Friday, December 23, 2016

Looping Day 60

Yes, it’s Christmas Eve Eve and most folks are stretched from can to can’t trying to get things done for Saturday and Sunday gatherings!  Yep, that was me last year – trying to squeeze in family/friend time, work responsibilities, drive time, you name it.  This year, I’m simply going to provide a 60 day update of our loop!

What I’ve learned in 60 days – in no particular order:

  1. Walking to the grocery store, dragging a wagon feels completely normal.  It also makes you really think about the purchases – frozen foods, heavy items – and the effort required for the return trip.
  2. Laundromats are NOT all created equal.  Clorox Wipes & latex gloves are essential items, just like detergent & dryer sheets…and the wagon, of course! 
  3.  Rental Cars are necessary when you make a month-long commitment in one place…in the middle of nowhere! 
  4. "Sound your way in” actually means to be cautious on the approach, measure the water depth, and go slow - NOT lay-on-the-horn-and-let-them-know-you’re-on-the-way!!  Language barriers happen with English speaking people too! 
  5.  Solo voyages, breaking away from the group, can be confidence builders! 
  6. Mississippi State fans are EVERYWHERE!  Driving on Marco Island we spotted a man cycling wearing a white MSU TENNIS shirt.  Charlie wouldn’t turn around for a picture!
  7. In general, people are kind and curious.  We met a couple on the Ft. Myers Trolley from Boston; they wanted to know EVERYTHING about the loop
  8. A light switch is a luxury item on a boat.
  9. It really is a small world…meeting land dwellers from our hometowns or relatives of friends.
  10.  Sitting still can be a challenge…we have been at Port of the Islands since Dec 4th.  It’s time to move & kill time in a different location – after Christmas day, of course!!

We are planning to leave a week early from Port of the Islands and head north to Naples.  There we will enjoy the city docks for a few days, take a few walking tours (day & night), and then head further north to Fort Myers for New Year’s!! Backtracking a little but we felt this stay would be considered a “side trip” from the beginning.

The general plan at this point: on Jan 2 we will leave Fort Myers with a couple other looper boats and head east, crossing the state on the Okeechobee Waterway.  It’s the standard west-to-east crossing route for America’s Great Loop and will provide a more direct route to the Bahamas.  We are still undecided about Bahamas or the Keys – which one first, but we are looking forward to the east coast of FL!!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we do have some social obligations, a little cooking and church service (6:00).  So let me take this opportunity to wish each one of you, your families and friends a very Merry Christmas!!  May you tell others or receive the free gift of Jesus.

God Bless!

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