Mar 18, 2017 — Just west of Fort DeSoto is the entrance to Tampa Bay's shipping channel, which cuts to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Tonight, I was at the fishing pier next to the old fort before sunset to watch two cruise ships, Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas and Carnival Paradise, head out to the Gulf. With the time change, the cruise ships went by before sunset, the golden hour for photographers. When enjoying Fort DeSoto, take the time to explore the area near Fort DeSoto's pier. This is rustic and different than North Beach, which is always voted one of the top beaches in the United States.

Pilot Boat racing out to the channel entrance to pick up a tug pushing a barge. Once on board, the pilot will guide the ship into port.

The Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas is first of two ships. The communications tower was the first part of the cruise ship to be seen.

Busy day for the pilot boats.

Pilot boats follow the cruise ship until it exits the shipping channel. Then it will move along side the cruise ship and pick up the pilot.

A tug is pushing the the barge.

The fishing pier.

Pelican chases the snowy egret off the lamp pole's light fixture.

Carnival Paradise is next.

Tow insurance is a good idea!

Pelicans are photo bombing my shots, but would rather that have them do that than....

Fort DeSoto ferry pier is in the distance. Takes you to Egmont Key.

The fishing pier has walking paths and historical points of interests related to the old fort.

It's nesting season! The osprey's mate just left to go fish.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge with Port Manatee in the distance.

Sunset along the return drive across the keys that connect Fort DeSoto to Tierra Verde.

Enjoy more stories and images of what I get to enjoy everyday!

Purchase Robert Neff's Photography online at Saatachi Art, Adobe Stock Photography and Fotolia. If you see a photograph that is not there, let me know. I can add the image.

Venice, Italy. 2007

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