Visitors Flock to Clearwater Marina
By Anne McKay Garris
All the way from Ohio and Siesta Key, this young man and his family came to fish from The Dos Amigo deep sea fishing boat docked at the Clearwater Marina. Young Lucas Buck's pride in his fishing prowess shows all the way to his fingers as he points out his family's catch of the day.
From Clearwater Beach's popular Marina visitors and residents can find a boat to take them fishing, snorkeling, shelling, sight-seeing, dolphin watching, wave runner piloting, pirate hunting, speed boating, parasailing, sailing and out for an elegant dinner party on moonlit Clearwater Bay. During the Fourth of July weekend there were also boats to take visitors to watch the fireworks from the water.
Bird watching is also a major activity at the Clearwater Beach Marina as the large and lovely seabirds flock to assist the boat crews in "cleaning up" the fish they have caught. This Snowy Egret (front) prepares to take flight in an effort to wrench a piece of discarded fish from the Pelicans and the American Egret (in the background). Fish cleaning time at the Marina is an especially good time to get photos, up close, of some of Florida's most interesting birds. Other times small Green Heron and noisy sea gulls hang around, perching on anchor lines or dock posts.
Inside the Marina building a visitor can find a meal, ice cream, souvenirs, sea treasures, snacks, a barbershop and a post office. And, if they wander far enough they will find the Bait Shop, close to a fishing pier where you can wet a line and, possibly, snag one of the small tasty fish that hang out among the pilings.
The Marina, however, is among Clearwater's endangered species. Clearwater city government officials have decided that the building needs replacement because of its age and condition. No future plans have been made but four things seem to have been decided. The current building must go. The city has no money to replace it so will probably look for a "public/private" arrangement. Currently the Marina is not a high priority on the city's planning schedule. And, whatever they do, it must be approved by referendum of the people.
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