Back in 2002, an event known as America's Sail arrived in St. Petersburg with tall ships and high hopes, only to sink under the weight of too many people who wanted to see the ships and too little organization. Organizers of this weekend's Sail Tampa Bay 2010 are hoping their modest festival won't encounter such stormy seas.
The event features three steel-hulled tall ships that will sail into town for tours and educational sessions for a five-day festival. Ships on display include the U.S.C.G. Eagle from the United States (a 295-foot three-masted barque that was owned by the German navy during World War II; it's now used for training); Captain Miranda from Uruguay (a 205-foot staysail schooner); and the Gloria from Colombia (a 249-foot three-masted barque). The event will feature live music and dockside tours of the ships at the Tampa Convention Center (Gloria and Captain Miranda) and Channelside (the Eagle).
Touring the Eagle is free, but the others require a ticket, or passport. You can purchase boxed lunches with your tickets. The cost is $10 for adults, $3 for children for a passport to all three ships. The nearbyYacht StarShip is offering dinner and lunch cruises that provide a view of the ships from the water.
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- 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. The festival begins with the ships sailing into the channel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that, you'll be able to tour the ships (the Eagle closes at 5 p.m.).
- The ships will also be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday. The Eagle, which is scheduled to depart at 2 p.m. Tuesday, is open for tours from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that day. The Captain Miranda and Gloria will be available for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. There is a closing ceremony Wednesday. (The sponsor's site doesn't indicate a time for the ceremony.)
- Call (813) 274-8511 or see the website for more information: sailtampabay2010.com.