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Firing Cannons
at Fort Matanzas National Monument

Click on the small images for higher-resolution versions.

Daytime firing

Daytime Firing

Members of the HMS Falcon fire a six-pounder cannon from the gun deck of Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine, Florida.

This was taken from the observation deck on top of the fort.

Night firing #1

Night Firing

Taken with a videocamera in infrared mode, this shows the flare of the priming powder at the instant the cannon is touched off.

This was taken from the sentry box in the southwest corner of the gun deck.

Night firing #2

Night Firing

Only a fraction of a second later, the main charge went off. The initial explosion was so bright that it washed out the entire picture, but a long plume of flame and sparks was still visible for a few frames afterwards.

Video -- click to play

Video Clip

Click on the image to the right to see the video clip from which these pictures are taken. The video shows the loading and firing of the cannon during the day (a bit is cut out of the middle, where the gun crew waited for a boatload of tourists to come closer), followed by the night firing.

DiVX ;-) AVI format, 79 seconds, with sound, 3.64 MB

If you don't have a DiVX ;-) codec installed, you should download and install one (see below) before trying to play the video clip!

If the movie doesn't play

In order to provide the sharpest picture quality with the smallest file size, this video clip has been encoded in DiVX ;-) format. If your system cannot display the video clip, you need to download and install the DiVX ;-) codec. Please select the appropriate codec for your computer:

[Windows] [Linux] [Macintosh] [BeOS]

Windows users: Download the zipfile, and extract the contents to a temporary directory. Run Register_DiVX.exe; this will install the codec and register it with your multimedia subsystem.

Not having a Mac, Linux or BeOS box, I can't provide installation instructions for the other codecs (or even guarantee that they'll work).

If you get a still image, try clicking on the image to "unpause" the video.

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