Egmont Key

Heading south to Egmont Key, we crossed Tampa Bay going by the Sunshine Bridge.  Although the bridge is a very different construction, it reminded us of the Mackinaw Bridge back home with its twin towers.  The coast guard warned of fog in the area, which is exactly what we encountered the last mile of the trip to the island.  Using radar, GPS, horn signals, and keeping a close watch made for an uneventful trip even in the fog.

Egmont Key is a state park only accessible by boat with an area to anchor for visiting pleasure craft.   The anchorage is not well protected, but usable when the weather conditions are right. The first night was a little rolly, but worth it to be able to explore the island.  In times past, a thriving community operated on the island with over 70 buildings built from 1898 to 1916.   All the buildings, except for the concrete bunkers and gun batteries of Fort Dade from the Spanish American, war are gone.   The red brick and concrete streets and walkways, are still there.   You can see where all the houses, school, fire station, and stables were located.  The bunkers are on the Gulf side and look out over the ocean.  We explored the bunkers and learned about some of the construction.  One of the bunkers even had a canon that would drop down out of site for reloading.

The light house on the south end of the island is still active. Its light sweeps the anchorage every 15 seconds.

We saw many Gopher Tortoises on the National Wildlife Refuge Island.  They dig large tunnels in the ground for their homes. A ferry makes day trips to the island for “non-boaters” to explore the area.

While anchored at Egmont Key, Scott from Last Call dove and cleaned the bottom of our boat.  We were so thankful he could do that for us.

 

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Sunshine Bridge

 

 

sign

 

 

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Note: Osprey guarding the wildlife sign

 

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Behind bars on Egmont Key

Gopher Turtles on Egmont Key

 

Flowers on Egmont Key

 

Fort Dade Bunkers 

 

Wild Life

 

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Anchored on Egmont Key

 

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Brick Roads still in good shape on Egmont Key

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Brick Roads still in good shape on Egmont Key

 

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Scott and Karen from Last Call Skipping down the yellow brick road on Egmont Key

 

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There was a fire on Egmont Key State Park caused by a lightning strike that burned through 79 acres. The fire was in July 2016.

 

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Working light house on Egmont Key, notice the strings of Christmas Lights

 

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Scott from Last Call dove and cleaned the bottom of our boat. We were so thankful he could do that for us.

 

 

 

Sun Rise, Sun Set,…… on Egmont Key

 

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