Monday, December 9, 2013

Back on the road again...

Judy wanted to take a road trip, and today looked like a great day to do it! Our destination...Tarpon Springs on the Gulf Coast in Florida. It is located just about 15 miles north of Clear Water Beach.

I did not really know this at all, guess I have been living in a bit of a cage... however Tarpon Springs is like the Sponge Capital of the World! The Gulf of Mexico is basically full of Sponges, all the way from Key West, right up to Pensacola on the Panhandle of Florida. They grow in a minimum of 10 feet of water, right up to 150 feet.

Yes, we stopped at Spongeorama, which is located on what they call "The Sponge Docks" in Tarpon Springs. This area is controlled and operated by the Greek Community in Tarpon Springs, and if you like to eat Greek Food, you have come to the right spot.

Check out these two guys above on their boat, just bringing in their catch of sponges today on their boat. That big pile in front of the guy with the red sweater, is sponges! They have to do quite a bit of work to them to get them ready to sell. They sell from anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00 based on what I saw today. The Dock area has been around a long time, and used to be an open air market where bidding was conducted by the buyers of the sponges in days gone by.

There is a very long and old history around the sponge here...

Not all the sponge divers seem to make it back up to the surface, so the need of a memorial!

You can book a Dolphin tour for about $14.00 each on a tour boat. You can also watch them harvesting the sponges from the boats.

This boat above was one of the bigger ships working the area...

It is a very touristy area, with lots of sponge shops, and lots of Greek Restaurants! Not really crowded today though...

We spent the afternoon walking the area, and enjoyed our lunch down on the docks.

We found a nice park in the area, and I was watching about 4 of these surf/sail operations. It was breezy on the water, and they were just flying! Sorry about the lousy picture, but they were out quite a bit on the water, and had to use lots of zoom on the iPhone...

Nice area, and we will no doubt be back...

Had a real nice Facetime Call on the iPad tonight from Shawn/Jenn, and the kids, Emmie and Paige up in cold, and very snowy Ottawa. They are all doing very well...

These are two of the sweetest little girls you would ever want to meet... what a pair! They have been very busy taking all kinds of different dance classes...

Yes, Emmie and Paige got to visit Santa! This was taken at CHEO, (The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario) where our Son works. They had a "Wake up with Santa" program for the Staff and kids. They had a blast!

Here is the whole Family above, complete with Paige holding a gift Santa gave her! Santa's sleigh will have no problems skidding along in Ottawa, as they get real winter there!

Till tomorrow...



  1. Those girls are just so adorable.

    We have friends that toured that area and just loved it. I would like to see a sponge straight out of the water. Pretty cool.

  2. Nice to get some family pictures from home we get a good steady stream of them as well.
    Interesting info about the sponges thanks for sharing

  3. Thanks for the info and tour of the Florida sponge industry. Interesting stuff. Nice day out too.

    To close the day with a great Face Time is wonderful. Nice family!

  4. Emmie and Paige always look beautiful and happy. That's a great family pic with their Mom and Dad.

    Interesting story on the sponges. Now I'm wondering if sponges are an animal, plant, fish or what. Guess I'll have to go Google it now.