Holland America Oosterdam Going Under Sunshine Skyway Bridge at Night STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT NEFF

April 7, 2017. Holland America's Oosterdam left the Port of Tampa on a repositioning cruise to Seattle via a 23 Day Panama Canal cruise to Seattle. Featured ports of call include Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Aruba, Puerto Caldera, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, Victoria, and Vancouver..

Source: Marina Traffic

On the drive out to the Skyway Bridge, I watched the sun set behind Fort DeSoto. I arrived at the Skyway North Fishing Pier around 6:50 PM, paid the toll operator $3.21, and drove at 5 mph to the end of the fishing pier. This is the old Skyway Bridge's southbound lane. I was set up at dusk and captured this photo of the fisherman and his boat at the Skyway.

Though the sun had set, the winds swirled the clouds and mixed the sunset's yellows and reds with a touch of pink.

At dusk, the pelicans were diving for fish off the end of pier. They are normally not out this late, but this is nesting season. They need more fish for the fledglings in the nest.

The lights on the Skyway's yellow spans turned on and the navigation sticks illuminated. The navigation sticks include one green stick in the center of the span and two red sticks, one on each side. The Tampa Bay PIlots center the cruise ship on the green stick.

Oosterdam is almost here.

While cruise ships normally leave at 4 PM, the Ooseterdam left after 5 PM. The Oosterdam went under the Skyway Bridge at night with the navigation lights turned on and bridge's spans lit.

The Holland America Oosterdam went under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge at 7:17 PM.

The pelicans continued to feed and photo bomb a few more of my Oosterdam shots.

The tower is directly under the bridge. When you are on board and on the top deck, you realize how close this really is!

The Oosterdam's lights are illuminating the bottom of the Skway.

The lights on the Oosterdam's smoke stacks illuminate the bottom of the Skyway.

Broadside view of the ship in the Skyway Channel heading for Egmont Key Channel, and then the Gulf of Mexico. The name "Oosterdam" is lit for all to see.

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

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Venice, Italy. 2007

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Robert Neff


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