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2108000 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2013-03-09 08:30:00.0 UTC 2013-03-09T03:30:00.000-05:00 1993-no-name-storm-cemented-identity-of-the-boat-club-dive-bar published 2013-03-09 18:16:42.0 UTC 2013-03-09T13:16:42.000-05:00 news/humaninterest DTI 104196768 TARPON SPRINGS — Mike Dawson didn't know where the boat came from, but there it was, a 16-foot skiff perched more than 10 feet up, pinned in the limbs of a rambling old oak in front of his bar. It was March 13, 1993, and the area had just been devastated by a deadly storm. "It came in the middle of the night," Dawson said. "It came out of nowhere." Winds gusted to 144 miles per hour and the storm surge rose to 12 feet, with many coastal areas submerged. In Florida, it was called the no-name storm. As it traveled north, it became the blizzard of 1993. From Cuba to Canada, it killed at least 270 people, 44 in Florida. It became a benchmark storm, the one others were compared with when measuring devastation. Amid the wreckage, the storm also cemented the identity of Dawson's funky dive bar, the Boat Club, which was named that decades before an old boat washed up in his tree. Dawson's life is on the water. His home and work are both on the Anclote River. His house is in Holiday and the bar is just south of the Pinellas-Pasco county line. Boaters can motor up, dock outside and come in — hence the name the Boat Club. Dawson's house was built high and wasn't flooded in the storm. But he worried about the bar, a local haunt built in 1926, and drove his boat to see what the storm had done. He was lucky. There was a lot of mud. Crabs scuttled up the walls. But the damage wasn't terrible. "The water came in and out," said Dawson, now 62. He said he decided to keep the boat in the tree, but had someone climb up and "jam it in there" so it would stay put. The person painted "HIGH WATER LINE" on the boat and "NO NAME STORM" with the date, "MARCH 13, 93" on the side. The boat would be a tourist draw if the bar was visible from a major road, but it's not. Finding the bar is a quest on its own. The Boat Club is behind the Tarpon Animal Hospital, on the east side of U.S. 19. A narrow road winds behind the clinic and along the Anclote River. The bar doesn't look like a bar from the outside. It looks like a shack. "This is without a doubt the dumpiest bar in the world," a TripAdvisor review states, "and the patrons like it that way." Dawson, who also has an excavating business, bought it in the late 1980s when he was hired to raze the building. He said it was a spur of the moment idea, to save the bar he'd been a patron of. He put in new electrical wiring and got the licenses he needed, but didn't do much else. He said most of the structure is original — walls of rounded wood pilings and a low roof of rafters, a slanted floor that leads outside to the river deck. There is an ancient Franklin stove, which is the only way to heat the place in cold weather. The walls and ceiling are covered with beer pennants, posters of scantily clad women and the scrawlings of patrons: "Mike and Heather were kissing here" and "Super Drunk." The juke box works. The old video game on the bar doesn't. Dawson said the Boat Club has a laid-back, Key West feel. The place only serves beer and wine. Bras hang from the bar. All women who relinquish their bras get a free T-shirt, Dawson said. The 20th anniversary of the no-name storm is Wednesday. The boat still seems as stable as ever. During the past two decades, there have been additions to the boat — a redneck parking only sign, a Bob Marley bumper sticker saying, "Dude . . . Don't be such a dink!" Dawson doesn't know who put them up there and doesn't care. The patrons feel ownership of the bar, he said. It's a home for them, one that can seemingly weather most storms. Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229. By Erin Sullivan, Times Staff Writer News, Human Interest_News, pasco, pinellas 1993 no-name storm cemented identity of the Boat Club dive bar ESULLIVANN Though it had no name, the epic storm of '93 left its calling card. PSC Pasco Times djj3hhnfudfn djj3h Any port in this storm <p><b>>></b><b>if you go</b></p><p><b>The Boat Club</b></p><p>The Tarpon Springs bar is open from 11 a.m. till 2 a.m., unless there are no patrons and they close early. The bar is open every day but Christmas. There is live bluegrass music on Monday afternoons. The phone is (727) 938-9566. </p><p>Owner Mike Dawson said the address is 1761 Beckett Way, but using that will likely get you lost. It's easier to navigate toward Tarpon Animal Hospital, 43695 U.S. 19, Tarpon Springs. From U.S. 19 you will see a street just next to the clinic with a small sign saying "Boat Club." Turn east on that side street and follow the road as it curves. The bar is along the river, behind the animal hospital. </p><p>Watch out for cats.<br /><br /></p> Pasco, Tarpon Springs 1 pasboatclub031013.psc Any port in this storm 2013-03-10 05:00:00.0 UTC 2013-03-10T00:00:00.000-05:00 1 The 16-foot boat hangs in the oak tree outside the Boat Club. Did the funky bar get named as a result of the 1993 storm? Oddly, it already had the name. &#65279;Bordering the Anclote River, the bar was flooded by the no-name storm on March 13, 1993. The skiff landed 10 feet up in the tree and has been there since.