Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To the Fort Again - Dry Tortugas

One of the main reasons I didn't move out of Key West from this horrible economy, and way to expensive cost of living it the Dry Tortugas. Although this year has only brought me one trip, its kind of like hitting that one good iron shot in a round of golf. The fishing wasn't the greatest being that its the end of summer and the water is at its warmest. We ended up with 50 yellowtail so that was a good thing. The weekend that was picked could not have been better. It was 5-7 mph wind on the way there and variable breeze on the way back. The only wind we got was camping at night around 10 mph which was as perfect a trip weather wise as one could ask.
This trip was also special because of who I went with. The Davila's treat me as good as my own family and are always fun to be around. And the best thing about them, I know will take enough beer ;~).
On a sadder note. We got haggled. And haggled badly. Someone from the park service there was under the dock cleaning off the underwater streaming video camera lens. There was a dive flag on the dock post. Our captain did not see the flag. I will admit, I did see the flag. When I saw the flag sitting on top of the dock post I surely thought someone who left that morning had forgotten it. I did NOT think that putting a dive flag on land denoted divers around. After sitting on sure for about 45 minutes the park rangers came. They brought all the power trip they could find too. Tried to accuse us of reckless behavior, idling up to a dock with a dive flag on it where there is a posted "NO SWIMMING" sign? Accused us of drinking too much after we had been on land for almost an hour, and yes we did have some beers. Made us stay on the island for our own safety since we had been drinking and one of us got cited for endangering the lives of the divers at over $300. It was incredible and from my take and that of countless others, not very legal.
Of the handful of people I know that frequent the trip to the park, none have had a good thing to say. And all but one had at least a story or two of being approached in an unfriendly manner (screwed with unnecessarily).
Hopefully the right person reads this.
Enjoy the photos and the small video captured with gopro HD heros. JP