Miami Sea Scout Ships 537 and 520

How it all began
by D. Wood


Memories of
S.S.S. 537


Dan Hogg

Rick McClure

Nancy Morris



















  History Sea Scout Ship 537  
  Click to enlarge image  

Due to the leadership and dedication of Mr. David Wood, Sea Scout Ship 537 was a very active organization.

Community Service: In conjunction with Coral Gables Elks Club and Wixom's Funeral Home the Scout's distributed food baskets to needy families during the Holidays. The crew delivered American Flags to homes throughout Dade County so they could be displayed during the National Holidays.

Maritime: The group acquired several vessels including a 65 foot Henry C. Grebe Cruiser and a 35 foot Matthews . The yachts were berthed at the Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, Florida. The Grebe was located on the east end of a Pier 5 adjacent to the south channel and the Coconut Grove Yacht Club's anchorage. The Ships often provided assistance to vessels in distress. The Coast Guard recognized these efforts and sent Letters of Appreciation.

24 Hours of Sebring Gran Prix: For many years the Scout's camped at the track during race week and provided access control services for the Sports Car Races. The controlled areas included the box seats above the pits and the Press tent. This allowed us to attend the Gran Prix when such fabulous drivers as Juan Fangio, Stirling Moss, Phil Hill and the Rodriguez brothers Ricardo and Pedro were racing. This was the period of many fantastic factory prototypes, Ferrari V12s, Ford's overhead cam 427 J-Cars, the Shelby Cobras, John Hall's Vacuum Cleaner Chaparral and many other exotic and frequently one of a kind machines.

Military Bases: Key West Naval Base was the destination for several trips. At Key West we attended the UDT School and experienced trips on a Torpedo Retriever and a submerged Submarine. We visited the Mayport Navel Station's mothball fleet and an air show at Jacksonville Navel Air Station.

The Orange Bowl Parades: While providing crowd control for the parades we enjoyed curbside seats to the events.

Smokey Mountains: During a summer excursion to Smokmont we enjoyed the company of the bears while camping. We also visited Sliding Rock, Maggie Valley and Clingmans Dome.

Bahamas: Thanks to Mr. Kenneth Keyes Jr., we visited the Bahamas on his converted PT boat. We camped on the beach at Bimini and snorkled in crystal clear waters of the Bahamas.

Hawk Channel and the Florida Keys: Also with Mr. Keyes, we cruised the Inland Waterway and Hawk Channel to visit Little Conch Reef where we snorkled the Little Conch Reef, home to one of the most famous shipwrecks of the 1733 Spanish Armada, El Infante. During a trip ashore in a small boat we were accompanied by a rather large Hammerhead Shark.

Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas: We traveled 70 miles west of Key West to a cluster of islands, coral reefs and sand called the Dry Tortugas. We camped inside historic Fort Jefferson located on one of those islands, Garden Key. The construction of this massive fortress began in 1846, with over 16 million bricks this is America’s largest coastal fort. Construction continued for over 30 years but the Fort, which covers 11 of the key's 16 acres, was never finished. The invention of the rifled cannon made it obsolete, as it's thick walls could now be penetrated. The Army finally abandoned Fort Jefferson in 1874.





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