Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States. When Thomas retired, he made a house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This house was named Monticello. Thomas was an interesting man. He observed many things like his garden and every morning he would record the date, humidity, pressure, temperature, etc..
Thomas was asked to write the Declaration of Independence. Thomas made a lot of good phrases in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas also founded the College of Virginia. To wake up in the morning, Thomas Jefferson immediately plunged his feet into a bucket of cold water to wake himself up. When Jefferson died, he put the three most important things he did on his grave:
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
Father of the University of Virginia.
Author of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom.
On your way up the ICW we went to Charleston and we saw an aircraft carrier, a battle ship and a submarine. We were able to go on them all.
The York Town aircraft carrier was sunk in 1942 in the Battle of Midway. Later on they built another York Town. The York Town CV-10 is 888 feet long. It carried 90-100 aircraft, could travel at 33 knots, and could go 20,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.
My grandpa was in a the navy so he was able to tell me some good information about the aircraft carrier. He worked on the airplanes.
USS York Town “The Fighting Lady”
This is the recipe for chocolate chip cookies they used on the ship.
This is how big the ship’s anchor locker is!
The destroyer we saw was named the USS Laffey. The Laffey was hit by 5 kamikazes and 3 bombs but it stayed afloat. When the Laffey came into port, the navy repaired her. It was 376 feet long, could go 34 knots, and its range was 6,500 nautical miles at 15 knots.
Diagram of the hits the USS Laffey took.
The USS Clamagore submarine was a different kind of submarine. It was run on diesel, not nuclear power. This submarine was not used in war because it was built too late and the war was already over.
Fishing in the intracoastal waterway is much different from fishing in the Bahamas. Here is a list of fish you can catch in the ICW: sharks, rays, tarpon, flounder and sea-trout. But we’ve only caught some of these fish. The first one we caught was the gossip tail catfish. It was very easy to catch so I tried to catch something harder like a shark. The first shark we caught was an Atlantic sharp nose shark. We caught it at night but it was only 1 foot long so I wanted something bigger.A while later we caught a 4 1/2 foot black tip shark. When we were bringing him up on our boat, he bit the leader off and got away.
After that we started to try to catch a ray. We set out the rod and after a while we had a ray on. It was the hardest to reel in. When we brought it up, it was a butter fly ray. Here are some pictures.
For bait we used mullet and now we catch our own bait that we catch in a casting net.
Fort Matanzas was built in 1742 by the Spaniards to guard the southern approach to St. Augustine, Florida. Fort Mantanzas was made entirely out of seashells. This rock is called coquina. This rock held for over 300 years including three days of cannon fire. But over time it eventually started to collapse. It was in ruins for a little under 400 years. Then finally a survey was done on the ruins and the government decided to spend $5,000 to stabilize the fort. When World War I started the funding ceased. In 1924 another fund was made. This included tearing down and rebuilding most of the fort. Today Fort Matanzas is a national park for people to visit.
This is a post on all of the fish we have caught in deep ocean on fishing lines off of our sailboat. We troll for fish at 5 knots or more. The first fish we caught was a tuna. We caught the tuna in rough seas and he was a strong fighter. He was 2′ 7″. He was called a little tunny but he wasn’t little.
The second fish we caught was a mahi mahi. We were just sailing and one jumped beside us and a few seconds later our lines had a hit. One got away but we got the other one. He was about 3 feet.
People in the Bahamas have always been saying that we are sure to catch a barracuda and sure enough, we caught one. He was 1 1/2 feet long. You can only catch them in shallow water.
For the last fish we tried using ballyhoo for bait.
Ballyhoo we used as bait.
When you use them, you put a little skirt over their nose so we tried it and we had no luck at all so we pulled up the line. Then we got in shallow water and mom put out the line because she wanted to catch a barracuda. When we put out the line, the rod bent so we slowed down the boat and pulled in the line. It was a cero mackerel. He was 2 1/2 feet.
Today we went to see the lighthouse being lit. The walls of the lighthouse were about five feet thick. Otherwise hurricanes might knock it over. Jeffery, the lighthouse keeper, told us it was one of only two lighthouses in that still run on kerosene.
Elbow Reef lighthouse on Elbow Cay
When we got to the top Jeffery put a flame under the main light source, he called it reheating. After he did that he opened up a valve and lit the main light.
