Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Tradition

Our new tradition for Christmas day is to get up early and go to the beach.  We normally head over to St Petersburg and go to Fort Desoto.

We decided to go somewhere closer yesterday and went to our old stomping grounds of Tarpon Springs.   Tarpon Springs the home of the famous Greek sponge docks.  The divers would put on dive suits and helmets and dive for sponges offshore. 

This is the typical sponge diving suit of the past.


They didn’t use scuba tanks. The hose you see is his air supply.  Nowadays, they use scuba tanks instead of these cumbersome outfits.

  It was a very lucrative business.  Al and I actually did a little sponge diving and made a few bucks on them.  The most prized sponge is a “Wooly” sponge.  Underwater they are black.  Sponges are actually millions of tiny animals and the sponge is actually the exoskeleton.  The cleaning process is a stinky process.  Here is what a cleaned Wooly sponge looks like.  They make wonderful bath sponges!


Al and I used to keep our boat there at a marina in  Tarpon Springs, so this sure brought back memories.  We’d go offshore 24 miles to our favorite dive sites and then come back in to Anclote Key to relax.  Good memories. 

You can’t get to Anclote Key by car, so we had to make due and just go to boat ramp which is on the Anclote River.  The town of Tarpon Springs is an interesting town and it attracts a lot of tourists.  We didn’t get into town yesterday though.  Been there, done that…many times!  You can buy some nice shells and of course sponges!

Here are a few pictures we took.  As you can see, it was a nice day.  These were taken from the Anclote River which leads right out into the gulf.   The sand on Anclote key is sugar white and much prettier than what you see here.  The water was clear though.  Let me tell you, there are some wonderful sites offshore in this area.  We had so much fun diving these waters!





After we left we happened on this little pond.  There was a guy taking a picture of a gator and I thought it would make an interesting photo. 


Of course with my new Canon Camera, I didn’t have to get that close!


A Cormorant drying his wings right by the gator.


The next pictures are a few of the campground we will be going to next week.  It’s called  Sweetwater Rv Park.

It’s  nothing fancy, but is reasonably priced and fairly close to Mom’s house.  We found a site right out in the sun which was another plus.  Normally we prefer shaded sites, but in the winter….sunny sites look pretty good!  Plus it will be easier to get satellite reception.

There are quite a few snowbird mobile homes in the park.  You sure see a lot of Canadian license plates! 

The pool is nice, but not heated.  It wouldn’t matter, unless the pool water is 94 degrees, I wouldn’t go in it anyway.  You can’t get it that warm from solar heat this time of year.  No is no hot tub…that I would have used!


This next picture gave us a big laugh!  I told you it was a “geezer park.”  Here is the proof!


Notice all the 3 wheeled bicycles with large padded seats!  The guys were having a good game of horseshoes!  We just had to laugh.

And of course…


This certainly isn’t the type of place we normally go.  We prefer large wooded sites with lots of trees and privacy, but for now, this will work out just fine.  The people were very friendly and we are actually looking forward to our stay there.

We’re hunkered down the the motor home this morning, trying not to blow away.  We’re having 20 mph winds (they say), but it feels stronger.  We got some rain last night ahead of the cold front.  We don’t expect the temps to get out of the 50’s for the next few days.  We’re trying to stretch our propane until we leave.  We haven’t hooked up the Extend a Stay propane connection yet.  It’s supposed to allow you to hook up a propane tank directly to the rv, and use that propane instead of having to full up the onboard tank.  I’m a little nervous that it somehow won’t work though.  I don’t know how to test it until we actually run out of propane! 

After this 3 day cold front, the temps appear to be warming up.  I even saw a few upper 70’s predicted!


  1. I love the bike picture. Hope you survive the cold snap and that you warm up quickly.

  2. Whenever we're in that area we always make a Tarpon Springs trip, just to walk the dock area and enjoy one of the great restaurants.

  3. Yep, that sure looks like a geezer park. I think you will enjoy your stay with the "geezers" - they can be a pretty fun group.

    Great comparison on that gator shot! Gotta love the zoom!

    Tarpon Springs is on my "to do" list for Florida day trips.

    Try and stay warm - we having those 20 mph gusts too, but they feel like 50 mph.

  4. Oh gee.. didn't know you are going to be staying at a Biker Gang park... just look at all those bikes lined up around the place. Gosh what a rowdy bunch!!!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. Hi Karen! We made a trip to Tarpon Springs a few weeks ago in an attempt to kayak to Anclote Key. We were going to try to camp on the beach. The weather was against us, though, and we ended up taking a walk on the beach at Honeymoon Island. What a beautiful place! I only wish we could have spent longer there. Glad you got to go back!


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