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Tampa Bay info please

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  • Tampa Bay info please


    im from England visiting my parents in Orlando. We have a boat (sorry I know this is Greenhulk but I'm on here here all the time and do have 4 skis back in the UK!). We have done some of the lakes in central Florida, we have been to the east coast Vero Beach in the inland waterway which was amazing as we saw Dolphins, turtles and much more (a true experience we dont get this back in England).

    This week we fancy trying the west coast and thinking Tampa, or north/south a small bit.

    Anyone help me with a recommendation of launch ramp and place to go? We want it to be flat with lots to see and be able to stop at a restaurant by boat! (Again we don't get this in England and it's awesome!!)

    thanks guys would really appreciate it and make our vacation even better!

  • #2
    Honeymoon Island (Causeway )


    • #3
      Instead of tampa the west coast of Saint Petersburg will get you closer to the Gulf of Mexico with many islands and beaches. This is the resource for finding boat ramps
      https://public.myfwc.com/LE/boatramp/public/ . Hillsborough county, Fort DeSoto ramp would get you close to the good stuff. You will have Ft Desoto, Anna Maria Island, Egmont key plus many other areas to explore. Chart plotter and depth guage highly recommended , many, many shallow areas on the west coast!
      2019 RXTX,2018 RXTX/sound, 2017 Yamaha FX SVHO ltd.(sold), Sea Doo 2015 RXT 260 (sold), Sea Doo 2013 GTX 155 (sold), Sea Doo 2012 GTX 215 ( sold)


      • #4
        Thank you, I'll try that looks a beautiful area. Don't have a depth guage unfortunately but it's only a little Yamaha sx190 so I'll be careful.


        • #5
          There is also the Boat Ramp located on Davis Island. It is an immediate drive into Downtown Tampa heading North - NorthWest. Here you can see some cruise ships ups close and personal, and go North via the Hillsborough River through the University of Tampa. You can also grab a bite to eat at Jackson's Bistro.

          There is also Bahama Breeze if launching from the Causeway Area.


          • #6
            Well bit of a mixed day!

            We launched at Davis island (fancied St. Petes but it was an extra 30 mins drive and my fellow crew of 4 year old, wife and 2 others already told me Tampa was far enough!).

            Firstly Tampa looks a beautiful city when we drove through. Launched by the airport and we went to Beer Can island which was absolutely amazing and beautiful! Shallow light sand, warm water, saw Dolphins, Ray's and more. All went swimming and had an amazing time. Really out of this world anyone that lives here I am hugely jealous of!

            On the way back we went close to what google maps told me was Hillsbrough bay and a golf complex as this west side of the bay was far calmer....., but turns out this was a restricted USAF base area and we were pulled by the USAF police boat!

            So we have 4 English citizens with UK drivers licences, and a 4.5 year old boy (complete with his toy dolphin). They interrogate us like you would not believe, ask why we do not have our passports onboard (who carries their passport boating?!) and kept us for an hour tied up in the bay. Then took us to shore where the USAF equivalent of the FBI (so they told me) questioned us further for about 20 mins. Treated us like criminals and yes I was 100 yards past the restricted zone but we didn't see the signs (too busy looking for Dolphins!). Yes I accept its my fault but surely us English are in the same side as you guys and I was overly polite and answered everything. Still slapped us with a $275 fine (or court appearance!). Seems a bit overkill and put a downer on on the day.... But still worth it for Beer can island and the Dolphins!

            I had my licence registration and everything. Bit mean if you ask me ! A bit of leniency and a telling off would have sufficed in my opinion.

            Anyway lovely place! Especially the Cuban sandwich we had after where we moored up!


            • #7
              Definitely over done! I apologize for the rude treatment, they probably don't get much action . We frequent Beer Can and jewfish ( ICW side of beer can) all the time. A little further north you have Ft. Desoto, Egmont Key, Shell island, much to explore in this area.
              2019 RXTX,2018 RXTX/sound, 2017 Yamaha FX SVHO ltd.(sold), Sea Doo 2015 RXT 260 (sold), Sea Doo 2013 GTX 155 (sold), Sea Doo 2012 GTX 215 ( sold)


              • #8
                Sounds like you got inside the perimeter around MacDill Air Force base. They don't play at all when you get inside the posted signs! At least you didn't get caught up in the port dry docks where the cruise ships are. That area is not posted at all, yet if caught in that area you can be fined $25k and have your boat confiscated.


                • #9
                  That sucks, yeah they should have seen the kid and known you most likely were just lost and not going to do harm.....that being said
                  yeah those military bases don't play around.

                  If you liked that island you would have loved Anclote or Honeymoon they both blow away Beer Can Island.
                  2013 GTR 215 & 2004 Polaris MSX 150


                  • #10
                    $25 big ones holy cow!

                    ill try those other ones next year when I come back thank you.... I'll just be more careful next time