&#65279; /resources/images/dti/2013/03/pasboat031013d_10403573.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013d_10403573_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013d_10403573_8col.jpg 2 Chris Dawson, left, and Robin Boyce of Tarpon Springs kick back Wednesday at the Boat Club. The dog on the bar? That&#8217;s Boyce&#8217;s chihuahua, Rocky, who&#8217;s got an itch to scratch. &#65279;The Boat Club in Tarpon Springs was among the businesses flooded when the no-name storm surprised the area with torrential rain and wind in March 1993. &#65279; /resources/images/dti/2013/03/pasboat031013b_10403579.jpg /resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013b_10403579_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013b_10403579_8col.jpg 3 Stan O&#8217;Toole, of Holiday, relaxes on Thursday in the Boat Club. Bar owner Mike Dawson said the bar has survived several storms. &#65279;The best-known was the no-name storm of March 13, 1993. Dawson said the structure dates to the 1920s.&#65279; /resources/images/dti/2013/03/pasboat031013c_10403582.jpg Photos by DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times /resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013c_10403582_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013c_10403582_8col.jpg 4 Stan O&#8217;Toole, of Holiday, left, drinks a Yuengling on Thursday while visiting with Boat Club owner Mike Dawson next to the Tarpon Springs bar&#8217;s famous boat. &#65279;The boat came to rest 10 feet up in an old oak tree on March 13, 1993. That was the date of the no-name storm, and as it barreled up the eastern coast of the Untied States, known also as the blizzard of 1993, and the storm of the century. Dawson&#8217;s bar was among area businesses flooded by the powerful, massive storm that formed over the Gulf of Mexico. The storm eventually dissipated in the north Atlantic Ocean but became a unique weather anomaly due to its intensity, massive size and wide-reaching effect. At its worst, the storm stretched from Canada towards Central America. &#65279; /resources/images/dti/2013/03/pasboat031013a_10403588.jpg Photos by DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times /resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013a_10403588_4col.jpg/resources/images/dti/rendered/2013/03/pasboat031013a_10403588_8col.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2013/03/09/104196768-1993-no-name-storm-cemented-identity-of-the-boat-club-dive-bar StaffArticle news,human interest_newsHuman Interest News ArticlesTARPON SPRINGS — Mike Dawson didn't know where the boat came from, but there it was, a 16-foot skiff perched more than 10 feet up, pinned in the limbs of a rambling old oak in front of his bar. It was March 13, 1993, and the area had just been devastated by a deadly storm.News, Human Interest_News, pasco, pinellasNews, Human Interest_News, pasco, pinellasErin Sullivan 380307 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-25 12:45:06.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:45:06.000-04:00 erin-sullivan published 2013-10-19 14:05:28.0 UTC 2013-10-19T10:05:28.000-04:00 Erin Sullivan <p>Erin Sullivan covers business in Hillsborough County. She came to the Times in 2006 and previously covered crime, courts and breaking news in Pasco County. Sullivan grew up in Alliance, Ohio, and attended the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. During college, she also studied at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark. After graduating from OU in 2000, she was a Pulliam Fellow at the <i>Indianapolis Star</i> and then worked for the Associated Press in London on a foreign correspondence fellowship. Upon returning to the United States in late 2001, she worked at the <i>Birmingham Post-Herald</i> in Birmingham, Ala., the<i> Commercial Appeal </i>in Memphis, Tenn., and the <i>Orlando Sentinel,</i> before joining the <i>Times</i>. Sullivan was a finalist for a Livingston Award<i> </i>and, in 2004, was inducted into the Scripps Howard Hall of Fame for writing.</p> <p>Story ideas are welcomed and sincerely appreciated. Give her a call or send an email.</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 33746731 Erin Sullivan covers business in Hillsborough County. She came to the Times in 2006 and previously covered crime, courts and breaking news in Pasco County. Sullivan grew up in Alliance, Ohio, and attended the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. During college, she also studied at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark. After graduating from OU in 2000, she was a Pulliam Fellow at the Indianapolis Star and then worked for the Associated Press in London on a foreign correspondence fellowship. Upon returning to the United States in late 2001, she worked at the Birmingham Post-Herald in Birmingham, Ala., the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., and the Orlando Sentinel, before joining the Times. Sullivan was a finalist for a Livingston Award and, in 2004, was inducted into the Scripps Howard Hall of Fame for writing. Story ideas are welcomed and sincerely appreciated. Give her a call or send an email. <p>Phone: (813) 226-3405</p> <p>Email: <a href="mailto:esullivan@tampabay.com">esullivan@tampabay.com</a></p> <p>Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/easullivan">@EASullivan</a></p> 1 /resources/images/dti/2012/10/Sullivan_Erin_wp.