Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 5th was a big night for the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. A few weeks ago, the Lighthouse Park hosted the boat launch of the 1790s recreation of a British Yawl. Named “Heart of Oak," the Yawl was constructed by the Heritage Boatworks volunteers and was sent out for its inaugural voyage on the docks across from the lighthouse. 

Staff members and visitors gathered to watch the boat receive a traditional blessing with wine and salt. The crowd was invited to throw salt onto the boat before it was lowered into the water and sent off on its first journey captained by a team of rowers.
After the Yawl boat was launched on her maiden voyage, the Lighthouse began its grand opening for its new exhibit, Wrecked! 

Staff from the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, and the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) have been working hard for years to bring artifacts from a shipwreck to the public eye. The shipwreck dates to the era of the American Revolution. The boat contained British loyalists who were fleeing Charleston and wrecked their ship on a sandbar off our coast.
Christopher McCarron dressed for the occasion
They tried the best they could to salvage the ship, but in the end they had to abandon ship. The new exhibit can be seen in the Keeper’s house, which has been completely redesigned to accompany the new exhibit. Artifacts include cauldrons, a gold coin, buttons, and a four pounder cannon. Staff have been working on restoration of these artifacts for years. Including the time when I first visited the lighthouse in 2013, and it brought up a bit of nostalgia seeing them on display for the first time. A large amount of people showed up in support of the new exhibit and I was glad I could be a part of it. Wrecked is now open to the public and is great for all ages, so go to the St. Augustine Lighthouse and check it out!
Text and images by Megan Liebold, FPAN Staff.

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