August 11, 2007
We started sampling at 7:00 am going all around the Tortugas. Some samples were over 600 meters. Dolphins in a pod of 6 or more were playing at our bow. They turned and looked up at me. I saw flying fish fly for about 50 yards - they look like giant dragon flies. John caught a tuna. It seemed large to me - but medium size to him. I learned how to filet a fish - we will eat it for supper tonight. We anchored near Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas. We took the dinghy into shore to explore the fort. It is a national site and has barbecue grills, picnic tables, a camping area and a dock. The fort was used in the civil war and held the doctor that helped John Wilkes Booth (Dr. Mudd). There were later larger cannons placed on top of the wall to fight off the Spanish. It is abandoned now except as a historical site. We met a group of special kids there who were camping with a counselor. They had kayaked to a nearby island and looked at the nesting site of terns. They were fishing off the dock and caught several small fish and a nice sized barracuda. A nurse shark was swimming around. Sea stars and coral were visible from the shore. A tarpon swimming on surface looked like the loch ness monster. We returned to the boat at sunset.