"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Monday, May 14, 2018

Dolphin "864" Sighting in Charleston's Harbor!

Look closely at this photo, which I took in March while visiting Fort Johnson, which is on James Island along the Charleston Harbor.

It wasn't until I came home and viewed my pictures on my big screen TV that I saw the numbers 864 on the dolphin's fin.  What a shock and surprise!

I knew right away I had something special here and that I would need to share it with the right people. Knowing that Fort Johnson is home to the College of Charleston's marine biology program I found the name of the chair and sent him an email with the photo attached. 

He responded to me and also shared his message and my photograph with more than a dozen people in the marine biology community.  I also contacted Bo Petersen at Charleston's Post and Courier who writes a lot about the Lowcountry's rich natural world. His response was somewhat lukewarm. 

He became more interested a few weeks later after I received an email from the scientist who knew all about this particular dolphin.  What resulted was this April 3, 2018 Post and Courier article by Petersen. I learned so much from the experience and was excited to share my photograph with the marine biology community, especially the man who knows "864" so well. He is quoted extensively in the report. 

This Fort Johnson visit turned out to be a great one for photography, history, and, as mentioned, marine biology.

I took some nice pictures of an Osprey that flew directly overhead of me for a while. 

There are some wonderful views of Charleston, the Holy City, from Fort Johnson. 

You can also clearly see the Ravenel Bridge, Patriots Point, Sullivan's Island and its lighthouse, and Fort Sumter.

The main reason I wanted to go to Fort Johnson was to find this sign that highlights how the first shots of the Civil War were fired by Confederate cannon batteries very close to this spot.

April 12, 1861 was the date of infamy!

I've always found it interesting and intriguing how low profile this historic site is. There is no promotion of it to my knowledge. 

Along with CofC's marine biology program, there are other agencies housed here such as South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources (DNR)and the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Perhaps this is why tourism is not encouraged.

The back of the marker indicates that it was dedicated on the centennial of the first shots- April 12, 1961- by the Charleston Confederate Centennial Commission.

This inscription on the marker's coping is also interesting.  It reads as follows:  "This marker given by Mrs. J.C. Long in memory of her grandfather John Hartnett, a soldier in the Confederate Army."

Having been associated with the College of Charleston for many years I am very familiar with CofC's J.C. Long Building.  J.C. Long, who founded the Beach Company, was a very influential attorney, builder and developer. His wife, Alberta Sottile, had a name also very familiar to Charleston and the College of Charleston (ie CofC's Sottile Theater).

It's also fun and healthy to learn new history! 

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