It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

Thank You for Following our Blog.

Thank You for following this Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Running With the Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.



Our Location today is Tarpon Springs, Florida.

We both woke very well rested before 8:00 this morning. The night time low seems to be getting lower but as long as we keep the covers on the bed we can stay nice and toasty. After a quick look at the Weather Bug showing us that it was below zero (-18 C) back home with snow in the forecast we felt very comfortable with 50 F (10 C).
I'm Freezing!
Since we missed out on our exploration day yesterday we wanted to get an early start this morning so before 9:00 we were on our way to the old section of Tarpon Springs down by the docks. We found the first available parking area was large and so because of the size of the truck we decided to park there and started walking from one shop to another.
Tarpon Springs Dock Area.
The area was once a trading hub for natural Sponge harvesting from around the world long before the invention of synthetic sponges came along. Now many of the family owned companies have become the tourist traps many of us dread. However it is also a place where one might just find a very unique gift for a special someone at a very reasonable price.
Just prior to noon we stopped to purchase our tickets for an afternoon cruise out into the Gulf of Mexico. The price included lunch at a local Greek eatery that was more than ample to hold us off until supper. There was a slight delayed because a group reservation had transportation problems and arrived twenty minutes late.
 
Dockside of Fish Factory at Tarpon Springs.
As the tour left the docks the boat operator Captain Larry spoke of the history of the area and of the different types of fishing that was done from this area. We even passed by a fish factory that is under contract with Red Lobster for all the shrimp and many other fish that are served throughout the restaurant chain.
Even the Ospreys are going green with Solar Power.
We were also lucky enough to pass by an Osprey nest being built on one of the channel markers. This is the seventh year that the same pair of osprey has made their nest in the same location. The female osprey was busy preening herself and guarding the nest while her mate was out in search of building materials for their home.
Soon after passing the nest we were being escorted out of the channel by a few Bottle Nosed Dolphins. They kept pace with the boat for well over a mile and gave everyone on board a joyous thrill. We also learned that dolphins are territorial and will stay within a ten mile radius of the area where they are born.
Anciote Key Lighthouse on Fred Howard Park Causeway.
Finally the boat picked up speed and headed out the last five miles to Fred Howard Park. It is a 6 mile long Causeway protecting the off shore swimming area and the mainland from storms coming in from the gulf. Upon our arrival we were allowed to walk around the end of the island for thirty minutes in search of sea shells that we might want as souvenirs. I didn’t think we were going to be doing any shell collecting but then Kathy told me of a decorating idea she had. If you remember how much fun you had as a child collecting shells on the beach imagine the fun you have when you are retired.
That is White Sand not Snow.
The time flew by and before we knew it was time to head back to port. As the boat sped back we suddenly realized something we hadn’t noticed before. We were cold from the cool Northern breezes that were blowing across the open waters.
Kathy wanted to make sure everyone knew I was there too.
Back on solid ground our first thought was to have a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up but that café was closed. So we went to Plan B which was the same restaurant we had lunch. This time we had a fish dinner with lots of hot coffee.
Glen Hayden entertained us for both meals with Folk songs from the 60's and 70's.
Since it was nearing the end of a chilly adventurous day and we haven’t seen all of the dock area we decided we’ll continue our exploring tomorrow. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

What do you call a woman with a beach on her head?

Shelly.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great day of exploring!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like a nice tour but kinda chilly, keep warm.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Live in that area for 35 years and never took the tour boat out BUT I may have to now... However we did eat at a lot of the Greek restaurants... yummy! Glad you had a good day there.
    Have fun
    Donna

    ReplyDelete