DRY TORTUGAS CAMPING


I HAVE ONE SPOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS TRIP

I need 8 people to commit to going on this trip by Jan 12, 2014. The cost will be around $230.00 per person. This will include the Ferry, park admission, camping fees and kayak fees. We will only be able to take 3 kayaks out with us - so we will have to share. Kayaks are limited to between 12' - 15'.

Camping in the Dry Tortugas National Park is definitely an experience of a lifetime! Imagine sleeping under the stars, on an island 70 miles from civilization, with the warm tropical breezes blowing through palm trees and the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves playing in the background. 

Upon boarding at 6:30 am from Key West, you will enjoy a continental breakfast of fresh fruit, freshly baked bagels, doughnuts, cereal, orange juice, and coffee.

En route to Dry Tortugas National Park our onboard naturalist will give you an orientation about the area and the national park’s surroundings. During your voyage to one of America’s most remote National Parks, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande, and frequent turtle and dolphin sightings.

Campers must have all gear on the dock (NOT left in camping area) by 10:30AM on the day of departure from Ft. Jefferson to load on the boat. Equipment must be packed and cleaned of sand before re-boarding. Please keep with you items you will need for the day, as the boat may be off the dock for much of the day.

You can travel inside the main cabin in air-conditioned comfort or outside on one of the observation decks. The Yankee Freedom III also features comfortable cushioned seats, three restrooms, fresh water rinse shower, full galley serving snacks, soft drinks, beer, wine, mixed drinks (on return trips only), film, and souvenirs. You will reach the National Park boundaries within 2 hours and 10 minutes after leaving Key West harbor.


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  • Laura

    Such a special weekend - loved it all! Perfect weather, snorkeing, kayaking and camping with fun people. Thanks Sam for putting this together! I vote yes for a return trip!

    2 · May 4, 2014

  • Linda S

    Fabulous and fun. Gorgeous water. Hard to beat!

    1 · May 3, 2014

  • Dee

    My favorite trip to date! You really outdid yourself Sam! This trip defies description. I agree with everything Sam said but have to mention the incredible night sky with a dazzling number of stars. No running water but it can't be primitive camping when you can enjoy a frozen tropical drink each day on an air-conditioned boat!

    April 28, 2014

  • Sam G.

    This was an awesome trip. Great people to go with, great place to go to. Except for seeing the 74 different species of birds, the American Croc, the Loggerhead turtles, the many different colored fish, the 300 lb Giant Grouper and the beautiful coral reefs, the only thing to do was to sit on top of the fort and watch the sun rinse in the east and set in in the west. Oh, I forgot about the very large fort there to explore.

    3 · April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Angel and I are 2 hours away from sugar loaf lounge

    April 23, 2014

  • Linda S

    Spot opened up. I called Karen Doyle. Last minute. Have not heard back I am at the tiki bar, where else? Sam and Laura should be here soon. Piña colada sounds good to me who needs food.

    1 · April 23, 2014

  • Julie N

    Looks like you all are going to have great weather. I hope we are as lucky. I am going to have questions when you get back. Have fun!!

    1 · April 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we camping on beach on dry tortugas or it's a regular campground with soft soil? I am asking to see how many sleeping pads o bring and some other stuff

    March 23, 2014

    • Linda S

      There is a campground. Has picnic table and grill. It is a couple hundred yards from drop off point and there are carts to carry gear. Trip report said: "You need to take all your camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, and pad. Though you're camping on the beach, the ground is solid so you'll probably want a foam pad or air mattress"

      March 23, 2014

    • Linda S

      Another report said to take chairs. They also said to take Sterno to help the charcoal. (It can get windy). I have some some if someone wants me to bring it..but I'm not bringing extra stuff...unless someone indicates they need it.

      April 15, 2014

  • Dee

    Anybody have dive flags/floats? I know the ferry will have snorkeling gear but they aren't always there and I'll want to be able to go/return on my schedule.

    April 15, 2014

    • Dee

      Thanks Linda!

