So in advance of my Florida trip, I had mentioned to my mother how badly I wanted to get OUT ONTO THE WATER. I grew up on and around boats in Florida and Michigan, but short of our kayaking expeditions, there has been precious little watercraft time in recent years. She obliged by locating a charter that was a combination dolphin watch and beach cruise. The company is located in Tarpon Springs (which dovetailed with another request; I’d wished to visit this largely Greek, venerable sponging community and get some good Greek food. 😉 )
After meeting up with my aunt and uncle, we had a delicious ethnic lunch at Dimitri’s On the Water; then when to find our charter. The outfit was called Spongerama… and was as touristy and cheesy as its name implies. The women working the store were hawkers, bellowing throughout the building and from the sidewalks for visitors to buy their charters, sponges, and other products. BUT, it was a great value and provided a very enjoyable experience… once one left the dock and the sales staff LOL! (This aggressiveness is not limited to this outfit; up and down the main drag in town, there were constant calls to spend money on all sorts of services, tours, souvenirs, etc… mingled with the awesome smell of Greek restaurants, and business owners shouting to one another in Greek. It had a definite sort of charm.)
The boat tour itself was run very capably and professionally. We left the village and headed along the Anclote River to escape out to the Gulf of Mexico. The river cruise alone was enjoyable, with a pleasant commentary highlighting history and local sights of note.
Back on land, my family and I explored a bit more of town and did some shopping, before finishing off the day with Greek coffee and pastries.
Final installment to come… another day at the beach. (What else?)