Monday, April 13, 2015

Geocaching on Spectre Island

In Santa Rosa Sound between Mary Esther and Santa Rosa Island are seven “spoil islands” created years ago when the Army Corp of Engineers dredged the channel.




The islands are a camping, swimming and playing mecca for local boaters and happily, there are geocaches hidden on them as well.




Saturday was a cloudy, rainy day but now that we have the boat we were on a mission to find those caches. We checked the radar and storms seemed to be dancing all around us but damn the torpedos, full steam ahead – we were going caching.


Looking back at the dock as we pulled out things didn't look too bad




But looking to the east out into the Bay? Not so good.


Luckily, we were heading the opposite direction and we managed to stay just south of a rainstorm on the north side of the Bay.






Once inside the Sound, we decided to cruise down to the last island first and then work our way back.

It's a pretty ride through the Sound








Fort Walton Beach Landing



Liza Jackson Park 













Spectre Island is the last island to the west (from our house) sits at the south end of Hurlburt Field's runway. It's the largest of the islands and is absolutely gorgeous.










The island honors the 14 crew members of the “Spirit 03” AC 130H gunship who were killed when they were shot down while providing air support for the Marines fighting the Battle of Khafji on January 31, 1991.


Also honored here are the 8 crew members of the “Jockey 14” who died when their AC 130H Spectre crashed off the coast of Kenya on March 14, 1994 during a support flight for Operation Continue Hope.


The island is awesome and we are definitely coming back here to camp soon.


After exploring the island and finding the caches hidden there it was time to move on to the next island.




The kids were all off doing their own thing so it was just the Island King and I and we had so much fun exploring.


As we were cruising along I pointed out a tree growing right up out of the water, which looked really cool.



And of course, there is a geocache on that tree.






My Dad was out here a week or so ago and he said that at low tide there is more of the tree and actually a little sand above the water. We must have been there at high tide because we floated right up to the tree and the Island King held on while I jumped out and made the find.


There was something particularly cool about finding a cache on a tree growing in the middle of the Sound.


It got dark before we found the last two caches so we flipped into night caching mode and made the finds.



After the last cache we sat on the boat watching the lights across the Sound and listening to the frogs, crickets, ducks and critters humming, buzzing, croaking and honking away. It was so peaceful and calm that I didn't want to leave but I knew we had a 45 minute ride home and eventually it was time to go.




The ride through the Sound was calm but once we went under Brooks Bridge and around into Choctawhatchee Bay, the wind caught us and it got cold and choppy.


Turns out our little boat does just fine in those conditions and it wasn't a bad ride at all.


We made it back to the dock a little cold and a lot hungry but with a plan for a great camping trip on Spectre Island.
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