We spent the past week at Joe Wheeler State Park near Rogersville, AL. Each fall the America’s Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA) hosts an event for those members interested in or who are currently traveling The Great Loop. This year ~ 250 people attended, half planning and half already on The Loop. There are all day seminars, free Coast Guard safety checks and of course a great opportunity to meet others.
We spent a lot of time inside in seminars – everything from DYI boat maintenance to reviews of the segments we will travel from here all the way around Florida and up the eastern Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). Presenters were often fellow boaters who have completed the loop (complete it once – you are a Gold Looper, complete it twice you are a Platinum Looper).
We didn’t have a lot of free time but did get to play round of golf at the nearby course, participated in a dingy race (you have to drive the dingy backwards, person driving is blindfolded and other person gives verbal instructions on which way to steer to the finish line) and toured several different types of boats that were here doing The Loop.
We had 2 small world moments this week –
1. Seeing Joe who we bought a sailboat from in Texas 12 years ago (we then took that boat (Hiatus) on a 2 year cruise through central America, selling it back in Texas when our trip was over). Joe had traveled to Alabama and this event to look at boats for his future Great Loop adventure. It was fun to catch up and to share memories of the boat we both shared at different times.
Joe, Heather, Kent
2. Meeting some folks from the NW – a couple from Bend, OR and an OSU alumni both are planning their Loop. Then there were others who had lived previously in Wilsonville, OR and Vancouver, WA. It is not unusual to explain where Oregon is located so it was nice to have a few people come up to us knowing the PNW area.
Finally, we knew we were here for several days and put in several Amazon orders to help complete some projects. The best boat project completed was that Kent installed all new LED lights inside and it makes a huge difference (brighter lights, less energy used). We can now see every single Penny hair on the floor. 😉
It felt like we had this many packages to pick up. Thank goodness you can buy just about anything you need (and don’t need) and get it shipped in 2 days.