Dry Tortugas – Day 3

It was a rocky night, as we thought it would be. Fran couldn’t sleep in the v-berth. She tried sleeping in the aft cabin. That was a little better.

Sunrise in Marquesas Keys
Sunrise in Marquesas Keys

We decide to move to calmer waters, east of the islands. We call George on the radio and he had the same idea.

We try to crank the engine. It turns a little, but not enough to start. We turn the battery switch from “1” to “All” and try it again. It still doesn’t start. We start-up the Honda 2000 generator and turn on the battery charger. After a few minutes, we finally get it cranked on “2”, the house batteries only.

We raft up to Steel Lady in the spot labeled “A3”.

Calmer Anchorage in Marquesas Keys
Calmer Anchorage in Marquesas Keys

When you look at our track in the above diagram you may think that we went out of our way to get from A2 to A3. We did this because our 2014 Garmin chart shows a big shoal here. Later we notice that the new Garmin chart on Nancy’s iPad does not show the shoal.

Old Chart Showing Shoal
Old Chart Showing Shoal

This anchorage is much calmer than the last one. We put down our dinghy and mount the outboard. George and Nancy lower their dinghy with their platform. We take the dinghy to the sandy beach just east of us.

Fran with Questeria and Steel Lady in the Background
Fran with Questeria and Steel Lady in the Background (P1)

This island is mostly mangroves with sandy beach on the north, west and south. We land the dinghy near the north side of the island and walk as far as we can. Then we walk south as far as we can.

Sponge Sculpture
Sponge Sculpture (P2)

There are a lot of sponges here. Part-way down the beach we see a sponge sculpture that someone has made by putting sponges in a tree.

Driftwood (P3)

This island was a popular spot for Cuban refugees to land and it was cluttered with trash and refugee boats. It seems cleaner after the “wet feet, dry feet” policy ended in January 2017.

Fran, Bella and Nancy on the South Side of Island
Fran, Bella and Nancy on the South Side of Island (P4)

We walk around the south side of the island into the harbor and see a conch in the shallow water.

Conch (P5)
Conch (P5)

After that we get in the dinghy and go in the deep channel between the two islands.

Here is a snip of Google Earth showing locations of our anchorages and photos. You can explore Marquesas Key by down-loading track20170510.kmz and opening it with Google Earth.

Marquesas Anchorages and Photos
Marquesas Anchorages and Photos

Later we are invited to eat lobster, fish and shrimp with George and Nancy on Steel Lady. A great meal and fun day.



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