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Posted: 8/26/2015 9:40:52 PM EDT
http://www.drytortugasinfo.com/dry-tortugas-camping/

Anyone ever done this?  Also, in planning rest of trip (wife and two kids) is there anything else of interest to do between Key West and Homestead?

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 8/26/2015 10:07:34 PM EDT
Hmm. I'm in the Keys for a few months for work and my boss was talking about taking me and my coworkers there to do some fishing. I had never heard of this place until a week ago, crazy.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 2:59:41 PM EDT
Funny - I was contemplating a post about a group camping trip there once it cooled off a bit.  I could provide transportation for the west coast crew.  It's ~125nm from Sanibel, so about 10 hours at 12 knots.  I was going to take the family down and learn the area before volunteering for the larger group.  It doesn't look difficult, though.  We should be able to get in some shooting on the way there too
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 3:02:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sloth:
http://www.drytortugasinfo.com/dry-tortugas-camping/

Anyone ever done this?  Also, in planning rest of trip (wife and two kids) is there anything else of interest to do between Key West and Homestead?

Thanks in advance.
View Quote


Sorry- I kind of took a detour on what you asked about.  What is your plan - to go to Fort Jefferson by private boat?  Your boat that you're hauling down?  Or are you going to take the Ferry?
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 5:03:47 PM EDT
Read up on the park rules. Basically your on your own, no supplies available at the fort.
Never done it but people say its fun. Star gazing would be spectacular under clear sky's.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 5:24:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2015 5:42:12 PM EDT by Banditman]
I think it would be cool. But believe it would be very spooky also
BIG fish around the dock and no fishing allowed. A park police officer got pissed


when I hinted that they might be plating a grouper or two after the Boat leaves.



The camping area is too the far left. See what I mean









 
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 5:55:17 PM EDT
There's a great thread on the hull truth about visiting the Tortugas.  It's worth a read.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:16:36 PM EDT
I've never really been camping.






Just stayed in a park overnight in a tent with fast food during a surf trip at Sebastien Inlet.
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:20:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FDrifting:
I've never really been camping.



Just stayed in a park overnight in a tent with fast food during a surf trip at Sebastien Inlet.
View Quote


Fine - you can sleep on the boat.  No imitation crab meat or other nonsense, though!  

Hey, don't you have a bachelor's party coming up this fall?  
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:23:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2015 6:26:09 PM EDT by Iamhere]
When you enter the main channel to the fort,
it is from north to south, it is pretty deep but stay in the middle
of the channel markers.

When you come to the channel that turns west to go to the fort anchorage,
turn from the middle of the north channel (90 degrees) to the middle of the channel that goes west.

If you cut over by that red sign it will get a little shallow and your bottom machine will turn bright red.  
It comes up all at once and you will have a heart attack.

Other than you will be good to go.

Oops, meant that to be IM.

Link Posted: 8/27/2015 6:32:09 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Iamhere:
When you enter the main channel to the fort,
it is from north to south, it is pretty deep but stay in the middle
of the channel markers.

When you come to the channel that turns west to go to the fort anchorage,
turn from the middle of the north channel (90 degrees) to the middle of the channel that goes west.

If you cut over by that red sign it will get a little shallow and your bottom machine will turn bright red.  
It comes up all at once and you will have a heart attack.

Other than you will be good to go.

View Quote


Yeah - I run a 60,000 lb boat with a 4'+ draft and $80K running gear x 2.  That's my worst nightmare right there!  Is the water depth fairly easy to read visually like it is in the Bahamas?  If so, I'm not too worried.  

The other thing I've heard about the Tortugas is the notoriously poor holding at anchor.  I run an 85lb mantus and a 65lb Delta and a few miscellaneous fortress-styles.  None of them are good in rocks, which is really why I haven't gone yet.  I try to run an anchor watch, but can only do so much when single-handing.  I don't imagine I'd sleep much at the fort with what I've read about their bottom!  

Sorry again for the hijack OP
Link Posted: 8/27/2015 10:37:40 PM EDT
There was a guy in the ham radio sub forum that stayed out there and did some broadcasting/dxing a while back. He included a lot of details on the set up out there. I'd search for that thread as a starting point.
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 8:50:25 AM EDT
Im taking the ferry down in January with a group and camping for 2 days.  Looks like an awesome place.
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 2:39:59 PM EDT
Thanks for info so far.  The goal is a week long vacation based around a trip out to Dry Tortugas.  We would be taking the ferry out, leaning towards 2 nights on island.  I was planing on staying in Key West the night before and doing a bike tour of the island.  In planning, I was trying to see if there was anything else worth while in the Keys.  I've considered kayaking trips into the Everglades/Mangroves/BAckcountry.  

Thoughts?
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 2:45:33 PM EDT
I've heard great things about Hawk's Cay, but haven't had a chance to go there yet.
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 4:34:40 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackFox:
Fine - you can sleep on the boat.  No imitation crab meat or other nonsense, though!  



