We travelled to a small group of islands almost 70 miles west of Key West to the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. It is made of mostly open picturesque blue water with seven small islands that are only accessible by boat or seaplane. Nestled on Garden Key is a Fort which was built in the height of the Civil War. Fort Jefferson is an enormous fort that seems to rise up out of the water. It was built to protect the southern coastline of the United States and the lifeline of trade to and from the Mississippi River. It offered ships the chance to resupply and seek refuge from storms. Being located along one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes was its greatest military asset. The large reefs surrounding the Tortugas enabled the US to establish one of the most strategic harbors in the US history. The Fort was never finished nor fully armed. Construction began in 1846 and continued for over 30 years; however, the inventions of the rifled cannon finally made the Fort obsolete as its thick walls could now be penetrated.