Snorkeling at Garden Key

Hello everyone, my name is Michael, Lead Interpreter aboard the Yankee Freedom II. This is my first installment of a weekly blog, focused on providing insight into The Dry Tortugas National Park, one of America’s most remote national parks.

We made a change in our procedures this past winter; we are now passing out snorkel gear on the National Park dock instead of underway aboard the Yankee Freedom II. The new snorkel rack is really working out well. It affords us the opportunity to talk with every passenger to determine their experience level and comfort in the water, therefore, direct them to the best snorkel spot for their skill level. Another added benefit is retrieving your gear just prior to snorkeling versus toting it around the island unnecessarily. The snorkeling has been exceptional this past week. Beautifully clear visibility and exceptional fish sightings. Including some large snook and grouper in the coaling piles along with a monster lobster in a crevice along the moat wall and our friend, Rex, the 400lb goliath grouper that resides under the National Park dock.

The Frigate birds have been an awesome sight to watch gliding effortlessly on the updrafts hitting the southeast wall of Fort Jefferson. Birding is really starting to pick up with the spring migration and the nesting of the Sooty Terns on Bush Key. Stay tuned for more updates and insight on the Dry Tortugas birding next week.

Hope to see you soon aboard the Yankee Freedom II!

-Michael

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