The Loop – Final Frontier

Wow. Just wow! In our 3 years aboard Shangri-La we never were so busy as the last several months. At this point I could go into detail on so many, many adventures. Instead, the highlights of the last half of our adventure. On April 1 we docked back in our home port of Beaufort, NC. And for the next several weeks between personal business, family business and just decompressing – we’ve been dialing it down.

The Loop was an amazing adventure for sure. Locks, long voyages, cute towns and the best part – so many wonderful people who can’t wait to help out, join in and make the journey the adventure of a lifetime. And that’s the story. Yes, we traveled for 13 months covering over 6,000 miles. Yes, we had an incredible number of one-of-a-kind adventures. So will those who follow and so did those who went before us. But most inspiring, we will cherish the journey forever. Truly forever. So many great moments.

The highlights? Busting up the Chesapeake Bay in what was supposed to be one foot waves. Thank God it was a head sea. A half dozen times we buried the anchor in the face of a rowdy bay. Anchoring in the Hudson River – people asked us, “who anchors in the Hudson?!” We did. Jan found a spot called Saddle Bags off the main channel and we had a wonderful night on the hook. Dragging anchor in Tawas Bay – where we woke to a swimmer knocking on the hull “mister, mister your boat is moving. . .” Indeed we were. Sitting proud in barely 5′ of water right in front of the hotel. We gave serious consideration to renaming Shangri-La the Drag Queen after that night.

Or our trip up to Alpena, MI from Tawas, MI where we broke dishes we didn’t know we had and watched a bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce play spin the bottle sans top across the salon floor on a raging Lake Huron. Jan sat on the floor while I sat at the lower helm and listened to wine glasses smacking each other to pieces in the rack behind my head. We only made it to Harrisville where we hooked up with Eddie and Linda on a 36 Grand Banks. A couple who have become fast and dear friends for life. With them we crossed under the mighty Mackinaw Bridge and spent the night at Beaver Island. The next day, we left for Door County, Wisconsin. Crossing on a truly beautiful day. When we got to Washington Island, we began our leisurely trip down the peninsula where we lollygagged along for over a month enjoying the spotless, charming villages along the Wisconsin’s thumb along with our new found friends.

Leaving Door County Wisconsin
Into the Mist and across Lake Michigan

Then crossing from Sturgeon Bay to Ludington. “You’re not going is this fog??” we were asked as we slipped the lines. Yes, we’re going in the fog. Fog happens when there is no wind. And we needed to cross nearly 100 miles of Lake Michigan that trip. It was so calm I almost fell asleep at the helm. We only saw one boat on the radar. It was an incredible trip – all alone just the rumble of Pam and Sarah in the mist. We’ll never forget that day.