So on our third day (Thursday) in the Dry Tortugas, the plan was to get up early and head out for a morning of diving. When Randy went to brush his teeth and turned on the faucet there was no water. He checked the bilge (which was previously dry) and realized that it was full of water. The night before Randy crawled down in the lazarette to check our water storage and we still had half a tank (100 gallons) left. It turns out that a hose clamp on the hot water heater had been loose and all of the water leaked out into the bilge. We were completely out of water. That didn’t stop us from heading out to go diving though. Thankfully, we had another boat with us and Sea Crazy still had about 100 gallons left and we were all able to take showers that evening. We were also leaving for Key West the next morning and knew we could fill up our tanks once we landed at the marina. Still, not having water for a full day did present its challenges. When we went diving, the six of us weren’t able to take quick fresh showers after getting out of the water to rinse the saltwater off. We’ve been spoiled to be able to do that before but now we all had to remain salty all day long. Brushing teeth and washing hands had to be done with bottled water (thankfully, we had over provisioned on the bottled water) and doing dishes had to wait until we made it to Key West the next day. Thankfully, our heads are plumbed with saltwater not freshwater and we were able to flush them. Running out of water in the Dry Tortugas is not fun and we were lucky to be traveling with another boat with extra fresh water. If we were by ourselves, we probably would have had to head to Key West that morning and missed out on 2 awesome dives.
Our first dive spot was Davis Rock. We dove this spot last year and loved it. Its mooring buoy is located near Off Ramp and Texas Rock, the 2 dive sites we dove on the first day. Davis Rock sits in about 20-45 feet of water and is full of sea life. We spotted a goliath grouper, sea turtle and tons of other reef fish. Other divers on our boat spotted a nurse shark. For our second dive, we decided to do Off Ramp again. I reallt love the shallower dives for video and photo taking since the colors are more vibrant. Both dives were awesome and visibility was great due to the flat calm water.
- RNAMB3/Davis Rock: N24° 41.208 W82° 54.450
- RNAB5/Off Ramp: N24°40.166 W082°54.510
After our 2 dives, we headed back to the anchorage to raft up with Sea Crazy. A few of us went to shore to snorkel or explore the fort and Randy, Corey and I decided to take a dinghy ride over to Loggerhead Key. While we snorkeled all around Loggerhead Key the previous day, I wanted to visit the island by dinghy so I could take some photos of the lighthouse and broken building with my good camera (not the GoPro). So, we set off in the dinghy to explore the island a bit. It was flat calm and hot and we walked around the main areas on the island so I could shoot some photos then we headed back in.
After leaving Loggerhead Key, we stopped at Garden Key to find the others and to walk around the fort for a bit before heading back to the flotilla. Once back at the boat, Randy decided to clean the bottom of Blue Turtle in preparation for the next day’s journey. Corey and Matt decided they wanted to jump off the top of Grandpa’s boat and I decided that they needed to be supervised. I grabbed life jacket to float on and a beer and got in the water to cool off and watch them. After about an hour or so of jumping and swimming, we received a visit from a park ranger who kindly informed us that we couldn’t jump or swim in the anchorage. This was the first I’d ever heard of this rule and we’d floated (and seen others float) in the water many times to cool off. The ranger was super nice about and explained that should an accident occur, there was no immediate medical help nearby. I can totally understand the jumping off the boat could be dangerous and I’m sure that’s what caught their attention. After a while, Randy surfaced and the others returned from their excursion and it was time for dinner and getting the boats ready to depart early the next day. Once again, Corey blew the conch horn as we watched another amazing sunset on our last evening in the Dry Tortugas.