Getting Wet in the Dry Tortugas

Getting Wet in the Dry Tortugas

Getting Wet in the Dry Tortugas

By Kai Rambow

 

Key West may be the end of the road, but you can head 70 miles farther west by taking the ferry to the Dry Tortugas. People love taking this day trip. It is a national park, so that means it’s on many people’s bucket list. There are several other reasons for taking this excursion. It’s remote, so you can get away from it all. It’s historic with a ginormous fort. It’s scenic surrounded by clear, beautiful blue water. And it’s fun, with opportunities to explore the fort, swim and snorkel.

 

Ft. Jefferson

This huge fort covering 16 acres has a rich history. park rangers offer guided tours. If you love interesting history, it’s worth taking the tour so you know what you’re seeing.

 

Snorkeling

There are several spots to go swimming and snorkelling.  Explanations about the different water spots are given during the ferry ride.  The snorkeling is more fun than spectacular.  Clear blue waters will evoke Caribbean feelings.  There are places to rinse off and change clothes near the dock.

 

Tips for a Great Trip

 

Weather

Surprisingly rough seas frequently occur during the winter; calmer waters prevail during the summer.  This trip can be great, but it’s expensive.  One couple took the ferry in the winter and almost everyone was seasick.  They were given a voucher to purchase another trip at 50 percent off.  Recommendation is to check the marine forecast first for Dry Tortugas, not Key West, then check the marine forecast between Key West and Dry Tortugas. If conditions look good, then book your ticket.

 

What to Bring

The ferry’s website provides very good information on almost all aspects of the trip.  Since this is an all-day excursion consider packing the following: comfortable footwear, light jacket, towel, bathing suit, change of clothes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera and possibly something to read.

 

Itinerary

The ferry is a comfortable, fast catamaran with indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast and lunch are included. Snorkeling equipment, entrance fee for Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson is also included.

Check in time is at 7 a.m. Once you check in, you’re issued a boarding pass, so if you’d like to select a really good seat it’s a good idea to arrive a little early.  Boarding begins at 7:30 and the ferry departs at 8.

Tip:  Crew will tell you that breakfast will be available for some time, so no need to rush.  Breakfast is only available for one hour and once out of a food item, such as fresh fruit, there were no replacements. Recommend you line up and get breakfast early.

The ride is a little over two hours with scenic views leaving Key West, possible dolphin sightings halfway and lovely views approaching Ft. Jefferson.

The ferry arrives at approximately 10:15. Most passengers will disembark and get outfitted with snorkeling equipment. The Fort Jefferson tour starts at 11 and takes almost an hour. It is possible to tour the fort and snorkel after, but a little planning is required.

Tip:  Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. right in the middle of all these activities.  It’s a similar situation to breakfast with the best items available until gone. You can tour the fort, and, if you eat right after, you should still have a good selection.

After lunch, you will still have time to go swimming or snorkeling, as the boat leaves at 3 p.m. Passengers will start to board at 2:30, a return a little earlier will beat the crowds for showers, clothing changes and seats. It’s a full day and many passengers slept on the return trip, arriving refreshed in Key West by 5:30 p.m.

 

Dry Tortugas National Park

www.nps.gov/drto

 

Dry Tortugas Ferry

www.drytortugas.com

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Relive the “Holiday” fun of the Cart Parade, Breakfast, and Walk. Bask in the warm glow of festive holiday lights. Celebrate another successful SCC Shrine Club Children’s Christmas party and shimmering Apollo Beach boat parade....

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

The “Home for the Holidays” Holiday Golf Cart Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Residents, businesses, HOAs, service organizations, and clubs from across the communitywill come together to celebrate the season with festive and creative...

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Mark your calendars for festive holiday fun on December 7. Plan to start your day with a delicious breakfast for only $5! The committee members have been busy planning the gathering, which will be held in Community Hall from 7:30 until 11:30 a.m. The...

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Save the date for the Holiday Breakfast and Walk (Dec. 7), as well as the Holiday Cart Parade (Dec. 14). Find holiday lights to see in SCC, meet some local woodcarvers, potters, and bird watchers; find out what happened at “Hi,...

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency SquadBy Diane M. Loeffler On the afternoon of September 25, the SCC Emergency Squad held a party with cake and coffee to celebrate 55 years of helping others. What an accomplishment!Did you know that our Emergency...

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team successfully released two green sea turtles back into the Atlantic Ocean at Matanzas Inlet. “It’s always a great day when you get to see turtles go back into the wild after being rehabilitated. Izar holds a...

Learn About IRS Scams

Learn About IRS Scams

Our Community Resource Deputy Jeffery Merry is speaking on Government Imposter Scams and IRS Scams this month. Don’t miss this important, informative seminar.

Three times, and locations to choose:

 

Tuesday, January 14, at 10 a.m.

The Caper Room, Sun City Center Community Association Atrium

 

Tuesday, January 14, at 1 p.m.    

Ripple Room, Kings Point Community

 

Tuesday, January 21, at 11 a.m.  

Freedom Auditorium, Freedom Plaza

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Relive the “Holiday” fun of the Cart Parade, Breakfast, and Walk. Bask in the warm glow of festive holiday lights. Celebrate another successful SCC Shrine Club Children’s Christmas party and shimmering Apollo Beach boat parade....

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

The “Home for the Holidays” Holiday Golf Cart Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Residents, businesses, HOAs, service organizations, and clubs from across the communitywill come together to celebrate the season with festive and creative...

