WHERE – Dry Tortugas/Fort Jefferson National Park
WHEN – May 3 (docks by 6:00am SHARP) – May 5, 2019 (depart 3pm, arrive around 5:15pm)
HOW – Transportation will be through the Yankee Freedom III ferry out of Key West
Lodging is primitive camping on Bush Island right outside of the Fort Jefferson walls
WHAT - Camping on a remote tropical island. Historic Civil War era fort. Snorkeling. 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; actually in the darkest radiant of the Darksitefinder map. We’ll be able to shoot the Milky Way, star trails, time lapse, and the Eta Aquariid meteor shower!
TRANSPORTATION - 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 – and 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.
PRIMITIVE CAMPING - Park Rangers will be collecting $15-$30 per camp site (depending on how many in your party) per night. You will need to pay in cash. So what is primitive camping? no hotels, no glamping, no cabins, just you, your tent, your cooler and your camera. You must bring EVERYTHING you need for this trip, and, be able to bring all of it back with you. 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. I have done extensive 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 along, but need temporary camping gear.
EXTRA EXPENSES - Seeing that we must be at the dock Friday morning at 6:30am (no exceptions - they are firm), you may want to stay in Key West overnight Thursday. 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.
NPS – Dry Tortugas site https://www.nps.gov/drto/index.htm
Yankee Freedom III – Camping https://www.drytortugas.com/key-west-camping/
I highly recommend you review ALL info listed above regarding the Site. Look at all of the links within this site. It has much needed info on what to bring, what NOT to bring, and what it’s like on the island.
Eta Aquariid meteor shower info https://earthsky.org/?p=158833
Email us if you have ANY questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.