Here's a VERY special trip, a weekend camping on a remote tropical island! With a cool Civil War era fort and lots of places to explore. This is also the perfect spot for nighttime photography. We will be miles and miles from any sort of light pollution and the stars will be so clear you'll think you can touch them. And the Milky Way... well, it'll definitely be worth it.
I'll be adding to this event as more information comes available to me, but for now, I want you to get the date set so you know to plan for it.
What I DO know is this: it is primitive camping, no posh hotels, no glamping, no cabins, just you, your tent, your cooler and your cameras. You must bring anything and everything you need for this trip, and, be able to bring all of it back with you. That being said, you will need your own tent and a place to sleep, cooler with food and water, and backups of battery power and memory cards. I did find a camping gear outfitter that rents all camping gear, much like you can rent cameras and lenses now. Trust me, I have done quite a bit of research on this subject, even for local places, couldn't find any. This place is out of Arizona but it ships gear to wherever you are. Check out LowerGear website if interested in going, but need camping gear.
Also, the only way in and out of the Dry Tortugas is via private charter or the Yankee Freedom III. If you'd like to do some research on your own, here's the Yankee Freedom III website. They are the only authorized concessionaire for the Dry Tortugas. There are airplanes but they only transport people, not camping gear - day trips only. I personally don't know anyone with a boat that would be willing to take a bunch of us over to the islands and back again in 3 days. So the Yankee Freedom III is the best bet, and they are well equipped in handling us over-nighters. The price for the trip is $200 (plus tax I'm sure). That does include the National Park fee, which if you have the National Parks pass (not just the Everglades) you will get a refund. Park Rangers will also be collecting $15-$30 per camp site (depending on how many in your party) per night. You will need cash on hand for that.
Also, seeing that we have to be at the dock with our gear Friday morning at 6:30am (no exceptions - they are firm), you may want to stay in Key West overnight. And don't forget about parking your vehicle. There is a parking garage right across the street from the docks that are $19 per day.
So PLEASE, RSVP if you are interested. I am trying to work with the Yankee Freedom and the park service to see if we can get some special services, seeing who we are, and an accurate number will be necessary. Send me an email here at email@example.com. And also email us if you have ANY questions. I have plenty myself and will be contacting the folks at Yankee Freedom to answer them. I'll be updating this site with new information as soon as I get it.
Hope you all can come!!