Cumberland Island
August, 2013

Pictures by: Rick Jacquot

It had been a few years since I had visited the island. R.J. had died in 2012 and I just didn't have the desire to visit. I had been in Green Cove Springs, Florida working on removing artifacts from the famous treasure ship, Arctic Discoverer. It was hot in August, even hotter in the bowels of that ship, around 120 degrees every day. I lost over 25 pounds in 3 weeks working and sweating. I had been working at a week on, week off pace in Florida. I would go down, fill the truck and trailer with ship parts and return to NC to unload, regroup and head back a week later. On a return trip, I decided to stop and spend a day at Cumberland. It was my first visit since 2008, and my first time visiting the island alone.

I didn't make any reservations as the lady at the Park Service said I didn't need any, I thought that was odd since the ferry is usually full. I arrived early the next morning to board the Cumberland Queen II, I was surprised to see that I was one of only four or five people on the boat that day. The captain said it was supposed to be hot and that had deterred a lot of people. I had no idea it was to get to 115 degrees that day! I got off the boat at Sea Camp dock as they were working on the Dungeness Dock and would not stop there. I wanted to rent a bicycle anyway so Sea Camp was the spot.

The fine looking "Cumberland Queen II" on her way back to St. Marys. Also a shot of Sea Camp Dock.

I stopped in the museum at Sea Camp to see the artifacts. I especially liked the old Spanish helmet found on the island.

Hearing the hot weather that was planned for the day, I decided to head out to the beach as soon as I got there. I rode my rented bike and began my sightseeing tour of the south end of the island. Here is where I encountered many birds, this one is now part of an ever changing landscape.

Being a collector of skulls and bones, I am always intrigued with dead stuff, like this horse shoe crab and loggerhead turtle.

Life on the dunes must be fun. I can imagine the pirates that walked these shores, drinking their rum while workers careened the bottoms of the worm eaten ship hulls. I would love to take a metal detector out there, but almost got arrested for that about 10 years earlier!

These two pictures were almost the last two I ever took! By the time I left the beach, the temperature was already well over 100 degrees. I decided to bike to the south inland area and check out the dredge piles and look for a few fossils. I found an old overgrown pile and began screening through the material. I was at it maybe an hour when my vision got blurry. I stood up and my head was spinning. I went to get water out of my bag and in the process knocked over the bike and dumped everything. I realized I was on the verge of a heat stroke. I quickly drank the last of my water and loaded my stuff and headed for the shade of the forest. I got there to find little relief from the heat. I made my way to a rest room building near the Dungeness Mansion and loaded up on water and stayed there until I cooled down. I realized that at 51, I couldn't take the intense heat like I used too.

The rest of the day was spent near the Sea Camp dock waiting for the return trip to St. Marys. I spent my time taking pics of interesting ships and boats.

Back in St. Marys, I bid farewell to the island and that great town once again. As I write this, it is winter of 2017. My goal this summer or fall is to finally get my boat out and down to the island. To finally fulfill the dream that me and R.J. had back in the 1990s. If I am lucky enough to get it done, you will read about it here.