Friday, October 24, 2008

October 22, 2008

Voyager II leaves the harbor


My mom and I ran away Wednesday. We left our homes and pets, grabbed our cameras and sketchpads and money for lunch, and drove to the State Park.

The Loopers are here.

This week America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association are having an autumnal rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama. From my deck we watch these gorgeous boats float by all the time but they also have flotilla seasons where they rendezvous at various points. Autumn and Spring are favorite times, but I've seen them all year long. Yachts, cruisers, trawlers, catamarans, houseboats, and all manner of recreational boats undertake this extraordinary excursion and post their remarkable tales via blogs and websites.

View of the marina from Joe Wheeler State Park restaurant (We had Reubens! Yum!)

What IS the Great Loop? From their website, "The Great Loop is the continuous waterway that encompasses the eastern portion of North America – including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland. It is also known as the Great Circle Route and is considered one of the safest long distance cruising routes in the world. To travel all, a portion, or any of the magnificent side trips of the Great Loop is an adventure of a lifetime."

Here's the map taken from the Great Loop website, enlarged with a red star added so that you can see where we are. We know many boaters who take fall color cruises up the Tennessee River to Knoxville and back. They say it's mouthwateringly gorgeous. I've been reading the blogs and websites of some of the boats we observed on Wednesday and have been enchanted by their photos and descriptions.

The catamaran Sandpiper enters the marina

I could do this. I could sell all my earthly possessions and live aboard a trawler - my boat of choice - forever. Follow the white pelicans and snow geese and sandhill cranes, photograph sunrises and sunsets from lighthouses, smell the salt water and feel the spray on my face. This would be an idyllic lifestyle. Captain Bob at the helm, our First Mate Baylee barking at ducks, just cell phones that we could turn on when we wanted to check in on family. Of course, we would have to have laptops for the WiFi marina stops so as to update blogs.


Lots of teak, and even a teak duck, decorates this beautiful trawler

These days the Loopers are fewer, undoubtedly because of fuel prices. Some of the folks I met live on their boats, and some just do a part of the Great Loop as their yearly vacation. Each have their stories and reasons and I find myself drawn to this lifestyle. A local magazine cites that vehicles on the waterways is up, but I find it to be commercial traffic such as barges that are the most common sighting. And sailboats, kayaks and canoes. Fewer powerboats and jetskis, and the cruisers save their fuel for events such as the Great Loop Rendezvous, or rendezvous's of their own.

For some REAL tales of the Great Loop check out the Bella Luna's blogspot: http://www.bellalunalog.blogspot.com/



Scroll down to Saturday, October 11, 2008 for some wonderfully warm writing about my neck of the woods and how much they enjoyed it. Thanks, Diane & Lewis Wade...who I've not met but photographed their boat 'cause it's so pretty! I hope you all enjoyed this little journey with me today. Go here for a list of Looper's websites and blogs: http://www.greatloop.org/N5_Member_Websites.asp?pid=21

4 comments:

nancybond said...

It would, indeed, be an idyllic lifestyle. What a beautiful area you live in -- those boats against that autumn colour...fabulous!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What fun Debi. I love the water too. When I was younger I wanted to live on a houseboat. We had family friends that had a cabin on the river where we practically lived during the summer. Boating, skiing just loafing along the river. What memories.

I had the pleasure to go to Boston with a friend a few years ago to watch the parade of the tall ships come into harbor. It was terrific.

I am really glad you shared this bit of your fall with us. It is mighty fun.

kate said...

Hi, this is a beautiful blog!!
ck out our new blog,,,hope you
have fun following the yellow brick road....best to you kate

albertaphotography said...

oh does that ever sound like a dream life. I envy people who live on or near the water. For me, even if the water was in my sight and I could walk out to it each day ... oh what heaven that would be.

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