Wednesday, November 10, 2010

West of Key West

Like most people, I thought the Florida Keys ended at Key West. It is the end of the road, but not the end of the Keys.  Seventy miles west of Key West is a chain of islands called the Dry Tortugas, accessible only by boat or seaplane.  We took the seaplane which was an adventure in itself.  Flying so low over the clear blue/green water that we could see sea life, with a Captain with no shoes on, was exciting!  Landing was pretty rough though and felt like we landed on concrete. 

We took the early morning flight to get there before the ferry arrived and I'm glad we did.  The only people on the island when we were there were the two of us, the barefoot captain, the two other people who came on the plane with us, a handful of campers...and the SWAT team.  Ok, maybe it wasn't the SWAT team, but probably border control instead.  A bunch of guys wearing all black walking on the wall of the fort with guns.  They take this seriously here and we saw a boat left from some Cubans trying (unsuccessfully) to find their way to freedom.

Our ride.

Fort Jefferson is one of the least used National Parks.

This day trip (while we were visiting Key West) was my husband's idea because he wanted to see the fort.  I have to admit, it was pretty interesting and beautiful to wander around it all by ourselves.

I came for the beach though and can only take so much of walking around a fort before I get silly.

The best part to me was being on the small beach all by myself while Chris snorkeled.  I usually watch him while he snorkels by himself, but this time I knew the SWAT team would keep an eye on him from the wall so I just relaxed on the beach.

Our time at the fort had come to an end just as the ferry arrived.  As we took off I looked back and saw people literally running to the beach like ants swarming to honey.

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