Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dry Tortugas and Key West

Guess what I’ve been doing? That’s right, school! But we did have fun going rollerblading around town. Then my dad found something on the internet called the Dry Tortugas. The Dry Tortugas is a deserted island 70 miles away from America. So we went there, on a catamaran called the Yankee Freedom ll. It was a long journey, but I managed. We eventually came to an island where we docked. This wasn’t any other island either. This was abandoned by Americans after they built Fort Jefferson, a huge fort where they imprisoned Dr. Mudd, a doctor who cured the person’s ankle when he assassinated Lincoln. But the yellow fever got out and eventually everyone either died or left. So we walked around, and even got a souvenir, a Magic Kingdom hat that washed up on shore touching a dead pelican and next to a dead Sea Urchin.

We got our tent set up and then headed for the wind and wave with our snorkel gear. I saw a Barracuda, Stoplight Parrotfish, Spotted Blowfish, Blue Striped Grunt, a Yellowtail Snapper, School Masters, conchs, coral, sea cucumbers, lobsters and more. It was so cool!

Then we explored the fort. You could go up three floors in the walls and we could even go to Dr. Mudd’s fort! The next day I went straight for the water. There were some pilings that you weren’t supposed to swim in, so of course I was drawn to swimming there. I got on my fins and snorkel, and then went out to dive. At the bottom of the pilings there are hundreds of Sailor’s Choice. I even spotted a Queen Angelfish. I also saw a school of Silver Side minnows, and eating them were a bunch of Sergeant Majors. I hit some Fire Coral pretty bad and now I know why it is named that way.

After that some friends told us about the best snorkeling spot. We went out there and on our way we saw a puffer fish and a variety of other sea animals. When we got to the coral reef we could see lots of things from cleaning fish the size of my thumb to barracudas the size of Sam. We went back, and on the way there, I saw a Scrawled Filefish. It was vertical to blend in with its environment better, and it did.

When we got to the beach, we weren’t done. We’ve been looking over a fishing pier for a while and almost every time we saw a Jew Fish bigger than dad. Also it was off limits for snorkeling, so naturally, I was drawn to it. We got in, a little edgy because the Jew fish could be anywhere, then turned around and a dozen feet away was the giant Jew Fish! Now the scariest two things about a Jew Fish are that it stares right into your eyes, and its mouth is wider than my leg and taller than my arm. When it came at us its mouth was wide open, and I’ve heard stories about one swallowing a scuba diver to his shoulders. So I didn’t chicken out too much, but I also didn’t take any chances. I stayed a dozen feet or so away from it.

After that the boat came, we went around the island for our last time, then left. Now I’m back in Sigsbee (Key West). By the way this is my birthday month! Yeah! I’ll tell you what I do next later. See ‘ya!

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