Marathon to Dry Tortugas National Park

Avg Speed
5 kts
10 kts
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Time Estimate
21 hr
10 hr 30 min
5 hr 15 min
3 hr 30 min

Marathon to Dry Tortugas National Park by boat

Depart from Marathon: Begin your journey from Marathon, located in the Middle Keys of the Florida Keys. Marathon offers several marinas and boat ramps for launching your boat.

Head southwest into the Gulf of Mexico: Leave Marathon and head southwest into the Gulf of Mexico. This leg of the journey will involve crossing open waters, so it's crucial to check weather conditions and ensure your boat is properly equipped for offshore travel.

Navigate using nautical charts and GPS: Utilize nautical charts, GPS navigation, and other navigational aids to guide your way to Dry Tortugas National Park. This remote area has limited navigation aids, so relying on accurate navigation tools is essential.

Watch for hazards and changing conditions: Remain vigilant for potential hazards, such as shallow areas, coral reefs, or obstructions, as you approach Dry Tortugas National Park. The area is known for its coral reefs and diverse marine life, so exercise caution when navigating through these waters.

Arrive at Dry Tortugas National Park: Once you reach Dry Tortugas National Park, you'll be greeted by a stunning collection of islands and pristine waters. The park is home to Fort Jefferson, a historic 19th-century fort, as well as excellent snorkeling and diving spots. Anchor or moor your boat in designated areas and follow any regulations or restrictions within the park.

Please note that Dry Tortugas National Park is a protected area, and there may be specific regulations in place to preserve the ecosystem. Be sure to respect any guidelines, obtain necessary permits, and practice responsible boating and environmental stewardship.

When returning from Dry Tortugas National Park to Marathon, follow the reverse route, being mindful of changing conditions and navigational hazards.

Dry Tortugas National Park Weather Information

Marathon to Dry Tortugas National Park route information

Boot Key Harbor: Departing from Marathon, you can start your journey by exploring Boot Key Harbor. This sheltered anchorage is a popular spot for boaters and offers a vibrant boating community. Take some time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and interact with fellow sailors.

Seven Mile Bridge: As you sail westward from Marathon, you'll pass the iconic Seven Mile Bridge. This impressive structure provides stunning views of the turquoise waters and offers a unique perspective of the Florida Keys. Take your time to appreciate the scenic beauty as you navigate the bridge.

Marquesas Keys: The Marquesas Keys, a group of uninhabited islands, lie between Marathon and Dry Tortugas National Park. These remote and protected islands are known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Consider anchoring near the Marquesas Keys and exploring the underwater world through snorkeling or diving.

Loggerhead Key: Loggerhead Key is the largest island in Dry Tortugas National Park and is home to the historic Loggerhead Key Lighthouse. As you approach the island, you can admire the lighthouse from the water. While you cannot go ashore on Loggerhead Key without a permit, you can still appreciate its natural beauty from a distance.

Dry Tortugas National Park: The main attraction of this area is Dry Tortugas National Park itself. The park encompasses several small islands, including Garden Key, where you'll find the imposing Fort Jefferson. You can anchor near Garden Key and take a guided tour of the fort, snorkel or dive around the nearby coral reefs, and enjoy the pristine beaches and turquoise waters.

Snorkeling and Diving: Dry Tortugas National Park is renowned for its exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. The crystal-clear waters teem with vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Take the time to explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of this protected marine ecosystem.

Wildlife Spotting: Keep an eye out for wildlife during your journey. The waters surrounding the Florida Keys are home to various marine creatures, including sea turtles, dolphins, and a variety of fish species. Additionally, the area serves as a stopover point for migratory birds, so you may have the chance to observe seabirds and other avian species.

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