Tag Archives: Dry Tortugas National Park

The Dry Tortugas (by Jim)

Fort Jefferson is no longer in use and is curr...
Fort Jefferson is no longer in use and is currently part of the Dry Tortugas National Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me just say that the Dry Tortugas should be considered the 8th Wonder of the World. Think of it this way, You’ve got 16 million bricks and a remote tropical island to play with, What do you do? Well if it is during the 1800’s you build a military fort that will never be effective and used for its intended purpose. Thats the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson. I’m not going to go into details about the history of the fort, you can look that up online, but I will say that until you see it for yourself you just cannot truly imagine the awsomeness (if that is a word) of the place. One thing of special interest is that there are NO services on the island. No water, No food, not even a place to dump your trash. Every thing you take in, you take out. If you are out of water or food, “tough titty said the kitty”. Kaelin thought the fort was very scaryand Lesa and I were in constant amazement of the facts and beauty of the place. As all things happen htough, 3 days were enough and we were anxious to leave for civilization. Whether it was the best choice or not the weather report was for 40% rain and southeast winds on thursday,so we left.Happily.

Marquesas to Dry Tortugas

The Marquesas Keys are very remote and primitive. The waters are shallow with a shifting sand bottom. Being to science guy that I am, I did some research on the Marquesas and found that they form the only “Atoll” in the caribbean. During the Prozoic (?) Era, they formed a beach resort for the creepy crawly creatures of the time. Our sail from the southwest side near Moody harbor was rocky and rolly. The wind was 10-15 out of the east, blowing right down Hawkes Channel off of the gulf stream. The wind and waves were not complimentary to each other, meaning, waves to big, wind to little. Additionally the wind was directly behind us, so I could fight with a wing/wing sail or drop the main and run under jib alone. The jib alone was the most comfortable and least hassle. One of the things I noticed was the amount of current that ran along the area known as the “Quicksands”. It was much more pronounced than I had expected and I can see why the depths and sand bars are always moving and therefore are not accuratly charted. We arrived at Fort Jefferson late in the day (6:30ish) and chose an anchoring spot that seemed best for our boat. In retrospect, it may not have been the best choice.