5 Questions with the September 2014 #DryTortugas Photo Contest Winner

yankee freedom dry tortugas winner
Meet Mario Cisneros, our September 2014 #DryTortugas Photo Contest winner. We had the chance to ask Mario a few questions about his experience at the Dry Tortugas National Park. Read on to learn how he captured his amazing photo!

1. When did you visit the Dry Tortugas National Park? Did you arrive by seaplane, the Yankee Freedom ferry or another way?

We went on the Yankee Freedom ferry in August of this year.

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

The crew on the Yankee Freedom was excellent! Will definitely use them again on our next trip. Took a couple kayaks with some friends on the ferry.

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

I took that shot just outside the moat early in the morning before anyone else was in the water. There were a bunch of bigger fish feeding on this school of tiny fish and I couldn’t help but swim through the cloud. They followed us around after that. Maybe they do this for protection from bigger fish? I used a GoPro Hero 3+ with a GoScope stick.

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

The most memorable moments of the trip were kayaking to the Windjammer Wreck and free diving around it looking for Goliath grouper. Then, on the way back, we stopped by Loggerhead Key and snorkeled Little Africa. It was one of the healthiest reefs I’ve seen in Florida! Amazing!

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

I spend a lot of time in Everglades National Park and I usually buy the year pass. It expired recently so now I don’t have to renew it for this year, so that’s a plus. However, with a free National Park pass, I’m sure I’ll be enticed to visit a park on the west coast like Yosemite!

Learn More About the Contest