Dry Tortugas

5 Jun

As long as she is already in Florida, Penny Brite decided to take a ferry ride out to Dry Tortugas National Park, which is about 70 miles west of Florida. The ferry is rather pricey – about $125 for a round trip – but the ride is two and a half hours each way, and they do feed you lunch and supper on the boat.  You must bring your own food and water if you wish to visit the park.

The island is “dry” because there is no fresh water to be had, but there are plenty of sea turtles – tortugas, in Spanish. Fort Jefferson, the largest all-masonry fort in the United States, was built here between 1846 and 1875 to protect the nation’s gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg was a prisoner here.  No real need for guards, as there is simply no place to go!

Dry tortugas 3

Penny brought along her bathing suit, beach towel, little red bucket, and some bottled water, and settled in to play on the beach. That’s Fort Jefferson in the background. (Her flip-flops and sunglasses are novelty buttons I bought eons ago for a beach shop that died a-bornin’, as they say. I used superglue to attach part of a covered paper clip for the ear pieces.)

Later in the day she joined a tour of the light house, which was constructed between 1824 and 1826, to guide ships through the rocks and shoals in the area.

Ft. Jefferson light


And then it was time to head back to Florida and another adventure.

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