Tag Archives: Garden Key

Underwater Photos at Garden Key in Dry Tortugas National Park

Conch in Seagrass

This was the first time I’ve seen a live conch scooting across the bottom. The intense red foot was surprising and amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good photograph of that.

A Beautiful Fish With Many Patterns

The color and variety of fish in the ocean is incredible. I love all the patterns on this fish. How do these patterns and colors benefit this species of fish? In the right location it becomes easier to figure out but no so much in this picture.

Squid in the Seagrass

They are a little hard to see but there are several squid watching you. There are a couple of yellow stripes in the center of this photo. That is a squid. There are at least two more, one on each side of the most colorful one. Can you find them? I was surprised by these. At first I saw one swimming in front of me and all of a sudden I noticed a school of them. Once I stopped close enough and they stopped I realized what they were as they would move what appeared to be backwards.

A Piece of the Moat Wall

A piece of the moat wall of Fort Jefferson which has fallen into the water. It is surrounded by fish and coral.

Yellow Coral

A specimen piece of coral. I could have spent a lot of time observing and photographing these corals. Unfortunately time was short.

Another Seafan

Another larger seafan.

A lot of Activity Around This Rock

There is a lot going on around this rock. There are a number of smaller fish searching for food and/or shelter among some smaller corals and algae.

A Brain Coral

Brain coral with feather dusters emerged.

Red Seastar (starfish)

A red sea star or starfish sifting through the sand.


A large purple seafan moving with the ocean currents. Surrounded by a number of other corals together creating a beautiful underwater landscape.

Dry Tortugas Photo Essay

Yankee Freedom II

The Yankee Freedom II heading out to Garden Key where Fort Jefferson is built.

Fort Jefferson

Inside of Dry Tortugas National Park Fort Jefferson is visible. Loggerhead Key can be seen in the background on the right with a tall lighthouse built on it. Loggerhead Key is not connected to Garden Key. For a map of Dry Tortugas National Park go here….

Loggerhead Key

Loggerhead Key closer up. The only think on this island is the lighthouse.

Garden Key

As Fort Jefferson gets closer you can see the different in brick colors resulting from the different locations materials came from while this was being built. This beach is where we snorkeled from.

Lighthouse Inside Fort Jefferson

The Fort Jefferson Lighthouse. This is built inside the fort walls.

Inside Fort Jefferson

The Courtyard of the fort. Officers quarters are visible at the far end.

A Fort Cannon

Fort Jefferson had many cannons. Here is an example of how they were set up. This fort was never fully armed due to the weight of the cannons which would cause Garden Key to sink even further.

Frigate Birds

Some of the many frigate birds that reside near Garden Key.

Bush Key and Long Key

Bush Key is the closer island with Long Key  further out. Long Key is where the frigate birds reside and is closed to public exploration in order to preserve the bird habitats.

Returning to Key West

As the Yankee Freedom II returned to Key West you can see the people beginning to gather to celebrate the sunset at Mallory Square.