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Snorkeling & Diving in Dry Tortugas National Park Dry Tortugas National Park is home to history and natural wonders above and below the water surface. I don’t know if it noticed me or not, but it kept swimming off in the other direction. This is some video that was taken on our way from Fort Myers Beach to the Dry Tortugas from June 27-29, 2014 on 40' DeFever Passagemaker, Blue Turtle. Pro tip: Don’t trust water-resistant sunscreen. The NPS strongly encourages people not to snorkel alone, since that’s how accidents happen, so I tried to wait until other snorkelers headed that way before I set out. You must also remember to display a dive flag outside of the designated snorkel area and to check your equipment before you begin your snorkel adventure. Seas building to 2 to 4 feet due to northwest swells. The islands are made up of reef and sand. One is by the dock ruins on North Beach, and the others is by the dock ruins (and moat wall) on South Beach. There’s apparently a lot of fire coral here, and you don’t want that touching your skin. But it was just a normal fish! Like many places in the Florida Keys, snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas can be enjoyed by experts and novices alike. Unfortunately, I saw very little on this day, as the water wasn’t as clear. You can breath like normal. Yankee Freedom III Dry tortugas national park ferry, Download map of Dry Tortugas Island and snorkel areas. Visiting Dry Tortugas a Florida Keys National Park. To reach the snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park from Key West, there is a once-a-day ferry that takes 2.25 hours each-way and provides about 4.5 hours at Dry Tortugas. Privacy PolicyThis website meets WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA standards set by the ADA. The park is 70 miles west of Key West at the end of the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico. A Summer Road Trip Through Canadian Prairies and National Parks! Download map of Dry Tortugas Island and snorkel areas. Safari by Snorkel. A desert island paradise at the tip of the Florida Keys, the islands known as the Dry Tortugas offer incredible snorkeling, diving, swimming and wildlife-viewing opportunities. A desert island paradise at the tip of the Florida Keys, the islands known as the Dry Tortugas offer incredible snorkeling, diving, swimming and wildlife-viewing opportunities. An orientation of the Keys and Dry Tortugas National Park is provided by the onboard naturalist, and sightings of both dolphins and sea turtles are common during the excursion. “ Makai “ – Our U.S. Coast Guard Inspected motor … Iceland Dry Tortugas National Park offers some of the best snorkeling in North America. The water out there is a little deeper (no more than 15 feet in most places, though), and the waves are a bit higher, so the swim is a bit rougher. It’s a haven for snorkeling, along with birding, … This made for much better pics and vids. Complimentary fins, mask and snorkel are provided. I’m Scott, a freelance writer who began blogging about oddball roadside attractions during a road trip through 46 states in 2009. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase. More on Key West Snorkeling Reservations. When Dry Tortugas snorkeling, be careful not to brush up against this coral like substance. It’s a haven for snorkeling, along with birding, and civil war history. Each highlighted name will take you to the informational page on that particular dive Dry Tortugas … /* Add your own Mailchimp form style overrides in your site stylesheet or in this style block. Although the temps are high and the summer/wet season accounts for the majority of annual rainfall, the summer/wet season provides the best conditions for snorkeling and viewing marine life. One of the most popular snorkel areas is located approximately 75 yards from the western edge of the moat wall and is a great place to start your snorkel adventure! It was huge, alright – roughly seven feet long. I did not venture that far, but some friends who did said the coral there is incredible to see up close. That said, I've never heard anyone recommending against snorkeling in Dec. And you cannot predict weather conditions this far out. “ Makai “ – Our U.S. Coast Guard Inspected motor vessel, m/v Makai , is 80 feet long with a twenty foot beam. Current Conditions Regardless of the time of year you visit the park, it is critical you stay informed of the weather; this is especially true for those traveling to the park in their own vessels. Snorkeling is in only four to seven feet of water, straight off