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Old 17-02-2011, 11:23   #1
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Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Key West to Dry Tortugas early April in a chartered Hunter 460. I have made this trip several times before but the last was in 2003. In searching for updated information on the internet I have found some conflicting information. The NPS will not answer my emails. Perhaps someone who has been there lately could answer a few questions.
Is the channel between Bush Key and the fort open again and if so what is the depth?
Can you still anchor at Loggerhead? I heard they installed 3 mooring bouys and that you must use one of them instead and there is a 2 hour limit.
Fishing (even recreational) is restricted to an area within one mile of garden Key? Any additional information on new regulations will be helpful.
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Old 18-02-2011, 06:55   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Curte.
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Old 18-02-2011, 07:25   #3
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Dry Tortugas recent info:

Thanks GordMay. Being a near computer illiterate I was not sure I had this thing working right.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:37   #4
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Hi Curte,

I'm hoping to make this trip (From Key West to Dry Tortugas and back) in the next few months.

So, if anyone has more info, there are two interested forum members.

This is my first sailing trip and my first post to the forum. I'll do some searching and see what turns up.

Thanks for posting,
newman
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Old 01-03-2011, 13:04   #5
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

According to this press release you may have to anchor anyway as the moorings are in need of repair.
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Old 01-03-2011, 13:17   #6
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Hi, I made the trip about 4 months ago and our yacht club is going again April 20th.

The channel between the fort and Bush Key is wet, but shallow. The tour boats made it through while stirring up a bunch of sand. Come in around the west side.

I saw the buoys next to loggerhead and they looked in poor shape. Pennants were very slimy. We dinked over a few times. Yes, their was a time limit, but I never looked into it as we were not planning on taking the big boat over there. (too easy in the dink)

I don't know about the fishing regulations but I saw several people fishing near the fort from boats and from shore. FWC showed up and boarded boats while there, and so did the NPS.

So I don't have to write it all over again- Dry Tortugas

BTW- the Admiral and I conducted an armed invasion of Loggerhead Key and took over by forming a provincial government.

Feel free to stay as long as you like. :-)
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Old 01-03-2011, 13:50   #7
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, newman .
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Old 01-03-2011, 16:08   #8
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

We were there last April. We did see boats, sail and power, go through the channel between Bush key and the fort, however we did not try it so I cannot speak to the depths.

No water, fuel or pump outs. There are outhouses available, after the park closes, for the campers there and, presumably, for the folks on the boats. During the day you can use the facilities on the Fast Ferries that run out from Key West. You might get a "look" from the crew, but that's the rule from the park service.

You are pretty much on your own for everything and need to bring all that you will require, although the crews from the fast ferries are usually willing to work with you as far as picking up parts for you and things of that nature. Keep in mind, getting a weather window out there will in no way guaranty you will get one back! I talked to one boater that was stuck there loung enough that he had to take the ferry in to KW, stay over night, and return with four jerry jugs of water. A hunter 460 should be able to bash though enough of what you might find though.

For fishing information you might want to check out http://www.nps.gov/drto/faqs.htm and/or http://www.nps.gov/drto/planyourvisi...ersion%202.pdf

I also found the park service much less than helpful while we were there. I listened as other boaters would try to contact them. They would not answer them at all and then, when another boater would give them a quick answer they would jump on the radio and chastise them for being on ch-16. Very poor for someone whose wages are paid by our taxes! My opinion anyway.

It's a very unique place. Watching the fort appear out of the water as you approach will be appreciated. Clear water, great snorkeling and lots of very interesting history. Good luck and I wish you great fun on the trip.

Greg
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Old 01-03-2011, 18:19   #9
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Thanks! This is great info. Seeing the fort appear on the horizon is something I'm looking forward to.

Cheers,
Newman
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:22   #10
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Thanks all for the info. Curte
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:40   #11
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

We've been there several times, the last being May 2010. The passage between Garden and Bush Keys was open then, I always use the west entrance. The day mooring balls were being installed last May. The idea is to keep your anchor away from the coral. There are no mooring balls in the overnight anchorage(s), and you must anchor within 1 mile of the fort at night, no overnights stays in other areas of the park. You can fish from your boat in the overnight anchorage areas, Florida fishing laws apply.

Be sure to snorkel "Little Africa" on the west side of Loggerhead. Either dinghy over from Garden Key or take the big boat and catch a mooring ball at Loggerhead then dinghy around to the west side.

It's definitely worth the trip!

More information available at:

Dry Tortugas National Park - Brochures (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:18   #12
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

We are waiting for the weather to clear, and then we will be heading to the Dry tortugas via an overnight at the marquesas keys.

We currently understand that the mooring field is closed for maintenance and that the pass between the fort and bush key is still officially closed and you should enter from the west side of the fort.

The past four weeks have been perfect weather for a trip out there and back, but now we are beset with 20-30 knot easterlies for the next week or so. Hopefully that will clear and give us a two week window to go there and back.

We're chatting with a few other sailboaters about cruising out there in a flotilla. Others are welcome to come along.

I had a few friends who just took the fast catamaran tour there last week, and they said that there were six sailboats anchored off of the fort and four off of the marquesas keys. People are definately going this time of year. The window should just get better and better as we get closer to April and May.

We need to go and return by the end of March however because then we must head to Isla Morada and then over to the Bahamas.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:11   #13
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Re: Dry Tortugas Recent Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weehappy View Post
We are waiting for the weather to clear, and then we will be heading to the Dry tortugas via an overnight at the marquesas keys.

We currently understand that the mooring field is closed for maintenance and that the pass between the fort and bush key is still officially closed and you should enter from the west side of the fort.
Remember, the mooring ball(s) are not for overnight, they are day moorings scattered around the park such that you don't drop your anchor on top of coral while snorkeling, exploring, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weehappy View Post
The past four weeks have been perfect weather for a trip out there and back, but now we are beset with 20-30 knot easterlies for the next week or so. Hopefully that will clear and give us a two week window to go there and back.
With that much wind you wouldn't need to stop at Marquesas....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Weehappy View Post
We're chatting with a few other sailboaters about cruising out there in a flotilla. Others are welcome to come along.

I had a few friends who just took the fast catamaran tour there last week, and they said that there were six sailboats anchored off of the fort and four off of the marquesas keys. People are definately going this time of year. The window should just get better and better as we get closer to April and May.
The main harbor/anchorage can easily handle 12+ boats, I've seen up to 20 in there at one time. I also like the west side of the fort just outside the swim area. There is also the Bird Key anchorage, but it's a little more exposed.

Been there in Feb & March. I prefer to go late April or May as the water is warmer, I'm a wimp when it comes to snorkeling in cool water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weehappy View Post
We need to go and return by the end of March however because then we must head to Isla Morada and then over to the Bahamas.
Sail Safe!
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