|Photo Gallery 20|
New England to Florida
From Lexington, Massachusetts we headed a short distance south to Groton
Long Point, Connecticut to visit our Juneau friends Tony and Mary Soltys
at their summer home. Naturally the visit, though brief included
some flyfishing in the nearby coastal waters.
Leaving Connecticut we headed through New York and down the New Jersey turnpike to the "western shore." We made our way slowly south with many brief stops for sightseeing and most of our driving off the interstates. We wanted to see the coastal areas so we headed to Cape May, NJ and caught the ferry to Lewes, Delaware. Then down the Delaware coast, into Maryland, and finally to the tip of the "eastern shore" of the Chesapeake in Virginia. Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel we continued down the coast and out onto the barrier islands of North Carolina. We visited Kitty Hawk and some of the outer bank before heading inland to avoid tropical storm Gaston, which struck directly across our planned path along the Carolina coast.
We headed as far inland as Charlotte, North Carolina, and arrived after only about 40 minutes of rain on the highway. It rained heavily most of the evening, but nothing really extreme.
Having dodged tropical storm Gaston we headed to Florida via Macon. We stopped in Jacksonville with visits to the Kingsley Plantation and Fort Caroline, the failed French fort and settlement. Then on to St. Augustine for a tour of the Spanish defenses. A quick drive across Florida took us to the home of Heather's brother near Tampa. A short video clip of Kira and Minnow in the pool is included in the gallery.
We headed further south to Fort Meyers to stay with Heathers father and step-mother during hurricane Francis. Fortunately we got relatively little wind and rain so the passage of the hurricane was notable mostly for its extremely slow pace.
|Tony Soltys took us away from Groton Long Point harbor just after daybreak. The clear sky and bright light hampered the catching, but the fishing was great.||We fished in the waters overflowing the shoals and around the light at The Race. Although I briefly hooked one bluefish, it decided not to visit the boat.|
|Tony landed this nice 10 pound bluefish shown in this "hero shot" with the race in the background.||On the way back into the harbor we stopped by the local clam dredge and were gifted with a bucket full of nice steamers.|
|Fortescue, New Jersey is on the western shore and is a quite summer town and fishing village fronting Delaware Bay.||At the southern tip of New Jersey is the community and lighthouse named for Cape May. Although developed, this area still retains much of its Victorian charm.|
|By the lighthouse sun worshipers lie about near the WWII battery which was 900 feet inland before erosion ate away the tip of the peninsula.||The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel stretches across the mouth of the Bay in a long ribbon interrupted by two tunnels under shipping lanes.|
|The bridge is 20 miles long and is four lanes on two bridge structures except where it passes through the two lane tunnels.||On the outer banks of North Carolina stand several picturesque lighthouses including this one at Bodie Island.|
|At the Fort Raleigh NHS a ranger gives a tour. Somewhere nearby was the site of the lost colony of settlers. These earthworks are from an early expedition, the settlement is lost too.||At Guilford Courthouse, the site of a critical battle of the revolution stands this statue of General Greene by one of the students of Saint-Gaudens, whose studios we visited in New Hampshire.|
|Entering Georgia we were greeted by a LARGE peach alongside the road.||At Ocmulgee National Monument there is a reconstructed earthlodge, which to our surprise included air conditioning vents! These were some advanced indians.|
|We were charmed by the design of this one lane brick railroad bridge at Ocmulgee NM.||Outside of Jacksonville is the Kingsley Plantation, Florida's oldest surviving plantation house.|
|Near the modest plantation house we saw this thumb-sized spider suspended in its web between two trees.||The walls of the slave quarters survive. Here they were arranged in a unique semi-circular pattern. The only other tourists we saw during our visit were Europeans.|
|The "driver's" house, the largest of the slave quarters has been reconstructed.||The two mile dirt road leading to the plantation seemed a tunnel through the deep green of the forest canopy. It also felt as though we were traveling back in time.|
|St. Augustine was the site of early Spanish settlement in Florida. They fortified the bay with the large fort to protect against pirates, the French, and then the British.||The 17th century armaments displayed in the fort often feature wonderful ornamentation, like the face decorating the touch hole of this mortar.|
|From the upper deck of the fort the signal tower looks out over the mouth of the river to the sea.||Fort Matanzas, located about 17 miles south of St. Augustine, was an outpost of the main fort protecting a back approach to the city.|
|Click here for 30 second video clip of Kira and Minnow swimming in the pool at Russ's house.||While in Florida we have been visiting Heather friends from her years here. Her she and Shannon, her high school skating partner pose after dinner.|
|Back at brother Russ's house we were joined by our niece, Kristen, who helped with fall decorating.||We took a quick side trip to Winter Haven (near Orlando) to visit with Heather's friend Debbie Reinhart and her family. (LtoR - Richelle, Richard, Debbie, Heather)|
|Although we spent too much time doing chores, Russ and I managed to slip away for a sail on the Kristen.||The Kristen is a 20 foot Drascomb with beautiful woodword, tanbark sails, and a very shallow draft. Near Anclote Cay.|
|Russ takes the helm as we reach along Ancolte Cay on a beautiful sailing day.|