If you live in Pinellas County you know about the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs. But did you know you can take a one-hour tour on a sponge boat, hear a description about sponge diving. and actually watch a sponge diver in action?
We did this a while back and had a great time. We learned a lot, not the least of which was how incredibly long it takes for the diver to get into his suit. It was fun, and educational too.
Sponge harvesting has been going on in Tarpon Springs since the 1880s, and diving for sponges was introduced in 1905. Experienced divers and crewmen starting coming over from Greece in the early days of the 20th century, and Greek culture is still a major part of life in Tarpon Springs.
Interested? Come to the sponge docks and look for the white-and-orange St. Nicholas VII — its tied up not far from the statue of the sponge diver. Or you can call ahead — 727-937-5417. I believe the cost was around $8 per head when we did it, but the price may have changed since then so be sure to ask.
Follow up your boat tour with an authentic Greek meal at one of the many nearby Greek restaurants.