ACTIVITIES OF SALT LICK’S CREW

Since my last posting and blog,  I have had several enquiries about us and if we were OK and where we were, and on and on….SO—here is a short update.  Thanks to many of you  for your interest and concern!!

We left Salt Lick with the Belle’s in Naples, FL.  I had an email today reporting that she is afloat and fine.   Hank has been working at two different food shows  (Atlanta and Dallas) with a third one (Conn.) slated for the end of next week.  The cowboy, aka pickle man,  was last sighted in Utopia.

Yours truly has made a trip to Belize for SCUBA diving.   Joining along for the week were my niece Meghan and her husband, Justin.   Friend Karen from HHI joined me mid-week.  The weather was beautiful and new visitors to the Island of Ambergris Caye, Justin and Karen, fell in love with the place and already are wanting to return.

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VIEW DURING FLIGHT FROM BELIZE CITY TO SAN PEDRO, AMBERGRIS CAYE

 

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FAVORITE RESTAURANT – BLUE WAER GRILL –   JUSTIN, MEGHAN AND KAREN
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SHOEMAKER /  SALERIAN CLAN DIVERS!!!!

I unfortunately strained my back after the first dive and wasn’t able to dive for the rest of the week (back spasms), but it was a great time anyway.  It was good to have my vet, doc Justin and PT assistant along.   Nothing like traveling with one’s own medical team.  🙂    The dive guides, Rene and Jacinto Bradley, are doing well with Jacinto’s family of 3 boys growing and business remaining steady.  They seem to NEVER change!!!   We get older, but they do NOT!!!

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JACINTO AND RENE BRADLEY
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WE TAKE THIS SAME PICTURE EVERY YEAR!!!    
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LAST DAY “SELFIE”  — JACINTO, ME, RENE, MEGHAN AND JUSTIN.   
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BELIKIN’S AT FIDO’S  

I returned to Hilton Head Island  Jan. 22nd for eye doctor and other appointments.  For the THIRD time, we had water intrusion at the office/warehouse.   THIS TIME due to the hot water heater bursting.   All of the photos and papers Hank carefully laid out all over the floors to dry from Hurricane Matthew got all wet again.   Good Grief!!!    All is dry now, the water is shut off, and I am still in the Scarlet O’Hara mode of —” I will deal with IT tomorrow”.  Or to be more precise, upon the completion of the Great Loop adventure.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND  — STILL RECOVERING FROM HURRICANE MATTHEW!!!!!

This was my first time back home since the big storm and I have found it all to be disorienting and just strange!   There remains large piles and mounds of debris to be picked up and dealt with, several homes with the infamous blue tarp over their roofs as they await repairs, and many large trucks loaded with tree stumps, branches,  debris hauling their cargo to the grinding and processing area designated at Honey Horn Plantation.  Predictions are for this to go on for several more months.   The marina at the condo remains a mess.

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A FEW OF THE APPROXIMATE 10-12 BOATS NEEDING TO BE REMOVED FROM THE THE AREA OUTSIDE OUR BALCONY.

THESE VESSELS  have been tagged by the DNR with a date for removal or they will be open for salvage.   So eventually this mess will be removed.  As parts break away and float off on a high tide they can become navigational hazards.

I return to Salt Lick this coming Sunday.  Hank will return on Feb. 8th.     I will attend a meeting (in Naples) on Feb. 9th and soon after that we will head to the Keys.

I hope each of you are having a good start to 2017.   Two of our older friends have recently died, Ron Sadler and Martha Hartman, reminding us how precious each and every day we have on this beautiful Earth truly IS!!!    With that thought in mind, I send hugs and much love to all.

THE “ELLS”………….

IT’S THE BELLES, THE WANDELLS,  AND THE LADELLS:::::::    We have cruised to the land of the “ELLS” ON THE BAY OF NAPLES!!!

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 we arrived at the private dock of friends, Janet and Jerry Belle, along a canal off Naples Bay.   Janet and Jerry, able dock hands, met us on their dock to assist with tie up.  These generous people welcomed us with open arms and an adult beverage.   The Belle Marina is pretty darn special.

