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The anchorage in the Vinoy Basin in downtown St. Petersburg. Photo by Steve Morrell

ENJOY VINOY: Cruise to Downtown St. Petersburg By Ina Moody

Whether to spend a weekend or a week, cruising is the way to go.


e had a week, so we pointed Seawind, our 44-foot Gulfstar, eastward under the beautiful Sunshine Skyway. Destination: downtown St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Yacht Basin on the north side of the causeway to the St. Petersburg pier (known as The Pier) in Tampa Bay. Although Seawind features two 210 HP diesels, we still believe that half the fun is getting there. We switched from a sailboat to power recently but still cruise at the sailing pace. So we took our time and cruised at an easy 1000 RPMs, making a stately five knots. We crossed under the Sunshine Skyway around noon and dropped anchor at Vinoy at about 2:30 p.m. This is a cruise we’d recommend to anyone. Only one caution: The bottom at Vinoy is soft. We had to reset our anchor several times before we got a good bite. Also, on a brisk easterly, it can get pretty rough at Vinoy. Apparently, the water comes rolling into the basin, bounces off the surrounding seawalls and keeps reverberating till the whole basin is rocking. This is a good time to check your anchor. Out of the week we were there, we had one night when the wind shifted to the east. Sure enough, in the middle of the night, the sound of the anchor rode tugging at the boat stopped, and we had to get up and reset the anchor. But, what can you do? That is part of boating. One of the nicer things about Vinoy Yacht Basin is that there is always something going on. The day we arrived, we spent the afternoon on the boat watching four people corre54

March 2008