Tags

, ,

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.)

Obligatory tourist shot, as demanded by my friend Michelle, and much over my protest.

Obligatory tourist shot, as demanded by my friend Michelle, and much over my protest.

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.

IMG_1185

This house was used in a movie of another vintage whose title I do not recall.  But I can see how it was movie worthy.  (All I remember is "twelfth" something LOL)

This house was used in a movie of another vintage whose title I do not recall. But I can see how it was movie worthy. (All I remember is “twelfth” something LOL)

IMG_1190

Many markers also host birds' nests (with apologies for the crooked aspect; I was on a rocking boat, you understand.)

Many markers also host birds’ nests (with apologies for the crooked aspect; I was on a rocking boat, you understand.)

Open water at last!

Open water at last!

At last, we approached the uninhabited island for a 30-minute exploration of surf and shells.

At length, we approached the uninhabited island for a 30-minute exploration of surf and shells.

Tidal pools are great for checking out bird life especially, but with only half an hour, I decided to bypass that and head straight for the good stuff.

Tidal pools are great for checking out bird life especially, but with only half an hour, I decided to bypass that and head straight for the good stuff.

The good stuff.     – The good stuff.

I mean, really.

I mean, really.  (Did I mention the water was like bathwater?  So very warm washing about my ankles. No wonder this is a popular spot for daytrippers.)

Back on the boat, we did finally see dolphins.

Back on the boat, we did finally see dolphins.

IMG_1223

Actually, we were sort of chased by dolphins too.  ;)  They often love to jump the wake.

Actually, we were sort of chased by dolphins too.  They often love to jump the wake.  See the wee fin sticking out there, making its own little wake?

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.

My favorite purchase of the day was this scarf, which turned out to well match the sandals I'd just purchased for my Florida trip.  :)  We were all meant to be together.

My favorite purchase of the day was this scarf, which turned out to well match the sandals I’d just purchased for my Florida trip.  We were all meant to be together.

Final installment to come… another day at the beach.  (What else?)

Advertisements