We left Ruskin, Florida at sunrise to make our first leg to Tarpon Springs, Florida. We traveled approximately 55 nautical miles making for a 10 hr voyage. We had great weather, blue skies and crystal clear water for the majority of the day.
The previous months were very busy for us with boat preparations so we were eager to get underway and unwind a little. Tarpon Springs was one of our favorite stops last year as we traveled South down the West Coast of Florida. We looked forward to once again immersing ourselves in the Greek culture of the Historic Sponge Docks.
The marina assigned us a slip located right in front of the Tiki bar. This may be just the place to unwind.
Tarpon Springs also happens to be Logan’s all time favorite town we visited last year so what better place to spend her 17th birthday. Logan was thrilled to have her cousin Tyler join the crew during our stay here. Tyler was driven here from Louisiana (600 miles) by my brother Andrew (aka Buddy). Tyler plans to make the voyage with us back to Louisiana.
One of Buddy’s childhood friends from Louisiana, Chef Brad Sullivan, owns and operates a restaurant in downtown Tarpon Springs. As soon as Tyler’s (aka Swabby) bags were all stowed away on the boat we all set off for Zante Café. We were excited to meet Brad and check out his one of a kind café. Zante Café offers a mixture of cuisines and has the most unusual décor I’ve ever seen. From snake bite kits to old car phones to Beatles records, you can find just about anything in Brad’s restaurant.
Chef Brad Sullivan is just as passionate about collecting antiques, which he has displayed through the restaurant, as he is about cooking. Chef Brad kept us laughing hysterically all night telling stories of their childhood. Apparently, Buddy was a scrapper back in the day.
We were treated to a plate of Bananas Foster for desert to end a great night. The food and company were fabulous. Meeting people like the Sullivan family is what cruising is all about. Buddy had an early departure the next morning so we said our goodbyes and turned it in.
The next day we set out in search of our favorite Greek dish, charbroiled octopus. When prepared properly this delightful treat is as tender, juicy and flavorable as a steak.
Tyler couldn’t have agreed less. He wasn’t a big fan but at least he gave it a try.
After a quick tour of the Sponge Docks and our bellies full we made our way back to the boat where the guys got together for a jam session.
The following evening Conrad and I celebrated 9 wonderful years of marriage. We had a fantastic meal at Mykonos followed by cocktails and desert at Hellas.
We spent the remaining week exploring the sponge docks and completing small boat projects. Conrad and Tyler launched the dingy and got the motor running. They also changed the oil in the generator and took care of other various tasks down in the man cave (engine room). Tyler has turned out to be a great swabby. We may have to promote him real soon.
Days and then weeks can slip by unnoticed if you let them while cruising so after a week at the Sponge Docks we thought it would be best if we started making our way north. We decided to visit a town that we didn’t stop at on our way south a year ago so we are all excited to get on the move and check out Steinhatchee FL, 110 miles to the north.