Sad news. My laptop was infected with Ransomware. I lost all my photos from the entire trip. GONE. Also, all my documents, including those for tax reporting. As I’m reeling from this blow, my flesh looks for someone to hate, to blame. I must LET IT GO. No one died. I’ll take more pictures. I WILL NEVER again open any social media sights which are notorious for Ransomware. So sad.
My last post was made while moored at Marker 1 Marina in Dunedin, FL. We stayed there December 13 through January 15. Dunedin was charming. Lots to see and do: Art Fairs, Farmer’s Markets, Parades, Mutt Meets etc. We bought folding bikes that enabled us to travel far from the marina. Living on a boat without a vehicle we are unable to get to town for doctors or groceries or hardware. The bikes gave us great freedom with mobility, although leaving Inky aboard we could not be away longer than 3 or 4 hours. We spent Christmas with Don’s sweet sister, Debbie and her handsome, solid, sons. She’s a great hostess, cook, and friend.
Joan went home for a few days in January to have low back treatments. Didn’t get much visiting due to “Snowmageddon”. The roads were horrid. I’ll have surgery next fall when we end our trip.
Gulfport Marina, Gulfport, FL. Floating docks but no laundry, no internet, and road construction alongside our dock made a great marina a negative experience. It’s an older town on the bay with lots of fun shops and cafe’s. We finally got to enjoy our dinghy again. (Remember we lost our dinghy motor crossing the open Gulf in hard seas, and didn’t get the replacement until late January at Marker 1). HUGE hassle.
Marina Jack, Sarasota, Florida. Large, full service marina. No other Loopers here. Many Ultra Yachts. Great Cafe’s. We spent most hot afternoons at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar with great food and fruit drinks adjacent to the marina where we walked Inky and he could chase squirrels. Floating docks too. Expensive, lots of services. Nice showers and toilets. Excellent restaurant.
Sarasota is the winter home of Ringling Brothers Circus. Today, it hosts a number of cultural institutes. Numerous high-end shops and trendy cafe’s. Huge Saturday Market with numerous musicians. Expensive. Not bike friendly. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens were fabulous. Orchids of every variety and size…amazing.
Palm Island Marina, Boca Grande, FL. Small, beautiful marina with huge outdoor pool and hot tub. Excellent showers and toilets. Lovely restaurant, Leverdocks, which brings folks from all around. Quiet, calm, very dog friendly. Fixed docks are a challenge, but they were wide and tides were reasonable while there. Town is a 15-minute Uber ride to Boca Grande. Rum Bay Restaurant across the Intercostal Waterway has great beaches and walking paths. We met a lovely couple, Charles and Dorothy (not Loopers) and hope to see them again.
Paradise Marina, Fort Myers, Florida on the Caloosahatchee River. Very isolated. We chose it because we like quiet and dark, but it was a bit toooooo salty. Older and removed from any amenities, without a vehicle we would have been stranded. Stayed only one night.
Legacy Harbour Marina, Fort Myers, FL. Very high-end. Very nice. Excellent amenities, and dog friendly. Big outdoor pool too. Many enormous ships, larger boats, and a few small craft. Everyone is lovely. Only down side: a LONG walk to shore. But, our view is breathtaking. Really, we have the best moorage in the place. Don’s brother, Doug and sister-in-law, the fabulous Karen, came for a visit. We took the fast boat to Key West with them. Way too much fun.
While dining outside in town last night Don overheard a group enter the restaurant saying, “Nobody knows where Idaho is.” Don piped up that WE knew. Laughing I turned around to see former Governor and Secretary of the Interior under President Carter, Cecil Andrus smiling in our direction. I jumped up like a teen groupie and threw my arms around him. so happy to see an Idahoan, and WHAT an Idahoan he is. Although a Democrat (sorry) he devoted his life to wilderness and public land protection. It was a thrill. The vast majority of snow birds here are from Canada, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York. All northerners are escaping the cold. It is hard to visualize extreme cold when we are sweating under 80% humidity in 83 degree temps…ahhhhhh.