From the Captain’s Chair . . .


Winter 2020/21

Tell the world by conch horn

Conch salute to the sunset

I know you all are as sick and tired as I am of the huge changes in our daily lives that have been necessary to try to combat this pandemic.   We’re all “covid fatigued”, big time.   I so miss taking our guests out into the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay, enjoying the fresh breezes and warm sun, and soaking in the much-needed solitude of a sailing cruise.

However, we’re unnecessarily losing millions of healthy Americans and foreign visitors due to this deadly virus and we’ve got to stop it.  Like a bad storm at sea for a sailing craft, there are ways we can effectively manage the situation until better conditions return.

One of the most effective immediate strategies is to stop the spread of the virus.  And we do that best by effectively implementing the personal and business changes we’ve all become “sick and tired of”. I believe the good news is that if we all work together (citizens, businesses, and governments), it won’t take long to regain some control of this horrible epidemic.  As bad as it feels right now, this storm won’t last forever!  We can save lives and beat this “gale”.

Fair Seas and Gentle Breezes,

Captain James McManus



Uncharted Waters


Olde World Sailing Line Schedules

Dear Guests –

The Coronavirus has presented global challenges to us all unlike any in modern memory.   Challenges in personal life, business and community commerce, and professional interactions – truly uncharted waters for everyone.  Following the guidance of the respected health officials we will all get through this world disaster together.

Throughout the fall 2020 of the coronavirus infections has spread in most states.  Florida is a leading state in the rising rates of COVID-19 infections.

Olde World Sailing Line is doing our part to follow the guidelines established to curb this epidemic by personal self-distancing.  In respecting these guidelines Olde World Sailing will not be operating cruises until medical officials determine it is safe to do so.  Your safety has always been our primary concern throughout our eight-year history.  Although this safety concern is far different than we have ever faced before, our commitment to the well being of our guests remains our top priority.

When conditions improve and leading medical doctors inform us that it’s safe to resume operations, we look forward to welcoming you aboard again.  We look forward to again showing you the Tampa Bay Area from the sea.

God Bless You All,

Captain James McManus
Captain Kathryn McManus


Phase I Reopening Plan for Olde World Sailing Line


Olde World Sailing Line

Beginning March 1, Olde World Sailing Line discontinued sailing operations as prescribed by U.S. health experts.  After reopening briefly from August – October, we have suspended sails again due to the widespread surge in coronovirus cases in the U.S.

When health officials indicate it is safe to begin some business activities again, we will update our website and resume sails.  Following are our reopening guidelines when that time comes.

U.S. Health Official Guidelines for PHASE I business reopening:

                * Social Distancing –Remain at least 6 feet from other non-household people.

               * Wear masks or face coverings when outdoors and around other people

      * Avoid large groups of people, particularly in indoor spaces

For the safety of our guests and crew, Olde World Sailing Line has developed a

Phase I Reopening Plan:

  1. All sailing cruises will be private, with no more than two guests aboard.  Guests will verify they are not sick or feeling ill, and have not been in contact with any individuals known or suspected to be COVID-19 positive.
  2. Forehead temperatures will be taken for all guests and crew before boarding, and you will be asked to use provided hand sanitizer upon boarding.
  3. Guests will wear facemasks before entering the dock gate at the parking lot and continue to wear them until permitted to remove them once seated aboard the boat.
  4. Comfortable padded armchairs will be provided on the foredeck of the boat (lots of fresh air in private setting).  Guests will not leave the bow foredeck area.  If the restroom is needed, guests will wear masks when moving back to the bridge area and stairway below decks, and use the provided hand sanitizer after using the head.
  5. During the 3-Hour Sail no food will be served.  Guests are welcome to bring their own snacks or alcoholic beverages.  A cooler will be located on deck with water and soft drinks, as well as a place for your snacks as needed.
  6. Guests will wear masks when departing the vessel and dock area at the conclusion of the cruise.

Our Phase I Reopening Plan is temporary.  The Plan revises Olde World’s traditional business structure and practices, as business all over the world have had to do.  We look forward to the day when we can resume full operations.   Thank you for sailing with us.  We are committed to continuing to provide you with the TripAdvisor 5-Star service you have honored us with for the past eight years in Tampa Bay.

Exclusive Private Sailing Cruise

 $448 per Couple

A VIP Guest Experience – from 98Rock Baltimore

We were thrilled to welcome Sarah Fleischer aboard Lionheart this January.  She is an on-air personality at 98Rock from the Greater Baltimore area.  Check out her Blog at 98Rock Online.

