ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Chuck Meide and Nick Budsberg, archaeologists with the St. Augustine Lighthouse weren't allowed in the museum yesterday. “We haven’t been able to go into the office because of the coronavirus," Meide said in a Facebook Live video Thursday while exploring something really cool outside on the shore. Two shipwrecks.
"It's more like a boat than a shipwreck," Meide said in the video.
But it's cool none the less.
Here's what he said about the find.
Chuck Meide, of LAMP (Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program)
"LAMP was contacted by a colleague who had seen a Facebook post with video of a wooden boat or ship wreck at the Mayport jetties. Once it was brought to our attention, we decided to go investigate, and set out to do so the following day, on 19 March 2020. We found the location in question after a short reconnoiter of the beach along the St. Johns River near the jetties. There we found not one but two wooden wrecks. They represent two seemingly partially intact boats. They are too lightly built to have been ocean going ships, but instead were large boats that are now partially buried. What appears to be the forward ends or bows of these boats are exposed, with the larger or more exposed boat displaying about 21’ of its overall length, which we estimate to have been originally around 30 to 32’. It was about 7 to 8 feet wide and built with wooden frames or ribs sandwiched between outer hull planking and inner ceiling planking. The second boat has so little exposed that we can not accurately estimate how big it might have once been. We observed nail holes that were square in cross-section, suggesting that an older style of nail was used to build this boat, rather than modern, wire-cut nails. The more exposed boat features what appears to be the stump of a mast, so it was likely meant to be sailed. It is difficult to estimate the age range of this boat, but it could easily be 75 to 100 years old, and possibly older. One local resident said he thought these boats were abandoned wreckage dating to Hurricane Dora in 1964, and they could have been used for decades before that, perhaps as fishing boats. One of the two boats was lodged next to some robust timbers that appear to be the remains of an old dock."