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#69259 - 03/13/02 01:26 AM Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7832
Loc: Kokomo, IN
This past weekend I had the pleasure of making a quick trip south to meet up with the one and only Lighthouse Pixie to do some serious lighthousing. I know that Derith is working on a post about this adventure, but I wanted to share some pics with you to pique your interest. The plane Derith is in is a 1943 vintage Army spotter aircraft. You will notice the door is missing so that we could get better pictures as we flew over the Cumberland Island LH.

I am betting this is the same type of aircraft my father flew in during WWII and even more in the Korean War when he flew spotter missions for his tank battallions. (I had always wondered why my father, a career tank driver, had 6 Air Medals. Turns out the Air Force issued him an Air Medal for every 5 flights in spotter aircraft.)

Anyway, I'm sure Derith will be along to add the story, but to start things off, here are a few pics:


Yes, I know the tower has a major slant to it - I did that in honor of Patty...


Dave

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#69260 - 03/14/02 12:54 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Nana Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 2310
Loc: Valrico, FL
You are right about one thing, Dave, I really do enjoy flying over lighthouses.

Dave began his trip on Thursday and saw Amelia, St. Augustine and Ponce Inlet before he met me at the Jax. airport early in the afternoon Friday. We headed for St. Mary's , GA where we both had a great ride in the plane he showed you in his post. I really liked the door being off. It was a great view and I really felt like at times, when we were skimming the surf, I could reach out and have the ocean run thru' my fingers. We saw lots of birds, wild horses, dolphin and wonderful views of the marshes that are a part of Cumberland Island, GA. Most of you are aware that there are private homes on the end of the island where the lighthouse is, and they DON'T want any visitors, so flying over it is the only way to really get a good look.

After that adventure, we headed to Darien, GA where we were able to find a neat restaurant, Pelican Point...food was good and the scenery, since the place is right on the river, was good too.

Saturday morning we headed to Sapelo Island, GA to see the lighthouses and tour the island. There was much activity on the island and the ferry was full of visitors. Our tour guide, Alfred Bailey, was very interesting with lots of info since he has lived on the island all of his life. Somehow, someone who usually has the key, let him hold it so it would not get lost. The inside was interesting even tho' we couldn't climb up into the lantern room.

When we moved to different locations to take photos of the restored tower, a sign for another Sapelo lighthouse that was moved to South Fox Island, MI, caught our attention. Someone has built stairs and a platform so visitors can climb and look out over the water. The oil house for that light has been restored and there is a path that goes down to the water where the old pier was.

We left the island on the 12:30 ferry and headed to St. Simons Island. Never had climbed that light and since it was open, up I went. Later, we took a stroll by some of the tourist shops and out on the pier to take other photos of the light. Too bad the city folks don't think about the poles and wires messing up scenic photographs. But, it gave a great water perspective without having to rent a boat.

Sunday morning was a gorgeous FL day. The car headed to St.Marks Lighthouse. The wind was nippy but our LH spirits were high. Wearing my dive boots I was able to take advantage of the low tide opportunity to get photos from all sorts of locations. The cloud formations over the light added even more perfectness to the day. My homework had been done several weeks before and somehow I finagled someone to show up from the Panama City ANT Coast Guard Station to let us in the light. Erika Gonzalez was a lovely young lady. Because she came, many visitors were able to climb the light while we were there. They had no idea just how fortune they were. One dad climbed with his young daughter and an eighty year old climbed as well. Needless to say, we hated to leave but we needed to head home.

I do believe the trip was one of the best ligthousing weekend trips ever. Wish you all could have been along.

[This message has been edited by Nana (edited 03-13-2002).]

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#69261 - 03/14/02 12:54 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Bud Schrader Offline
Wacko

Registered: 12/16/01
Posts: 467
Loc: Lancaster Ohio, U.S.A.
Dave, looks like an outstanding flight! Hope seat belts were available!
Bud
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#69262 - 03/14/02 02:47 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
mombo Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7087
Loc: Phoenix, NY
Sounds like a great time but shouldn't that read "Sky King and Queen"? Good thing Patty wasn't along. Bet she wouldn't have gone in the doorless plane!

