Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dry Tortugas National Park

The Dry Tortugas is a cluster of seven small islands that lie 68 miles west of Key West. Garden Key is home to Fort Jefferson, one of the largest and the most spectacular coastal fort in the US.

The last time I was here in 1994 I came by seaplane, and I got this gorgeous view. It had just become a national park at that time.

Phil and I had reservations to come by seaplane this time, but it kept getting cancelled because the water was too choppy to land. So on our last day in Key West we hopped on the ferry.

The fort contains a small lighthouse, Garden Key Light.

It's one of the largest brick structures in the Western Hemisphere, made with 16 million bricks!

If you walk around it on the moat walk, it is 6/10ths of a mile around.

You can also walk around it on the top level of the fort.

The water color is beautiful!

I need a wider angle lens to get it all in.

You can also walk along the beach on Bush Key, which we did later.

There's a lot of restoration work going on, but I hope they keep some of the original ruins.

To me, they are just beautiful.

Wait a minute - what is that?

We then went outside to walk the length of Bush Key.

About that time, the seaplane came in. It sure is bigger than the one I was on in 1994.

Out on Bush Key are some really nice conch shells.

You aren't allowed to take them home, which is good. Someone has made a clever conch tree.

We saw a beautiful Great Blue Heron -

And a cute little crab.

And we could look back at the fort and our ship, the Yankee Freedom III. I wonder what happened to I and II...

I did a little walking on the moat walk -

While Phil went snorkeling. The ship provides the gear. I didn't go because it was a little chilly.

After 4 1/2 hours on the island, we're off.

We got a distant view of Loggerhead Lighthouse. What a perfect day!


  1. SO nice there are so many islands and so much to see in FL, I finally made it down making my way South on the east side for now. Im like you love the old and they need to hide those satellite

  2. Wonderful post about the fort. I've never seen so many different angles of the fort itself. It's massive!


I love comments!