Sarah at 98Rock Online Onboard Lionheart

Sarah at 98Rock Online – Aboard Lionheart

All Aboard Matties!

Just getting away from the “Polar Vortex” for 6 days to Clearwater,Florida was wonderful in itself but a real highlight of out little getaway has to be our half day sailing outing in Tampa Bay! We sailed the Lionheart, a 44 foot blue water yacht on Olde World Sailing Line. It’s not that the weather was spectacular for sailing-the day was overcast with very little wind but warm enough , 70 degrees or so.

It’s always the people that make the experience special .We set sail with our very dear friends who live in Tampa and were greeted by Captain Jim and his first mate, Kathy, a lovely couple with enough grace, charm and talent to woo a cranky pirate! They served yummy horderves, told great stories and even entertained us with Kathy’s accomplished and angelic harp playing. Jim’s a master at conch blowing and will invite you to try it out for yourself (very loud!!)

By the end of the day we felt like 6 chummy sailors out to sea for an afternoon adventure.What’s so unique about the voyage is that Captain Jim and Kathy pay special tribute to the grand age of seafaring and enjoy the experience as much as their patrons! They offer dinner cruises, half day, full day, sunset voyages and even engagement voyages. It’s a great time. Look them up the next time you’re in Tampa



This Year, A Real Pirate Ship at Tampa Bay’s Gasparilla Festival

Tampa Bay’s dirty little secret is that its famed annual Gasparilla celebration is a fake. Jose Gaspar, the fabled pirate for which our celebration is named, never lived – he’s a tall tale at best. And his famed pirate ship that leads the Tampa invasionisn’t even a ship – it’s an unpowered barge!

This year, however, city guests and residents alike will be treated to the real thing – a genuine pirate ship, under her own sails, straight out of history. At least that’s what the invading British called the Lynx and ships like her during the War of 1812. Lynx was one of the fastest of the “privateers”, extraordinary schooners that sailed circles around the massive Royal Navy and terrorized it’s merchant fleet. The privateers, owned and crewed by private citizens, sank many of the much larger British man-o-war ships and hundreds of their merchant ships along the Atlantic coast. The Royal Navy called the Fells Point area of Baltimore Harbor, where many of the privateers were constructed, a “Den of Pirates”.

 Decked Out for War . . . and Education

Lynx on Tampa Bay

Privateer Lynx

Today’s Lynx is of course not the original ship from the War of 1812 – only the Constitution survives today from that war. She’s a replica built in Rockport, Maine, and operated by the Lynx Educational Foundation as a living history museum to educate children and adults alike about American history through active sail training aboard a real wooden sailing ship. Lynx is armed with a functioning main battery of four six-pounder carronade and four swivel guns. In addition, a complementary stand of historic small arms, for demonstration and instructional purposes, is aboard, including muskets, pistols, cutlasses, boarding pikes and axes. To maintain the historic integrity of the onboard experience, the permanent crew of Lynx wears uniforms and operates the ship in keeping with the maritime traditions of early 19th Century America.

 Come Aboard in Tampa or St. Petersburg

The Lynx is visiting at the Tampa Convention Center docks, near Lionheart’s berth, through Wednesday, January 22nd, then departs Thursday for a short stay in St. Petersburg. The Lynx will join the Jose Gaspar and the Gasparilla fleet on January 25th as they invade Tampa – watch for those tall masts and majestic square-rigged sails! She will return to share the Tampa Convention Center docks with Lionheart for another ten days on February 17th. Then she’ll sail back to St. Petersburg, where she will remain until March 13.

On Deck Aboard Lynx

On Deck Aboard Lynx

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to walk the decks of this grand tall ship. Better yet, go aboard for a journey back in time as Lynx puts to sea in the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay. Numerous ship tours and sailings are scheduled during their Tampa and St. Pete visits. And plan a January or February cruise with Olde World Sailing Line aboard Lionheart, as she escorts Lynx throughout Tampa Bay. You’ll get unbelievable up-close pictures of Lynx under full sail.

 See a Great Video of the Lynx

Learn more about the Privateer Lynx and her schedule at www.privateerlynx.com.


Manatee Up for Air


Contact Us

 The winter months in Central Florida are some of the most beautiful months of the year. The air is crisp and clear as well as the waters of Tampa Bay as summer algae dissipates. This year November and December have provided us many spectacular sails, brilliant sunsets, and abundant wildlife encounters.

