Monday, May 28, 2007

Tarpon Springs-I

Tarpon Springs

As promised, here comes the first part of the write-up on Tarpon Springs, Florida. The city incorporated in 1887 is named after the fish tarpon found in plenty off the coast.

The city earlier popular as a place for winter homes acquired fame as sponge capital of the world when around 1900, huge quantity of sponge beds were discovered offshore. Greek immigrants were hired to work as divers and by 1930's the sponge industry of Tarpon Springs was very productive, generating millions of dollars a year.

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 gift shops, restaurants housing Greek fare and museums. Sponge Diving continues today after a revival attempt in recent past.

The gentleman on left and the cute lad on right are the divers that the city has put proudly on display. :)

25 comments:

Sarad said...

Old school divers.

Anna said...

WOW, those blues are brilliant! Nice shot moi!

Kanishka Agiwal said...

Wow wow wow!!! I love water and this is really cool...did you get to go into the sea in these boats?

Moi said...

Sarad : yes sir!!! i am yet to see one in person though.....

Anna : the blues in Florida keep me going despite the intolerable heat!!!

Kanishka : do u ??? come over" we have plenty of water in these parts.....u can take sunset cruise if u wanna..we didn't take one coz we were off to beach by sunset...

isabella said...

Woops! Almost fell off your boat ;-)
Last time I visited the docks at Tarpon Springs, a pelican swooped in and stole my ice cream cone!
I think about that every time I use the sponge ;-)

Faye Pekas said...

Love the gorgeous blue of that water. Nice perspective too.

Nikon said...

Double the lines on that boat :)

Moi said...

Isabella : awww!!! i should have put in a cautionary note there!:)

faye : thank u and welcome here !! I just reciprocated the visit....love ur blog :)

nikon: :)long time!!! nice to see u here

Nazzareno said...

A very interesting history, shown splendidly by the two statues.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Interesting story behind the statues. I think the photos are very good too.

I didn't do much today but...

I did write about how people used to wear long underwear over winter or until we began to stink. You can find the link at the bottom of the post today.
Brookville Daily Photo

Lori said...

You've made all of us want to take a visit to Tarpon Springs! I love your photos and thanks for giving us such an interesting history. I hope they can bring back the sponge harvesting. Have a good week!

inspired07 said...

a very interesting start to your write-up.

ruth said...

Moi, thanks so much for your visit to Flying! I'm like you, I didn't know I liked photography until I got my current camera. You have some gorgeous photos here! I look forward to more exploring.

Ash said...

Interesting images and write-up!

suramya said...

I especially liked the cute lad :):),seems to be a fascinating place from the way you describe it, how was the greek cuisine?

JAM said...

Very interesting. It's amazing how much history is in Florida.

Love the boat photo and it's perspective. Those deep diving suits like that always creep me out. I get claustrophobic just thinking about putting my head in one of those helmets.

Moi said...

Nazzareno : its amazing how one can find history in every bit of land one walks into....:)

Abe Lincoln: thank u ...I'm off to ur blog after i am done with commenting here ..

Lori : thanx a lot for the shout-out!!! and if u ever plan to visit here, u just need to drop a line :)

Inspired07, Ash: thank u :)

Ruth : i love ur blog and ur imagination that's so amply visible in ur blog write-ups...

Su: So did I ..:DDDDDD he's charming, isn't he!!! the place is nice...i love going to places with a little flavor and its one of those.....the Greek food as always was yum...how can it not be when its dripping in olive oil!!! :)

John : Thank u ..i loved ur shot of deck shoes today......and i ve never seen a diver ever in this gear.......wud love to.

Yoda said...

Never knew about the place :-)

Greek people living there? Must be a ton of great greek food too!

photowannabe said...

Fascinating facts about a place I need to visit sometime.
The water is so vividly blue. Great post as always.

Navin Harish said...

SOme of the modern countries (countries where civilisation happened much later than the rest of the world) like US and Australia don't have mush of a history and as a result not too many historical places or monuments. As a result of this, these countries take extremely good care of whatever little they have and a good example is what you have shared with us here. I also remember visiting an old goldmine in Australia that has now been made into a museum and a tourist spot. On the other hand we have countries like Indian that have a very rich history and countless monuments and historical places and what do we do with them? We go out there to etch "Bunty Loves Bubbly", we encroach those places, we destroy those places. There are so many places like that in Bombay itself that have been destroyed and a very good example of that is the Mahakali caves that are near my home. That place has become a loo and a hangout places for junkies. What a shame.

Annie said...

I enjoyed learning about Tarpon Springs today. Never having been there, this was geography and my history lesson for the day, Moi.

Jen said...

I love the statues!

Perpetual Procrastinator said...

Very interesting. You learn something new every day...:)

Moi said...

Yoda : if the write-up makes u feel like visiting the place, u just need to let me know!! :)and yes tons of Greek food!!! :)

Photowannabe : if u ever do plan to be in these parts, do let me know.....and thank u for the words of appreciation:)

navin : U r right. i wish we'd do something abt saving our national treasures....

Annie : do come back for more ;)

Jen :) U'd love the food too :)

PP : more's on its way ...:)

a-xpressions said...

yeah moi,
i was on vacation n just returned, meantime u have got so many interesting stories out here!!...i need to sit n read all of these by this weekend...n then will comment on it!
I am sure you must have had a wonderful long weekend!