Dry Tortugas Snorkeling Trip

Trip Start Nov 22, 2007
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13
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Trip End Dec 01, 2008


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dry Tortugas National Park

We took a day trip to Dry Tortugas National Park, which is 70 miles from Key West and can only be reached by ferry or seaplane. It is the United States' most remote national park and houses Fort Jefferson, a fort built for the strategic purpose of policing the waterways between the US and Cuba, among other things. At one time, almost 2000 people lived there; now it houses about 15 or so permanent residents-national park employees and volunteers. There are overnight campers there as well.

We would have camped if we had thought about planning more-next time for sure. The day trip is excellent, but it would have been nice to have more time to snorkel and explore. Everything in Key West seems to revolve around seeing the sunset. The Dry Tortugas trip seems to be no exception. It takes two hours to get there by ferry that leaves around 8:15 am, you get 3-4 hours on the island and then two hours back to key west by 5 pm or so. Most people spend time taking the tour of the Fort, so by the time you get into the water and out to the reef, you get just enough time to be able to say, the next time you are asked, "Yeah, I snorkeled the Dry Tortugas."

In any case, a great trip. We had perfect weather. The water was crystal clear, and the fish abundant. We saw lots of parrot fish, various grouper, tiger fish, clown fish and many I don't know the names of (or "of which I know not their names" for you grammar freaks who hate dangling prepositions). The most exciting sighting (hehee) was that of the barracuda-WOW-some of them over 4 1/2 feet long! We took some underwater pictures, but they are on film, so we have to have them developed before we can see if they are good enough for uploading to the blog.

Enjoy the overwater shots!
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