Monday, October 22, 2012

Joe Wheeler State Park, Rendezvous

Days on cruise:  213
Sunday marked the official beginning of the Great Loop Rendezvous. We’ve attended two such events previously, in May 2011 as Looper Wannabes and May 2012 as newer Loopers with 1,000 miles underway, both in Norfolk, VA.
Below, photo taken by Stephen on Jackets II, of our Friday anchorage before the Rendezvous.
Sunday morning Bob went for a run, something he hasn’t done in awhile. The hilly terrain proved challenging, but he covered a couple miles and enjoyed the crisp weather and beautiful setting.
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Cathryn went for a walk with three newly met Ladies of the Loop, Joy from the boat next door plus Anita and Gay. We took Joey and Bailey with us, the two yellow labs who live on Blue Heron with our good friends Craig and Barbara from Cincinnati.
Cathryn isn’t really an Amazon (at 5’ 6”), but some Ladies of the Loop make her appear to be. Laura on The Zone and Joy on Jim’s Joy have been periodic co-travelers since Spring.
All afternoon people dropped by our boat to visit. Some were Looper Wannabes we’d never met before, asking questions about our boat or the Loop. Jerry and Jenny Reeves (above)from Charleston arrived for an hour’s visit. We bought our charts and cruising guides from them a year ago, had dinner with them twice in their hometown in April, and their boat is currently in Fort Pierce, Florida where we began our Loop. Edie from Sequel joined for a while. Bob and Debi from Gig Harbor, Washington (neighbors) came, and we visited extensively, including sitting at the same table for dinner. We met them through our dentist at home, they’re closing on their Loop boat purchase this Friday, and they’ll begin their Loop in Mobile this January.
There are 55 Looper boats tied up in the marina, and 115 Looper Wannabes at the adjacent lodge. The group is lively, and we heard hilarious stories last night as each current Looper was introduced to the crowd. We also had happy reunions with Curtis Stokes, our boat broker who helped us buy Next To Me, and Chris and Alyse Caldwell who trained us in January, making us proficient (as much as anyone could in three days) to begin this great adventure. We’re having fun!

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