The Checkered Flag…

“Attention Mr. And Mrs. America and all ships at sea. At 1600 the motor vessel Cbay crossed her wake and completed America’s Great Loop.” Borrowing from the immortal Walter Wenchel with this announcement on channel 16 VHF we closed our loop and ended the greatest adventure we have yet shared.

A bittersweet day for sure. Today we crossed our own wake as they say and closed the Great Circle thus completing our Loop. As long time readers may recall we originally turned off the Tennessee at mile marker 215.3 and started down the Tenn-Tom toward Mobile Bay. Once again we make this same turn from a different direction but only as a temporary detour to enter Grand Harbor Marina where we stayed last year and first encountered the infamous Chicken Boat. Now we will celebrate our Loop completion and rest before continuing up the Tennessee to our home port at LGYC. We immediately put our new gold looper burgee on the bow and took obligatory pictures.

This is also where we must part with newfound friends Rich and Merry Kay aboard Native Son. They have been fabulous companions since Joliet, IL and we will miss them terribly. One of the true blessings of the Loop is the friends we have made. Pat and Ken Goeway on 20BUCK$, Joe and Tara Parker with Lil’ Bit on Seabatical, Beth and Dean Jones with Ziggy on Kismet, Bill and Pam Maley on Seabiscuit and now Rich and Merry Kay on Native Son. And of course we cannot leave out Dr. Bell and Colonel Reece who came to our rescue more than once, Charlie and Ann Moore who extended the hospitality of South Carolina and Young William and Gabriella who gave meaning to the 4545. Then there was the Commander and Maureen with those wonderful twins Will and Roy. We have now shared two great adventures with them and I will soon publish the previous one on this site. Lastly we cannot forget our longest onboard traveling companion, if you don’t count Daisy, our grandson Alex who crewed with us for some of the most exciting days of the trip. We pray that as he grows up he never forgets his days with Mimi and Judge aboard Cbay amd the adventures we shared.There are of course many more but these are the ones we spent extended time traveling with on this glorious exploration.

Memories are made of friends and we are truly blessed in so many ways. Would we do it all again? Absolutely. Would the family want us to? Probably not. You can only miss so much of their lives and now we must begin making memories with them.

Our day started off with thick fog. As our daughter Casey used to say, “Daddy it’s froggy out there isn’t it?” Yes it was. Here are before and after pictures taken this morning when we awoke and right before we left.

We saw a flock of white pelicans just before they swirled up and took off for sunny south Florida just like the Loopers will soon be doing.

We passed by historic Cherry Mansion built on an Indian mound and served as headquarters for U.S. Grant during the battle of Shiloh.

Next door someone has built the modern version.

Tonight we went to eat Mexican to celebrate and discovered some interesting new treats. A Coronarita is a frozen margherita with a beer turned up in it and my meal was the wildest concoction I have ever eaten and quite tasty too.

We still have a few more days travel back to GUNTERSVILLE but that is through familiar waters and then it is back home to see what tasks await. Do not worry, I will still be posting to this site for awhile as we wind things down. Sort of like weaning our readers off their daily ration.