5 Questions With The November #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

november winner jessica connell

Meet Jessica Connell, our November 2022 #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 live in the Florida Keys and often visit the Dry Tortugas! I was the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher at the park a fews years back and now volunteer. For this particular trip, I took the Yankee Freedom out and then headed over to Loggerhead Key via Park Vessel.

2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?
The trip was great! Calm waters and friendly staff the whole way there.

3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?
This particular photo is of a star coral reef patch in Little Africa, off of Loggerhead Key. I used my canon camera and and Ikelite housing to capture it. The waters were a little stirred up, but it was so nice to see healthy living coral despite SCSTD in the reef track.

4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?
I went out to volunteer with the park for a clean up and to document the turtle research on Loggerhead Key.

5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass?
I plan on heading out to the Dry Tortugas more in 2023. But I think my next trip will be to the Everglades. Hopefully I can make it up to more parks as well!