5 Questions With The June 2015 #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

Dry Tortugas June Winner Interview Post

Meet Tabitha Cale, our June 2015 #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 the Tortugas for the first time in April 2014. I am an avid birdwatcher and planned my trip around spring migration. I had such a great time, I came back again this year. Both times I took the Yankee Freedom ferry and camped for a few nights.

2. If you arrived by the Yankee Freedom, how was your ferry trip?

The ferry trip was great and definitely added to the experience of visiting the Tortugas. I saw sea turtles, flying fish and some pelagic birds all from the boat. The ferry staff were very professional and friendly.

3. How did you capture your winning photo? What inspired you to take it? Did you use any cool camera gear?

I was wandering around the outside of Fort Jefferson, keeping an eye out for migrant birds to identify and photograph, and saw some Magnificent Frigatebirds flying relatively low. While I was photographing the birds, I noticed the moon was still out and with some patience was able to get a photo with both in the frame.

4. What made your trip to the Dry Tortugas memorable?

One of the best things about the visit was being able to completely unplug and enjoy my surroundings. Even if I was tempted to check my email, voicemail, Facebook or other reminder of the rest of the world, I couldn’t because of the lack of cell reception and internet. I was able to be present and completely enjoy the beautiful surroundings, filling my visit with birding, snorkeling, stargazing, sunset and sunrise watching. The birding definitely lived up to my expectations too. I saw lots of great birds, adding a few new ones to my life list.

5. What do you plan to do with your National Park Annual Pass? Which national park would you like to visit next?

I will definitely get a lot of use out of my National Park Annual Pass. I live pretty close to two great parks: Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park and visit both several times of year to hike, bird and kayak. I hope to be able to visit a new park this year. There are so many fantastic National Parks, but Denali, Yosemite, Acadia and Big Bend are high on my list of ones I can’t wait to visit.