damn fecking cockerels crowing from early on, dozens of the feckers, cant even see out a decent dream.
No danger of me sleeping in tomorrow morning as the dawn chorus round here is bloody cocks crowing about the place.(yes Ive stopped the bordello-esque comments, I mean male chickens).
So blearly eyed tucking into my still warm cinnamon rolls I asked what the story was withe the amount of cockerels running about the place.
key west wild feral cockerel rooster
It was then off to the airport to check in for my first ever seaplane flight, not quite the usual TSA stripdown and search but on checkin I got asked what sized flippers I needed. I could understand that this is the one flight where having a lifejacket under your seat might come in handy but flippers? Seriously? Of course the other 10 or so first timers were too polite to ask but Ive never shied away from looking like a dick in front of people I dont know ‘the mask, snorkel and flippers are in case you want to go snorkeling when you get to the Tortugas’, a collective ‘ahhhh’ from the assembled crowd, yeah thanks for that folks.
Seaplane key west airport
gouges cuts in coral caused by ships
Landing on water, well at least intentionally, has to be one of the weirdest feelings in the world. Its one of those ‘should we really be doing this’ moments where everything about your being is screaming ‘NOOOO PULLL UPP’ whilst trying to retain that calm ‘I’m a world traveller and have seen it all’ type of face. It wasn’t really that scary in the end as we coasted to a stop on a beautiful white sandy beach and tied up. ‘If you think that was scary, wait until we take off’ said our ex B-52 and F111 pilot ‘apparently we have to go on one float and can easily flip if there’s a gust of wind. Yes thanks for that Maverick.
landing at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
It is an amazing structure though, built as a fort over 30 years yet never finished, not surprising as everything had to be boated in, including fresh water. Used as a military prison its most famous residents were those convicted in the Abraham Lincoln assassination. History lesson over it takes a fair bit of time to walk round its 11 acre site and whilst the military aspect is one point, it really does show what humans can do if they want to, or perhaps in places they shouldn’t!
There’s a staff of 8 rangers on the island and I got chatting to one of them who was just there for a couple of months. One of those all American guys you just cant help but like, slightly understating stuff that is always overstated. Later on I got to chat to another one who had been there for 18 years, I don’t know if he volunteered for the job or was shipwrecked, its hard to say.
The non 18 year ranger
…apparently Nurse sharks are quite tame as ‘attacks on humans are rare but not unknown’. What they were actually telling me was when I was trying to put my flipper back on 3 nurse sharks swam past all at least 2-3m long.
Maybe time to do a bit of sunbathing.
snorkelling in the Gulf of Mexico
The Dry tortugas wasn’t one of the things on my list before I left, to be honest, I’d never heard of them and for a chance conversation at the chamber of commerce tourist office at Key Largo I wouldn’t have had such a great trip to a quite remarkable place. Returning to Key West it was hard to then see past just a naval and party town.
flying back to Key West
I had a quick bite to eat and then said my goodbyes at the B+B as I would be up at a ridiculous hour of the morning to get the charter boat out to catch my Marlin! I wondered if I’d sleep long enough to finish last nights dream..
more dry tortugas photos here
more key west photos here
more florida photographs here
more usa photos and stock photography here
more travel and transport stock photography here
more daily life stock pics here
more conceptual stock photographs here