Every other October the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., opens its cloistered gates to the public for a free air show. This year a record 277,000 people crowded onto the base to get a close look at various 20th century aircraft and to witness spectacular aerobatic demonstrations by military and civilian performers, and a truck that goes 300-miles per hour. It is always a very good weekend for the city.
But thousands of attendees chose to ditch their cars and sailed their boats to the show, dropping anchor at the end of the main runway and enjoying the show from their cockpit or foredeck. For two days planes roared past at just over mast height, with a grand finale by the Blue Angels and their heart-pounding, bone-shaking display of precision flying (note to self: next year bring earplugs). This year the weather was perfect and what had to be the largest flotilla ever on the St. Johns River — everything from luxury yachts to kayaks — was in attendance.