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Old 20-04-2009, 19:45   #1
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Fort Myers > Key West > Dry Tortugas

We are planning a trip from FtMyers to Key West then on to the Dry Tortugas next week, any first hand info on anchorages at key West or anything else a first timer to the area should know would be greatly appreshated.
Roscoe
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Old 20-04-2009, 20:18   #2
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We are going directly to Dry Tortugas from Ft. Myers, then island hop on the way back. Going in May. Would appreciate imput also.
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Old 20-04-2009, 20:58   #3
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I wanna go, too!

We used to make that trip on an almost annual basis, but I havenít gone since May í06. I can tell you itís a pretty easy trip. When we first started going, around 1992, there was an entrance on the east side of the fort Ė narrow, but deep. The last time I was there it had been filled in by one of the storms. Going around the fort to the other side was simple enough. I think itís called the Northwest Channel. Bring snorkeling gear, and plan to spend at least a day swimming around the island. You can see the entire fort in half a day. I always tried to catch the flag lowering ceremony at dusk. Itís done over the main entrance to the fort. I donít know what else I can tell you. Itís an easy, relaxing trip; one of my favorites. Have fun!

-Jim
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Old 21-04-2009, 06:07   #4
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You might want to read through this: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...gas-14448.html . If I were doing the trip now, I'd got directly to Ft. Jefferson and then back to Key West.

FWIW...
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Old 21-04-2009, 07:41   #5
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For some of the best snorkeling you may want to anchor, for a good weather day, near the coast guard station on Loggerhead Key and snorkel with your dinghy around the south end and up the west side. You will also see the bow of the "French Wreck" sticking up south of Loggerhead. Also a nice place for adventure snorkeling. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-05-2009, 20:42   #6
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We got back from the dry tortugas wednesday with a great 22 hour sale to Ft
Myers.A much better trip than the one going where we encountered 15 foot seas and 50 knot winds We went streight to the Dry Tortugas where we stayed on the hook for 4 days until the weather broke enough to make a run to Ft Myers.Key West was out of the question since the wind was never less than 15 knots and out of the east.
Reguardless a bad day at sea is better than a good day at work.
Thanks for everyones input.
Roscoe
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Old 09-05-2009, 13:36   #7
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Roscoe, are you saying that we need to go to Key West first, then hit Dry Tortugas? Or would you take in Marathon, then to Dry Tortugas and then to Fort Myers? I was thinking the current would favor going down the keys, but it sounds like the wind may put that out of the question.
Is it also worthwhile to spend a day around the glades at Indian Key?
PS I am leaving in 3 weeks- I am stoked!
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Old 09-05-2009, 14:16   #8
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The winds would have favored us going to Key West first and then on to the Dry Tortugas;However rather than fight headwends from Ft Jefferson to Key west where we would have had to motor we decided on sailing back to Florida. ending up in Ft Myers some 22 hours later.
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Old 09-05-2009, 20:32   #9
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I have done the tampa tortugas keys trip many times once without a motor. Make sure you have oversize ground tackle. The anchorage is sand over rock. You'll feel like your hooked but when a blow comes up the anchorage turns to pandemonium. The regs there are in a state of flux. They've outlawed fishing and anchoring in half the park including loggerhead. Mooring balls are supposed to be put in with reservations getting priority. That being said,as of the last time I was there they weren't enforced due to lack of funds. Key west has great cheap dinghy dock $26 week with water trash and bike racks. I usually hop anchorages one way. Everlades are neat but kind of out of way unless adding boot key to itinerary. Shark river is just about only place to get in with draft over 4 foot. At key west recommend west or north of wisteria island. East side is shoaled toward north and hard bottom on south. Kind of long dinghy ride. Make sure all legalities are in order police are notorious for using tourists as source of income ashore and on the water. One of their favorites is people not having the spaces in registration lettering. They set traps ashore I've seen them grab person after person walkng across a line with drink in hand. There was sign facin wrong way that said no alcohol in park(boatramp). Fishing in tortugas is unbelievable. Goliath grouper surround boat as soon as you drop anchor, best black grouper fishing anywhere. My favorite is trolling over the shallower areas in north part of pulaski shoals. I've done best with 5” eco spoons with small downplaner. The area between park and quicksands gets real nasty fast in a blow. Turns into a huge chop as a couple of different currents meet there. Good rest stop anchorage on east side of boca grande channel.either enter marked channel and a spot is right inside or pull up to good depth near beach toward south to escape prevailing se winds. You're gonna love this trip, best place to visit in fl by a large margin.
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Old 22-05-2009, 07:52   #10
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We are back from the dry tortugas and it was a memorable trip . once there we waited 3 days for the wind to change from the east so we could go to Key West, no such luck so on the fourth morning we wayed anchor at 0600 and headed to Napels we tied up at the city dock at 0400 the next morning Stayed in Napels the next day and night to catch up on our sleep and have a couple good meals and a few supplys.
Next night was spent at the Burnt Store Marina where we got very little sleep due to the place being preasure washed all night long.At 14:30 the next evening we was tied up in our slip and getting the boat cleaned up and unloaded for the trip back home a 2 hour drive.all in all even with the few problems encountered it was a good trip and will do it again on the way to the Yucatan.
Roscoe
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Old 22-05-2009, 10:58   #11
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Thank you for the trip report. Will let you know how it is next week with all this crazy weather.
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