The trip to Dry Tortugas National Park
Scott and I love to snorkel and there is a wonderful place to do this in the Keys called Dry Tortugas National Park . Our day began early with a half day trip out to the park for some snorkeling and sun. The last time we went out to the park we took the Fast Cat boat. This time we decided to take the Seaplane through Seaplanes of Key West. This turned out to be a great decision. We were treated to an aerial view of Key West and other keys as well. On the way to Dry Tortugas and back we spotted sharks, sea turtles, shipwrecks and even passed a biplane with rider. If you ever have the chance to go the seaplane is our recommended mode of transportation to get there.
Our plane on the right. (yes, the little one)
Aerial view of Key West
Dry Tortugas National Park
The outermost wall that surrounds the moat is where most of the snorkeling is done. You are allowed to snorkel outside this wall about 200 ft out into the ocean. There is no snorkeling within the moat, but there are some very happy, super large fish that live there. When you are at the fort you can also take a tour of the fort itself. We have taken the tour before so this time the trip was all about the water.
Aren’t we cute?
Sea Turtle close up (Yes, we were that close and he was that BIG!
Scott, having a discussion with a Grouper
Tony & Maria Valles (our seaplane companions)
Here we are, sunburned and smiling.
Dry Tortugas Lighthouse
As we took off from the park to head back to Key West our pilot informed us that there was enough time for us to do a fly by of the light house which is out on a separate island. When we flew by the pilot noticed a boat (if you can call it that) on the shore that he hadn’t seen the day before. We circled around again and the pilot told us all to be on the look out for any people waving from the island. We were able to see several men waving shirts at us and after a few more passes we were able to count at least 6 Cuban refugees. Since this island is located so close to Cuba many refugees end up on this uninhabited little island and have to be picked up by the US government.
The pilot made one last pass over the island after calling in the situation on the radio to the proper authorities, waggled the wings of the plane back and forth as if to wave at the men and then we were off headed back to Key West.
This experience especially touched Scott and I because we once again realized how amazing it is that we live in the country that we do and how privileged a life we actually live here.
Biplane with rider
We arrived back at the hotel for some quick showers and a little rest then it was off to Duval street for some food and fun. Our dining experience for the evening was at a place called the Tree Top Cafe. The food was fabulous and the restaurant is indeed upstairs and nestled among the tree tops of Duval street. We ate a rather early dinner and had the entire place to ourselves. Shopping was next on the agenda and so we were off to walk the length of Duval street going in and out of shops, not looking to buy anything in particular, but mostly just taking in the different characters we met along the way (and there were many). Our evening was topped off by sharing a piece of Key Lime pie at Margaritaville , Jimmy’s place.