Days on cruise: 307
We’re not cruising anymore, though we do hope to get away from the dock for one last night at anchor, but we’ll continue the formatting convention we’ve used all year, as we’re still living on the boat full-time.
First, thank you so much to all our family members, friends and blog readers who sent congratulatory messages on our Loop completion! It made us feel all warm and fuzzy, contributed to our celebratory mood, and we so enjoyed having people “traveling along with us” in this manner.
Things are a whirlwind now that we’re settled in our slip at Harbour Isle Marina in Fort Pierce. Dave Arnold (above), the wonderful Marine Technician who did lots of repairs and upgrades on Next To Me a year ago to prepare her for our Loop, is back on board again. This time he’s making a few minor repairs to get her ready for our buyer’s Survey and Sea Trial less than two weeks from now. It’s good to see Dave again. He’s a brilliant guy who knows everything there is to know about all boat systems.
We heard a knock on the hull yesterday, and there stood Jay and Lori from “Branchin’ Out”, Loopers we met in November, and with whom we traveled a section of the Tennessee-Tombigbee River (3-4 days including Bobby’s Fish Camp) to Fairhope, Alabama. See their beautiful boat below, still sporting fenders for going through locks, at the time.
We hadn’t seen them since November, and they happened to be in Florida on business, read on our blog that we’d completed our Loop, so stopped by briefly. It was great to visit with them again!
Bob spent Wednesday and Thursday sorting a bunch of boat equipment to separate items into piles of things to stay on board, and those items to go home with us. He also scrubbed the sundeck roof, water proofed the canvas, and lowered the dinghy to the dock so he could thoroughly clean it too.
Cathryn sorted through linens and bedding, provisions in the galley, and the pantry and bathroom cabinets to begin packing things into bins for loading on the truck.
We have three meals scheduled with Looper friends this weekend, as the stream of Loopers continuing their boat journeys makes their way through this stretch in the coming weeks. They’re all headed north, and these will be our last goodbyes.