1 We stayed at a lovely property in Palm Beach, which was located right on the edge of the Intercoastal Waterway, facing Singer Island and Peanut Island.
2 As we were preparing for our trip to Peanut Island, some friends rode by in their boat, waving.
3 Our hostess, Lis Barron, Alexis, the children, the nanny, and I were picked up at Lis' dock for the very short trip.
4 Beverly, the nanny, was very excited to see Peanut Island and visit the Kennedy Bunker.
5 The water was still that morning, and the approach to the island was smooth. Peanut Island was the home of the U.S. Coast Guard in Palm Beach, and the place where it was decided a bunker would be needed for President Kennedy while he used Palm Beach as his "Winter White House."
6 This beautiful building was built in 1932 for the U.S.Coast Guard. It now houses the Coast Guard Museum.
7 The big cranes in the background are on West Palm. Container ships load and unload using these cranes. Alexis is carry Truman from the dock to the museum.
8 Jude went exploring along the shore, looking for shells, stones, and plants.
9 We all admired these beautiful cast stone sand dollars. Our guide said he had found them at an estate sale where they were used as pavers.
10 In the old Coast Guard Station one can purchase tee shirts, beverages, and snacks.
11 Our guide was Anthony Miller, the director of the museum.
12 There are many old photos depicting life on the island in the early to mid 20th century. The island was verdant and busy when this photo was taken.
13 A view of the boat house in the 1920s with ramps from the boat house into the water. There was no bunker at this time.
14 Many historical photos are on display, bringing back fond memories of the days of President Kennedy's short presidency.
15 There are cats on the island. Three are most important: President Kennedy (pictured) and Jackie and Marilyn.
16 You can guess who this beauty is.
17 She's very photogenic.
18 At one time, the island was completely forested in Australian long-needled pine trees—most were cut down when this invasive species got too numerous. There are a few survivors.
19 This seal says the Coast Guard was founded in 1790.
20 The porch of the house where the museum is located—the old sign was right on the porch.
21 The interior of the museum is full of examples of rescue materials and gear, uniforms, and safety gear.
22 More gear.
23 The days long gone by of short wave radios and wool uniforms.
24 Historic photos—this one of signing the peace treaty with Japan.
25 A lovely chart depicting the history of the Coast Guard—the first of four parts.
26 Second part...
28 Fourth and final part of the chart.
29 And then we were escorted to the entrance of the bunker.
30 An explanatory sign.
31 The entrance itself, built into the hillside—the bunker is entirely underground.
32 Jude and Truman were intrepid, entering the long entrance without any hesitation whatsoever.
33 The entry is a long metal-lined pipeline, embedded in several feet of concrete and sand.
34 There are more photographs, magazine articles, and newspaper articles recounting war, etc.
35 The bunker was run entirely by underground generator. It was built to house 30 people for 30 days in clean, filtered air.
36 The air purifiers look antiquated now.
37 The signs are frightening.
38 Special old gauges that were used for reading radioactivity.
39 The Cuban Missile Crisis was the reason the bunker was constructed in Palm Beach, where the President spent winter weekends and holidays.
40 The New York Times issue announcing the blockade against Cuba.
41 Everywhere in this bunker, which never had to be used to protect the President, are memories of days gone by.
42 Valuable signed letters and documents are on display.
43 A model of the famous PT boat on which JFK served during the war.
44 And of course, many articles and pictures of one of America's most glamorous and famous first ladies!
45 Another radio set up for communications from the bunker to "outside."
46 The tunnel to the outside. We enjoyed the visit very much. This is a great way to spend a morning while visiting Palm Beach.
47 Anthony certainly was a wonderful guide and teacher. He is very excited about the bunker and the island as a museum and academy.
48 On our way across the Intercoastal, we had time to reflect on the Kennedy Years and the time that has elapsed.
49 And now I have to find out what type of commerce and industry is going on across the way. There is a lot of activity.