a brilliant white sand beach. This archipelago is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Directly accessible from the brilliant white sand beach are the Fort Jefferson snorkeling areas. This is a short compilation video of our snorkeling adventure around Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys. */, (All of these trips have been postponed due to the current health crisis. I can’t wait for the next snorkel adventure. And another! Each highlighted name will take you to the informational page on that particular dive Dry Tortugas site. We … It can cause painful, stinging, burning sensations, and if you're allergic to it, may result in nasty wounds. Windjammer wreck, Dry Tortugas The Windjammer Wreck, located less than a mile southwest of Loggerhead Key, is the most complete wreck site in the Dry Tortugas. One is by the dock ruins on North Beach, and the others is by the dock ruins (and moat wall) on South Beach. The park’s corals and seagrass communities are … If you swim along the moat wall, you’ll see tons of coral, colorful fish, and perhaps an octopus. The weather stays generally warm and sunny in every season. I was simultaneously overcome with fear and excitement. An orientation of the Keys and Dry Tortugas National Park is provided by the onboard naturalist, and sightings of both dolphins and sea turtles are common during the excursion. Required fields are marked *. It can cause painful, stinging, burning … One can snorkeling around the outside of the moat at Fort Jefferson, on Garden Key, in the Dry Tortugas, but you will need to bring your own equipment. Departs morning & afternoon. May: Las Vegas The park is 70 miles west of Key West at the end of the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico. The islands … Snorkeling in Dry Tortugas National Park is nothing short of spectacular, especially as many of the wrecks and patch reefs are in shallow water. #mc_embed_signup{background:#fff; clear:left; font:14px Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; } With that said, cold fronts can drop down and the winds can make snorkeling poor, especially in shallow waters, which effects the Tortugas and the beaches worse than the deeper waters out at the reef. The shallow waters (5-15 feet) make snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas fun for everyone. The reason Dry Tortugas snorkeling is so ideal is because the islands themselves are part of the coral reef that surrounds Key West and the islands in this area of the sea. Overnight Dive Charter To Dry Tortugas Diving is magical, allowing you to discover a world otherwise unreachable for most of us. There are two primary snorkeling areas at Dry Tortugas, both of which will be noted on your campground map. Answer 1 of 2: I booked a trip after Christmas to visit the Dry Tortugas. We hope this guide helps you plan accordingly and that you have a great day out. FEATURED: Dry Tortugas Key West, Florida Keys October 20, 2020 West of Key West, the snorkeling at Dry Tortugas is popular with tourists coming from Key West by ferry and seaplane. Please do not disturb the coral reefs you explore; it is important to remember that all coral (live and dead), shipwrecks and historic artifacts are protected by law. Seattle is my current homebase between trips. After the boat docks at Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas… So let’s explain a little about this incredible place and provide you with a scuba dive Dry Tortugas … For your safety, you should always use the “buddy system” and swim with a friend, never alone! We will walk you through things to do in Dry Tortuga, the ins and outs of Fort Jefferson, and the Dry Tortugas National Park ferry. But a millisecond later, the blurry, giant object on the ocean floor about 20 feet away from me came into focus. A Dry Tortugas day trip from Key West checks a lot of boxes: secluded white sand beaches, spectacular snorkeling, and exploring history with stories of pirates and a 19th century fort. To prove it we are matching all online pricing on the tours we offer. Your email address will not be published. … The shallow waters (5 to 15 feet) are easily accessible straight from the beach. If you are planning to scuba dive and snorkel, the Dry Tortugas national park is an amazing place to visit. HOwever I just read deeper into the park website and the weather page says the seas can be high, windy and visibility poor in the … It is arguably the hardest National Park to visit as its only accessible by private boat, public ferry, or sea plane. In … Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote and difficult to access