The Gasparilla navigation route has changed due to the weather

A small craft advisory will be in effect Saturday, warning of rough water.

TAMPA, Fla. — High seas will make it difficult for pirates to safely navigate Tampa Bay-area waters during Gasparilla, prompting a major route change.

Gasparilla’s Ye Mystic Krewe announced Friday afternoon that the vessel Jose Gasparilla, led by Captain Peter Lackman, will begin sailing Saturday at noon from Port Tampa Bay.

The ship will then sail up the Ybor Channel, around Harbor Island and into the Seddon Channel towards the Tampa Convention Center. It is there that at 1 p.m., the pirates ask Mayor Jane Castor to hand over the key to the city.

While hundreds of boats usually follow Jose Gasparilla during the annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival, people are advised not to participate this year given the forecast for high winds and choppy water. A small craft advisory will be in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday.

“In the interest of boater safety, we strongly discourage small vessels from participating in this year’s flotilla and recommend that guests enjoy the invasion and parade from land,” said Gasparilla’s Ye Mystic Krewe. in a press release.

“In addition, anyone planning to go boating on parade day should monitor weather and small craft advisories and carefully follow all recommendations made by the United States Coast Guard and law enforcement.”

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