      1 · April 15, 2014

    • Linda S

      I'm bringing my own snorkel gear. Last I read the Yankee Freedom has the gear at the dock (on the Garden Key) instead of the boat. for ease of management. They loan it to you for extended trip via credit card as collateral. Here's the link. http://www.drytortuga...­ FYI- I started a discussion on Dry Tortugas and put some info there.

      1 · April 15, 2014

  • Linda S

    I have hotel reservations at the place Sam said he was staying, if another woman wants to share. The cost for you is $174.38 for two nights, 23rd and the 26th. Place has a tiki bar. Email me off list to confirm and arrange for cash payment.

    March 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    i am for carpooling. I live in St Pete, but also I can meet somewhere else. I don't mind driving. Let me know

    April 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Angel, I would gladly carpool with you. I would need to park somewhere safely or we can take my car. I would prefer sharing a hotel room (Wednesday night) with the people who already reserved and would pay my share. Also, I can sleep in a car one night if have to. I saw you are returning Saturday which is okay with me. I'm on[masked] just in case. Let me know what you think Angel about all of this.

      April 11, 2014

    • angel

      I think I am sharing the room with Linda for one night before the trip. I prefer to leave on Saturday unless we come back very late. I'll text you so we can dscuss the details

      1 · April 11, 2014

  • Sam G.

    Linda and I have Hotel Reservations for Wed and Saturday night. The rooms are $174.38 per night. Anyone who wishes to share one of the two rooms please let us know.

    March 28, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would like to share a room on Wednesday night. I'm not certain about Saturday night

      April 11, 2014

  • Bonnie M.

    Please take me off of the Notify Me list as something else has come up for me.. Thank you.

    March 25, 2014

  • Linda S

    For anyone with extra time off, I've reserved campsite at Long Key State Park before and after our trip. Dates reserved are April 22 and April 27th. Waterfront (Atlantic) sites, some road noise. Great sunrise and sunsets. Water, electric, picnic table and fire ring. I have a State Parks pass, so may stop in other parks. 27th site is Tent only, one car, 2 people max. Bring water shoes. I'm booked at the Sugar Loaf Lodge for Wed 23rd and Sat 26th night.

    March 24, 2014

  • Sam G.

    I have had all but two people respond and they all want to come back Saturday. I am making reservations for Thursday to Saturday for all. I will be calling after 2:00pm. If anyone wishes to go earlier or stay later please let me know ASAP. Also, please make arrangements for a place to stay on Saturday (if stayinf in Key West).

    January 8, 2014

    • Sam G.

      I'm booked at the Sugar Loaf Lodge for Wed and Sat night

      January 8, 2014

    • angel

      I'd like to return on Saturday. I am working on Monday and have to get up very early

      March 23, 2014

  • angel

    Anyone with hotel reservations has a spot for one more person?

    March 23, 2014

  • Bonnie M.

    Sam. I have time and money to take this trip. But I've never done this type of trip. I'm sur that I can physically do the trip . I just need for you to tell me what I need to purchase /bring. Looking forward to hearing from you!

    1 · March 20, 2014

  • angel

    Sam, do we need to bring our own water for the duration of the trip or just food?

    1 · March 19, 2014

    • Linda S

      Yes both food water for two days (except snacks on boat). 60 pound weight limit for food and gear. Excludes water weight. Excludes kayak weight. There are several handouts one from park and one from OUR. BOAT. Sam will send a planning update. 2gal water per person per day. I think self lighting charcoal briquettes, long lighter recommended for grills they provide. Hard sided cooler only. I am bring my food (mostly canned) in metal ammo box. No liquid fuel permitted, I think. All garbage must be kept secure and taken off island. Lack of shade is big issue. Also take Dramamine in advance for ferry. Can get rough. There are only chemical Porto potties. Composting toilets. I am bring extra water solar shower...to rinse off salt water a bit. Need wetsuit for snorkeling this time of year. Water cool. That's what I remember from my research.