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/33746731-erin-sullivan AuthorProfile 2012-10-25 12:45:06.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:45:06.000-04:00 <span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">ERIN SULLIVAN</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Staff Writer 2291299 2016-08-28 20:39:22.0 UTC 1 Day Ago longtime-tampa-patrol-officer-dies-at-48-in-off-duty-incident news/humaninterest Longtime Tampa patrol officer dies at 48 after diving in Nevada lake StaffArticle 2288291 2016-08-05 05:50:09.0 UTC 3 Weeks Ago oregon-parents-welcome-identical-triplet-girls news/health Oregon parents welcome identical triplet girls StaffArticle 2291293 2016-08-28 18:10:35.0 UTC 1 Day Ago kitten-rescued-from-a-tampa-storm-drain news/humaninterest Stray 2-month-old kitten rescued from a Tampa storm drain StaffArticle <p>TARPON SPRINGS — Mike Dawson didn't know where the boat came from, but there it was, a 16-foot skiff perched more than 10 feet up, pinned in the limbs of a rambling old oak in front of his bar. It was March 13, 1993, and the area had just been devastated by a deadly storm.</p> <p>&quot;It came in the middle of the night,&quot; Dawson said. &quot;It came out of nowhere.&quot;</p> <p>Winds gusted to 144 miles per hour and the storm surge rose to 12 feet, with many coastal areas submerged. In Florida, it was called the no-name storm. As it traveled north, it became the blizzard of 1993. From Cuba to Canada, it killed at least 270 people, 44 in Florida.</p> <p>It became a benchmark storm, the one others were compared with when measuring devastation.</p> <p>Amid the wreckage, the storm also cemented the identity of Dawson's funky dive bar, the Boat Club, which was named that decades before an old boat washed up in his tree.</p> <p>Dawson's life is on the water. His home and work are both on the Anclote River. His house is in Holiday and the bar is just south of the Pinellas-Pasco county line. Boaters can motor up, dock outside and come in — hence the name the Boat Club. Dawson's house was built high and wasn't flooded in the storm. But he worried about the bar, a local haunt built in 1926, and drove his boat to see what the storm had done.</p> <p>He was lucky.</p> <p>There was a lot of mud. Crabs scuttled up the walls. But the damage wasn't terrible.</p> <p>&quot;The water came in and out,&quot; said Dawson, now 62.</p> <p>He said he decided to keep the boat in the tree, but had someone climb up and &quot;jam it in there&quot; so it would stay put. The person painted &quot;HIGH WATER LINE&quot; on the boat and &quot;NO NAME STORM&quot; with the date, &quot;MARCH 13, 93&quot; on the side. The boat would be a tourist draw if the bar was visible from a major road, but it's not.</p> <p>Finding the bar is a quest on its own. The Boat Club is behind the Tarpon Animal Hospital, on the east side of U.S. 19. A narrow road winds behind the clinic and along the Anclote River. The bar doesn't look like a bar from the outside. It looks like a shack. </p> <p>&quot;This is without a doubt the dumpiest bar in the world,&quot; a TripAdvisor review states, &quot;and the patrons like it that way.&quot; </p> <p>Dawson, who also has an excavating business, bought it in the late 1980s when he was hired to raze the building. He said it was a spur of the moment idea, to save the bar he'd been a patron of. He put in new electrical wiring and got the licenses he needed, but didn't do much else. He said most of the structure is original — walls of rounded wood pilings and a low roof of rafters, a slanted floor that leads outside to the river deck. There is an ancient Franklin stove, which is the only way to heat the place in cold weather. The walls and ceiling are covered with beer pennants, posters of scantily clad women and the scrawlings of patrons: &quot;Mike and Heather were kissing here&quot; and &quot;Super Drunk.&quot; The juke box works. The old video game on the bar doesn't.</p> <p>Dawson said the Boat Club has a laid-back, Key West feel.</p> <p>The place only serves beer and wine. Bras hang from the bar. All women who relinquish their bras get a free T-shirt, Dawson said.</p> <p>The 20th anniversary of the no-name storm is Wednesday. The boat still seems as stable as ever. During the past two decades, there have been additions to the boat — a redneck parking only sign, a Bob Marley bumper sticker saying, &quot;Dude . . . Don't be such a dink!&quot; Dawson doesn't know who put them up there and doesn't care. The patrons feel ownership of the bar, he said. It's a home for them, one that can seemingly weather most storms. </p> <p><i>Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report</i>. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229.</p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:57:01