There is a story I must share with everyone.   A year ago while attending a meeting here in the Naples area, I had a lovely visit with my old friends.   When  discussing our plans of doing the Great Loop, Jerry said, “well, you can come and dock at our dock.”    I agreed that it would be a grand idea, but , “Jerry,  do you have electrical power at the dock?”   He allowed that he did not, but that an electrical extension cord could be run from the house.   I gently explained to him that THAT would not work and that the boat required a 50 amp power source.     Thinking nothing more about this,,,,,,,low and behold, about 10 days after my return home, I get an email from the Belles announcing that “we have power at the dock – come on down!”     WHAT ???    Confirmation obtained, and these guys had put in a 50 amp power plug on their dock for Salt Lick.

GULP  GULP   — NOW, a little late in this conversation,  came my question of  “what is your depth at the dock at low tide??”    WHEW – fingers crossed, depth is 4 1/2 feet.   I would have felt like a fool if the power was run, and yet, we couldn’t get the boat there due to water being too shallow.    BIG SIGH!!!

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SHOEMAKER’S HONORARY POWER POST!!!
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THE “VIRGIN” PLUG IN TO THE 50 AMP POWER!!!!

On Friday we met up with another one of the “ELLS” — Charlotte and Jeff Wandell.  After Charlotte and I had a beautiful sunset walk on the beach, we enjoyed dinner and a fun visit with them both.

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JEFF AND CHARLOTTE WANDELL, JANET AND HANK
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LOT OF LAUGHS AND GIGGLES WITH THIS GAL!!!!!

Aren’t long time friends just the best?????

Saturday Jan. 7, 2017     We return to the Belle’s  Marina where on this evening we met up with the OTHER  “ELLS” — Peter and Pam Ladell.   They and the Belle’s date back to my days in Cincinnati and the pharmaceutical business.   Following cocktails and a boat tour for the Ladells, our hosts prepared a delicious dinner.   Another fun time for the books!

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SERIOUSLY???    HANK, JERRY AND JANET BELLE, PETER LADELL
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GRILL MASTER — JERRY BELLE
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MEET JANET BELLE AND PAM LADELL —– CHEERS EVERYONE!!

Sunday – Jan. 8, 2017 — following an afternoon of TV football games, we went to dinner at a new place in town called Ocean Prime.

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JERRY AND JANET BELLE

 

We are continually blessed with knowing so many wonderful people every where we go.   AND then,  meeting and adding more friends along the way.  Jerry and Janet are so very generous and welcoming to us.   We are deeply grateful.  Salt Lick will be in good hands as we leave her here, plugged into the Shoemaker Power Post, while Hank and I depart for home and individual trips.

NOTE:    For niece Meghan :::::::    GO CLEMSON!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR — 2017

THURSDAY       DECEMBER 29, 2017

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MR. PELICAN GUARDING A PIER WE WERE TIED TO.

 

We said “farewell” to Mr. Pelican   (Mr. Big Boy) who was a sentinel on our dock pier while in Tarpon Springs and headed South to Cortez, Fl.    The marina we elected to spend the night at was called Sea Food Shack Marina.   We liked the name, but don’t ever go there to eat, as the food was not very good.   Eddy , the dock master, was a helpful and friendly guy.

The early AM fog delayed our departure for about an hour.   It was slow and difficult navigation as we cruised down the Gulf ICW.   SO – we made the decision to go out at the Clearwater Pass to travel in the Gulf.   Good decision!.

As we passed the Clearwater Marina, we were hailed on our radio   “Salt Lick , Salt Lick  — welcome to Clearwater”!    Just prior to that,  a boat had tooted its horn a couple of times, but we couldn’t figure out who it was.   We were greeted by a single handler of his boat whom we had met in Carrabelle, FL.   He is now waiting for a new fuel pump.   AAHHH   – life on a boat.

