Sunday, January 31, 2016

Inspire your HeART with StuART

Today is Inspire your HeART with StuART day - a day to remember our Artistic little buddy who now paints rainbows over the rainbow bridge.
We were all challenged to create an Artsy Selfie in Honor of Stuart - so here they are.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Treasures and MORE ships

Dog oh dog - again it has been a busy day at the port entrance today - but lets get to the important stuff first - Mom found "treasures' and finding treasures makes her SUPER DUPER happy and of coarse if Mom is happy she walks more - and that makes us happy :)  So what did she find - not one, not two but THREE sand dollars - all intact AND this most beautiful "Lettered Olive Shell" - Mom found an awesome shelling website and now can identify all her finds!  Mom says the shell was the best treasure but we liked the smell of the sand dollars better.

As for the ships - the first one we saw was the Kaethe P - it sails under the flag of Liberia and is 294 meters (964 feet). As you can see - this one is a container ship and it was HUGE.

The next boat we saw was a tug and this is actually one of the many Navy tugs - all their tugs are orange - This one was actually heading out into the ocean.

The third ship we saw was the Bishu Highway - it sails under the flag of Japan is a car carrier. It is 195 meters long (639 feet) and looks like a big brick floating on the water :)

And finally we watched the USS Gonzalez come into the Navy yard - it was a VERY quick visit - just a half an hour later and then we watched it leave again! It's homeport is Norfolk, VA and it is a Arleigh Burke-Class Guided Missile Destroyer.
Denny The Rock Sitter
Beach Treasures
Kaethe P - Container Ship
Navy Tug - #12
Bishu Highway - Car Carrier
USS Gonzalez

Friday, January 29, 2016

Just a pair of beach bums

Today Mom said we have just turned into a pair of beach bums - enjoying the sunshine and just sitting around doing nothing much at all :) We decided we had better check if that is correct so we went online and looked up the definition of beach bum - The Cambridge Dictionary Online said it is "someone (or some doggies) who ​spends most of their time enjoying the ​beach". says it is "an idle person or doggie who habitually spends time on or near a beach." I guess that officially makes us beach bums then :) Of coarse as "official" tag carrying Bark Rangers we also patrol MY beaches making sure they clean and tidy and perfect for beach bumming on - it's a tough job but some doggie has to do it - right?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ships ships and more ships

Oh My Dogness !!!  We arrived at MY beach at high tide this morning and there was almost a line of ships waiting to enter the port - we have never seen so many at one time. The tide was so high - we even had to sit up on the Sand Dune and take photos as the water was lapping all around the rocks where we normally sit.

The first ship was the Venezia - we have seen this one before and it is a container ship and sails under the flag of Hong Kong. This is one BIG ship - measuring 265 meters which is 869 feet! When loaded up - like it was today - it looks HUGE.

The second ship was the "SLNC Corsica" - a general cargo ship and sails under the flag of Antigua - it is only 167 meters long.

The third boat was a shrimp boat called the "Dying Breed". Sadly we understand the meaning behind it's name :(  Many small operators like this can't compete with the big companies.

The forth ship was the "Overseas Long Beach" - an oil/chemical tanker and sails under the USA flag - it is 174 meters long.

The fifth ship was the "Turquoise" a container ship sailing under the flag of Singapore it is 281 meters long (921 feet) - this is the longest ship we have seen to date! Mom says it is hard to get a good picture of the big ships that show their true size as to fit their entire length in the frame makes them look smaller than they are.
Sitting a top the sand dune
The Venezia
The SLNC Corsica
The Dying Breed - Shrimp Boat
The Overseas Long Beach
The Turquoise

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

USS "The Sullivans"

Todays we got to see the USS "The Sullivans" leave port and head out on a 7 month deployment. This ship had been undergoing some repairs after a small fire caused some deck damage back in July 2015.  This is the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the five Sullivan brothers — George, Francis, Joseph, Madison, and Albert Sullivan, aged 20 to 27 – who lost their lives when their ship, USS Juneau, was sunk by a Japanese submarine in November 1942 in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Upon researching this boat we found it has had quite an interesting if not checkered past. You can read more about the ships history here. The other cool thing we found - the current Commander of this ship is Commander Jennifer M. Blakeslee, USN. You will also see a flag on the ship (just click on the photos to make them bigger) it is the white one with a red stripe around the edge and has 5 gold stars - the stars represent each of the brothers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day !

Today the 26th of January is Australia Day and for those that don't know - our Mom is an Aussie so it is extra special to her. Recently Mom came across the Australian Bakery and Cafe in Marietta, Georgia and was able to order some REAL Aussie Goodies from there. So today we are celebrating with some traditional Aussie Sausage Rolls a tasty little sausage snack wrapped in short crust pastry and served with ketchup. One of the quirky things you also may not know about Aussies is they have a love for shortening words, like turning good-day into "g'day" and afternoon into "arvo" or breakfast into "brekky"  they even shorten the word Australia into "straya". Even after living in the USA for 15 years  it is always the first thing people ask when they meet Mom - "where are you from?" - she still has an Aussie accent :)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Rocking it !

Mom, Mom, Mom, MOM - HEY YOU CRAZY WOMEN - the tide is coming in and you expect us to just sit here - we might get WET !!!!!!!! I am pretty sure I actually got some water on my tail erk! Really - the things we have to do while Mom takes photos and you know what is the worse - we do all this for FREE - that is right - you heard it - there is no bribery involved as Mom NEVER EVER takes treats with us on walkies.

