On the Beach . . .

by wjw on May 1, 2011

We are spending the weekend in St. Augustine, the USA’s oldest European settlement.  (As a resident of the state with Acoma in it, I am resolutely unimpressed.)

We arrived in late afternoon, and then had to deal at length with a mixup in reservations (not our fault), so all I’ve seen so far is the fort, which as a European star fort is rather rare on this continent.  (Ticonderoga’s still there.  Any others left standing?)

Dinner was at a local hangout called the Conch.  Tiki bar, Hawaiian band, all cues for the wrong coast, but the food was good and the margaritas potent.

I had the conch fritters and the item that you find on every decent seafood joint: the Big Heap o’ Fried Things Platter.  Fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried stuffed crab, fried wahoo.  All enough to send me rolling home.

The beach is lovely, very fine white sand.  I hurled myself into the surf with vigor, enjoying the clash with rollers coming in all the way from Africa.  The water is cool enough to be bracing, not so cold I wanted to flee immediately into a hot bath.

No definite word yet on the shuttle launch.  Still in freefall.

Pat Mathews May 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Wasting away in Margaritaville….

The Abbot of Unreason May 4, 2011 at 4:24 am

Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where the Star-Spangled Banner waved, is a star fort.

Keke May 5, 2011 at 6:44 am

There are six star forts extant in eastern Canada: Citadel Hill, Fort Beausejour, the Citadel of Quebec, Fort George, Fort Mississauga and Fort Erie.

wjw May 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Turn out there are quite a few star forts in the US, though some are abandoned or reconstructed. Here’s a list from Wikipedia:

* Castillo de San Marcos, in Saint Augustine, FL
* Fort Trumbull, in New London, CT
* Fort Mifflin, in Philadelphia, PA
* Fort Delaware, on Pea Patch Island, DE
* Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, MD
* Fort Frederick, in Fort Frederick State Park Frederick, MD
* Fort Jay, on Governors Island in New York Bay
* Fort Wood, on Liberty Island in New York Bay
* Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, New York
* Fort Crown Point in Crown Point, New York
* Fort William Henry in Lake George, New York
* Fort Johnston (Leesburg, Virginia)
* Fort Monroe in Newport News, VA
* Fort Stanwix in New York
* Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York
* Fort Independence on castle Island in Boston Harbor.
* Fort Negley in Nashville, Tennessee
* Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island
* Fort Wayne (Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan
* Fort Morgan in Mobile, Alabama
* Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
* Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas, Florida
* Ninety Six National Historic Site, Star Fort in Ninety Six, South Carolina

wjw May 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

The list also leaves out the 1862 version of Fort Union, in New Mexico. Which exists now as faint outlines on the prairie, but there’s more of it in existence than there is Duquesne.

John Appel May 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Ft. Frederick in Maryland is actually pretty well-preserved. It sits very close to the Potomac and the C&O canal.

One unusual “feature” is a hole punched through the wall facing the river – if memory serves, just to one side of the gate. This was opened to permit a cannon to bear directly on the river – I don’t recall why this wasn’t something provided for in the original design. But otherwise, it’s a classic star fortress.

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