Paddling in Tarpon Springs

Every once in a while, I like to kick off my high heels, slide on my flip flops, slip on a tank and comfy pair of shorts, and go out for a little casual adventure outdoors.

Something about water usually plays a part in my outdoor hobbies, probably a necessity in steamy Florida. So when my mom asked me if I wanted to take advantage of a great Groupon deal she got for a paddle boarding outing, I jumped on board! (Pun intended.)

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It was going to be a hot day, so we opted for the early reservation time block which starts at 8:30am. Really not that early in our opinion, but the gentleman we booked with seemed to think we were very brave.

The Groupon deal was for Belle Harbor Marina in Tarpon Springs, which may not look like much when you pull up…

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But with marinas, it’s not the office you want looking spiffy, but rather the docks and vessels tied up.

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And I always appreciate a marina with a good cleaning station for fishermen to clean their day’s catch.

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I also appreciate quirky signage, especially one that includes shrimp…

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Once we picked out our stylish life jackets and had been handed our paddles, we made our way to our paddle boards. However, the boards weren’t actually boards but semi-flat sea kayaks. Different from actual paddle boards, our flat floating bananas are pointed at each end, which made it slightly different to get our footing.

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All in all though, we adjusted pretty fast once we started slowly paddling out of the small bay area and eased into a comfortable pace as we made our way past the sponge fishermen village, barely awake, and down to the quiet mangrove trails just south of the village.

I didn’t feel confident enough with my paddle boarding skills to bring my camera though (since I’ve only been just one time before), so I didn’t get any snaps of our time on the water, but it was beautiful.

Both my mom and I marveled at how peaceful it was as we slipped through little alleys of mangrove islands and passed over sandy shallows where clusters of sting rays glided gracefully through the water.

Our entire trip was about two hours, which was really a perfect amount of time, as both of our feet were silently screaming from keeping us stable on water for that time.

Once we made our way back to land, we laughed and giggled our way back up the docks as our adjusted sea legs wobbled beneath us, similarly to how one may feel after a few two many salty cocktails and a long night.

It took about a half hour to get our land legs back, but my mom and I agreed that our little paddle adventure was well worth the temporary wobbles. We took the time to poke around and look at the creative boat names…

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Finally, stable and happy with our morning exercise, we headed into town to refuel.

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And any adventure that ends in a pile of fruit atop a crunchy waffle gets two paddles up in my opinion!

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