“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale”

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Approaching Fort Jefferson.

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“The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle” Our transportation from Key West to the Dry Tortugas.  Just Brett, myself and a hundred and ninety something other shipmates.

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“No phone, no lights no motor cars, Not a single luxury, Like Robinson Crusoe, As primitive as can be.”  Actually, at the time we visited, 10 people were living on the island full time. Several park rangers and their families. They built this make shift house into the side of the fort. They have all the same things I have in my home. Civilization is only a 2 1/2 hour boat ride away that is made daily. It’s weird to think about staying out here. Would you get lonely? You would hope everyone gets along.

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Typical “Dead wood on the beach scene”. Brett said the wood looked like a swan.

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“In the tropic island nest.”

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Critters on a log in the water.

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Critters on the sand.

 

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Beach flowers were everywhere.

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Walking along the moat wall.

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On the top of the fort.

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The other side.

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The view from the inside. The water was amazing.

Fort Jefferson is old. You can read about it here. It was great to walk around and pretend you are the only one there. On your own private island.  After walking around looking for birds, having lunch on the boat and then swimming and watching the fish, we headed back to Key West. I’m glad our “Minnow” made it back okay. We had smooth waters both ways.

All “quotes” from Gilligan’s Island.

Skywatch Friday

Boobies, noddies and a chuck

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My first masked boobies. We were far away on a boat headed for the Dry Tortugas. They nest on this small sand bar out in the middle of nowhere. The sandbar is protected so we could not get to close. Lucky I had my 200mm lens with me and ready to shoot as we went by. These are extremely cropped.

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Another first sighting was the sooty terns. These birds were flying in between a sandbar and the Dry Tortugas.  Several flew close to the boat.

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Not a first but still cool to see. Frigatebirds were circling overhead as we docked at the Tortugas.  A juvenile on the left and a female on the right.

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Then the entire family with dad on the left with the red chest flew by.

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Thousands of birds were on one end of the island.  That section was closed off since many of the birds were nesting.

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Another first, a chuck-will’s-widow on the ground. I have to give credit to several other birders who had found him right before I walked up. They were looking for the Kentucky warbler and found him instead.

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He was hiding under some bushes. I could just make out his face through the branches.

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I did find the Kentucky warbler, another first for me. They told me to look for a bird that looks like a hooded warbler but doesn’t have as much black on the head.

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Heading back onto the boat for lunch, the frigatebirds were still cruising close to the boat.

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Several blue grosbeaks were flying around inside the fort but they were very skittish.

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My 5th new bird of the day was the brown noddies. There were a lot of these flying in between the closed off end of the island and old pilings next to the fort. They are part of the tern family.

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More noddies flying in.

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A male frigatebird flies close by as the boat was leaving the island.

I’m going to bore you with my tons of vacation pictures. Brett and I recently spent a week in Key West. It was our first time on the island. We had a great time and I lugged my camera stuff everywhere. We took the all day boat trip out to the Dry Tortugas on the first day of our trip. It was a 2 and a half hour boat ride each way. The boat felt a little crowded with close to 200 people on it. Once we got to the island and everyone was spread out on that big island, it felt like we almost had the place to ourselves. Lots more pictures to come.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing