The Crashing Ocean, and the Unfazed House Upon the Rock, SLR/IRL

John Whitcar, of the famed local Whiticar Boat Works family,  has been a longtime family friend, and I have featured his incredible photography before. Today’s shared photos were taken on March 5th.

He describes today’s photos below:

House of Refuge Huge Waves
Monday, March 5, 2018 / Stuart Florida, USA
11 ft. waves coming in from North Easter off of New England.
Very little wind / High Tide / ~11:00 am

The story of the House of Refuge is an amazing one, being the last of its kind, Old-Florida pine construction, having endured multiple hurricanes and other forces of time and nature, and still standing since 1876.

“US government houses of refuge were constructed to assist shipwreck survivors and were unique to the east coast of Florida. Ten were constructed between 1876 and 1886, but only but Martin County’s Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge survives.” ~Historian Sandra Thurlow

The moral of the story?

Build your house upon a rock. ~Including the Anastasia Formation, preferably.


Thank you John for sharing your wonderful photos of Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge including its mascots the Blue Angels of Nature, our brown pelicans!

*House of Refuge web site: (

9 thoughts on “The Crashing Ocean, and the Unfazed House Upon the Rock, SLR/IRL

  1. Thank you for a glimpse of old Florida through your great personal eye and the lens of John Whiticar. We all need a smile now and then. I have found the House of Refuge area to be a great place to re-center myself after the days’ frustrations. Thanks again for your and John’s perspective.

    1. I was moved when I saw John’s wonderful photographs of the waves crashing on the rocks at Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge. Thinking “These must be shared.” I am hoping to include them, with John’s permission, in a program I am presenting on April 11 in the old courtroom of the Palm Beach County Courthouse that is now the Richard and Pat Johnson History Museum. My talk is about my book “U. S. Life-Saving Service–Florida’s East Coast,” written because of “our” house of refuge–“built upon a rock.” Thank you Jacqui. Thank you John Whiticar.

  2. All over our state we have tractors sitting idle all winter when they could be put to use plowing land for small farmers. Where did I get this idea? It is simple—-Treat others the way you would have them treat you. This is the ROCK our government should build on.

  3. Beautiful photos by John Whiticar as usual. Obviously wasting more money on beach renourishment thanks to this storm. The sand goes and the sand comes back all by itself. The government might as well be throwing $100 bills into the water for all the good it does. Better to use the money on something sustainable like a flow way to the Everglades. All that extra sand cannot be good for the reef either. The government is our worst enemy when it comes to the environment. I have been watching the sand come and go on our beaches for over 60 years. Nothing the government does can change the natural cycle of wind and water which moves the sand. The government can only make it worse and waste money which we need for other more important things.

  4. Mac Stuckey—It allways amazes me how a 50 pound bucket of beach sand will turn to liquid right away when I put it in our lagoon. See all the foam and how cloudy the water is. This calcium carbonate beach sand will be 20 miles out to sea in a few days. Restore the lagoon to how it was before and you will stop the beach erosion.

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