We crossed our wake!
My favorite parts of this trip – places, people, and activities.
Canada, Canada Canada! From the minute we started down the canal system, I fell in love with Canada. The Trent Severn was full of little towns like the towns we grew up in and stirred many fond memories in us both. The best was yet to come as the Georgian Bay was pristine and beautiful with its clear water, tiny bays, and forests. The North Channel was awe inspiring – the rock formations were incredibly impressive especially when viewed from the air when we did the 1000 islands tour. I loved kayaking when we were at anchor, and fishing off the boat and off rock outcroppings I reached with my kayak. Beautiful Baie Fine – we could stay there for weeks. We saw so much there and feel like we barely touched the surface. Canada is on our list of places we must revisit.
Once we came down out of Canada, there was a lot to see and do. Door County fish boils, Mackinac Island with the horse drawn carriages, Milwaukee (my favorite city), Chicago, and then the river system! The first part of our river journey was difficult, but once we connected with some looper friends to travel together, it became a shared adventure with some hardships made easier because they were endured together. It was a huge accomplishment to everyone in our little 7 boat flotilla to make it through the last lock just as the sun was setting, and tie up at the wonderful Green Turtle Bay resort. We celebrated together, and then one by one, continued down the river system at our own pace or with one or two other boats. The Kentucky lake and river system south of Green Turtle bay was beautiful, pristine, and a much easier trip than when we first moved down the river.
Another adventure with a Looper flotilla awaited us when we made the 24 hour crossing from Apalachicola to Dunedin Florida. We were stuck in Apalachicola with a bunch of Loopers for several days before we got a weather window to cross, and it got pretty cold. The trip across the gulf was a bit scary since we would be motoring not only all day, but all night long into the next morning, however we made it with our little group with no issues, and celebrated with bloody mary’s when we arrived. Once we made it to Dunedin, it was the warm and gorgeous west coast of Florida for the rest of the trip down to our winter dockage in the Florida Keys, at Tavernier.
This spring as we traveled up the ICW on our way home, we had some issues with our prop shaft, but the delay allowed us to spend some fun time in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Once the boat was fixed we had a crazy day travelling through Miami and Fort Lauderdale on one of the first nice weekends in boating season. After leaving Florida, we enjoyed our time on the ICW all the way through to the marina where we first bought the Quo Vadimus in Virginia. We took a side trip on the Potomac where we enjoyed visiting Old Alexandria, Washington DC, and several other pretty spots along the great river, and we are looking forward to spending a couple more days on the Chesapeake while we move toward our home port on the Bohemia river.
One of our favorite parts of the Loop were the side trips we were able to take along the way by renting a car. We were able to visit many cities that we have wanted to see, either for the first time or as a return visit as tourists. In Trent we visited the Prince Edward County wineries. We also rented a car in Orillia to visit Toronto for a couple of days. We toured Green Bay, St. Louis, and Nashville TN as day trips. We spent 3 days in New Orleans – one of our favorites. We’ve seen tons of sights that we probably would not have seen otherwise, and sometimes the best part was returning to the comfort of our own beds on the Quo Vadimus at the end of a long day or days of touring.
A few of our favorite places are where we spent time with family and close friends. One of my oldest friends joined us on the Hudson for an overnight and a fun tour of a huge motorcycle museum. We spent a few days in Rochester with Foster’s sister and her family and had a blast. I met another dear old friend and her husband in Sarasota, family friends in Sanibel. Our sons Mike and Dave came to visit for a week in the Keys. Pam & Gun helped make Miami/Ft. Lauderdale a fun stop. In Hilton Head and Beaufort SC we spent time with my sister and my mom, and enjoyed seeing some sights and visiting an old family friend. There were also places where we made new friends along the loop. Frieda, Nancy, and Terry are some Canadian friends we met and spent a little time with. Dennis and Carol are Looper friends that advised us on the best spots in Door County and showed us the highlights of Racine. We became close with several couples in Tavernier where we learned about the Keys disease at first hand for several glorious weeks. Finally there are the many terrific looper couples we met on the water in the Great Lakes, along the river system and the ICW – so many I can’t list them because I’m sure to leave someone out. All are people we loved spending time with and who made a big contribution to our Great Loop experience. One of the most interesting things was meeting someone who we met earlier on the loop, and comparing notes.
Life on the loop was life as we live it every day, but with amazing places and people thrown in. We didn’t always have fun. Sometimes we argued, sometimes the weather was terrible, sometimes we were in trouble. Sometimes it was like going to a job every day – a really COOL job, but a job nonetheless. We had some losses during the year – Aunt Hazel, my Dad, and our resident cat on board Belle. Belle enjoyed her life on the boat more than she enjoyed her life on the hard, and had a very peaceful ending. Dad, who had Alzheimers, was very happy about us going on the trip. He remembered and asked me about it every time we spoke.
It’s hard to explain how amazing this trip is to people who have not been on it or on part of it. All I can say is if you are thinking of going, just go!
#fishing&catching #docktails #bigorangeballsFTW #LCBO #canals #lock_walls #Bad_River #Baie_Fine #Hopewell_Bay #Escanaba #Door_County #Milwaukee #St_Louis_ #herons_vs_alligators #kayaking #quilting #canadian_seafood=whitefish #dolphinbabies #Appalachicola_oysters #shrimp_in_the_dinghy #stone_crabs_vs_blue_crabs #manatees #biking #a_good_internet_connection #you_got_packages #teamwork #sunsets&sunrises #marina_loaner_cars #best_marina_loaner_corvette_ever #maritime_museums_adinfinitum #best_year_of_my_life