Monday, January 10, 2005

Anna at Dry Tortugas

Sunday, January 9th 9 pm

I have just spent a beautiful day on a remote island at the southern tip of Florida known as the Dry Tortugas. During my morning watch, from 4-8 we successfully maneuvered our ship into the dock before the rest of the tourists arrived by ferry or plane. The island is the strange, beautiful place completely isolated from "civilization". There is no fresh water (hence dry) and there is no land in sight, the closest land is Key West 70 miles away, the next is Cuba which is 90 miles away. There now stands Fort Jefferson which encompasses most of the island. Along one side of it there is a small beach with amazing crystal clear water where we spent the day exploring the fort, soaking up the sun, and snorkeling. The snorkeling was absolutely incredible, I have never been before and the fish I saw, including 4 barracudas, a blowfish, a Caribbean lobster, and countless others, simply blew me away. As I sat on the beach I could help remembering that it is actually January and how miraculous it is that I am able to be enjoying this beautiful weather. This evening we went on a lamp-lit tour of the fort and learned much of the historical background of the fort and its role as a military fort in the 19th century. This has been a long day and I am quite ready for bed, first a quick lesson on pumping the bilge ā€“ pumping water out of the bottom of the ship ā€“ and then Iā€™m turning in for the night. Tomorrow we set sail for Key West!
posted by Anna