The Historic Anna Maria City Pier
Summer or Winter, the City Pier is a place where many visitors and locals go. It sticks out into Tampa Bay. The views are of Egmont Key and the Sunshine Sky Way Bridge. Fishermen frequent this long pier to catch all kinds of fish, including sharks. The ever present Pelicans, Herons and Gulls create a noisy background sound. The restaurant on the tip of the pier provides fare with local flavor.
It is not at all advisable to swim here, the currents can carry an unsuspecting swimmer miles into the sea.
The History Of The Pier
Shortly before you step onto the pier, this is what you can read on the weathered plaque about the Historic Anna Maria City Pier:
The Anna Maria Development Company built this pier and wharf in 1911-1912 to provide dockage for ships from St. Petersburg and Tampa. It has since withstood hurricanes and lesser storms too numerous to mention. Although parts were damaged by storms in 1918, 1935, 1974 and 1988, it has each time been restored to its approximate original form. It is 678 feet long. The wharf extends another 58 feet into Tampa Bay.
Over the years it has nurtured the hopes of fishermen and the dreams of lovers, provided roosts for pelicans and other sea birds and has been a friend to residents and visitors alike.
Over the center of the tin roof from the third shore bench to the south of this marker, on clear nights can be seen the North Star, guardian of the mariners since the first sailors looked up for guidance on the night sea.
Come walk the planks.
Beneath the Roof of this City Pier is
The Place to Sit with Shrimp and Beer.
While Lightning in the Distance Plays
And Thunder Rumbles Across the Bays.
"Summer Storm"... CMV
The View From The Pier
From the pier looking towards the coastline of the main land, the bay is shallow from the shore outward. The white sand under the ripples of water reflects the sky intensely, so there are always wonderful colors displayed in this area.
Many People Visit And Enjoy
Indeed the Pier is a busy place day and night. Often fishermen cast their nets into the shallows to catch bait fish. The pelicans and herons are quick to get an easy meal from the fishermen, sometimes the birds are sly thieves. It is certainly fun to watch.
In the winter the birds get a little more attention. When the water is cold there is not much fish for them to catch, the fish pull away from the coast to get to warmer waters, and so some people feed them, even though that is not such a good idea. The birds get spoiled and want to continue getting these easy meals and inadvertently get a fish hook into their beak, wing, or worse while trying to get too close to the fishermen.
Weathered Has Its Appeal
The weathered planks on the pier are of true rustic beauty. A lot of people just walk without paying any attention what is under their feet. I sat on one of the benches once to watch the reactions of the visitors. Not a single one looked at them. I felt it was a shame that that aspect of the pier is missed by so many. The patterns of the stressed wood are inspiring to me: there are faces and critters and beings to be discovered in the markings and knobby wood.