5 Questions With The July 2021 #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

July Winner Crystal Carpenter

Meet Crystal Carpenter, our July 2021 #DryTortugas Photo Contest winner. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about her experience at the Dry Tortugas National Park. Read on to learn how she captured her amazing photo!

1. When did you visit the Dry Tortugas National Park? Did you arrive by seaplane, the Yankee Freedom ferry, or another way?
I visited Dry Tortugas National Park in May 2021. I took the Yankee Freedom ferry out and camped for two nights.

2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?
The ferry trip out to Dry Tortugas was very nice. The weather was perfect and it was an enjoyable trip both out and back. I sat on the upper deck outside and enjoyed the views throughout the trip.

3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?
I used my cell phone, a Google Pixel. I would get up very early to look at the stars and watch night turn to day. As soon as it started to get light and I could enter the Fort I would go up to the top level and sit on the east side where I could watch the sunrise and watch the nesting birds begin their day. It was an extremely peaceful place to be and I wanted to take it home with me so to speak.

4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?
I am so glad that I decided to camp at the Fort because it allowed me to fully experience being there. I enjoyed snorkeling where I was able to see all kinds of beautiful coral. The night sky was phenomenal and I am really glad that I went during nesting season because I enjoyed watching the birds. I cannot wait to go camping there again.

5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass?
I am in the LPN to RN transition program so I will have to wait a bit to really get to use my pass. However, once I graduate in May and pass my boards I hope to take an extended trip to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier National Parks. In the meantime I will use it to visit the Everglades once it cools off.