Puerto Rico: El Morro

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more beautiful photos of Puerto Rico, please click on the photographs

Lying on the northeastern-most point of the islet of Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The fortification also referred to as el Morro or ‘the promontory,’ was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.

A formidable sight from the water, it has guarded San Juan against foreign invaders for centuries. 

El Morro and many other Spanish government buildings in Old San Juan became part of a large U.S. Army post, called Fort Brooke. In the early 20th century, the U.S. military filled up the Esplanade (the green space in front of “El Morro”) with baseball diamonds, hospitals, officers’ quarters, an officers’ club and even a golf course.

On March 21, 1915, Lt. Teófilo Marxuach was the officer of the day at the El Morro fortress. The Odenwald (built in 1903 and not to be confused with the German World War II warship of the same name) was an armed German supply ship which tried to force its way out of the bay and deliver supplies to the German submarines waiting in the Atlantic Ocean. Lt. Marxuach gave the order to open fire on the ship, which was forced to return; its supplies were confiscated. The shots ordered by Lt. Marxuach are widely regarded to be the first shots fired by the United States in World War I, although the first actual wartime shot fired by the U.S. came on the day war was declared, during the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran off Guam.

In 1961, the United States Army officially withdrew from El Morro. As a result,  The fort became a part of the National Park Service to be preserved as a museum. In 1983, the Castillo and the city walls were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations, and  In honor of the Quincentennial of the voyages of Columbus in 1992 the exterior esplanade was cleared of palm trees that had been planted by the U.S. Army in the Fort Brooke era, and restored to the open appearance this “field-of-fire” for El Morro’s cannon would have had in colonial Spanish times.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of

Australia, where he was able to swim with the crocodiles.

Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

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Warm Mineral Springs The Fountain of Youth: North Port Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

To see more beautiful photographs of Florida, please click on the photos below

The City of North Port is home to Warm Mineral Springs Park. The natural spring maintains 85 degrees year round and contains an estimated 51 minerals – one of the highest mineral content of any natural spring in the United States.

At Warm Mineral Springs Park, you will find a day full of relaxation. A variety of spa services are available to those who book in advance.

The Warm Mineral Springs is a water-filled sinkhole .  The primary water supply is a spring deep beneath the pool’s water surface. Warm Mineral Springs is the only warm water mineral spring in Florida. It is an important site, containing many American Indian remnants. It functioned as a small natural spa since the 1960s, and people traveled from all over the world to soak in the mineral-rich waters. The waters are believed to have extraordinary healing powers and some believe it was the fountain of youth sought by Ponce de Leon.

Warm Mineral Springs

In the late 1950s  scuba divers found artifacts and human bones from at least seven individuals in Warm Mineral Springs. A partially burned log found in association with some of the human bones was radiocarbon dated to about 10,000 years ago. If the bones were the same age as the log, then the bones are the oldest known evidence of human occupation in Florida. 

Warm Mineral springs, North Port Florida

One skull recovered from under sediment about 40 feet  under the present water level in the sinkhole contained organic matter. Hospital medical staff who examined the contents of the skull observed that it looked like a brain. 

Prehistoric man lived here

Warm Mineral Springs has been described as the “burial ground” for the prehistoric residential community at nearby Little Salt Spring.

It all began as a cave

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

St John U.S.V.I.

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

For more photos of the island, please click on the photos below.

St. John is the smallest of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands. Virgin Islands National Park occupies more than half the island. Its forests shelter many  resident and migratory birds.

The laid back nature of the inhabitants of the island makes the island as peaceful as thumb in a baby’s mouth.

Saint John, Cruz Bay

A view of Cruz Bay, the largest settlement on St. John

Saint John

The smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, Saint John is located about four miles east of  Saint Thomas, the location of the territory’s capital, Charlotte Amalie. It is also four miles southwest of Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands. Its largest settlement is Cruz Bay with a population of 2,700. 

 

Cruz Bay

The harbor and dock at Cruz Bay, St. John.

Caribbean Ocean

Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, if not the world. The scenery and almost perfect climate inspire many to make St. John their permanent home.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

Your comments are welcome

Saint Thomas: Coral World

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

Coral World was inaugurated in the 1970s.  Since then It has been one of St. Thomas’ most important tourist attractions.

In 1998, workers at Coral World began breeding Seahorses.

Please click on the photos to see beautiful photos of Saint Thomas.

Rescued Sea turtles are some of the more popular residents of Coral World

The ocean park consists of an open-water system where water flows through each of the exhibits and back out to the ocean. 

Coral World Marine Park in St. Thomas incorporates all the world famous features: Marine Museum, Shark, Stingray and Turtle Pools, Touch Pools, and naturally – The Underwater Observatory.

 

Coral World St. Thomas was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and was fully renovated by Coral World International. In 1995 Coral World St. Thomas was hit again by Hurricanes Marilyn and Louis. In 2017 Coral World was again destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Each time, it has fully recovered and remains one of the top destinations when visiting Saint Thomas.

Exhibits include the Caribbean Reef Encounter an 80,000 gallon circular tank open at the top for the natural elements to filter in. Marine Gardens which has 21 smaller tanks displaying ocean life in the Caribbean. Shark Shallows a nursery for adolescent sharks. A stingray pool where guests can feed the stingray after the presentation. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Saint Thomas: Magans Bay

Written by Gary Wonning

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

A real inviting place to chill while visiting Saint Thomas is the restaurant/bar at Magans Bay.

Saint Thomas

Nothing like a refreshing cold drink at one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.

Magans Bay

All sorts of water activities are available, swimming, water floats, jets skies, umbrellas, and snorkeling, anything you need to enjoy your stay.

Magans Bay

Magens Bay  features a well-protected white sand beach stretching for nearly three quarters of a mile. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island, as well as a gathering place for locals.

The beach sits at the head of a deep bay, the arms of which are Peterborg peninsula to the east and Tropaco Point to the west. The bay’s northwest exposure means its waters are usually calm, although storms in the North Atlantic can occasionally generate large waves in the winter months, and turtles, conch, tarpon and other fish are commonly spotted. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

St. John USVI

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

St. John is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, which are located in the Caribbean Sea.

Please click on the photos to see more beautiful photos of St. John

The economy of St. John is almost entirely dependent on tourism.

The island was a large producer of sugar cane until slavery was abolished. It then became economically impossible to grow sugar cane.

Cruz Bay, with a population of 2,700 is the largest settlement on St. John

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Saint Thomas: Beaches

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Saint Thomas is not only a very beautiful island, is has some gorgeous beaches.

This is a private beach, private only because it is inaccesible to all but a few residents who live in the area.

Nothing like having your own private little beach.

 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.