Days 195 -197
St Petersburg FL - Tampa Bay Municipal Marina
- Start 9:45 AM
- End 12:25 PM
- Underway 2:07 Hours
- Distance 18 Miles
- Total Miles on Trip 4149
- Av Speed 8.3 knots
- Weather Partly Cloudy , 67 Degrees, Wind 1 Knts NE
We had another short ride from St Petersburg to Tampa. As we traveled Matt & Ilene continued to amuse us, but "working remotely". Both Angel and I are glad those days are behind us. The bay was flat and very little boat traffic, unfortunately some of the other boaters we did encounter were rude to say the least. We have traveled over 4000 miles, and have had more boaters rock us with their wakes in the last 150 miles than we did the entire trip. We understand wakes are part of boating, but it seems to be a sport in Florida to see how close you can come to another boat, and how big can you make your wake.
We stayed at the Convention Center Docks, which in addition to having the best location were the cheapest docks in Tampa. It is hard to use any form of the word cheap, when referring to dockage in Tampa, but they were half the price of the Marriot Docks right next to us. But Location, Location, Location. The location was perfect; we were downtown and right next to the trolley stop.
One of the hard parts when we move so often is both choosing what to see at each stop and how to get there. It seems by the time we figure everything out it is time to leave. Tampa was a fairly easy to figure out the transportation part, they have a free trolley and a good phone app. You enter where you want to go, and the app tells you where the closet trolley stop is and when the trolley will arrive.
Thursday our first stop was the SS American Victory, a WWII cargo ship. The American was built in 1944 and completed in just 55 days. Today they could not decide to build a ship in 55 days. The American Victory served in WWII, The Korean War, and Vietnam and is one of only four still fully functioning ships from WWII.
Our next stop was Sparkman Warf, where we had cocktails and patiently waited for the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn to depart. The Norwegian Dawn was departing for Key West and would be the first large cruise ship returning to Key West since the start of the pandemic. We were told the departure was scheduled for 3pm. We left at 5pm and it was still on the dock. (When we return to the dock the next night it had departed LOL).
Friday we took the trolley to Ybor City (pronounced Ebor City). Ybor is the only city on Florida's west coast designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is also known as Cigar City and at one time produced more cigars than the rest of the world combined. There are several cigar shops there and you can watch them hand roll cigars. We tried to tour the last remain cigar factory in town, but they were having their employee holiday party, and closing for two weeks. Instead we toured the shops and museums before heading back to Sparksman Warf, to watch the Drag Snow Queen's Christmas Extravaganza. Yes it was as corny and hokey as it sounds, but as the MC said it was free, and you get what you pay for. Sparkman Warf is a hotspot to hang out at in downtown Tampa with many bars and eateries in modified shipping containers.
Saturday we left Tampa and headed to Treasure Island.