We are still alive and happy. The Internet service at Joe Wheeler was so bad I had to give up trying to post anything new. Yesterday it was a long day and with visits from Joanie and Fred, I just couldn’t get to the computer. Tomorrow we go to Pebble Isle Marina and Monday to Kenlake Marina and home by car.
The events started on Monday afternoon. There were 62 boats and 260 in attendance. The most fun was the newbees talking about their boats and worries. For example “I hope I am still married when we finish the loop”. Another one I really enjoyed from a “wannabe” was “I am spending my time learning to operate my boat … but the engine won’t start. My mechanic says it needs a new starter”. The Looper Crawl is always fun where you hold open house on your boat and can tour others boats. The Katy Leigh was on the main dock in front of the hotel and because of the new varnish had a large number of visitors. Mavis put everything inside away and I am still trying to find stuff. I attended a few seminars and liked the ABC’s of Looping and How To Sell Your Boat After the Loop. The ABC’s talk said it was very important to have a reciprocating saw aboard. I had to point out we did the entire loop without one of those. Curtis Stokes said “If you are going to sell your boat when you finish the loop then list your boat while you are on the loop.” I bet some people knowing that would probably list their boat before even leaving and skip doing the loop.
At the rendezvous there was a captains’ meeting to organize departure on Friday. With so many boats the locks and marinas can get overloaded. I signed up for the 7:00AM departure with 8-10 others. However, at 7:00AM we were in fog so thick you could hardly see the bow of the boat. The lockmaster at Wheeler also said not to come. We finally got going at 8:00 when the fog had thinned out. Watching some of the boaters tying on to the bollards in the lock was entertaining. One couple had all their fenders out but spent all their time with boathooks trying to keep the fenders from touching the lock walls. That is hard to do and it’s a wonder they didn’t lose a boat hook or worse wind up in the water. Fenders are sacrificial devices intended to keep the boat from getting scratched up. If they get dirty, clean them off. One twin engine boat had the driveshaft break loose from the starboard engine. He left the lock and right in front of Hattitude stopped, jumped in the water with a rope, tied it to the propeller, and tied it to the boat. He continued with us through the next lock at Florence. Another boat instead of following single file insisted on staying right beside me. If I slowed down, he slowed down. If I sped up he sped up. How he avoided getting green paint on his side I will never know. Finally when we were about 10 miles from Grand Harbor he sped up and arrived a couple of miles ahead of us.
Fantastic Fall Fueling Frenzy
Grand Harbor decided to reward all loopers that came to the harbor with 25 cents off $4.14 per gallon. I filled up with 196.2 gallons of diesel. That’s what Katy Leigh drank to go the 500 miles to Chattanooga and back. It works out to 2.55 miles per gallon.
My Story in Heartland Boating Digital Magazine
My story on the 7 Things Every Great Looper Should Know appeared in the September-October issue. The layout by the Heartland Boating staff is great. You can read and see it here.
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Saw you go by the house today at the first class landing at mile marker 138. Beautiful boat.
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