Fort Jefferson
Dry Tortugas, Florida
Visited 5.11.17
Visit the Fort Jefferson page here!
Fort Jefferson is probably the most isolated fortification at least notionally physically attached to the United States. As such there is no sneaky sneaking into this fort, not that this is something I would ever endorse! Unless one has one's own nautical transport, if one wishes to visit Fort Jefferson one will be paying to ride a seaplane, charter a private boat or take the Yankee Freedom III ferry, as I and my intrepid starforting niece did in May of 2017.

And it ain't cheap: As this is being written in 2020, the price for one adult round trip to Fort Jefferson via the Yankee Freedom III is $180.

An overnight camping opportunity goes for $200. This seemed like a bargain when I was pricing all this stuff out, and I briefly considered doing an overnight next to Fort Jefferson, until I realized how much gear I would need to obtain and drag along, plus I remembered that I loathe camping.

The two-hour cruise (Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles from Key West) was certainly a pleasant one, and the Yankee Freedom III is roomy, modern and well-appointed with amenities and, most importantly, snacks and beverages.

A Park Ranger-led tour of the fort commences upon arrival, but I prefer to live in ignorance, and thus eschew such presentations.

The big attraction for most of the folks who took the boat ride to the Dry Tortugas, however, was snorkeling! The waters around the fort are as crystal-clear and full of gob-smackingly glorious sea life as one might imagine...and while a number of folks dutifully attended the Ranger-led tour, I'm pretty sure I was the only jerk there solely for the fort.

Fort Jefferson pretty much comprises Dry Tortugas National Park, and being as secluded as it is from the mainland (it's almost as far from Florida as it is from Cuba), a contingent of Park Rangers live in the fort! A portion of what were officers' quarters have been modernized to make for what seem like relatively liveable year 'round digs...which opinion I'm basing on the presence of air conditioning and satellite dishes!

I spent about five hours clambering merrily and sweatily through Fort Jefferson. A basic but sufficient lunch was served on the boat to keep me and my scuba-diving fellow visitors alive.

Each of the pix on this page is the smaller version of the full-sizer that can be easily viewed by merely clicking upon it! Undertaking this action will also get you further musings on my visit to Fort Jefferson.

But first, Fort Jefferson has some of the best informational signing that I have experienced. Those signs with which I came into contact I photographed, and they are available for clickin' 'n' viewin' on the pages representing the entity they describe...but just in case you wish to see those signs without dragging all the way through my nonsense, you can access them here: Clicking on each will cause them to open in a new browser window.