THURSDAY DECEMBER 29, 2017
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.
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.
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!!!!!!
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.
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.
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