Eventually we were able to climb up on the rocks and get away from that scary wet stuff - but it was a close call - we ALMOST got our feet wet which as you know - for us that is a fate as bad as having a bath !!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dutton Island Cowspotdog Preserve

Today we went to MY Dutton Island Cowspotdog Preserve -  it has been a while since we  visited but we have a good reason as to why we haven't been. You see, the last time we were there Mom (and us) - were attacked by SWARMS of mosquitos - HUGE GIGANTIC BLOOD SUCKING VAMPIRE type  mosquitos!!!! The preserve is on the intercostal waterway and because it is brackish water - it is also a huge mosquito breeding area. Now even though it was bright and sunny it was also quite cold and as you know the mosquitos are not fond of the cold so we figured it was safe to visit again. We were very pleased to see MY staff have been doing some work at the preserve and have added a number of these very nice picnic areas. The intercostal waterway is also very popular with canoers as the waters are always calm and that is what we were watching - a guy walking towards us with a canoe on his shoulders - we weren't quite sure what to make of him and didn't like the idea that he was coming onto MY dock. Thankfully at the last moment he headed down the boat ramp instead - a good thing he did as we all KNOW how the Dweeb reacts to strange things and Mom was would worried he would back up right off the end of the dock :)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Who needs a fishing pole?

We have been watching Ospreys flying around MY beach for the couple of months now and often sit watching them as they hover above the waves and then suddenly dive down like speeding super birds to grab a fish. They are VERY good fishermen and hardly ever miss but Mom has never been quick enough to get photos of them - until today. As we were walking back across the boardwalk this one appeared right next to us and then landed on a nearby pole to eat his fish (normally they land on the big radio tower at the coast guard station). Check out the size of that fish - it was so heavy he was having trouble flying with it!!!!  Here's an interesting fact you may not know - the undersides of their toes on each foot are covered with short spines, which help them grasp slippery fish!  Remember you can click on the pictures to see them bigger :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Official Bark Rangers

Yesterday we became "OFFICIAL" Bark Rangers - we got our certificate and two "Official" Bark Ranger tags to wear - we are so proud :) Our photo is also to be added to the "Official" Bark Ranger Photo Board. We received these via "The Timucuan Reserve/Fort Caroline Park which is run by the National Park Services"

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Invasion of the Kitties

So there we were checking out some of the different areas of the Mayport Navy Base - Mom had noticed on the map that they have an RV Park that active and retired military can use and Mom being eagle eyed also noticed a big park area so we thought we would go and check it out as it looked nice and grassy. The photos below show us in the park area right across the road is the RV Park - pretty nice view they have don't you think? It must be popular as we only saw 2 vacant spots available. We also saw this group of "lawn aerators" as Mom calls them. We have some in our neighborhood that come and do our front lawn just about every day :)

But there was something else we saw - LOTS of CATS! At first we thought they belonged to the RV'ers but it turns out most of them are just wild cats that live on the base and a very nice life they have too. The people that fish along the breakwater always give them fish to eat and even though they are not supposed too - many of the people at the base also feed them. We counted 7 of them including one that looked just like "Grumpy Cat" Mom managed to get a photo of two of them, one sunning itself on the rocks next to fisherman waiting for a feed and the other we caught catnapping in the grass (it was sleeping upside) and dog oh dog did I have fun scaring the bejeebees out of it:) It must of been sound asleep as we got with 2 feet of it before it heard us!   Good thing I had Mom attached to the lead (she is a dead weight and stopped me) otherwise I would have had me a mouthful of fur!
Pelican Paradise Park
Denny - "is that tree going to fall on me?"
Pelican Paradise RV Park
White Ibis - Lawn Aerators :) :)
Rock Kitty
Kitty in the Grass -upside down :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

USS Vicksburg

Yesterday we were actually lucky enough to see the USS Vicksburg heading out for deployment - it's home base is right here at the Mayport. As soon as we got home Mom instantly went online to find out more about it and here is what she discovered.

This is actually the second ship to have this name - the first Vicksburg sailed during WWII. The ship which was built in 1991 and has a crew of nearly 400. It was originally to be named the Port Royal but was changed to USS Vicksburg before it was commissioned. (Mom gave a HUGE sigh of relief when she read that as you may not know this but sailors consider it VERY bad luck to rename a boat after it has been launched).

The USS Vicksburg (CG-69) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.  She is named for both the land Battle of Vicksburg fought during the American Civil War, and the city of Vicksburg, MS.

This ship along with 11 others in its class were meant to be decommissioned in 2013 thanks to government cutbacks to the Defense Department (each ship cost $1 BILLION to build which also means they mothballed $9 Billion worth of ships) but the Vicksburg and 2 others were thankfully saved. You can read more about that here.  This ship was also featured predominantly in a movie called "Fire of the Raging Dragon" which was released in 2012.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What has 5 legs?

Mom is 'occasionally' disappointed that my beach is pretty much the same each day - she says she wishes more things would "wash-up" as she is at heart a bit of a beachcomber. It is very rare we find any 'good' shells, driftwood or much of anything really - not that it ever stops her from looking. For some reason she doesn't count a dead pelican or dead fish as a prized find - although we do :) :)

Needless to say she was SUPER happy today when she noticed a starfish on the sand and picking it up thought it would be nice to add to her tiny collection of beach finds. Well imagine her surprise when it started wiggling in her hand!  Mom instantly hunted around the rocks for a pool of water and when she found one she noticed 3 more star fish already in it! This is the first time we have seen starfishes at MY beach. She put the starfish back in the pool with the others and hoped it wasn't too dried out and would survive its 'living on land' experience. Oh - we should mention these were tiny starfish - only about 2 inches across and when Mom looked it up online she found it is called a "Brown Spiny Starfish" although ours looked more red than brown  so I am calling this one the "Red Cowspotdog Starfish" - a much better name we think :) :) :)
Breakwater Buddies
Yeah - we are handsome :)
Mr Starfish - right side up
Mr Starfish - upside down