My wife and I visited Dry Tortugas National Park in July and of course the heat and humidity when not in the water were very uncomfortable to bear. The park is an amazing sight, with this huge abandoned fort seemingly rising out of the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of nowhere as the ferry approaches it. The snorkeling around the small islet is great, but once you are on dry land and venture into the the heat inside the abandoned fort it is quite an experience, and frequent excursions back outside into the sea breeze are mandatory if you visit at this time of year. It is mind boggling to think about Civil War era soldiers, in heavy uniforms, working to build this huge structure in such oppressive conditions. This image is a view through the lower archways on one side of Fort Jefferson and gives an idea of the millions of bricks that had to be hauled by ship 70 miles west from Key West out into the Gulf of Mexico to build the fort. Even though it was never finished, the fort is the largest masonry structure in the Americas, being composed of over 16 million bricks. Years of water filtering through cracks in the 2nd floor ceiling of the abandoned structure have begun to form a couple of 'stalagmite' type formations on the floor of the hall.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor