Dive Team: Dave Miller, Shane Miller
Date: July 1, 2011
Only accessible by seaplane or boat, Dry Tortugas National Park lies 70 miles west of Key West, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and is the home of Fort Jefferson, a Civil War fort/prison. We took the National Park service ferry, the Yankee Freedom III, which took about 2 hours 15 minutes to go one way. To kill time, Shane and I sat in the bow of the boat watching the turquoise water and seeing lots of flying fish and several sharks.
The park’s main island had just enough land to hold the old fort, a small dock and a small beach. Opened in 1860, the fort was considered a strategic point by the Union to control the Straits of Florida and the Gulf during the Civil War. It was used as a military prison and was abandoned by the Army in 1874.
After the tour of the fort and before I went back inside for a ghost hunting investigation, Shane and I went to the small beach and snorkeled. The depth was about 20 feet and the water was crystal clear. We took some nice photos of barracuda, angelfish and an old chain. We plan to return some day with scuba gear.