Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ship Island

The Gulf Islands National Seashore reaches from Gulfport, MS, to Pensacola, FL. But we took the Pan American Clipper out to Ship Island. A barrier island 11 miles south of Gulfport/Biloxi.
This boat was built in 1933 and rebuilt, updating it, in 1965. It is a wooden boat. I was told a ship is made to travel across the ocean, whereas a boat is made only to travel in a closer in area. This is a 60 foot boat.

But we were lucky to get this boat. It creates a wake which the dolphins enjoy. We had them surfing next to us both going out and coming back.

Fort Massachusettes was built in the mid 1800s. Although initially occupied by confederates, they withdrew and the union took over. Never really seeing action, it became a supply depot and later in the civil war, a P.O.W. camp. At the time of the civil war it was not even completed, but there were an additional 22 buildings built during the war. All remains of them are now gone. There were barracks and even a hospital.

Until they created the dredged channel into Gulfport, large ships had to anchor off this island and take smaller ships into shore. That is where the island got its name back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was also a staging location for the British when they were headed towards New Orleans for the famous 'Battle of New Orleans'. Off to the east is a natural, deep harbour and off to the west is a deep channel. Now it is part of the National Park system and you can tour the fort, then spend time on the beach.

There has been lots of rain in the last few days. You can see it standing in the fort. For the tour, you got to wade in the water. And the mosquitos were terrible. Really, really terrible.

But the beach was nice and the water was warm. It was a beautiful day.

1 comment:

Diana said...

In the water it looks like you're running from the mosquitos!