Tarpon Springs

Hello All . . .

Yes, it’s been a while since we last blogged, but life has been a bit “slow” here in Bushnell, which is in central Florida.  There is not much to do around here but we knew that before we came and were looking forward to some down time to do some upkeep with the motorhome.  Now waxing a car is something that not many people do more than once a year, although some never do it at all.  Try thinking about waxing a vehicle that is 41′ long and 12′ high!  But if you want to be “looking good” (wasn’t that Freddie Prinze?) it must be done.  So we scheduled some time into our very busy schedule and completed the task, with the help of a 10″ buffing wheel.

The weather has been ok for Florida, 45 at night and 65 during the day.  That probably sounds very warm to some of you reading this in the north country, but it’s not warm enough for the pool, which I’m sure gets a great deal of empathy from readers up north.

But today was warm and sunny so we fired up the Harley and headed for Tarpon Springs, a small town on the Gulf about 70 miles from us.

As you can see from the marker above, Tarpon Springs is a small Greek community that grew up around the harvesting of natural sponges in the Gulf of Mexico.  As we arrived, one of the tour boats was casting off to take tourists out for a brief sail down the river toward the Gulf to demonstrate how the divers did their work in the “old” days, with iron diving suits.

The diver with a mermaid!

Into the Water

Success! A Sponge

Back in the Boat

As long as they were no deeper than 33′, the divers would spend hours walking along the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico cutting sponges.  A dive deeper than that will result in “the bends”, where oxygen forms in the blood stream if the diver stays down too long or comes up too fast.  They don’t use the heavy  suit anymore, but they do walk along the bottom wearing wet suits and a heavily weighted belt.

Of course, when in a tourist area there are usually about a half million tourist shops, and Tarpon Springs is no exception.  Guess what is their main item for sale?

After a strenuous day of touring, its time for a good meal, so a stop at a local favorite seemed appropriate.

Hellas Restaurant is one of the most popular of the many Greek dining spots.  The food is great and the price is reasonable.  Plus we took a bit of baklava home for dessert later!

There may be a day trip to Cape Canaveral in the works before we leave, but next Monday is moving day.  We’ll head south to a large park just east of Tampa called Lazy Days, where we will attend two motorhome rallies, before heading back to the Holiday Cove RV Resort near Bradenten Beach for February and March.  We originally planned on staying there just for February as they had no openings beyond that, but they called yesterday to say they had a cancellation, so we’ll stay there for March as well.  Baseball spring training games happen throughout that month and there is a golf tournament we want to attend with the Mianos (my sister and brother-in-law staying in their new condo in South Pasadena) so an extended stay less than a mile from the beach should be fun!

In April, we’ll follow the rest of these snow birds and head north.  The difference between most of those birds and us is that they know where they are going, home.  We are in our home and at this point are not sure exactly where we will be headed.  But that’s the beauty of life in a motorhome!

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to Tarpon Springs

  1. Deb Dominick says:

    Bradenton in March, eh? Guess where we are going in March? One of my lifelong dreams has always been to see the O’s in the spring. We are coming down to do just that, including a game between my Birds and Joe’s Phils.

    Sponges— are they practical as they are out of the water, or do they need to be processed in some way?

  2. placestheygo says:

    Wow! That really looks like fun . . .

    Joe must be out back clearing off the cars, right?

  3. Pingback: Clearwater, Cortez, and Starfish | Oh, the Places They Go!

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