Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

What is the Distance from Key West to the Dry Tortugas?

Embarking on a journey from Key West to the Dry Tortugas is an 80 nautical mile adventure that belongs on every sailor’s bucket list. The combination of rich history, unspoiled natural beauty, and the sense of seclusion makes it a destination like no other.
Despite its allure, the Dry Tortugas National Park sees relatively few visitors each year – about 55,000, with most arriving by daily ferry or exclusive sea plane tours. However, for those seeking a truly unique experience, arriving by private boat or chartering a yacht offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy this remarkable destination at your own pace.
Stock Island Yacht Club and Marina sunrise

The Emerging Charter Opportunity from Key West

I recently took advantage of the small but growing Key West-based charter fleet for a 5-day sailing expedition to the Dry Tortugas with some of my closest friends. The experience was nothing short of incredible, offering a blend of camaraderie, adventure, and serene beauty.

Sunset at Garden Key at the Dry Tortugas

Planning Your Sailing Adventure

When planning a sailing trip from Key West to the Dry Tortugas, there are several key factors to consider:

  1. Best Time to Visit: Avoid the peak heat of South Florida's summer, especially if your boat lacks reliable air conditioning. Spring or early Fall are ideal, offering milder weather and less risk of tropical storms.
  2. Sailing Duration: Plan for at least a week to fully enjoy the experience. A typical itinerary might include a day of arrival and overnight stay in Key West, followed by a journey to the Dry Tortugas with stops at various keys for snorkeling or relaxation.
  3. The Route: The distance from Key West to the Dry Tortugas is approximately 80 nautical miles. This journey typically takes two days each way on a sailing yacht. Be prepared for a mix of downwind and upwind sailing, depending on prevailing winds.
Read more about what to expect sailing from Key West to the Dry Tortugas.

Our sailing route to the Dry Tortugas

Navigational Insights and Tips

  1. Anchorages: Along the route, you’ll find several anchoring options, including the main anchorage near downtown Key West and more secluded spots like Boca Grande Key and the Marquesas Keys.
  2. Fishing Opportunities: The waters en route to the Dry Tortugas are teeming with marine life, offering excellent opportunities for fishing. Just be mindful of the boundaries of the national park and its regulations.
  3. Weather and Sea Conditions: Monitoring the weather is crucial for a comfortable and safe journey. Unexpected squalls or shifts in wind direction can occur, so it’s essential to be prepared and flexible with your plans.
Our arrival to Fort Jefferson on our sailing trip

A trip to the Dry Tortugas is more than just a sailing adventure; it’s an exploration into one of the most pristine and untouched environments the Caribbean has to offer. With careful planning and a spirit of adventure, this journey can be an unforgettable experience for any sailor or travel enthusiast.
Considering a charter to the Dry Tortugas? The Yacht Warriors are here to help you plan and embark on this remarkable journey. Contact us today to start planning your adventure.

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