A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

June 2007 Archives

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June 21, 2007

A New Boat Donated to LAMP-- RV Nickerin

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

In the weeks leading up to the start of the First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project in July, LAMP staff have been working around the clock to meet all the challenges necessary for this ambitious undertaking. This includes writing the research design, securing permits, purchasing and preparing equipment, developing a dive safety and operations plan, facilitating engine repairs and generator installation on the boat, arranging for dorm and cooking facilities for the incoming Flinders field school students, among all the other day to day activities that take place at LAMP. One potential problem facing us was how to accommodate eight Flinders University field school students, four Flinders staff, and three LAMP staff offshore. With only our 28' Bertram RV Island Fever, we don't have a big enough dive platform to handle those numbers. We needed another boat.

Then, out of the blue, our wish was answered, with the donation of LAMP's newest vessel, RV Nickerin.

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Voyages to New Worlds

Posted by: Rick Cain in From the Lens Room

The Space Shuttle Atlantis will be coming home this week. Todays landing was cancelled due to the low pressure system spinning off our coast. They will have another chance tomorrow and Saturday to land at the Cape. Yesterday I spent the day down at Kennedy Space Center Vistor Complex for a Florida Attractions Association board meeting.
After the meeting Steve Geis, Operations Director for the complex, took us over to the Shuttle Launch Experience and I got to experience a shuttle liftoff for the second time (see my previous blog).

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From left to right: Mike Donaldson, Florida Attractions Assoc. Staff; Steve Geis, Kennedy Space Center Operations Director; Keith Charlton, Pirates Dinner Adventure in Orlando; Drake Decker, Florida Suncoast Tourism Promotions.

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June 19, 2007

Thunderstorm at the Lighthouse

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

Last Tuesday, 12 June 2007, some pretty fierce thunderstorms raked the First Coast region. The Lighthouse wasn't spared, as you can see in this video taken from LAMP's headquarters in the WWII-era Coast Guard barracks:

The raw power of weather is really apparent when viewed from the barracks, which is a great place to ride out a storm. One can only imagine a historic ship seeking refuge in the safety of St. Augustine's harbor, barely able to make out the beam of the Lighthouse amid flashes of lightning, torrents of rain, and a raging sea.

More storm video follows if you click the link below . . .

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June 15, 2007

New Box Turtle Resident at LIghthouse

Posted by: in Natural World

Florida Box Turtle
Florida Box Turtle (Terrapene Carolina bauri)

FLORIDA BOX TURTLE
[Here's a sample of pages on St. Augustine Lighthouse widlife being created--Chuck Meide, Administrative Director of LAMP, found a box turtle crossing the road in front of his house and brought the turtle for release at the Lighthouse, perfect habitat for box turtles. The photos are Chuck's.]

Description; Small land turtle, maximum length, 7.5 inches.High domed upper shell (carapace). Lower shell (plastron) is hinged about half way down to allow tight closure to protect head and legs. Upper shell has a black or brownish background with radiating yellow lines. These lines fade as the turtle ages. Can live to over 100 years. Notice the yellow on the side of the head and on the foot in the pictures above and below. Males have slight indentations on plastrons to help balance when mating with a female. Females have flat plastrons.

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June 11, 2007

Excellent Editorial on Treasure Hunting vs. Archaeology

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

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Archaeology Magazine in their July-August 2007 issue has an excellent editorial on the ethical dilemma of treasure hunting. Anyone who knows LAMP knows that we can't stand treasure hunting, which commercially exploits shipwrecks by digging them up (or blowing holes in them), without the meticulous techniques used by archaeologists, in order to seek profit by selling artifacts. This always results in a loss of knowledge. In contrast, legitimate archaeological excavations use scientifically accepted practices--similar to forensic specialists at a crime scene and in the laboratory--that may be expensive and time-consuming but provide the most information about the past that we can possibly learn from a site. In addition, archaeologists always maintain the entire artifact collection so it can be accessible to the public and may continue to provide knowledge to future researchers.

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June 8, 2007

Four Centuries in a Day in St. Augustine

Posted by: Rick Cain in From the Lens Room

It was an interesting Friday at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum. Jenny Lynn, our head educator, came in period dress from the 1760's as a lady pirate for the lightouse summer camp. I shot a picture of her in front of the swivel gun from the shipwreck "Industry" (on display in our museum), the first British supply sloop to come down the coast from the northern colonies to outfit the British garrison when they took posession of St. Augustine at the end of the French and Indian War. She sank in 1764. The lack of flash with the picture gave it an antique look complimenting the 18th Century theme.

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Jenny models her hand-made 18th Century garb.

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June 4, 2007

Raccoon daytime retreat.

Posted by: in Natural World

Friday, June 1, Sharon Ferguson, Office Manager, took these pictures of a mother raccoon and her four youngsters curled up in grape vines at the top of trees just behind (west of) the Lighthouse tower. Sharon took these pictures from the top of the tower. The grapevines make a soft hammock strong enough to hold the ready-to-wean pups and their mom.

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June 1, 2007

Shipwreck Discovery at Vilano Beach Leads to an Exciting Recovery by LAMP

Posted by: Chuck Meide in LAMPosts

It all started with a phone call on Tuesday May 29 from the Jacksonville newspaper, the Florida Times-Union, asking for a comment on the discovery on Vilano Beach. The find was a partially intact chainplate assembly, part of the rigging hardware, from what appears to have been a 19th century shipwreck in the vicinity.

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