Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vacation over

Vacation is over .
Blue skies and palm trees greeted us
on our arrival in Florida

A walk by the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs.

                                            A street filled with many unique gift shops. You can sit and  watch                    shrimp boats  and pleasure crafts or just people watch. Tarpon Springs is known  for it's sponge docks and great Greek food. Of course we had a great meal and was temptedby the bakery shops.


                                           Yummy---We were good and did not buy any
This statue of a sponge diver makes a great picture

                                           There is a museum and an aquarium in town. There are all sizes of sponges to
                                             buy and there is the air plants which always fasinate me  

Taking a break before doing some more shopping.

                                            The statue looking like he is squirting water at me

My daughter Joy and I enjoying the dock views

 We came back to sunny weather and blue skies.
 I think it followed us home.
It's always nice to go away but there is no place like home



The region, with a series of bayous feeding into the Gulf of Mexico, first attracted attention as a place for winter homes about 1876. Some of the newly arrived visitors spotted tarpons jumping out of the waters and so named the location Tarpon Springs. The first Greek immigrants arrived to this city during the 1880s, when they were hired to work as divers in the growing sponge harvesting industry. In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs. Cocoris recruited Greek sponge divers from the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, in particular Kalymnos, Symi and Halki leading, by the 1930s, to a very productive sponge industry in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting sponge diving, takes place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.

When a red tide algae bloom occurred in 1947, wiping out the sponge fields in that region of the Gulf of Mexico, most of the sponge boats and divers switched to fishing and shrimping for a livelihood. The city then converted most of its sponge-related activities, especially the warehouses where they were sold, into tourist attractions. The Sponge Docks are now mostly shops, restaurants, and museums dedicated to the memory of Tarpon Springs' earlier industry. Most sponges sold on the docks are now imports: Relatively few sponges are harvested from the area, although attempts have been made in recent years to restart local sponge harvesting. Led by local businessman George Billiris, in the late 1980s the sponge industry made acomeback and in the fall of 2007, a record harvest of sponges by a single boat was made.

1 comment:

  1. Elaine, now I really hope to visit Florida one fine day... Thanks for sharing those amazing photos. My favorite one is the picture of you and Joy -- just wonderful! :)