Loggerhead Key, the largest island in the Dry Tortugas, is named for its abundance of loggerhead sea turtles with approximately 250 nests yielding 15,000 hatchlings each summer. It has also seen its share of shipwrecks. With more than 250 wrecks in the Dry Tortugas, a lighthouse was constructed in 1856 to protect mariners from the reefs. Loggerhead Key was also home of a cutting-edge marine laboratory from 1905 to 1939.
Besides Garden Key and Fort Jefferson, this little island and lighthouse signifies that you have arrived at the Dry Tortugas! On the west side of the island is Little Africa, a large and shallow reef perfect for snorkeling. There are a couple mooring buoys you can use or you can drop anchor in the sand. We went both by dinghy and taking Blue Turtle and it’s a great place for an afternoon snorkel.