The lighthouse gives five flashes of light and then a pause. It works that way because there are five Fresnel lenses that focus the light into five beams. The sixth lens reflects the light back to the source, that is the pause.
To turn the lenses Jeffery had to crank up some weights on cables to keep the lenses spinning. He has to go up every two hours to wind up the weights so he sleeps during the daytime.
The lighthouse was built in 1864 and so it is 149 years old.
We have seen a lot of cool things when we have been sailing on this trip. I’ve always been wanting to see a whale and when we were sailing, I saw some black dots in the distance. I wondered what they were. As we got closer, I noticed they were fins. We sailed over to them. One jumped and it was a pilot whale. Here is a video.
I also have some facts on the whales. Pilot whales feed on mostly squid and sometimes fish. They give birth every 3-5 years. They were named pilot whales because one whale pilots all the others in the group. When pilot whales feed they take several breathes before diving and they are capable of diving to 600 meters but usually only dive 30-60 meters. Usually their deeper dives are taken at night. Pilot whales are still hunted but are threatened.
Here is another cool thing that happened to me. There was this bottle nosed dolphin that came to play with us as we sailed. He stayed by the side of our boat for 15 minutes and did flips. He even chirped at us. Then a whole family of dolphins came to us and did tricks. Here is a video of the dolphins.
Coral grows in warm seas and are alive. There are lots of different kinds of coral. Here are the types of coral that I observe in the Bahamas: brain coral, mustard hill coral, finger coral, elk horn coral, fan coral, and sea ship coral. Those are the main types I see and here are pictures I took.
Sea Whip Coral
Mustard Hill Coral
Elk Horn Coral
All corals have polyps. Polyps are the living parts of coral. They are tentacle like creatures. They are like builders. They build the coral. Brain coral polyps come out only at night. Brain coral likes facing the surface of the water. Mustard hill coral polyps come out in the daytime. On all kinds of coral polyps, they either come out at night or day. Finger coral have day polyps and comes in many different colors like green, purple, pink and grey. Elk horn coral is the biggest coral. It grows six inches every year. Fan coral lives on drop-offs and finally sea whip. Sea whips come in sea like forests. Here is a picture of polyps.
There are three major types of sharks. The carpet sharks, pointed nose sharks, and hammerhead sharks.
Pointed nose shark
There are two types of carpets: nurse sharks and whale sharks. Nurse sharks are 5-9 feet long but whale sharks are 20-45 feet.
They both have the same types of heads. Nurse sharks feed on the small fish and coruscations. Whale sharks feed on plankton by opening their huge mouths and swimming. That filters it all in their mouths. Both of these sharks are very gentle.
Pointed Nose Sharks are mostly dangerous and are to be left alone. These sharks feed on all kinds of fish, big and small. Some even feed on turtles. These sharks can be identified by markings like lemon shark is yellow. Tiger sharks are striped and black tip sharks have black tips on the end of their fins. Finally the hammer-head sharks. There are three different kinds of hammer heads, the Great Hammerhead, the Scalloped Hammerhead and the Bonehead.
Now for all sharks. All sharks come to the smell of blood. This is how they smell. They smell under their mouth. There are black dots. Those black dots since the blood and also another cool thing is that some sharks have belly buttons.
There are lots of creatures you can find in tide pools along the shoreline and beside the rocks in the water. Here are some of the things you can find along the shore. Of course you can find the starfish. There are three different kinds of tide pool starfish. One is a grey and white looking starfish. When you put them in the water, you can watch them move very fast. You can have starfish races. There are also red pokey starfish.
They are small and they do not move very much but they are prettier. The last kind of starfish is a white one with 8-inch skinny arms and they also move very fast.
There are also sea cucumbers. They look like a brownish black long thick tube. And my favorite one is nudibranchs. They look like a squishy blob with yellow and black rings. You can find them along the rocky shores. They like to go along rocks. They are basically a snail out of their shell but a little different. There is a picture below.
For some reason the nudibranchs release purple ink. I’m not sure why but it is a very pretty color. Do you know why they release this ink? We do not have a book on board that tells us about them. If you find out why, please reply to my post and let us all know.
The next picture is of my brother holding some nudibranchs and behind my brother there is a tide pool full of starfish. The very first tide pool is of the sea cucumbers.
In every tide pool there also is baby fish. They are fun to watch but are hard to catch. I’ve found baby squirrel fish and baby angelfish. We made a lake for them to swim around in. Here is a picture of the squirrelfish.