Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Saturday, 6 December 2008

An Underwater Community

North Port, Florida

After visiting Snook Haven, we decided to drive a few miles south and look at North Port. North Port is on the West Coast of Florida, about 25 miles south of Sarasota.

North Port doesn't have a port or even a beach. It did appear to have a number of canals leading an unknown distance to the Gulf of Mexico. There are about 3,000 single family residences in North Port.

The homes tend to be a little bigger on the canals and those often had a dock and a small boat.

70% of the homes in North Port are underwater, according to a recent study. That means that they have mortages that exceed the value of the home. Homes that cost $350,000 a few years ago now can be had for $125,000. This is a reflection of the extreme stress caused by falling home prices and foreclosures, especially in the "bubble States" (California, Florida, Nevada).

Many of the people who bought there worked in construction. They may have also bought a $40,000 Silverado work truck for no money down at the same time. Now the music is over. It's a sad situation and no end is in sight.

I'm going underwater myself on Tuesday. I have two drift dives scheduled in the Gulf Stream that skirts Palm Beach. It's amazing how warm England is, considering its latitude. They can thank the majestic Gulf Stream for that. There water temperature off Palm Beach is still 78 degrees F.

The place where we are spending our winters has a huge pool that they maintain at 85 degrees F. It's comfortable. I prefer the warmer hot tub at 104 F. The bar is a little odd. It's outdoors, but they banned smoking this year. I have take my book and dark rum and coke out to the nearly deserted smoking area.

Yesterday the sky was clear and blue. It was warm in the sun and nice in the shade.


  1. Good to read. Happy holidays. David

  2. North Port has a population of more than 50,000 scattered across 102 square miles. I paid $440,000 for my 2,000 square foot, three bedroom house with a large pool, and it is now worth about $325,000. Until the housing bubble burst the city was one of the fastest growing cities in America.