Memsahib Has Been Sold and Is Heading South

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Our beloved Memsahib has been sold to a very nice fellow from Boston who is now living in Puerto Rico.  I worked on her all spring on his behalf getting her in super shape for 1,100 miles of blue water between Miami and Puerto Rico.  She’s a better boat now than she was on the Loop — and she was a great boat then.

Here’s Memsahib, the day we said goodbye.  I still get a fair amount of traffic to this site, so I’ll keep it going.  Soon there will be a link to the building of the “new Memsahib!”

Final Memsahib

Yet Another Memsahib Website

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To aid in the sale of the boat, I have posted another Memsahib website, this one telling the whole story of Memsahib and her life with the Kessinger family:



My New Business

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I am amazed that folks are still logging in to Memsahibs Voyage.  So, people, if any of you want a beautiful, affordable wooden boat built from a kit, please take a look at my new retirement business:


Building wooden boats is ALMOST as good as cruising on them, and it takes place in Guilford, CT rather than Demopolis, AL, where we were (pleasantly) stranded last year.



Memsahib Needs New Owners

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If anyone is interested, or knows anyone who MIGHT be interested, our beautiful, strong Memsahib is for sale and wants to Loop again.

You can find a description of the boat and pictures here:


This is the official listing:


She just got back from a show in Mystic and is in the best shape ever.

Memsahib Crew Re-United

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John came back from his camp counselor job so we could attend the Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous at Mystic Seaport.  It’s a by-invitation deal for really classy boats, so we were honored to attend.  Weather was great and hundreds of people visited Memsahib.  It was her first time out of the slip since completing the Loop and it felt wonderful to be cruising again.  I will post the story I’m writing for the Looper website.

Transitioning from the Loop hasn’t been hard, hasn’t been easy, it’s just been strange.  After 50 years of total focus on school, work and the Loop, coming back to a great but disjointed life was confusing.  Literally the day after we landed, it was off to Miami University of Ohio, a 1300-mile round trip for orientation.  Then continued moving in to our new house, re-contacting old work friends, setting up my beautiful new  shop, and a zillion other distractions.  Wonderful to be home with Molly, but hard to shake that, “Weather’s good, ought to be getting going, ought to be on to the next port” feeling.

I tell my friends it’s like an old science fiction show:  Two astronauts have an accident and land on another “earth” that is exactly, exactly opposite our earth from the sun.  They think everything is okay until they start watching TV in the hospital and see an address from President Al Gore, an ad for Kentucky Fried Guinea Hen and a sports report about the Chicago Cubs sweeping the World Series for the third straight year.   They get back, but it ain’t easy.

I have not even visited this blog since returning — too strange, too disjointing.  But I’m better know.  I really love the new shop and am building a cool wooden paddle board for a friend.  I’ve done some consulting from the very best of my old vendors, and most of all, I’ve started planning a short cruise for the fall and more for next summer.  We really need a  smaller, lighter  boat for the type of cruising we want to do in the future, but if it’s good old Memsahib, it’s good old Memsahib.

At the show with our official, 139-dot Great Loop map.

At the show with our official, 139-dot Great Loop map.

Memsahib steaming down the Mystic River all spruced up for the show.

Memsahib steaming down the Mystic River all spruced up for the show.



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.

We Have Looped


Memsahib crossed her wake yesterday at the Statue of Liberty, the start and finish for us lucky New England Loopers.

It was a great moment during a hard 13-hour, 95-mile push from Manasquan, NJ to Norwalk, CT with Tropical Storm Andrea chasing us into Norwalk Cove Marina last night.

Thanks to Memsahib, a good old 52-year-old wooden boat who kept us safe and secure the whole way.  And thanks to my crew — Molly, Fredi, Bjorn, Pat, Ray, Eric, Sparta and most of all John — my son, my friend and the best crewman I will ever have.

The Loop is done, but the Voyage continues, arriving at our home port of Guilford Yacht Club Sunday afternoon — Andrea permitting.

loop pic

The best Looper crew ever.

The best Looper crew ever.

For one nanosecond, this guy was the happiest person in the world.

For one nanosecond, this guy was the happiest person in the world.

It's official -- we're gold loopers!

It’s official — we’re gold loopers!

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