I have chartered from Sailing Florida before and they should provide you with detailed charts
of the areas around there, including suggested anchoring
spots. In fact, if you check their website they have some suggested itineraries.
Just be aware that when you are inside Tampa Bay, or the ICW
, you need to keep an eye on the depth
gauge and the charts
. Outside of the channels there are lots of shallow areas and sandbars. If you go outside, into the gulf, you shouldn't have to worry too much.
Unless you plan to get there the day ahead, and stay on the boat the night before you leave, I would not plan on getting a very early start, or getting very far on the first day. It always seems that getting aboard, getting the boat provisioned, and getting on your way takes longer than expected. We usually just end up anchoring
in the Manatee River the first night and then heading out the next morning.
If there are no special events
going on in St. Pete while you're there you can park on the street (for free) right next to the marina. If there is a special event your car will get towed, but usually (no guarantees) they only tow it over a couple of blocks and put it on another street. Anyway, it's worth checking to see if anything is going on in town while you're there. Of course, if you'd rather park inside a garage anyway, then use the parking for the Renaissance Vinoy--not sure what the daily rate is.
Good luck. Weather
around here has been great lately.
I have to say that flying down to St. Thomas for just a two-day charter
hardly seems worth it to me, but I hope that goes well also.