Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Naval Air Museum, Ft. Barranca’s, & Fat Tuesday

 

Monday we met Cathy and Dale at their place and our plan for the day was to head to the Naval Aviation Museum and Ft. Barrancas.

We started with the Naval Museum which is located at the Navel Air Station which is also home of the Blue Angels.

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I have to give my sister Cathy thanks for the use of her camera. It seems that I forgot the SD memory card for mine (again) so she loaned me hers. Thanks Sis.

The museum opened it doors in 1963 and has more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft, hands-on exhibits and more than 4,000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation.

I do not know much about planes but they are really cool to look at. I can’t imagine what it took to train in some of these.

Here is the first jet fighter developed by the Germans.

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And a side shot

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Early Blue Angels

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This TDR named Edna III was the first drone. They made 100 of them and 40 of them were put into service. 18 of them found their targets. They were controlled by a sister plane that was flown along side and the drone would be crashed into the target.

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Twelve cylinder engine. I would like to have this in my Goldwing!

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The museum is very interesting and definitely worth the trip if you are in the area.

After the museum we went over to Fort Barranca’s that is also on site of the current Naval Base.

Fort Barrancas sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The natural advantages of this location have inspired engineers of three nations to build forts. The British built the Royal Navy Redoubt here in 1763 of earth and logs. The Spanish built two forts here around 1797. Bateria de San Antonio was a masonry water battery at the foot of the bluff. Above it was earth and log Fort San Carlos de Barrancas. American engineers remodeled the Water Battery in 1840 and built a masonry fort on the bluff between 1839 and 1844, connected by a tunnel to the Water Battery. This is the current Fort Barrancas.

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The white structure is the water battery Bateria de San Antonio. It sits in front of Ft. Barrancas.

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The tunnel connecting the two

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Coming out of the tunnel, inside the Spanish water battery

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The arcs were where the cannon placements were at the front wall.

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Ft. Barrancas has an exterior wall with a ditch escarpment on the landward side. There were cannons of various sizes located all around the fort.

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Inside the narrow walls

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One of the many powder rooms along the walls

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The parade grounds located inside the two walls

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The visit to the forts really put into perspective what it took to protect Pensacola Bay. I could not imagine any ships wanting to go through  the mouth of the bay with three forts firing on you. During the civil war Ft. Pickens (Union) and Ft. Barrancas (Confederate) did fire on each other, however the cannons were designed to fire to the middle of the channel. They did not have enough reach to do much damage.

During one battle they fired over 6000 rounds at each other and only one cannon ball managed to reach the other side of the bay, and it only had enough power to just put a small dent in the bricks. ( The area below the window)

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On Tuesday we celebrated “Fat Tuesday” in style.

We went to the bay and bought some fresh seafood at “ Joe Patti’s. This is a really large seafood outlet where you can buy all kinds of fresh seafood. We walked around back along the pier and watched the Gulls and the Pelicans.DSC_0001

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We bought some fresh Shrimp, Blue Crabs, Scallops and a 25 pound box of fresh Oysters.

We have not tried fresh Oysters before so we were game. We were going to, grill some, eat some raw, and make Oyster Rockefeller's with others, but first we had to shuck them.

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Down The Hatch!

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Oyster Rockefeller’s

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Learning how to eat Blue Crab

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Cathy’s neighbor Pat is a life long Floridian and was showing me how to clean and eat the crabs. These are different than the snow crabs I am used to. Tasty but too much work!

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We had a large variety of food and it was all very good. The wine wasn’t bad either! We really enjoyed the day talking, eating and just visiting with Cathy and Dale and their guests.

This was our last day to visit before we leave the area. Cathy and Dale really went out of their way to show us around the Pensacola area and to make sure we had a good time while we were here. Thanks Guys!

So with Hugs and farewells we left and went back to the rig. We are leaving on Thursday and we need at least one day prior to start to get things road ready. They are calling for rain and storms on Wednesday so it may take us awhile to get ready. Hopefully it does not rain too much because the road in and out off the Island floods easily and we can become stuck on one side until the water recedes.

Thursday will will be heading into Alabama and will spend the next 11 days there. Slowly working our way back to see the kids and grand kids. We are so ready to see them!

Enjoy Your Day!

4 comments:

Mike & Christine Shields said...

Looks like you guys are having a blast. How was the RV park in Louisiana?

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