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Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Vermont
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208 posts
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Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

We will be there in 3 weeks....can't wait...

We've heard you can walk from the fort, by a sandbar, to another little island attached...BUT...I've since heard that it was washed away last year???

Can anyone tell me if ths is still possible to do? I've searched online pictures, they show it, but they are not recent pictures!!

Thanks...

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Pjk
New Jersey
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for Key West
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1. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Someone posted here that the sandbar to Bush Key had been washed away and that the moat around the fort had a section damaged so that you could no longer walk all the way around the island on it.

We're all waiting for an update.

Pjk

indianapolis, IN
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2. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Yes--that was me who posted. We went in early Feb, and the sandbar that linked the Fort to the bird sanctuary was indeed underwater--possibly washed away. There was a 5ft section of the moat caved in leaving a gap where you can jump across if you are brave, but while we were snorkeling, we saw people turning around and walking from where they came.

Don't let this affect your decision to go, though. The Fort is amazing, and I'm sure it is even better now than in Feb.

Have a wonderful time!

---Dana

Michigan
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3. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

We'll be in Key West next week, planning on a Dry Tortugas trip. I'll post an update when we return........if we return :)

Vermont
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208 posts
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4. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

thanks everyone...

We already got tickets, or are reserved rather...still going, we were told that was one thing we had to do when we went...so regardless, we'll go and I'm sure love it.

Will watch for an update though....when you return Chip2068....so fill us all in :-)

Pjk
New Jersey
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5. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

There is one other I keep meaning to suggest. When I was at the fort I found several places where I just put on a mask, no flippers or snorkel, and spent more time underwater than floating on top. There was a sandy area just past the campgrounds, clockwise from where the boat / plane gets in. And one other place that I have forgotten. You might want to give this a try in addition to snorkeling.

Pjk

Vermont
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6. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Awesome PJK...we'll check it out...

Never snorkled before....this should be interesting :-)

Maine
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7. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

When we were there last April, you couldn't go onto the other little island anyway as birds were nesting then. It was fabulous to see those thousands and thousands of birds who make that their home! Every time a predatory bird would fly near, every single one of them would fly up off their nest to distract!

Pjk
New Jersey
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8. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Thanks---this reminds me. If you are at Key West and see several birds really high up, but occasionally near the island, and they look like large bats, they are frigate birds. They nest at Bush Key (must nest other places, too) and it is one of the few times you might see them land. They fly all the way there and back just like you might fly or sail. Up close they are very arge.

Pjk

Denver, CO
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9. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

I was there a couple days ago--Tuesday, the 29th. It was amazing.

I am not a snorkeler, so I spent the whole day on land and had plenty to do.

The moat wall remains damaged, but they have put up some boards and a make-shift railing so you can do the entire walk around the moat. I assume the little island you mention is Bush Key, and it remains cut off by water, but you wouldn't have been able to go there anyway--it is closed this time of year to humans because of birds (nesting, I think).

I did the guided tour (an overview that skips many of the interpretive signs around the fort) with the naturalist from the boat (Yankee Freedom), ate lunch, did the self-guided tour that provides even more detailed info, walked the moat, spent time in the visitor center, watched their short film, browsed the gift shop, and went back to the boat 30 min before departure, around the same time everyone else went back on.

Anyway, the snorkelers seemed to enjoy themselves, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself learning the history of the place.

Well worth the trip.

Denver, CO
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10. Re: Anyone done a recent trip to Fort Jefferson-Dry Tortugas?

Make that Tuesday the 28th...