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