We didn’t know what it would be like, this Great Loop thing. How could we? We’ve never done it before. But, I for one, had certain general expectations. I figured the boat would act like it usually does, maintenance would be like the normal routine. We’d have to fuel up, pump out, keep water in the tanks, and oil in the engines. I knew that wouldn’t change. But there’s a heck of a lotta other stuff goin’ on. Where will we stay? We have to put the boat somewhere, and I mean every single night. You can’t just pull over to the side of the road. On a year-long trip, that’s 365 times you have to figure out where you will put 16 ton, 32 by 13 foot thing. And you can’t just pull into a marina and dock. You’ve got to call ahead and make sure they have room for you. If they don’t, which was sometimes the case, you need to find another place. The XO is really good at this. She would set up three different options, one of which would always work. This is just one of many things we had to deal with, and eventually figured it out. I wont get into food shopping and laundry except to say that it will be nice to go to our familiar ol’ Market Basket where we know where everything is, and to wash clothes at home will be like heaven on Earth. I know that for a long time after this trip is finished, and the XO and I are safe at home tucked into our beds for the night, we will wake up in the morning and wonder how far we need to travel, and what town we need to dock, tie up, or anchor Ginger Lee in. When we rub the sleep out of our eyes, we will be relieved that we don’t have to get out the charts, cruising guides, search the web for an acceptable port, and make sure the weather supports our aspirations.
It was nothing like I expected, and everything I wanted. I was hot where it was supposed to be cold, and cold in places that should have been warm. I also thought it would be more social, yet we were alone most of the time. The “docktails” we heard about (drinks on the dock with other loopers) were few and far between, but I suppose that made them all the more enjoyable.I joined AGLCA because I heard there is much useful information available to all its members. I didn’t particularly find that to be the case, but I like being a part of something; I am proud to fly their burgee. And now, we have a new one to replace the old white one. It’s only for those who have completed the Great Loop, and it is gold.