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Mark your calendars for festive holiday fun on December 7. Plan to start your day with a delicious breakfast for only $5! The committee members have been busy planning the gathering, which will be held in Community Hall from 7:30 until 11:30 a.m. The...

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Save the date for the Holiday Breakfast and Walk (Dec. 7), as well as the Holiday Cart Parade (Dec. 14). Find holiday lights to see in SCC, meet some local woodcarvers, potters, and bird watchers; find out what happened at “Hi,...

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency SquadBy Diane M. Loeffler On the afternoon of September 25, the SCC Emergency Squad held a party with cake and coffee to celebrate 55 years of helping others. What an accomplishment!Did you know that our Emergency...

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team successfully released two green sea turtles back into the Atlantic Ocean at Matanzas Inlet. “It’s always a great day when you get to see turtles go back into the wild after being rehabilitated. Izar holds a...

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue…

Relive the “Holiday” fun of the Cart Parade, Breakfast, and Walk. Bask in the warm glow of festive holiday lights. Celebrate another successful SCC Shrine Club Children’s Christmas party and shimmering Apollo Beach boat parade. Find out how the Roamin’ Oldies car club plans to help community charities, and meet Zoo Tampa’s new panther cubs. Raise a glass with the Wine Guild, get valuable health information from South Bay Hospital and the SCC Emergency Squad, learn how a stronger core promotes better health, and discover how to access local history at the SCC Library. Then get a refresher on the golf cart rules of the road.

Then be sure to…

Check out the Entertainment Corner, Club News, SCC Bulletin, Kings Point, Community News, Dance, Military News, Faith & Service, Arts, Sports, Travel, and South County Events sections to help you plan your month. Then travel with your friends and neighbors who carried The News around the world.

Read the January 2020 Issue of The News

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

The “Home for the Holidays” Holiday Golf Cart Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Residents, businesses, HOAs, service organizations, and clubs from across the community

will come together to celebrate the season with festive and creative holiday carts. The parade route begins on N. Pebble Beach Boulevard, near the SCCCA offices, and runs around La Jolla Avenue, before coming back up Cherry Hills Drive to end by the gazebo.

 

*News file photo by John Wakeman

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Relive the “Holiday” fun of the Cart Parade, Breakfast, and Walk. Bask in the warm glow of festive holiday lights. Celebrate another successful SCC Shrine Club Children’s Christmas party and shimmering Apollo Beach boat parade....

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

The “Home for the Holidays” Holiday Golf Cart Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Residents, businesses, HOAs, service organizations, and clubs from across the communitywill come together to celebrate the season with festive and creative...

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Mark your calendars for festive holiday fun on December 7. Plan to start your day with a delicious breakfast for only $5! The committee members have been busy planning the gathering, which will be held in Community Hall from 7:30 until 11:30 a.m. The...

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Save the date for the Holiday Breakfast and Walk (Dec. 7), as well as the Holiday Cart Parade (Dec. 14). Find holiday lights to see in SCC, meet some local woodcarvers, potters, and bird watchers; find out what happened at “Hi,...

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency SquadBy Diane M. Loeffler On the afternoon of September 25, the SCC Emergency Squad held a party with cake and coffee to celebrate 55 years of helping others. What an accomplishment!Did you know that our Emergency...

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team successfully released two green sea turtles back into the Atlantic Ocean at Matanzas Inlet. “It’s always a great day when you get to see turtles go back into the wild after being rehabilitated. Izar holds a...

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Mark your calendars for festive holiday fun on December 7. Plan to start your day with a delicious breakfast for only $5! The committee members have been busy planning the gathering, which will be held in Community Hall from 7:30 until 11:30 a.m. The breakfast is open to everyone in the area. Proceeds help to fund the Golf Cart Parade, free ice cream, and various other activities. 

After the breakfast, plan to take a Holiday Walk around the club rooms on the main SCCCA campus. Lots of handcrafted and unique items will be available for sale, and you will have a chance to meet several members of many SCC clubs. The Holiday Walk begins at 9 a.m. on December 7.

 

*News file photos

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The January 2020 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Relive the “Holiday” fun of the Cart Parade, Breakfast, and Walk. Bask in the warm glow of festive holiday lights. Celebrate another successful SCC Shrine Club Children’s Christmas party and shimmering Apollo Beach boat parade....

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

Go “Home for the Holidays” with the 2019 Golf Cart Parade

The “Home for the Holidays” Holiday Golf Cart Parade begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14. Residents, businesses, HOAs, service organizations, and clubs from across the communitywill come together to celebrate the season with festive and creative...

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Don’t Miss the Holiday Breakfast & Walk

Mark your calendars for festive holiday fun on December 7. Plan to start your day with a delicious breakfast for only $5! The committee members have been busy planning the gathering, which will be held in Community Hall from 7:30 until 11:30 a.m. The...

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

The December 2019 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS

In this issue… Save the date for the Holiday Breakfast and Walk (Dec. 7), as well as the Holiday Cart Parade (Dec. 14). Find holiday lights to see in SCC, meet some local woodcarvers, potters, and bird watchers; find out what happened at “Hi,...

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency Squad   

55 Years of Service: Our Amazing Emergency SquadBy Diane M. Loeffler On the afternoon of September 25, the SCC Emergency Squad held a party with cake and coffee to celebrate 55 years of helping others. What an accomplishment!Did you know that our Emergency...

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium Releases Sea Turtles

The Florida Aquarium’s Animal Response Team successfully released two green sea turtles back into the Atlantic Ocean at Matanzas Inlet. “It’s always a great day when you get to see turtles go back into the wild after being rehabilitated. Izar holds a...