These photos were taken in 2006 at Little Talbot Island State Park where the skeleton of a 19th century ship washed up on shore exposing the remnants of a wood hull and steel ribs that once held it together.
There were no markings on the washed up vessel to indicate which shipwreck it belonged to. It is not known if it was Spanish, French, English or American. This is not the only ship that has washed ashore over the years on North Florida beaches.
At its full exposure during low tide in May, 2006.
As the tides were moving the boat from north to south by the low and high tides, the boat got battered. It was covered and uncovered multiple times. Washed out and washed back up. For a couple of years, we had to go in search of it, not knowing if it would be last time we saw it.
Oh, the stories I have made up in my mind. I could hear the captain yelling to the crew that the ship was going down in the middle of a storm. I can see the visual in my mind’s eye, creating a possible scenario and feelings of those awaiting their death.
There are no lighthouses in this area, nor were there any in the 1800’s. The two lighthouses closest to this beach is the Amelia Island Lighthouse on Fernandina Beach (29 miles away) and the St. Augustine Lighthouse (70 miles away). Those are driving miles, not nautical miles. There was nothing in this chain of barrier islands to direct ships out of the danger that awaited. Today, there are channel markers and light pollution, plus GPS to help keep ships from sinking. Still, it happens and a ship ran aground and sank off Big Talbot Island a couple of years ago. Today, you can see the mast out of the water as the boat lies on its side. During high tide, it is visible, but during low tide, it is very visible.
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