We’re home. Pulled into our slip at Guilford Yacht Club today 350 days and 5,750 miles after we left.
So what’s the Loop about other than miles and days, and canals and rivers, storms and sunsets, and of course, Loopers? For me it’s the profusion compared to normal life of those moments when you experience euphoria: “A feeling of exceptional happiness and well-being.”
We all have such moments. They could be brought on by the birth of a child, catching one just right and pumping it 300 yards right down the middle, or just sitting by the fire contemplating your incredible luck in being born an American. I think the people I’ve known who are truly living are simply trying to maximize moments of euphoria through sports or a job they love or family or church or whatever.
If you like the water, boats, history and our wonderful country and it’s equally wonderful neighbor Canada, the Great Loop is a euphoria factory. Euphoria lies around every bend, across every bay and at every dock where the Looper flag flies. There were simply hundreds of times during our trip that I just FELT SO GOOD about what John and I were doing.
Here are a few euphoria-producing moments that come to mind right now, but every time I look at the Voyage map, I am flooded with so many more:
– Swimming with Bjorn in a perfect lake in a perfect anchorage on a perfect day in the Stony Lakes region of Canada prior to a martini and steaks on the barbecue.
– Dinner with John and Molly at a classic Chicago steakhouse after a beautiful day doing the sites in one of America’s great cities. It was so good to be a family again.
– The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers – Memsahib cleaving the same waters as my boyhood heroes Lewis and Clark.
– Cold as could be, but motoring through the Tennessee Gorge at the absolute peak of the fall colors with my great friend Eric Brazil.
– Seeing all the Loopers in the Tiki hut at Green Turtle Bay after our tough Gulf crossing and being handed the by-now-famous Next to Me Bloody Mary.
– Skimming over the waves, rays and turtles on a seaplane to the Dry Tortugas.
– Anne Marie Sales was John’s nanny as an infant and little boy. Seeing her little three-year-old girl “driving” Memsahib just as John drove Memsahib at the same age was a special moment.
– Belting out “Moon River” ON the real Moon River.
– Motoring up the Choptank and Tred Avon Rivers into the heart of Michener Country. When I read “Chesapeake” 35 years ago, I said, “I’ve got to go there.” And I did.
– Taking a picture of John holding the Gold Looper flag in front of the Statue of Liberty. I could barely push the button.
That’s the end of the voyage and the end of this blog, although we will be adding pictures of the first two months of the trip before the blog began.
More practical thoughts on the Loop, future cruising tales and boatbuilding yarns will move to http://www.greatloopcoda.com.