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Feb 7-10 Everglades to Homosassa Springs

Captions:  Top Row L-R: 63 Hampton Lucky Enough,  Homasassa Springs RV Park, Hampton Pilot House Door Hardware

Middle Row: L-R: Hellas Bakery, Dimitri’s Beer, Grand Banks Manatee

Bottom Row: L-R: Anna Maria Bayside Home, View at Doc & Eileens, 42 Nordic Tug True North

For the past 4 days we have visited with friends and parked in driveways. We have enjoyed fabulous home cooked meals with many stories and laughs. Stop #1 was with Great Loopers Tom and Patsy on True North, a 42 Nordic Tug, at the Legends Marina in Fort Myers. At the same marina we welcomed Butch and Kelle on Lucky Enough, a 63’ Hampton. Butch and I had corresponded about blogging while he was selling his Ohio River tow boat business and getting ready for some long distance cruising. He formerly boated at Eddie Creek Marina on Barkley Lake. His boat had the most rugged pilot house door hardware I have ever seen. (see photo). That evening we stayed with Fred and Joanie at their Cape Coral home.  Fred is the writer of the CruiseGuides we reprint. Then it was on to former Kenlake boaters, Doc and Eileen. We just managed to catch them in between world travels.  Most recently they flew to Australia and took a cruise around New Zealand. Next Eileen wants to take the train from Moscow to Beijing. Mavis and Eileen went Goodwill shopping for most of Saturday morning while I finished editing and posting a video for a client. We then drove 18 miles west to Anna Maria island to visit Gary and Carol, in their new home, with a dock for their 36 ft Grand Banks, Manatee. Gary and I made a major new discovery about the boat. We couldn’t figure out why water was pouring out a through-hull with everything we could find that pumps water shut off. It turns out the fridge and freezer use a sea water heat pump to cool. We walked along the bayside road and checked out the fancy homes. Dinner was fresh flounder that was delicious. After breakfast we checked out marinas in Dunedin that Tom had talked about which provide an alternative port to Tarpon Springs when cruising across the Gulf of Mexico from Carrabelle.  We had a big lunch in Tarpon Springs at our favorite restaurant, Dimitri’s on the Water. On our rough 24 hour Great Loop gulf crossing in 2003 we had our first meal there.  That meal is one of our fondest memories.  Our last stop was at Hellas Bakery for baklava. They make the best we have ever enjoyed. For the next 4 days we will be enroute to Fairport with a 2 night stay on St Joseph’s Peninsula State Park.

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