Jump to: Nautical Notions
Set out for a day at sea with today’s salty deal: $150 gets you a four-hour boat rental from Channelside Watersports in downtown Tampa, a $250 value. Rally your crew and set out on the briny deep for a day of seafaring adventure, where the sun kisses your blissful face and a breeze ruffles your companions’ hair.
Most people experience the city on land. Whether going to work, driving across town, or selling stolen DVDs on street corners, there’s no opportunity to sit back and soak in all that’s Tampa. Even tourists commonly spend their time rushing from attraction to attraction without taking in the bigger picture. A sail with Channelside Watersports provides a fresh perspective that even the oldest Bay-area resident (Mary Higgins, 47) can appreciate.
Your day at sea begins with a 30-minute boating orientation that includes an overview of navigating the Tampa Bay waters. You must have previous boating experience to operate the boat. (Note: Experience watching SpongeBob Squarepants is partial credit at best.) Choose between two options:
- Zip along in a 21-foot Hydra-Sports Boat with center console, 150 horsepower, and two-stroke engine. Comfortably holds six people.
- Take ‘er easy in the 24-foot Bentley Pontoon Boat, with 50 horsepower and a four-stroke engine. Holds up to 12 people.
All USCG safety equipment is included, although you must bring your own confetti cannon and bat repellant. This deal is a wonderfully relaxing outing for you and your friends, acquaintances, or people with whom you make fleeting eye contact in passing—everyone enjoys an afternoon at sea. And split among 6 to 12 friends, this deal lets you enjoy the loveliness of Tampa Bay for a song. Don’t forget to bring along drinks, snacks, sunscreen, and weather-appropriate clothing. Channelside Watersports is located behind the Tampa Marriott Waterside and open seven days a week, including all holidays.
Water tourism has quickly become the area’s largest tourism industry (surpassing walking tourism and Segway tourism). It’s impossible to go a day without overhearing a water tourist yelling about Tampa Bay beauty: the crystal clear waters, the white-sand shores, the miniature water tornadoes that dance across the bay like angry babies.
Note: Previous boating experience required to operate the boat. Renter must be 21 or older.
Before you begin your voyage, remember that sailors are superstitious for a reason. The high seas can be a dangerous place, but you can have a grand voyage and safely return to dry land with the help of these easy-to-remember sailors’ adages:
- Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, cool sailor fight.
- Winds blow sails forward, onward, and shoreward. Winds blow sails back, pirates attack.
- Barnacles on starboard, soon to be harbored. Barnacles on port, new basketball court.
- Turtles in distance, expect no assistance. Turtles in reach? Roast turtle on beach.
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