national parks in the country. Keep in mind that weather can affect snorkeling conditions. When Dry Tortugas snorkeling, be careful not to brush up against this coral like substance. If you really want to see bigger sights like the tarpon I encountered, or the occasional nurse shark, head to the North Beach dock. Dry Tortugas National Park is unique compared to other National Parks in the USA. Overnight Dive Charter To Dry Tortugas Diving is magical, allowing you to discover a world otherwise unreachable for most of us. There are two primary snorkeling areas at Dry Tortugas, both of which will be noted on your campground map. We had spent all day snorkeling and playing in the water in Dry Tortugas National Park – which is small group of islands located 70 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. It is home to a history of sea turtles, sunken wrecks and one of the largest coastal … For this trip to Dry Tortugas, I wanted to be prepared, since snorkeling is a big thing here and since all passengers on the Yankee Freedom ferry can borrow snorkel gear for free. The main landing point in the Dry Tortugas archipelago is Garden Key, which is the site of old Fort Jefferson. The park’s remote location, coupled by the easterly flowing gulf current that passes south of the park, creates the perfect habitat for an abundance of marine life. The old docks still have their wooden pilings underwater, but those areas have since seen an abundance of sponges, sea anemones, and tropical fish, as well as plenty of barracuda. Offshore forecast for Dry Tortugas National Park. Dry Tortugas National Park is a unique and beautiful park and you will want to make sure that you make the most of your visit. And the best snorkeling in North America is at Dry Tortugas National Park right near Key West. Having a general idea of the desired … My calves and lower back where my shirt was riding up got some brutal sun. Whether beginner or expert, you can enjoy an abundance of colorful tropical fish and living coral among the waters. This is some video that was taken on our way from Fort Myers Beach to the Dry Tortugas from June 27-29, 2014 on 40' DeFever Passagemaker, Blue Turtle. Directly accessible from the brilliant white sand beach are the Fort Jefferson snorkeling areas. A reef does not technically surround these islands, but they make up part of the reef that surrounds the lower Keys. And another. HOwever I just read deeper into the park website and the weather page says the seas can be high, windy and visibility poor in the winter. Even though I tried to prepare for the sun by loading up on sunscreen and wearing a long-sleeve tshirt, I still got some painful burns. The weather stays generally warm and sunny in every season. If you are planning to scuba dive and snorkel, the Dry Tortugas national park is an amazing place to visit. GMZ033-034-152115- Gulf waters from East Cape Sable to Chokoloskee 20 to 60 NM out and beyond 5 fathoms- Gulf of Mexico including Dry Tortugas and Rebecca Shoal Channel- 1014 AM EST Tue Dec 15 2020 THIS AFTERNOON East winds near 5 knots. The Dry Tortugas is … This amazing structure is made up of layers of calcium carbonate secreted by coral polyps throughout thousands of years and is the home of hundreds of tropical fish and marine life. Start planning your Dry Tortugas snorkeling trip! Now, I put a fun, quirky spin on travel and cultural adventures around the world. Before this trip to Dry Tortugas National Park, I had done what I would call baby snorkeling – looking at a few tropical fish for a few minutes in Puerto Vallarta. The Yankee Freedom III is operating normal daily service to the Dry Tortugas. Yankee Freedom III, LLC is authorized by the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior to serve the public at Dry Tortugas National Park. So most of my footage is random sponges, sea anemones, and a few small fish. Whether beginner or expert, you can enjoy an abundance of colorful tropical fish and living coral among the waters. We had spent all day snorkeling and playing in the water in Dry Tortugas National Park – which is small group of islands located 70 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida. … With little to no wind, the calm waters maintain excellent visibility, which is conducive to Tortuga’s most popular activities. One can snorkeling around the outside of the moat at Fort Jefferson, on Garden Key, in the Dry Tortugas, but you will need to bring your own equipment. Upon arrival at Fort Jefferson, the friendly crew of the Yankee Freedom III will provide you with a snorkel, fins and mask for exploring the nearby reefs. Dry Tortugas National Park is the #1 Dry Tortugas Concierge in Key West. Sunday, June 4, 2017 On our second day in the Dry Tortugas, the weather still wasn't cooperating with high winds and seas that makes for poor diving conditions. Seeing a shark in the wild while snorkeling would be the ultimate jewel on my wildlife checklist! Today’s snorkelers are cautioned to “look but not touch.”