Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sea Sponges in Tarpon Springs
There's nothing better than using a natural sea sponge to smooth and wipe clay. So when my wood turning friend, Chad, mentioned the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs, I just had to go. Since my sea sponge is just slightly worn after six years of continuous use, I thought I might get a couple more just in case.
Tarpon Springs is a quaint fishing village on a bayous leading to the gulf of Mexico north of Tampa. Back in the 1880s Greek immigrants settled the area because of the abundant sponge beds in the areas.
There are lots of restaurants with authentic Greek food, bakeries, fresh fish markets, shell shops, clothing shops, cruise and diving tours, an aquarium, and, of course, all kinds of sea sponges. There was even live music on several patios and street corners. And just look at all those sponges on the boat and in the shops. I bought my sponges and a few shells from shop owner Harry Klimis of Tarpon Sponge.
Here are some modern Greek ceramic pots I spotted in a window. The store was closing otherwise I would have gone in to look at them more closely.
Thankfully many places in Florida will probably not be affected by the gulf oil spill and this location is one of them. While I was visiting Tarpon Springs today, I couldn't help but think about the devastation the gulf oil spill has and is continuing to create in so many other areas; plants, animals, and people are suffering. Many times It's difficult to find items made locally, but I think purchasing items produced in local economies reduces the need for oil consumption since those items don't have to be shipped across an ocean or trucked across the country.
I recently visited the president of the local wood turning society. I'll do a post about that visit with lots of photos real soon. But first Gary will post about the next episode of the Treasure Bus adventures. Comments and suggestions are welcome.