Treasure Island, Florida is a wonderful place to observe some of the most magnificent wildlife in the country. A travel brochure for the island describes it as “cosmopolitan glitz and glamour, coupled with miles of pristine beaches and endless turquoise seas.” And that really sums it up. The island has a dozen or so good hotels, several excellent waterfront restaurants, outstanding shopping venues, two casinos, and miles and miles of sandy beaches.
Although Pan American had tamed the Pacific with a fleet of ten Sikorsky S-42 and Martin M-130 flying boats designated “Clippers” to reflect the tall-masted sailing ships which had plied the seas during an earlier period, they failed to offer adequate speed or capacity for transatlantic operations, as demonstrated by the July 3, 1937 transatlantic survey flight operated by “Clipper III” to Foynes, Ireland.
Long intending to inaugurate scheduled, transatlantic, mail and passenger flying boat service to complement its existing Pacific routes, Pan American Airways Corporation selected Port Washington as an interim departure point until its more permanent facilities were constructed in North Beach, acquiring the American Aeronautical Corporation’s cavernous hangar and seaplane ramp complex in December of 1933 under the “Marine Airport Corporation” aegis, once again injecting Port Washington with the promise of growth.
Cocooned in their white, protective, hibernation coats, the boats across the bay, once the gateway to the Atlantic and Europe, were again the only vessels to occupy it, as they had before Curtiss had first landed here in his “F” Boat, indicating that all things do, indeed, begin anew.
The bay-fronting seaplane hangars, reflecting the life cycle, were reduced to the flat ground from which they had originally risen-and seeds from which bay-fronting condominiums later sprouted, perhaps illustrating the fact that the earth is nothing more than a blank slate on which is written whatever man determines are his present-time needs.