Our plan was to move the boat, on the 30th,  just a short distance from Cortez to the Lido Kay area.  BUT – alas,,,,,there was no room at the INN!!   We called about 10 marinas in and around the Sarasota area.  All  were booked and over booked.   Partly because of a change in wind conditions (boaters sitting still and not leaving) , but mostly due to the long New Year’s Eve holiday.

WE HAD PEOPLE TO SEE AND PLACES TO GO     —So as not to be deterred,  Enterprise car rental was contacted, we got a car and drove to North Ft. Myers to visit with our “out-laws”,  Randy and Bobbie Schlueter.   We spent the night with them, enjoyed a delicious Peruvian restaurant dinner, and caught up with each other’s lives.    They are the in-laws of Hank’s youngest daughter Libby.

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BOBBIE AND RANDY SCHLUETER

NEW YEARS EVE — DECEMBER 31, 2016

We headed back to Salt Lick to briefly repack and then drove to Lido Key to visit with Hal and Sandy Shevers.   We spent 2 nights at the resort where they are staying for several weeks.  We rang in the New Year in grand style — meaning an abundance of football game watching, champagne, yummy Italian dinner at Venezia’s on Armand’s Circle, followed by more adult beverages at the resort bar.   OOOPPPSS   hit THAT WALL – or did the Wall hit Hank??    He missed the fireworks being shot off all around the hotel as well as the magical 12 o’clock hour!!   I barely made it, myself.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2017!!!         LIDO KEY, FL.    (HAL & SANDY SHEVERS,  JANET AND HANK)

NEW YEARS DAY — rather a blur, but also involved more football game watching, adult beverages , and dinner out somewhere!!     Wonderful way to welcome in 2017 by spending it with good friends.   We are super blessed.

Wishing good health and happiness to each of you for 2017.   HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

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JAN. 1, 2017        HAPPY NEW YEAR FIREWORKS AS SEEN OFF OUR BALCONY, LIDO BEACH RESORT.

MONDAY — JAN. 2, 2017

Meanwhile, back at Salt Lick by noon, we elected to head out at least for a short run, to Venice Beach, FL.   There were high winds again today, so we cruised the GICW.   It was rather choppy, with narrow channels and also shallow depths.  We waved to the Shevers while cruising under the Sarasota bridge.

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SALT LICK LOOKING A LITTLE FUZZY AFTER THE LONG WEEK-END CELEBRATIONS!    SARASOTA BAY     — PHOTO COURTESY OF HAL SHEVERS
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ANOTHER LOOK AT THE SARASOTA SKY LINE – BEFORE GOING UNDER THE BRIDGE.

THE STALKERS……..

For some of you who have been keeping up with this blog, you might recall that these crazy folks, the Shevers, drove a car from Cincinnati, OH to Henry , Illinois to see us for dinner one evening.   Hank shared the thought that these people will drive and/or fly anywhere!!    I portend that they may secretly be “stalkers”!!     WHY??   Well, these crazy folks drove down to Venice to have dinner with us again on Monday night!!!   This makes  it 3 nights in a row we have toasted in the New Year with them!!    They picked us up at the Crow’s Nest Marina and we drove a short distance  to the downtown area of Venice where we dined at Cassariano’s restaurant.   Give it a try if you find yourself in Venice one day.   Excellent service, chianti , and food.

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MENU COVER

TUES, JAN. 3, 2017       Cruised from Venice to Ft. Myers Beach, FL.  We are presently at Moss Marina.   The forward AC unit is not functioning, so a repair person came today to check it out.   Naturally, parts have to be ordered.   BUT — good news,  this fellow will drive to Naples to do the installation, once the parts have arrived.

Tomorrow we will cruise to Naples, FL where we will be docking at a friend’s private dock.

Our livers are giving thanks for the respite of these past couple of days.   Several Looper boats here – one of the  boats is one  we met  in Benton Harbor, Michigan  (Compass Rose).  The owners are away, so didn’t get to speak with them.

CHEERS TO 2017