Hey, don't you have a bachelor's party coming up this fall?  
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackFox:



Originally Posted By FDrifting:

I've never really been camping.
Just stayed in a park overnight in a tent with fast food during a surf trip at Sebastien Inlet.





Fine - you can sleep on the boat.  No imitation crab meat or other nonsense, though!  



Hey, don't you have a bachelor's party coming up this fall?  
Lol yes I do. The wedding party and I have a house in Marathon we are spending a long weekend at.

 
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 4:49:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FDrifting:
Lol yes I do. The wedding party and I have a house in Marathon we are spending a long weekend at.  
View Quote


Does it have a deep water dock?

Link Posted: 8/28/2015 6:54:54 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackFox:
I've heard great things about Hawk's Cay, but haven't had a chance to go there yet.
View Quote


I just got back two weeks ago. We have been staying there for the past 5 years and wont be back next year. The prices have almost doubled over the last two years and its been going down hill. I heard they got new owners last  year. We are looking into renting a house  or Tranquility Bay for next year. The new Hyatt seems real nice and the restaurant is great.
Link Posted: 8/28/2015 7:18:08 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackFox:
Does it have a deep water dock?



View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BlackFox:



Originally Posted By FDrifting:

Lol yes I do. The wedding party and I have a house in Marathon we are spending a long weekend at.  




Does it have a deep water dock?



Bout 5 ft lol.

 
Link Posted: 8/29/2015 11:39:22 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FDrifting:
Bout 5 ft lol.  
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By FDrifting:
Originally Posted By BlackFox:
Originally Posted By FDrifting:
Lol yes I do. The wedding party and I have a house in Marathon we are spending a long weekend at.  


Does it have a deep water dock?

Bout 5 ft lol.  




plenty of room, just come in a little hotter than normal.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 8:49:59 AM EDT
...just clicked on the Brown Widow thread and it has me wondering what sort of potentially dangerous wildlife we might encounter out here.  We're from Indiana and aside from a few scattered recluse, there's not a lot around here that can hurt you too bad.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 9:39:55 AM EDT
If your speaking of critters in the Dry Tortugas,

there is the man o war jellyfish. They will light you up.

That's about it.

Actually, barracudas are attracted to shiny things.
Don't wear jewelry while snorkleing in the keys or tortugas.

And...the lens of an underwater camera can be a shiny thing.
If you have a camera and a barracuda comes to investigate,
just tuck the camera in your swim trunks.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 10:05:26 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Iamhere:
And...the lens of an underwater camera can be a shiny thing.
If you have a camera and a barracuda comes to investigate,
just tuck the camera in your swim trunks.
View Quote


Yeah - what could possibly go wrong?
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 1:10:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Iamhere:
If your speaking of critters in the Dry Tortugas,

there is the man o war jellyfish. They will light you up.

That's about it.

Actually, barracudas are attracted to shiny things.
Don't wear jewelry while snorkleing in the keys or tortugas.

And...the lens of an underwater camera can be a shiny thing.
If you have a camera and a barracuda comes to investigate,
just tuck the camera in your swim trunks.
View Quote


Funny you mention that. I remember swimming at Bahia Honda and forgot I had a new shiny silver watch on and came face to face with a barracuda. I put my arm behind me and backed away slowly. I never made that mistake again.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 5:49:50 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JeffB:
Funny you mention that. I remember swimming at Bahia Honda and forgot I had a new shiny silver watch on and came face to face with a barracuda. I put my arm behind me and backed away slowly. I never made that mistake again.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JeffB:



Originally Posted By Iamhere:

If your speaking of critters in the Dry Tortugas,



there is the man o war jellyfish. They will light you up.



That's about it.



Actually, barracudas are attracted to shiny things.

Don't wear jewelry while snorkleing in the keys or tortugas.



And...the lens of an underwater camera can be a shiny thing.

If you have a camera and a barracuda comes to investigate,

just tuck the camera in your swim trunks.




Funny you mention that. I remember swimming at Bahia Honda and forgot I had a new shiny silver watch on and came face to face with a barracuda. I put my arm behind me and backed away slowly. I never made that mistake again.
My coworkers and I are staying like 20 minutes from Bahia Honda. Heard the fishing is great there.

 
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 6:32:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2015 6:45:38 PM EDT by Vulcan94]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JimmyT:
There was a guy in the ham radio sub forum that stayed out there and did some broadcasting/dxing a while back. He included a lot of details on the set up out there. I'd search for that thread as a starting point.
View Quote



I think that was danpass.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/672444_DXpedition_to_Dry_Tortugas_off_Key_West___VHF_contest__June_14_16__2014___Update.html

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_17/674913_Dry_Tortugas_AAR.html




Vulcan94
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