      1 · March 20, 2014

    • angel

      Thank you for the info, it was very helpful. A gallon of water per day should be enough for me

      1 · March 20, 2014

  • Linda S

    Is this still a go? I need to cancel my hotel two weeks out. Thanks...

    March 19, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Yes / absolutely

      1 · March 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have my airline ticket. I plan to do a last minute at the Banyon Tree. One block from Duval St. and Mallory Sq. http://www.thebanyanresort.com/ I've recieved a 30 % - 40% off last minute discount in the past (every time). A 2 bedroom suite runs $330/night. It's a beautiful tropical paradise!

    January 31, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      We can fit lots of peeps in a 2 bedroom suite. I just called and gave him my name and number for Wed 23 and Sat 26 for his time share cancellations.

      1 · February 5, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Keep us updated as to availability

      February 5, 2014

  • Fawn

    Thanks for the refund, Sam. I am so sad I can't go with you -- I have a speech in Dubai and tried to get them to move the date of their event, but they wouldn't. I'd sure rather be kayaking with you!

    January 22, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Take me to Dubai and we can kayak there.

      2 · January 22, 2014

  • Fawn

    Couldn't we take more boats if some of us went a day early?

    January 7, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Yes / If you wish to go a day earlier you can try and take a boat. If any one want to go before Thursday and return on another day besides Saturday let me know ASAP.

      January 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Plase put me in for going back to Key West on Saturday.

    January 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I live in Palm Harbor and have 2 kayaks that would be great for the trip, but I may look into flying into Key West. I just did this drive with Steve last Spring and it was a looooonnnnnngggggg drive! If I do fly, maybe I can hookup with you Sam and give you my Kayaks? I have a sit on and sit in with anchors for the reef and a dive flag.

    January 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are you willing to accept any more than 8? I have a friend that would like to come as well...

    January 6, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Yes but the trip is full. Put yourself and your friend on waiting list and I will move ya'll up if a slot opens up.

      January 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Do we need to pay to be on the waiting list? Will we get refunded if a slot doesn't open up? He is from out of town so he would need more of a guarantee since he has to buy a plane ticket.

      January 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds awesome!! I would just need to be back to work that Monday April 28th. Is that possible? What are the plans on getting down to Key West and back?

    January 6, 2014

    • Anna

      I would like to carpool from Tampa area

      1 · January 6, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I wonder if the ferry from ft myers to Key West would be worth it? I've never driven to Key West. Actually never been there period!

      January 6, 2014

  • Fawn

    We all want our own kayaks. Okay, I'd prefer to bring my Hobie Revolution, but I do have a tandem Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL.

    1 · January 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've always wanted to do this! I have 2 kayaks that size. Can't wait. Will there be any scuba diving available? I'm certified.

    January 6, 2014

  • Michaelyn L.

    Sorry, I'll be at bicycling event in Louisiana. This activity looks wonderful. Too bad I can't make it.

    January 6, 2014

  • Lisa H.

    Sorry Sam, too close to Cumberland trip and Jazzfest!

    January 6, 2014

  • Dee

    Can't wait! Snorkeling should be wonderful here. Will we try to find double kayaks less than 15' to get more on the water? My Hobie Revolution is 11'5" and has a weigh limit of 275 lbs so two smallish people could ride in a pinch.

    2 · January 6, 2014

  • Ann F.

    Would love to do this sometime but those dates just don't work for me this time. Sounds like a lot of fun!!

    1 · January 5, 2014

  • Julieta

    How many nights?

    January 5, 2014

    • Sam G.

      Thurday night, Friday night and optional Saturday night.

      January 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    When is the exact returning time?

    January 5, 2014

    • Sam G.

      We can return either Saturday or Sunday at 5:30pm

      January 5, 2014

  • Julie N

    I really want to go but the timing is off. I will be planning a trip down there for either Thanksgiving week or X-mas break for all us on a school schedule.

    1 · January 5, 2014

    • Victoria P

      I really wanna go too...but workin:(

      January 5, 2014

7 went

Your organizer's refund policy for DRY TORTUGAS CAMPING

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • you can cancel at least 30 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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