Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas

The Ferry Ride and Fort Entrance

Dry Tortugas - Visit Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park, 100% Lowest Price Dry Tortugas Ferry Guarantee! Snorkel, Food, Drinks, Sun, & Get 10% off Dry Tortugas Charter. At the dock.
We took the smaller of the two ferries out to Dry Tortugas Island to tour the fort. We had to be at the ticket booth by 7:30 for a departure at 8:00. We came to Key West from Key Largo the day before so that we'd be sure to be there on time. The ferry was fast, but small. It was operated by a group of young folks. I remember that there were two guys and three young women. They were fun to be with.

View in the harbor.
After boarding, I went into the cabin with the others, but decided that I would do better outside where I could breath the fresh air and keep a steady view of the horizon. I sat on an equipment locker on the port side. The woman in the blue cap also had a sea-sickness problem. This view is back in the direction from which we had come. I don't recognize the buildings, but we must have seen them as we toured that end of the island.

Tour Boat
These two tour boats came in during the night and tied up near the area where we had watched the sunset and associated festivities the evening before. It is about 70 miles from Key West to Fort Jefferson and the ferry ride was about two hours.

View to starboard.
When we got out into the Gulf, the boat picked up speed and spray started blowing in on the port side where I was setting so I had to face starboard to keep on eye on the horizon. In the open Gulf, the water was so rough in some places that the boat had to slow down. The boat bucked around like a Jeep on a rough road, but that was better than a slow rocking motion would have been. The little ferry was fast enough to overtake and passed the big ferry boat. We were approaching the Fort at this point and the water was smoother and the boat was going slower.

Fort Entrance
We were told that we couldn't reboard until it was time to return to Key West, so we had to take everything off with us. We stored our gear in the shade of the shrubery near the entrance. I 'grabbed' this quick shot of the entrance as I walked over to join our group.

We pose at the entrance.
This is our tourist shot. Ann's brother-in-law took the shot.

We pose at the entrance.
An old anchor sets off the entrance to the fort.

The picnic area.
There were several picnic tables along the moat to the left of the fort entrance toward the swimming beach. Our tour guide told us that several of these were reserved for food tables. Each tour service provided lunch cold cuts and fruit for their guests.

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PAGE ONE - Photos of the ferry, the harbor and the big tour boats. Photos at the entrance to Fort Jefferson.
PAGE TWO - Photo of the lower gallery, photo of tour group by cannon on roof, and photos taken from the roof.
PAGE THREE - Views through the gunports showin the crumbling back wall, the small island nearby, and my wife. There is a view of the stalactites and stalagmites forming in the upper gun gallery.
PAGE FOUR - Photos of the parade ground, park headquarters, the lighthouse and the signs about Dr. Samuel Mudd.
The Coral Castle - We stopped and visited the Coral Castle on our way from the Miami airport to Key Largo. This place has a very interesting story and it is a beautifully landscaped novelty. I leave a few small photos here to pique you interest. You need to go see the place for yourself.

Other Web Pages Related to Fort Jefferson
Great Photos of Fort Jefferson - Several photos by Gene P. Gildow of the fort including a view from sea. These photos are a nice supplement to mine. Thumbnail images link to nice large photos. A map from the national park service is included. There are links to this person's Key West page.

Nature Pages Sub-Index
My Other National Park and Nature Photo Pages
Grand Canyon - These photos were taken from the south rim beginning at the east end of the canyon and along the river to near park headquarters.
Big Bend National Park - Big Bend National Park is a remote rugged area in far west Texas. The Rio Grande makes and abrupt turn toward the northeast at the 'big bend' before returning to the southeast to the Gulf. There is also a photo of Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle and a page of photos of the big sand hill in Boquillas Canyon on the east end of Big Bend Park.
Barringer Meteor Crater - These photos were taken during a hike around the rim of the crater. It includes telephoto images of the items on the crater floor.
Pike's Peak and the Royal Gorge - Photos from a drive up Pike's Peak. Photos of the bridge across Royal Gorge, the Arkansas River, the railroad in the gorge and other features.
Ouachita River Crossings - The Ouachita River begins in the mountains of western Arkansas north of Mena. It's a beautiful mountain stream at that point. It continues east to Hot Springs then swings south and crosses into Louisiana. I began at the trail foot bridge crossing the Ouachita at its headwaters and photographed all the major crossings down to Arkadelphia. I will continue to the Louisiana border one day.


Posted: 2/12/04
Re-posted to Yahoo web host: 3/6/09
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