Dry Tortugas 2015: From the Unposted Archives

Eli turns 19 this week and officially graduates from our homeschool when I send in his last evaluation. There won’t be a big party, or a family trip, but we’ll find a way to make it special. While circumstances limit our present opportunities, they can’t take our happy memories. Five years ago, we celebrated Eli’s birthday with a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park with friends. During that fun and busy summer, the photos never got posted.

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas

It was an amazing week to share with close friends. Max and Mia joined us on the boat for the overnight passage from Marathon, and Amy and Kai joined us on the ferry from Key West. We spent several days touring the fort, playing hide-and-seek, snorkeling, diving and swimming off of Take Two, eating good food, and playing games. During this trip we adopted Amy’s expression, “take a cookie when the plate is passed,” meaning, “grab the good in life whenever you can because you don’t know what tomorrow holds.” I’m so glad we took the cookie!

Sunset Sail 2
Motoring into the sunset toward Key West with (L-R) Aaron, Max, Sarah, Mia, Rachel, Sam, and Eli
Sunset Sail
Gathering for the sunset on a passage is a long-standing tradition on Take Two…it was fun to share our travels and boat life with friends
Seaplane, Dry Tortugas
Upon arrival the next morning, the seaplane landed in the channel just ahead of us
Sooty Tern, Dry Tortugas
Sooty terns nest in large (and noisy) numbers on Garden Key…this one came for a short visit
Fort Jefferson, 2015
Kids entering Fort Jefferson (Civil-War-era fortification)
Junior Rangers, Dry Tortugas National Park
The kids got their Junior Ranger badges by doing an information scavenger hunt all over the fort
Cannon, Fort Jefferson
The obligatory kids-on-cannon photo opportunity
Hermitage, Dry Tortugas
Outside the fort, a palm tree stump made a perfect hermit-crab habitat
King of the Island
King of the Island
Rare Picture of Jay Relaxing, Dry Tortugas 2015
Rare photo of Jay, relaxing in the hammock
Kai and Rachel 2015
Two cuties: Rachel (4) and Kai (3)
Sunset, Loggerhead Key
Sunset over Loggerhead Key…we did a lot of snorkeling on the reef from the beach and on the Windjammer wreck nearby
Fun with Friends, Dry Tortugas 2015
Spaghetti dinner with Friends…eleven people in the cockpit!
Game of Risk
Game night
Upon returning to the dock, we found a tiny sea turtle that had been dropped by a bird, and we took it to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon…we will forever remember him as “Birdmore”