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post #2 of Old 12-02-2003
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liveaboard marina in St. Petersburg

P, you have three basic choices. You can berth somewhere along the FL West Coast ICW (Clearwater has the largest gaggle of boats and docks), where access to the Gulf is quick and the ''feel'' of the place is one long stretch of condos and strip malls. Or you can look for a berth on the east side of Tampa Bay - bucolic, shallow and distant from most of life except some friendly fellow boaters. The third option is to berth in downtown St. Pete, where free downtown bus service ties in even the more distant marina, concerts in the parks are a norm, a variety of events are held each month, and multiple museums are within walking distance.

Assuming you''ll be interested in the 3rd option, you can seek a berth at the Harborage (next to the Salvidor Dali Museum but 1-2+ miles from the downtown area I described), which is somewhat upscale with floating docks and a pool, you can request a visitor''s berth at the large, multi-basin Municipal Marina (literally at the front door of all the action;, or you can request a berth at the Vinoy Hotel''s docks (very, very upscale; please deliver my drink to the sauna...).

St. Pete''s Muni Marina is basic, not many amenities beyond the showers, TV room and such, but has good security and an outstanding location. They have a long waiting list but do accommodate visitors at the North Basin...and for your length of stay, you probably can seek a South Basin berth once you arrive, if that''s important to you. (Call 800 782-8350 to reach them).

St. Pete is one of those best-kept secrets as a cruising destination.

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