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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fort Jefferson by Seaplane

Cockpit of our transportation today........ok, lets go! 
On our way the pilot tells us the US Coast Guard patrols these islands for illegal activities
My first class seating lol
Ground level view of Fort Jefferson

Over 16 million bricks were used in the building of Fort Jefferson
The lighthouse built in 1825 was the first structure on the island 
After awhile ( like most forts) the weaponry became useless because of the advances in shipbuilding 
Aerial view of the fort as we approach
Once Spain sold Florida to the United States the idea was for Fort Jefferson to protect their interests and the piracy from the Caribbean
The design of the fort called for a four tiered six sided walls 
Dry Tortugas Park is a 100 square mile area that includes mostly open water with seven small islands  in which  Fort Jefferson is located on one of these.
Inside the grounds the army employed civilian machinists, carpenters, blacksmiths, masons and general laborers
During the peak period as its history of a fort there were a population of over 1700
Fort Jefferson is around 110 km ( 70 miles )  west of  Key West Florida 
This was a subclass type of plane called amphibian aircraft.......because of its ability to land on airfields also
In 1888 the fort was turned over to the Marine Hospital and operated as a quarantine station
To support the large workforce and lacking fresh water they collected rainwater but with not much success 
The fort towards it end of it usefulness was also used as a prison.......most common were Army privates charged with desertion
In 1992 Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas was established a National Park
Landing back into Key West Florida