Derith, your narrative of the trip is wonderful. Puts us right there with you and Dave. I believe I had read something before about that "other" Sapelo lighthouse. Interesting that it was moved so far. It is simply amazing how you can talk your way into so many lighthouses Derith!

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#69263 - 03/14/02 10:56 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
Nana, ... Are you really Sky King's neice, Penny? You should get extra credit for bravery flying in a rather old looking plane like the one pictured above. You're much braver than me. I wouldn't have done it.

I'm not much of a flyer, so to speak. The first time I ever flew was in 1983. I had to go to Alabama on State Police business and was a little reluctant about it.

The President of my association told me two things to remember about flying:

1. Don't ever fly in a plane you can't stand up in.

2. Don't ever fly in a plane that only has one engine.

I guess that would eliminate me from most all of your ever-so-daring flights, Derith.

Bob

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#69264 - 03/14/02 11:56 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7832
Loc: Kokomo, IN
Actually, the plane was in excellent condition. Nice breeze with the door off, and yes there was a solid seat belt. Understand, it was a little more creative getting my larger backside belted in than little 'ol Derith. Now, what she said about flying low was an understatement. I kept looking at the beach behind us to see if we were leaving ruts where the wheels had to be about touching! I didn't get to see any dolphins 'cause Derith chased them away.

On Sapelo, the Fish & Wildlife folks have built a really neat platform where the old skeletal tower was. Both the Sapelo and St. Marks lighthouses are in wonderful shape. The CG has just finished cleaning up St. Marks in preparation for turning it over to the Wildlife Refuge. Hopefully folks will be able to climb that tower more frequently sometime in the next couple years.

I'll try to add some more pics tonight before the chat.

Dave

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#69265 - 03/14/02 02:59 PM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Randy Kremer Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 3329
Loc: Mason, Ohio
By your description Derith, I think we were there! My wife and I took a flight over the same lighthouse about 7 years ago. From Dave's picture, it looks like someone has painted it since we saw it. It does look different to me. Did you fly over Amelia Island Light? We got some great pictures of that one. Great story Derith and Dave!

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#69266 - 03/14/02 08:59 PM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Kaiz Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 552
Loc: Spencerport, NY
What a great adventure you guys had. Since these were some of the lights we missed in January, we "saw" them through your eyes.

Since I was mentioned twice in this topic...

Bubba I'm honored that you care so much that you took a picture in "my own special way"!

Sue, you can bet your butt that I'd never be flying in a doorless plane. Of course, with Bubba, Derith, Mike and the pilot, someone would have to stay on the ground and being the sweet person I am I would volunteer to be the one left!

Thanks again Derith & Dave for sharing your wonderful weekend -- kinda wish I was there (but I would have skipped the plane!)

Patty

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#69267 - 03/14/02 09:10 PM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
MrsTLC Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 04/19/00
Posts: 1962
Loc: Valley of the Sun
Loved the pictures and the story. Looking forward to more of Dave's pics.

Ruthie
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Ruthie
"Where words fail, Music speaks"

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#69268 - 03/15/02 02:12 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7832
Loc: Kokomo, IN
I flew in Thursday afternoon, and had arranged to meet a gentleman at the Amelia Island Light, one that is fenced in and in the middle of a residential neighborhhod. I was running a little early, but unfortunately, he was running late and I wouldn't be able to get on the grounds until about 6:45 (sunset at 6:30). Well, better than no opportunity, so I took a few distant pictures across the marsh


I was fascinated with the small rays of light radiating from the light and thought I would try to capture one
.

The tower does need a paint job, but it is really isn't too bad for being over 160 years old!


Friday morning I was able take a few quick pics of St. Augustine, but didn't have time to visit and climb (had on previous visits).


Main stop for the morning was to be Ponce Inlet. Also happened to be Bike Week in Daytona. Pulled into the parking lot at just before opening time at 10, and found it very full, with my car being the only vehicle on 4 wheels! Ponce is in great shape, with the tower having been recently worked on, and new paint.


Thos big old spiral stairs always seem to fascinate. They do make interesting photo subjects.


The main reason I had wanted to re-visit Ponce was the fantastic lens display they have. The building is built just to display lens, and they are simply magnificent. The Cape Canaveral 1st order lens has to one of the finest (if not the finest) lens displays anywhere.


