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USCG Communications Center Tour

Before the USCG Station tour, we assembled in the parking lot of the Marina. We were rewarded with a view of an interesting twin-keel boat. Rather than having rails, this trailer looked like a flat-bed trailer!
Lieutenant Meyer was our tour guide for the morning. He was friendly and seemed to be a bottomless pit of knowledge about the Station when we asked our questions. Many thanks to him for postponing his duties ti assust us this morning.
A 87-footer, carries a crew of twelve, I think.
Yes, that is a deck gun on the front. Did you know that the boat length is part of the serial number on boats up to 60 feet? The serial for this one would start with "110" if they numbered the bigger ones like this. If you are wondering, it carries a crew of 16.
Cool! RIB boats with a cabin. Not allowed to show how much, but these guys have some serious horsepower on them.
See? I told you it was a deck gun.
Left to right: John, Dick, Steve, Not Sure (hidden behind Steve), Chris, Chris' son, Ann in front, Von's son in back, Mel, Patrick, Lt. Meyer, and Barry. Don't know where Dale or Mike (not me, I am taking the pix) went.
Aren't you glad your tax dollars are spent on something besides high-priced toilet seats and hammers?
The big boys. Interesting enough, the crew on these 100-foot plus boats is just a few more men than the smaller ones. Guess it does not take many to drive and shoot at the bad guys.
Looking back at the first one we came to.
Close-up of the RIB boat. As you can see, this is a seriosly foul weather boat. Lt. Meyer says it is a hoot to drive, too.
This is the non-glamour side of the duty roster. They use this boat to tend the bouys and channel markers in the bay. Up close, the scratched paint is obvious. Maybe we should submit this to Mike Roe at Dirty Jobs.
Although this picture does not do it justice, this command meeting room has murals that include Pocohontas in fuzzy boots and a miniskirt (miniskin?) painted on the wall. This building has been added to the Historical Register for protection.
We are about to enter the Command Operations Center. HIGH SECURITY ZONE. No picture taking or sound recording devices were allowed inside. In keeping with this perspective, I will not reveal anything except that they can locate a radio MAYDAY anywhere in Florida including inland waters, even if no GPS info is transmitted. If you plan on having these guys help you when you need it, I recommend you purchase and install a DSC-enabled VHF radio. It will make their job a lot easier.

After the Coast Guard Station tour, it is lunch at Fish Tales. Located at the Maximo Marina, it is operated by Dan and Peggy Wesner. You may remember them as Johnny Leverock's prior to August 2001. They have great food and you sit about 50 or 60 feet from the water. All sorts of boats go past while you are eating.

Fish Tales Restaurant
1500 2nd St South
St Petersburg, FL 33701