Everyone has their own type of spring break vacations. In previous years I've gone on trips for sailing regattas, visiting family, and just to get away from the norm back home. This year my dad and I traveled by boat to the Dry Tortugas.
On Friday the 9th we finished packing our bags and headed over to the Snead Island Boatworks where our family keeps our 46 foot Outbound sailboat. After having a late dinner at the neighboring Bradenton Yacht Club, we prepared for our trip which was to begin the next day. Saturday morning we left the dock early before sunrise and began heading south. Little did I know that we would be heading this direction for at least the next 24 hours.
Sunday morning after seeing nothing but open water for a whole day we finally saw some structure ahead of us. We decided to anchor at Garden Key, which was the main land mass in the Dry Tortugas. The next two days consisted of exploring the reef which surrounded the harbor in which we had anchored and learning about the fort that was built on the Garden Key. It was originally built as a military post to help control trade to many major gulf ports. After it was no longer needed by the military, it was converted into a jail. We also discovered that the most well known person to have ever been held there was Samuel Mudd, doctor of the infamous John Wilkes Booth.
Our sail back home to Bradenton was relaxing especially during the night when you could see hundreds of stars which normally would not be visible on land. Near the end of the trip we trolled some lures in familiar offshore waters in the Bradenton area and caught some mackerel and one decent sized gag grouper. Overall I had a great time on this trip and I highly suggest visiting the Dry Torgugas. I know I will be again!