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Well, it’s finally here!  Departure time:  Saturday, Oct 18th, 1500 hours!!!!

 

Great Bon Voyage Group on the Party Dock of LGYC!  We gave away shirts that said “Brad Salvage 2008 LIFE IS GOOD Tour----sponsored by Miller Lite” but it was a little champagne that we toasted with!  We swapped our LGYC Burgee for the white AGLCA Burgee which means “Loop in Progress”.

The burgee makes it easy for Loopers to identify each other out there on the blue highways!!  When we “cross our wake” next year coming home, we will get a Gold AGLCA burgee which means we have closed the Loop and earned our BaccaLOOPerate Degree!!!

 

Destination Today:  Butler Basin at MM ­334 on the leeward side of  Hobbs Island  (plenty of water in this secondary channel). 

 

Butler Basin is a beautiful waterfront community developed by our friends Forrest and Cathy Knowles for the Huntsville, AL area.  It has wonderful lakefront amenities including deep water boat slips, community pool, lighthouse and picnic pavilion. 

 

This is always our first stop when heading down river on the TN because of the gorgeous setting and the fantastic hospitality.  Thanks Forrest and Cathy!!!

 

We know how blessed we are to be able to make this trip.  We are looking forward to all the people, places and events we are going to get to experience.  The glory of God’s world is amazing and we pray he keeps us safe through our journey. 

 

Tomorrow we will be traveling approximately 70 miles to Joe Wheeler Marina to attend the 2008 AGLCA Fall Rendezvous for four days.  There will be seminars to help us be educated about every aspect of our trip as well as great opportunities to meet our fellow “Loopers” who are currently LIP (Loopers In Progress).  

 

Brad and Patti’s Great Adventure-Day One!!!!!!!  Twenty three miles and one lock in to our trip.

 

 

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The LGYC Bon Voyage Party and Sunset at Butler Basin!

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October 19, 2008

What a beautiful day to cruise.  Left Butler Basin about 8:30 am, as soon as the fog lifted.  Arrived at Joe Wheeler Marina at 2:30 pm.  Had the boat Safety Check done by the Coast Guard Auxiliary as soon as we arrived.  Passed with flying colors. Time to walk the docks.  This place is packed with “Happy Nomads” that call each other “loopers” (See AGLCA under Favorite Links for true definition).

Had dinner with new friends, the Lovell’s, up at the Lodge and ran into old friends from our Yacht Club, the Marchenia’s, who have just completed the Loop and are on their way home.  Guess you could call us the LGYC tag team.  TAG, We’re It!!! Cool!

 

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October 20, 2008

Registration for the AGLCA Rendezvous started today.  Fewer people here this year probably due to fuel prices.  175 people attending and 65 boats in the marina.  Of the 65, 45 are Loopers In Progress.  The weather is PERFECT.  We are finding out who we should be looking for on the water when we leave here.  Some will be going up the Tennessee River now, but we will be heading south on the Tenn-Tom. 

Listening to all these folks talk about their trip thus far convinces us that our expectations are not too high.  I think they will be met and exceeded.  I admit I had a few Pooh concerns. 

 Quote:  “Well” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think.  Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.   –A. A. Milne

 

Oct 21 2008

They are keeping us busy.  And full.  We are eating most of our meals with the group and listening to speaker after speaker inform us about Navigation Notes, Anchorages and Marinas for the next legs of the trip from here all the way through the Bahamas. Besides that, we do a “Loopers Crawl” every afternoon from 3 to 5 where we visit around 10 boats just because we are nosey and like to check out everybody else’s boat.  Also dingy races, scavenger hunts and lots of giveaways from sponsors.  I won 3 free nights in a slip at a Mobile marina.  

Oct 22, 2008

The Loopers on the motor yacht Harbour Reach are the envy of all the boaters with the tallest tomato plant (with herbs growing at the bottom) at the Rendezvous.  I’m trying to talk Brad into letting me stake one  to our radar mast but he’s so darn safety conscious he thinks it might be more important to have a working radar than a tomato and basil sandwich.  At lunchtime that could be a toss up!

 

The dinghy races became more challenging when they said you had to do the race in reverse with the Captain blindfolded taking directions from his first mate.  There was no property damage but it looks like we might lose one couple to divorce.

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