After all of our friends went back to their respective homes, Key West was not done with us yet!
On the day of Chad's actual 50th birthday, we took a trip we've been wanting to do for years – a seaplane ride to the Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson National Monument!
Dry Tortugas / Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson is about 70 miles west of Key West and can be reached only by boat or sea plane. From Key West, the most affordable way to visit is via a ferry that takes about 2.5 hours each way. With Tara's Lyme disease being what it is, 5 hours on a boat just takes too much out of her to be able to enjoy it. Taking the seaplane is realistically the only option for us, but it is a bit expensive (> $700 for two passengers). What better excuse than a 50th birthday to splurge on this!
Key West Seaplane Adventures is the only seaplane charter allowed to take passengers to the Dry Tortugas, and they are awesome! Super friendly staff and pilots make the adventure both exciting and educational!
Pro Tip on the seaplane: Take the fist or last trip of the day and you'll have the whole fort to explore with no crowds. We took the last trip, and the ferry was just boarding and leaving as we arrived. The only people on the island were us, 6 other people from our plane, 10 or so campers, and a handful of park staff!
Fort Jefferson is an amazing feat of 19th century engineering! It's just so strange to see and visit such a large structure literally in the middle of nowhere. We got to spend a few hours just walking around and exploring and it was incredible! With things like this, there's just o way to capture the grandeur on camera. It was breathtaking!
Leaving Key West
After some last visits to our favorite places and a final ride on Lucile around the Island, it's time for T-24 and prepping to leave. The up side is, we're only going about 50 miles east to Little Crawl Key and Curry Hammock State Park! So stay tuned for that in an upcoming video!
For those who wanted to see the WHOLE birthday video Tara put together, here it is! (almost)
This is pending… We uploaded it to Youtube (unlisted), but it was blocked for copyright because of the music. We didn't think this would ever be published online, so it has copyrighted music in it. Once we find a way to present it online, it will be here!