(Avon Park, FL) Hi 69 Lo 42 – Yesterday (Friday) we finally did something worth blogging about! We picked up Jim and Judy and headed over to the east coast to Ft. Pierce to see the National Navy UDT-Seal Museum. On the way we stopped at 12A Buoy, a seafood restaurant that came well recommended on Yelp.com. (Click on photos to enlarge)
The food was excellent! After cups of the best clam chowder we’ve had in a long time, Dee had a grilled fish sandwich, Judy’s Jim had fish and chips, and Judy and I had Lobster Mac and Cheese, the house specialty.
The food resulted in “yums” all around. Definitely worthy of the high recommendations on Yelp!
With our tummies full, we headed across the Intracoastal Waterway and up the coast a couple of miles to the museum.
The Seal museum is located in Ft. Pierce because it’s the location of the first Navy UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) triaining base back during World War II.
The one floor museum has many exhibits covering the history of the Navy Seals, from WWII up to current operations in Afghanistan.
Judy’s Jim is very interested in one of the exhibits.
Judy’s checking out this model of the Osama bin Laden compound.
I was drawn to the examples of Seal weaponry used through the years, especially the knives. The blades ranged from specialized tactical knives to the common Swiss Army Knife (Explorer model).
And there were guns… lots of guns. This is just a small portion of them.
One unexpected thrill was seeing the actual lifeboat from the Maersk Alabama, where Capt Phillips was held hostage and ultimately rescued by Seal snipers. If you click on the photo you can see where the plexiglas window was blown out by the sniper’s bullet.
The interior of the lifeboat.
Judy and Dee are checking it out.
We all determined that a Humvee wouldn’t be a very comfortable vehicle for a road trip.
Not all of the exhibits were inside. There was lots to see outside too. Here Jim and I are looking over a Riverine Patrol Boat (RPB), which played a major role in the Vietnam war. Seeing this reminded me of the movie Apocalypse Now
The Mark V SOC (Special Operations Craft) was very impressive. It’s used for Seal insertion (it carries the crew plus 18 Seals), and also for coastal reconnaissance.
This was my favorite. I’m fascinated by “fast boats,” and this one is pretty fast. Top speed it 100 knots (115 mph!), which is REALLY fast on water.
The Seals sure have some mighty fine toys!
This mural on the side of the building caught our eye.
One thing that was very apparent in the museum was the honor they regard for the fallen Seals, as exhibited by this memorial.
The gift shop had all kinds of stuff you could buy with the Seal emblem, t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. As for me, I couldn’t in good conscience wear a Seal hat or t-shirt in public. I would be embarrassed to have anyone mistakenly think I was a member of this elite group of heroes. But we all thought this t-shirt was kind of cool.
It was a two-hour trip from Avon Park to Ft. Pierce, but it was well worth it. Nothing beats good fellowship and conversation with friends to make the miles pass by. But one thing we all agreed on, the scenery of interior Florida isn’t anything to brag about. Lots of flat, scrubby looking fields and cattle ranches.
It was a great day, and we heartily recommend the National Navy UDT-Seal Museum for anyone who may visit or travel near Ft. Pierce.