special. I saw one in Puget Sound once and was blown away by how big they are.

  3. Always fun to see a sub when they can't defend themselves. Nice pics.

  4. The shots of the submarine are jaw dropping! Wow!

    I can't think of what HOS stands for though.

  5. “Today the sun is again dueling with the clouds for control.  The birds are flying all around.” love it! and I know what you’re seeing .. good description …. and gorgeous … GORGEOUS picture..

    and well, wow… a for real submarine does its thing… that’s a scary looking gun… jeeeeeeez

  6. We were at the submarine base in Portsmouth Connecticut and saw a submarine being escorted
    Out to sea. We were told the sub was defenseless thus gunboat escorts. It was an amazing sight.
    Your pictures are great. Both the sub and the sun raise. Nature is awesome! Safe travels.

  7. Now that was one glorious morning! Sounds like the perfect day to me, get a few chores done, read a little in the arms of mother nature, then see something totally new and interesting...a perfectly balanced day!

  8. I love the bird/water pictures - I think I would pick one of those for my desktop :) That piper in the sunlight is a really good shot!! Love the picture of you huddled on the beach - a true water lover. That is a mighty big gun!! As far as I can gather, you saw two 250 foot Horbeck Offshore Services (HOS) supply vessels. Evidently, they have 17 air conditioned/heated staterooms certified for 48 person berthing...my, my, my. That must have been something to see!!

  9. Typo...HOS = Hornbeck Offshore :) Wonder where they were headed? They definitely had quite the entourage!

  10. Gee, who needs Paul when you have a daughter to answer your questions! What a last day! Enjoy your next stop.

  11. You got some great pics of the sub and crew. My mind can go crazy with wild stories of spies and sneaky subs. Oh the stuff of spy novels and movies. Beautiful last day at this beach.... I'm looking forward to the next camp that we can all enjoy!

  12. Love that you were all alone to see the sun rise...beautiful:)

    Tough decision to pick just one photo for your back ground. So many would be perfect.

    How neat to witness them moving a sub out to sea. Sounds like a great last day even if it was a little chilly.

  13. Darn, I'll have to come back and see Paul's reply ;) Just lovely shots of the morning skies.

  14. OH BOY.... lucky, lucky you:o)) We had heard that it was really cool to see them move the sub through Cumberland Sound to the Ocean. We did get to see the HOS Black Poweder and one of the smaller Coast Guard boats, but no Gunners Boat and certainly no SUBMARINE. May next time!! Your photos of all the boats, especially the submarine are wonderful.

  15. Love it when life gives us one of those once in a lifetime moments simply because you found yourself in the right place at the right time. I would miss the ocean too, but central interior Florida has a beauty of its own! Can't wait to see what you two get into there.

  16. How cool....a parade of military fineness! Every time the Blue Angels zip by, usually daily, I get chills.

  17. Well, how cool to see that! I'll be watching for Paul's explanation :)

    I'll be curious to hear how your Eternabond awning patch works. I always thought Eternabond was just for roofs! Thanks for the tip...love learning new things :)

  18. Sunrise over the ocean is so hard for this west-coast girl to wrap her head around! The photos are just gorgeous. The stark contrast between the sound and the ocean is incredible. From lolling tides to crashing rows of waves, it is all so beautiful. And it's your front yard! Such a blessed life. And a handy man who enjoys his work is another type of blessing :-) Dad served in the submarine corps in WWII so I can't help but get excited at the sight of one (outside of Disneyland), so I'm especially happy that you included these great pics here. I agree that while the submarine is defenseless above water, that guy in the inflatable boat with the big gun looks pretty vulnerable too! While I much prefer your deer, this is a pretty unique send off :-)))))

  19. What a cool thing to watch, Dave usually has a blue heron keeping him company when he fishes from the shore, lots of flybys of the pelicans here too.

  20. I think the sunrise photo would make a perfect desktop, but is it possible to erase what looks like jet contrails? They look (and are) so unnatural and I hate to see a beautiful sky riddled with those things. The picture of the waves is awesom, but I still prefer the sunrise, sans contrails. If they are something other than contrails, then my apologies and I sure would like to know what they are.

  21. wow. . .almost too much beauty to take in. . .and then a military show to boot. . .love it!

  22. Cool pictures of the sub and her escorts. The two big ships on each side of the sub are acting like shields against any kind of rocket propelled grenade or bomb being shot at the sub from the shore. The Coast Guard boats and the white cutter are a moving security zone around the sub preventing any vessel from getting too close to the sub. It is all part of preventing any type of terrorist attack against the sub when it is heading out to sea. One it gets to deep water, it submerges and the entourage of escorts heads back to port.
    They do the same thing for returning subs, can't be too careful in this day and age of terrorism.

  23. Nothing better than starting the day with a walk along a deserted beach at sunrise! Clears the mind and calms the spirit. Your photos are wonderful -- the one looking down the beach at the puffy white clouds in the distance is especially beautiful. How handy to have such a willing and able handyman riding along with you. :-)

  24. I'm glad I came back and saw Pauls explanation.

    I always get goosebumps when I see military ships or jets flying overhead. That was an amazing thing you were lucky enough to see. I just met a young man here at the park who is in the Navy and used to be on a submarine. I sure would have liked to pick his brain a while, but he was busy.

    I'm going to miss your beach shots. I guess I missed the ocean during our summer in the mountains. It looks like you have a great spot at Salt Springs.

  25. Interesting to see them moving the sub out to sea. Great sunrise shots.


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