Thursday, 8 October 2015

An update from Key West- Dry Tortugas National Park

 I'll do a overall update later but to cut a long story short, I needed a holiday badly. In case anyone hasn't been watching the news, South Carolina is devastated by massive flooding. One of the most badly hit cities was Columbia where I live. We left right as the crap hit the fan. As a result our first two days in Miami were fun but intermingled with the stress of wondering if our house was underwater. Once some of the water receded our friends checked our house, on the morning we were heading to Key West, and it was fine. Car safe-check, house safe-check, dog safe-check, the holiday can begin!!
 We headed to Key West and everyday I feel a little bit of stress, I didn't know I was carrying around, lifting off my shoulders.

Yesterday was the ultimate relaxation day. Although, when I say it began at 6am some people might not agree. Key West is beautiful but its commercialised (in the nicest possible way) and busy! Yesterday was about getting away from all of that.

The Florida Keys do not actually end at Key West, just the road through them. We sailed, aboard the Yankee Freedom Ferry, 70 miles west of Key West to another Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park. We got on the boat after our 7am check-in and had breakfast. On the journey out  we stood at the bow and I saw a shark, jellyfish, some turtles and a school of feeding dolphins.

We sailed for around 2 hours and arrived in Dry Tortugas National Park. This is the home of Fort Jefferson that was used in yonder years as a Navy base and prison. The fort is unused and crumbling in places but you can still walk around the upper walls.
We mainly came for the beaches and crystal clear water. Snorkling was possible straight from the island, you can see small patches of coral that has colonized the walls and boat landings. After lots of walking around the island we snorkled in two spots. One was inundated with jellyfish (we both got a couple of stings) and we soon hightailed it out of there, but the other area was amazing and full of colorful fish.
It turns out Martina is a natural at snorkling and I couldn't get her out of the water!! Like most things I'm unsure of (even though I've snorkled before I was a bit panicky) I spent an hour or so and enjoyed the experience but after lunch on the boat I decided to wander around taking pictures. We didn't stop moving the entire day. It was such an amazing experience.  It felt too short, I was so jealous of all those lucky people who were camping overnight. I hope to come back again!!


  1. Your photos are amazing! What a great trip! It sounds like a great way to relax (after you heard your house was okay THANKFULLY! Geesh! :( ).

    1. It was amazing and even though the tour company pretty much have a monopoly on the island (other than private boats and a seaplane) they took really good care of us!
      Our friends sent us a picture of the house to show us it was ok and I cried I was so relieved. I couldn't imagine starting from scratch again right as I lose my job. I don't know what the city will be like when we go back..hopefully by then there will be drinkable water. I think if I can and there is still a need I'll do some volunteer work to help with the clean up!

  2. I am so sorry that you were affected by the huge storm in South Carolina. I was wondering where it hit hard. I'm glad to hear your house is OK. That must have been so scary. At least you were able to get away and take a little vacation. Beautiful photos! It sounds like this is exactly what you needed and the timing could not have been better. I really want to visit the Keys someday. And Disney World! :)