Boating is all about being flexible. We put off our plan to get to Cedar Key today, and instead spent the day in Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs is just about the neatest town I've ever seen, and I'm glad we took the time to stop there! Originally settled by Greek sea sponge harvesters, the main attraction is now tourism, and although sponges are still harvested and sold, there seem to be as many tour boats as fishing boats along the waterfront. Gift shops and Greek restaurants spilled out onto the sidewalks and pitchmen (and ladies), vied for the attention of every person walking by, trying to fill their shops or tour boats or restaurants with tourist. It was hard not to think you were in a thriving Greek fishing village instead of Florida.
At the City Marina, which is minimal as far as amenities go, we were greeted by Mick, who helped us tie up and advised us about the tides for today. Mick and Mike work at the marina, and you will never meet two nicer or more helpful guys! Mike drove me to West Marine and came back to pick me up, then helped me load the new anchor and chain onto the boat. To top it all off, there was not charge for the day dockage!
As I write this, we are anchored out in the same spot as we were last night, which is OK because we have a georgous view of the key and sandbar, fish and Dolphins all around us, and a pretty sunset. And if the moon is as bright tonight as last night, we will have to stay up awhile just to sit and stare at it.
So.... Tomorrow we head out into the Gulf for Cedar Key, where we will anchor out again.
After much review, research and communication we decided better to be safe than sorry. So instead of continuing our northward track home we turned east to Tarpon Springs to buy a new anchor and chain. Tarpon Springs is unique water front city with a very strong Greek heritage. As we motored in on our way to the city docks I began to feel like I was entering an old Greek fishing village. The employees were very helpful and soon Tom and I were dodging traffic for a mile to get to the marine supply place. They did not have what we needed. At that point I quit onTom. I said you do whatever you need to do I'm gonna explore the waterfront.
What I found was very touristy but in a charming sort of way. The shops were owned by descendants of the original Greek settlers and more often than not Greek was what I heard spoken. I was unaware that sponges were the main thing harvested from the sea here for many years.
By the time I returned with a birthday present for my daughter-in-law, Tom had been successful with his search and was almost finished putting the new anchor on. We got some lunch and then set out back to scenic site we were anchored in last night.
Daisy update: Daisy successfully used the piece of carpet I brought for her to potty on!