Real rough trip back to Jax to pick up Derith at the airport - took me better than 3 hours to make a 2 hour trip. Love it when you are cruising at 80 one minute and stopped in an interstate parking lot the next minute. Those Floridians have to stop (not slow down, stop) every time there is something along the road - a cop, a stalled vehicle, a blade of grass. Makes for high stress when you allowed a little extra time but not 150% of normal and you are running late! Maybe they were still looking for presidential ballots.

Friday afternoon was our trip out over Cumberland Island, and dinner at a really neat waterside restaurant. We had a table next to the window, overlooking the fishing boats. Suppose the seafood they served was fresh???

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#69269 - 03/19/02 12:53 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
2beacons Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 662
Loc: Holland, MI, USA
The pictures are wonderful Dave and Derith.
Since we just got home from that direction we are still waiting for the pictures to come back. We climbed Tybee, St Simons,
St Augustine, and Ponce Inlet. That was all we had time for since we also went to the Nascar race in Atlanta, visited the Charlotte, Daytona, and Talledga tracks. We also visted 6 Nascar race shops. We took the tour of Savannah and stopped at some antique stores along the way. All in all we went 3300 miles in 10 days and got Jeff's brother to climb the lighthouses with us. His wife stayed on the ground. We all thought that St Augustine was the easiest climb and could have done with out the fixing up for the pictures of Tybee and St Simons, but maintenace work need to be done sometime.

Anytime spent on vacation especially one that includes lighthouses beats any day of work.

Mary and Jeff

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#69270 - 03/20/02 02:39 PM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Randy Kremer Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 3329
Loc: Mason, Ohio
Great pictures Dave! Did you fly over Amelia Island Light - haven't seen any of it from the plane.

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#69271 - 03/18/08 01:16 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7832
Loc: Kokomo, IN
Had to continue my earlier post here.... since it was originally posted not only have the images been moved (had to dig into the archives to find those pictures!), but the forums software now only allows 8 images where it used to allow about 12. Anyway, here is "the rest of the story"...

Saturday morning we were off to Sapelo, which is looking very nice (but already needs some mold cleanup on one side of the tower! Kinda humid there.)


On the way south to head over towards St. Marks, we stopped at St. Simons as Derith had not been there previously. They are doing some work on the keeper's quarters, and there was scaffolding on both ends of the building which made for less than stellar pics, but I did get one of Derith out on the parapet at the top of the tower..


As Derith noted, Sunday was St. Marks day and what a day it was! Early on it was windy, but the sky was beautiful and the light is in wonderful shape. The CG has gotten it into very nice shape for its transfer of ownership. I'll bet there were 15 people who were able to climb that day while it was open. Wish I had the video camera with me when Derith was out on the parapet "yoo hoo"ing people at ground level to try and tell them they could climb.


All in all, a wonderful weekend. Three Lighthouses I had seen before and three new ones to add to the tally. As we have all said before, these forums have opened to us some great friendships and wonderful lighthousing opportunities. As Paul would say, "it just doesn't get any better than this!"

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#69272 - 03/18/08 04:20 AM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Tybee_Sullivan Offline
Wacko

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Fayetteville, NC
Great shots! I cant wait to take the plane ride...I asked in my thread how much it costs, and if you have contact information for the pilot.

You went to Ponce Inlet during Bike Week. So did I. biglaugh That lens display is spectacular. I took a few photos of it too.
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#69273 - 03/18/08 10:18 PM Re: Sky Queen sees Cumberland Island LH
Dave H Online
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 7832
Loc: Kokomo, IN
We flew out of a small airport near Kings Bay sub base. I remember that at the time the pilot said they had been very restricted on when and where they could fly in the period after 9/11. In Derith's post above she mentioned that the airport was in Saint Marys, which would fit with near Kings Bay. You might do a simple search for airports in Saint Marys and then call the airport's FBO. If the FBO doesn't run the charters they will be able to give you the info on who does fly out of their airport.

The cost wasn't that bad, as I recall, but since it was 6 years ago it would have to have changed somewhat. It seems to me that it was a man and wife who were the FBO of the airport - she was the one that sent us to the restaurant we had dinner at. Out in the middle of nowhere, but what a spread they had!

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