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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Loggerhead Key... 3-18-11

Day Two Los Tortugas...Loggerhead Key
The lighthouse as we approach from Fort Jefferson
Northwest shore Loggerhead Key
Loggerhead Key...How would you like to buy a ticket to the moon only to be allowed to orbit and never land? That is the same as buying a fast cat ticket to the Dry Tortugas on the Yankee Freedom. You can't land on Loggerhead Key without your own boat unless you want to swim two and a half miles in open ocean! Loggerhead is a small key inhabited currently by a park volunteer in one of four buildings on the key. The light house has been relegated to “local” navigation.  The upkeep of the structures could use some maintenance as well as removal of washed ashore debris. While most of this leads to its charm as an island nature will eventually win without intervention. With it's installed solar and plumbing this is the perfect place to hang out for that person seeking solitude.  It would make for a great artist retreat!  The crew of Wee Happy are checking on becoming volunteers they loved this place so much.
One of the few buildings on the island (Two houses, a lighthouse and a storage building)

The three of us dinghy'd over across open ocean to snorkel on less traveled coral.  We were treated to coral heads only 15 feet from the beach!  These wonderful, unspoiled oasis offered sanctuary for the local sea life.  The grass fields off shore are the home of conch, so well know in the keys but protected from harvest.  The conch population has been almost depleted in the 70's.  Current estimates are that the legal size lobster population suffers a 90% harvest every year.   

I was snorkeling around the dock and motioned for Lala to come over and see the barracuda.   She continued on out the length of the dock returning excited and wanting me to see the "fish".  She had found a goliath grouper under the park use only dock.  It was as large as the floor of their dinghy.  I explained that the small grouper I had caught at Bahia Honda grows up to be this fish.  A full grown goliath grouper may weigh 800 pounds!  Also known as a Jew Fish

Standing on western moist point of exposed land

 Fort Jefferson from loggerhead, over 2 miles away
Lala and her angel wings made from washed up sea fans
Time to read a sci-fi book



Capt "K" and I discussed using the dinghy to reach a couple fishing spots the next day...

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