. The Dry Tortugas is home to some of the most vibrant coral reefs in the United States, and is a snorkeler’s wonderland. Our private charters cater to groups of 6 GUESTS OR LESS, AGES 10 AND UP. Thanks to its subtropical climate, Dry Tortugas National Park is open all year long. I borrowed the fins from the Yankee Freedom stand, and I was off. So instead of using the basic snorkel that I have trouble with, I brought along a friend’s full-face snorkel mask. We will walk you through things to do in Dry Tortuga, the ins and outs of Fort Jefferson, and the Dry Tortugas National Park ferry. With the winds coming out of the southeast, we decided to try snorkeling Little Africa since it is on the northwest side of Loggerhead … Snorkeling & Diving in Dry Tortugas National Park Dry Tortugas National Park is home to history and natural wonders above and below the water surface. Dry Tortugas National Park is situated at the southwest corner of the Florida Keys reef system, the third largest in the world. We … Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote and difficult to access national parks in the country. It´s the perfect destination to enjoy a tropical family vacation. In less than two seconds, they were gone. And then another one came right up behind it. Even if you’ve never snorkeled before, you’ll get right in the swim of things very quickly. Many of the smaller isles often disappear and become … This trip is just under 4 hours long, providing at least 2 1/2 hours of island time at Fort Jefferson/Dry Tortugas. GMZ033-034-152115- Gulf waters from East Cape Sable to Chokoloskee 20 to 60 NM out and beyond 5 fathoms- Gulf of Mexico including Dry Tortugas and Rebecca Shoal Channel- 1014 AM EST Tue Dec … Alternately, there is a twice-a-day seaplane service that takes about 40 minutes and offers about 2.5 hours at Dry Tortugas. Download Map. Although the temps are high and the summer/wet season accounts for the majority of annual rainfall, the summer/wet season provides the best conditions for snorkeling and viewing … In the shallower waters and near the shore you can also find patches of healthy coral reefs, which are havens for marine life and snorkelers of all levels alike. Seeing four of them on my first proper snorkeling experience was a thrill. The following is a list of detailed Dry Tortugas scuba diving sites arranged alphabetically and includes their GPS coordinates. Snorkel charters offer as little as a two-hour snorkel trips to nearby waters while other offer overnight trips to snorkeling getaways as far off as the Dry Tortugas. Mount Rainier National Park Whether you are a beginner or expert, you can enjoy a myriad of colorful tropical fish and living coral. I would later learn they were tarpon. How could a plain old fish be bigger than a human? Or the fierce-looking barracuda that swam right at my face before darting away at the last minute. If you need to stand when you are out in the water, stand in the sand so that you don’t harm reefs or seagrass. You can swim between the posts, just be careful. Welcome! Whether you are a beginner or expert, you can enjoy a myriad of colorful tropical fish and living coral. It also has the best snorkeling in the Florida Keys. The shallow waters (5-15 feet) make snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas fun for everyone. Answer 1 of 2: I booked a trip after Christmas to visit the Dry Tortugas. Winter (December through March) tends to … Because the foundation of the Dry Tortugas islands and park is ancient coral reefs topped by a shallow basin stacked with another layer of living coral reefs, the area is positively teeming … For price matching call (866) 575-5068 *Current prices are 30% … The park is home to the magnificent 19 th century Fort Jefferson, rich and diverse marine life, breathtaking turquoise waters, excellent snorkeling and diving sites and incredible bird-watching opportunities. The shallow waters have spectacular views and are perfect for beginners and experts. Copyright © 2020 Historic Tours of America, Inc. All rights reserved. If you’re visiting Key West and want a little adventure, a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park might be the thing to do. 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