 As many of you have experienced, Lionheart is often escorted by playful pods of dolphins throughout the year, frequently coming alongside a mere two or three feet from the hull riding our wake. But during the winter months the dolphins are joined by an influx of huge flocks of migrating water birds, including the rare white pelican. On numerous November and December sails we have encountered bald eagles as they dive for nearby fish. The most anticipated winter visitor, though, is the iconic manatee. These warm-blooded mammals, reputedly mistaken as mermaids by early sailors, look a bit like a walrus without tusks. Manatees are strictly herbivores, feeding on sea grass and other vegetation, and are very social animals.

Guaranteed Manatee Sightings

As the Gulf waters cool below about 68 degrees F, manatees move into the warmer Tampa Bay (as well as fresh water springs and rivers). Since they must rise to the surface to breathe, manatee sightings are a highlight of any Olde World

Manatee in Tampa Bay

Manatees in Tampa Bay

Sailing trip, thrilling our seafaring guests both local and out-of-state. But given that Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest estuary spanning around 40 miles from Tampa to the Gulf, spotting manatees is not an everyday occasion aboard Lionheart. The good captain, however, can point you to a very nearby “Manatee hole” where you’ll see wild manatees by the dozens – up-close and personal.

Manatee Hot Spa

Manatee Viewing Center

Manatee Viewing Center

The Tampa Electric Power Plant, in Apollo Beach, burns coal to generate pressurized steam that drives their turbines. To convert this steam back to water, the plant pumps in cooler seawater from the bay. As the seawater interacts with the steam, it too becomes much warmer. This warm seawater is then discharged back into a canal next to the power plant. Manatees like this a lot!

Manatee Sanctuary    In 1986 the state of Florida declared this canal an official manatee sanctuary. It is a winter hot spot for migrating manatees.  The Tampa Electric Company has built a visitors center and beautiful boardwalk overlooking the canal. There you can learn more about manatees and walk out over the water to view dozens and dozens of manatees in their natural habitat.

 Take I-75 south from Tampa and exit at the Apollo Beach exit. A left hand turn from the ramp will take you directly to the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Area. There is no charge to enjoy this fabulous natural wonder. Tell them Captain Mac sent you (http://tampaelectric.com/company/mvc/).

 Please Be Careful On the Water

During 2013 Florida recorded more manatee deaths than ever before – 800+, vs. around 300 in 2012. Scientists are not sure the reasons for the jump in mortality, but injuries and death by speeding boats is one serious cause. Please observe Manatee Zone signs when you’re on the water.



Proposals on a Private Sailing Yacht

Beginning a brand new life together.

Beginning a Brand New Life Together

Spectacular sunset sailing, steady predictable winds, and comfortable temperatures – all the wonderful things we love about Tampa Bay and Gulf Coast sailing in the fall. Apparently Cupid has an affinity for the season as well. The past few months have been a great time for marriage proposals aboard Lionheart. Congratulations to these lucky couples as they begin a glorious new life together.

Engagement on deck of Lionheart

Engagement on deck of Lionheart

One of the most wonderful perks about operating Olde World Sailing Line is the opportunity to share time with such interesting and fun-loving couples. Lionheart is a “happy boat” and this is certainly a “happy” business. The smiles of our guests are always infectious and engaging. This is especially true when we are honored to be chosen as the venue for one of life’s most exciting and solemn moments – a marriage proposal! We take this honor very seriously and pull out all the stops to help make this occasion one of the lifelong hallmarks in the lives of these lucky couples.

Thank you all for choosing Olde World Sailing to host this first formal hallmark on your brand new life together. Congratulations and best wishes.

Update:  a new video sneak peek at many happy couples celebrating their love on SV Lionheart!


Tampa Bay Under Full Sail and Full Moon

Tampa Bay Sunset Sailing Cruise

Back at the Dock after Full Moon Cruise

In mid-June, Olde World Sailing Line will present one of its most unusual cruises, unique in all of west-central Florida. On Saturday, June 22, the sun will set at 8:24 pm, the second longest day of the year. At about the same time the sun is setting in the west, the full moon will be rising in the eastern sky – a fairly rare event.

As the sky turns from bright reds and oranges through deep shades of purple, the huge full moon will dominate the eastern skies. While close to the horizon, the full moon appears twice its normal size, painting ever-changing Monet-like reflections on the waters. It is a rare and spectacular sight to behold.

