Saturday, January 3, 2015

Fort Matanzas

Fort Matanzas New Years Day

Marc & I had a fun New Year's Day waiting out some cold weather, relaxing, hiking, exploring and catching up on wifi. It wasn’t a planned stop but it turned into a perfect little anchorage. The only down side was the steady strong current of 2-3 knots. With our dingy presently only equipped with paddles we were at the mercy of the current for our excursion to Fort Matanzas

Hey I’m no historian but it seems that there was a long fight between the Spanish & French over Florida, come on, go figure beautiful weather, a perfect base for pillaging fleets heading back to Europe and worse yet those devoutly Catholic Spanish against those French Protestants (this was a shocker for me to) hmm. So, the French have Fort Caroline (1565), and the Spanish have founded St Augustine (yet to be explored by DevOcean due to inclement weather). It seems as the story goes, that the French are not happy and set sail to take St Augustine from the Spanish, but a nasty hurricane carries the French ships further south somewhere between what is now Daytona and Cape Canaveral most of the french ships are destroyed. At the same time the sneaky Spanish go back to Fort Caroline and with the French soldiers gone capture les colonie. Those hurricane,  ship wrecked French were hardy men and about 150 of them trudged to get back to Fort Caroline but those sneaky spanish heard and persuaded them to surrender. Sadly, exhausted and without weapons they did and were promptly slaughtered by the Spanish. Two weeks later the same events accrued, and in all nearly 250 were killed. From this time on the inlet was known as Matanzas the spanish word for “slaughter” (This may explain my french husbands nervousness around the spanish tourists in the crowd). 

So the French, the Spanish, the British? (We all remember Sir Francis Drake 1586?)  England repeatedly harassed this spanish colony, (Gov James Oglethorpe 1740.) So, to prevent the English from forcing St Augustine to surrender to the British The Spanish built fort Matanzas. And it worked for many years until after the French & Indian war 1763 they just gave Florida to Britain then in 1784 after to American revolution it was returned to the Spanish. Years later, in 1819 Spain transferred Florida to the United States.

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