There are three boats leaving from Southport this Spring to do the Great Loop. The days are going by and we are getting closer and closer to our departure dates.
I will be leaving first in mid-April, on my little Ranger Tug, “Annabelle”. She is 25 feet long, and like a VW Westfalia. She is cute, compact, has more amenities than one might imagine on a boat her size. She is easy to handle, as long as it isn’t too windy. She is slow and economical. She is a sweet boat.
The second boat leaving Southport, belongs to Mark and Jane, Average Looper, a Bayliner 4788. She is has all the comforts of home, including a bath tub. I think the only thing which would make Jane happier is if she also had a washer and dryer. What I can tell you about Average Looper, is there is nothing Average about the boat, or her owners. They are extraordinary people. They came down here from Ohio, have fallen in love with Southport, and have decided to stay a while before heading out north on the Great Loop.
The third boat to leave Southport, at the end of April is Tom’s boat, “No Compromises”, a 42 foot Island Pilot. His boat is very comfortable, handles well in all types of conditions. His boat is high tech when it comes to steering and maneuverability and in many other areas as well. He has plenty of space. Tom has the fastest boat. He may be coming from behind, but he could easily leave us behind in his wake.
All three boats will be meeting up in Norfolk at the Great Loop Rendezvous May 5 – 8.
In other news, my son Dean will be doing half the Loop, in a 33 ft sailboat. He is crewing on a boat leaving from New Orleans, heading over to Florida, then up the Atlantic to Annapolis. He is flying out on Wednesday. There plans are to be in Annapolis by the end of April. Most of their sailing will be off-shore. As a crew-member, he has not met the people he will be sharing quarters with for the next 6 weeks or so.
It has always amazed me at my son’s ability to get along well with most people. He has been like this his whole life. When he was 3, he was the most popular kid in his sister’s kindergarten class (and her school). When he was in 7th grade, he knew more people in Tucson than I was comfortable with. One day we were walking in the downtown area, when a homeless man looked up from his spot on the curb and said “Hi, Dean!” Without any hesitation, my son responded to him, like he was an old buddy. Even now, Dean has friends in many places around the world. When he is finished in Annapolis, he is hoping to go to Maine or Panama, wherever the wind takes him. He might even get blown right back to Southport... it is hard to tell.