June 10, 2013

Submarines and Jellyfish

(Post #17)

"How inappropriate to call this Planet Earth, when clearly it is an ocean."

Submarines and Jellyfish.

First of all, I  am fully aware that jellyfish may not be nearly as exciting as machine guns and nuclear submarines, but we are going to give them their recognition first in this post...  sit tight for the military gun and war stuff... it's coming.

As Glory Days departed Jekyll Island heading south, we encountered two unusual phenomenons.... jellyfish and submarines.... I know that sounds like an odd combination but it's true... and in some ways, the two do have some similarities.

When we were just a few miles from the island, we noticed a plethora of jelly fish in the water... it's like they were everywhere.... or at least every few feet was another one, and another one.... here's a few pics of this flock of jelly fish that seemed to go on forever... I wonder if it was their mating season, or their migration season... either way, we chose not to swim in the jelly fishy waters.  OK, enough about slimy jelly fish... let's get on to the weapons now...

Now part 2 of this phenomenon occurred a few hours later.... 

We had been going down the ICW for most of the day, when suddenly an official looking speed boat approached us at a rapid pace.... Suddenly, a loud speaker barked these words, " You are in the path of a naval escort... please put your engine in neutral and face your bow north." 

Seeing as I did not want to argue with these guys, we complied... then it occurred to me that we were now at Kings Bay.  That is the official U.S. Navy Headquarters of the home port for 6 U.S. Navy Trident Nuclear submarines.... wow, this was real... machine guns and all.

This dude with the machine gun makes sure you don't fuck with the sub while its passing.   We complied.
Tug boat escort for the sub

U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine leaving King's Bay in St. Mary's River, Georgia

 I had heard of the base earlier, but never did I ever think we would actually witness the passing of a nuclear submarine.  But yes, that what was happening... 

Here's a photo of one of the escort vessels that passed our way.  Notice the automatic machine gunner on the bow... We chose not to mess with these guys.  Next came an armada of larger size military looking war boats, following but two, maybe three, tug boats.  All of this was the escort for a big sub that would be leaving the base, and heading out to sea.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, the long black image of menacing submarine came into view.  These photos will show the surface of the sub.  At first, the crew of the sub was standing on the deck, then they all went below under some command I assume.  Slowly this long black bullet made its way out of the river basin and into the channel toward the open sea.  It must've been as long as a football field.  Amy commented that it looked like a long roach.  Imagine what must be inside.  

This is what a submarine hanger looks like.... a place to service the sub.

Although it was a slight inconvenience waiting on the escort, it is an experience I will remember as it slinked away into the distance.  Soon, we were given the green light to proceed.
Shortly thereafter, we would enter the area of Fernandina Harbor where I would again connect the boat to one of the mooring balls for public use.

I recalled when I had used a mooring ball two weeks earlier and I prided myself in how well I snagged the hook of the mooring ball at that time... Little did I know that this time to the mooring ball would be quite a different experience... Read the post, Mooring Ball Debacle to get the details... I'm learning by errors it seems... whatever works, I suppose.

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