Lionheart will make other Full Moon Excursions on other days surrounding June 22nd. Friday’s sail is fully booked, but Sunday and Monday will also have a moon nearly as full as that of the 22nd, with moonrise only a little later.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience this unique astronomical and maritime event. We’ll make memories you will treasure for a lifetime. Like all Olde World Sailing cruises, you will be treated to Tampa’s most luxurious sailing line, with extravagant hors d’oeuvres, live music, flowers, and First Cabin service from the moment you board.

Reserve Your Full Moon Sailing Cruise Today


Full Moon Sailing Cruise

Moonrise from Sea

Sunset Sailing Cruise

Chasing the Sun to the Horizon

Tampa Bay Sailing Eco Tours

Sailing Tampa Bay – One of Florida’s Most Productive Natural Habitats

Tampa Bay Sailing Tour

Tampa Bay from Sea

One of the most profound pleasures of sailing on beautiful Tampa Bay is the abundance of sea life we encounter. Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest estuary – an enclosed body of coastal waters with one or more rivers flowing into it, opening to the sea. Four rivers empty into our bay, the Hillsborough River, at Tampa, the Alafia, near Gibsonton, the Little Manatee, near Ruskin, and the Manatee River at Bradenton.

Estuaries are a transition zone between river and open ocean environments and are subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water and river influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediments. This combination of both seawater and fresh water provide high levels of nutrients, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world. Thanks to long term improvements in environmentally friendly practices, Tampa Bay water quality is at decades-high levels.

 Tampa Bay is Teaming with Life

Over 500 resident dolphins call Tampa Bay home 12-months of the year, according to Florida Aquarium researchers. Dolphins visit Lionheart on most every sail, often riding the sailboat’s bow waves and side wakes, sometimes only a couple feet away. During these encounters you can look directly into their eyes and feel the very real presence of “someone” looking back at you with equal curiosity – an awesome experience every time! The forceful sound of their exhaling breath punctuates the air and can be startling when you’re not expecting them. The dolphins seem clearly to swim with the boat for the mere fun of it.

Tampa Bay Dolphins

Tampa Bay Dolphins


On other occasions, the dolphins can be seen feeding on schools of fish. While on their dinner forays, the dolphins don’t pay much attention to the boat, but their swimming pattern makes observations and photo ops much longer. The dolphins leap through the waves chasing their prey and thus remain visible for a more extended time.

Most Diverse Colonies in the Continental United States

Pelicans and cormorants put on a predictable show on virtually every sailing tour as they forage for dinner. And scores of other sea birds become a welcome part of the Tampa Bay ecosystem and a delightful part of our sailing cruises. Every year, up to 18,000 nesting pairs of nearly 20 bird species nest in various spoil islands located within Tampa Bay. The spoil islands, now tree-covered, were formed from the sand and mud deposited when the Tampa shipping channel was dredged in the late 1920’s. Bird Island, near the mouth of the Alafia River, is the top-nesting site in Florida for roseate spoonbills and is one of the most diverse bird colonies in the continental United States. Sunset sailing tours are often the most ideal times to get up-and-personal with the rich diversity of sea life of Tampa waters.

Mermaids from the Deep

But no matter how many times we sail these beautiful waters, it is impossible to become complacent. An unexpected twist seems always just around the next wave. On a sailing tour last week near sunset, Lionheart had a very close encounter with a friendly manatee. The manatee didn’t appear at all disturbed by our presence and remained nearby for over 15 minutes before disappearing into the depths. Sailboats have an extraordinary advantage when encountering marine life because of their natural quietness. When aboard a sailboat, your senses are much more attuned to the sea environment than when barging through the waves under power. Your sense of hearing, smell, and even sight is enhanced when moving with the elements rather than fighting them. Most important, sailing vessels do not harm these gentle creatures with prop strikes.

Manatee in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Manatees

The Source of Old World Sailor's Mermaid Stories

The Source of Old World Sailor’s Mermaid Stories

If you are fortunate enough to share some space with any of these magnificent marine animals, please be sure not to feed them or disturb their normal behavior (it’s also against the law). As with all wild creatures, whether on land or in the sea, frequent encounters with mankind often turn out badly for them. Observe and respect them. Enjoy them. But let them do their thing and appreciate the privilege of their company.

Come Join an Olde World Sailing Line Tampa Bay Sailing Tour

See Florida and the Tampa Bay Area as you’ve never experienced it before – from the decks of an ocean-going sailing yacht.  Lionheart sails daily from the Tampa Convention Center Docks.  Book your expedition here.

Tampa Sailing Tours

Olde World Sailing Line

You haven’t seen the Tampa Bay Area until you’ve seen it from the sea. Get a preview from our video…

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