We were at Pensacola Florida last week for three days, heading from Texas to Georgia. We took a day to see the Gulf Island National Seashore, operated by the National Park Service. Fort Pickens is at the end of the narrow island, at the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The Bay is also access to Pensacola Navy Base where the Blue Angels fly from during the summer. Just east of the RV park is Eglin Air Force Base, the largest base in the world. We did not see any planes flying while we were there and the Navy Museum is closed since the shooting incident so no access to the museum, our third try this year.
These links explain in more detail than I have room for here:
|Fort Pickens was a large military base, operated by the Army. It was used in the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, World War I and World War II. Select the Link above for the full history.
|The next photo explains the destruction of this corner of the fort.
|There were a huge number of canon in the fort. Soldiers soon went deaf after firing these in the enclosed areas of the fort.
|The canon was forced backwards by the blast and soldiers had to reload and
hand move it forward with a long pole placed into the holes in the wheel
to move it forward to the firing position.
|Electrically triggered mines were put inn the bay and operated from the fort. This
passage leads to a tunnel out to the water. Batteries in this area fired the mines.
|The mines were stored in this area.
|More canon were located here. They could rotate about
120 degrees on the granite stone.
|Rain water was collected in two cistern to supply water to the fort.
|This explains the "reverse arch" that supported the heavy brick structures since the ground was mostly sand.
|A picture of the entrance to Pensacola Bay.
|Really big canon above the arches of the fort. A clear view of the bay.
It was never fired at a ship.
|The huge cisterns are at the far end of these arches.
|All fine white sand.
|Gulf Of Mexico.
|Heading back to Santa Rose Island.