Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day Trip to St. Marys Submarine Museum

(Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville, FL) Hi 81 Lo 68 --  Friday morning we woke up to the sounds of cadence as several groups of sailors ran by on their training run. (Click on the pictures to enlarge).

Later that morning several armed security boats were hanging around the Navy channel. In our past visits here whenever there was that much security around it usually meant a submarine was on the way in. Sure enough, a short while later we could see a long, black shape in the distance.

When a sub shows up it brings out a lot of spectators. I talked to a lady who was stationed here for four years and this was the first time she saw a submarine. We're lucky.

Speaking of subs, we decided to take a drive about an hour north to check out the King's Bay Submarine Base. On the way we stopped at the small town of St. Marys, which is just outside the base, to see the St. Marys Submarine Museum. It's in a small two-story building, and has many exhibits on display that show the history of submarines, both in the U.S. and the rest of the world. We especially enjoyed the one-hour video showing life on board a Trident missile sub.

Jim and I tried out a real working periscope.

We spent a couple hours in the museum, then drove a few miles to the Kings Bay Sub Base. One thing we wanted to check out was the famcamp, which has won many yearly awards as the best military famcamp in the U.S. It's a beautiful park, with nice landscaping and excellent facilities. But, even though it's on a lake, it doesn't have the great water views like here at Mayport.

By sundown storms were coming in.

We drove around the base, and found out very quickly that security is very tight. There is a separate gate to the waterfront area where the Trident ballistic missile subs are docked. With no other reason to go into that area except to "look around", we were basically told to scram.

This morning we walked down to the beach to see how much progress they've made replenishing the sand.

The rest of the day Jim watched the Cardinals ball game and I worked on pictures and sat outside watching all the boat traffic. Several cargo ships came in and out of the river to and from the Jacksonville port. That's enough to keep me entertained.

We went down to Jacksonville Beach to have dinner at a great BBQ place we ate at when we were here before. But we were disappointed to find out it was closed. We found a place called Smashburger, with burgers and chicken sandwiches. We enjoyed our meal, then came back just in time to see a Carnival cruise ship heading out on it's weekly cruise to the Bahamas.

Every Saturday evening at the clubhouse they have an ice cream social. We went and met another couple that has just retired from civil service. They're looking forward to traveling in their motorhome.

We've settled in for an evening of NASCAR racing.


Bob and Jo said...

At least our country does something right for our veterans with the campgrounds.

Randy Warner said...

What a small world! And we finally meet! Thanks to your friends who read both our blogs it was great to meet up with you earlier today.
Not surprisingly we are seeing some of those same views as we are parked 3 spots over...