Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tarpon Springs, FL is Sponge Worthy

If you've ever watched the program Seinfeld from years ago...you get the joke about being "sponge worthy". Well, Tarpon Springs is certainly sponge worthy. In fact, it claims to be the Sponge Capitol of the World. It is a beautiful, scenic town right on the Gulf Coast a few miles north of Tampa. We took a quick little jaunt down to see it from our RV park in Hudson.

It was another beautiful and sunny day for a drive. We went to Tarpon Springs and found it to be delightful. In the early 1900's, it became an important center for sponge diving by Greek divers who had settled in the area. The industry has diminished but the Greek influence is still evident in the remaining historic sponge dock area. You can see sponge diving exhibitions during the peak tourist season. There are also many gift shops and a variety of ethnic restaurants and bakeries for your pleasure. If you are in the mood for deep sea fishing, that can be arranged from the sponge dock area as well.

Here is the sign announcing their claim to fame in the sponge industry.
You can find many shops with sponges on display and for sale just like these below.

You can see this sponge boat has just come in and the sponges are ready for off-loading.

Here is a dock worker sorting the sponges by size.

This close up shot of a basket of sponges shows the price of one...$19.98.

Later in the afternoon, we met some of my cousins for a picnic lunch at Hudson Beach, north of Tarpon Springs. We met with Ruth, Alan, Helen and Steve for a cold pasta salad, fruit, and delicious Cuban bread. It was great being together and watching the pleasure boats come in and out of the Hudson Marina.

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