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The Ultimate Looper?

As we head back into port to lick our wounds and to make repairs others are starting out on a grand boating adventure – the Great Loop. It starts from anywhere and ends where one started. The journey takes up the Hudson, into Canada and certainly stops at Mackinac Island for a rest in the rocking chairs on the front porch of the Grand Hotel. One then proceeds to Chicago to enjoy a waterway run through the heart of the city. Autumn could bring a side trip up the Cumberland River before the last chug down the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to Mobile and finally back to one’s start point. Quite an American heartland adventure.

The trip has its own association. Loopers proudly display their membership pennants. When they complete the trip they get BaccaLOOPerate degree and even more proudly fly their yellow completion pennant. Internet forums are dedicated to this trip. Much discussion always revolves around what is an ideal craft and what is an adequate craft for this adventure.

And now we come to our sailor and his pram, Adventure. Is he a looper? His location and Iowa registration suggest he is not local to Florida. He has a looper flag prominently displayed. It is possible he is out for a day sail. However, consider this. When we took this picture he was well north of St. Augustine headed away from any probable launch site. The wind and tide were against any return to St. Augustine before dark. Finally, his anchor is perhaps oversized for day sailing needs and he was approaching a popular transient anchorage.

He is really a looper? Dunno. However, if he is that will some adventure and he will perhaps be the ultimate looper.

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The Day Is Underway

The day is underway. And what a day. Gorgeous. Chock a block full of the reasons why we do this and put up with the occasional problems and pit falls of “It’s a boat. That’s boating.”

Why? Early in the morning other boats are getting underway making & dissolving buddy boating alliances, planning evening anchorages and beginning to sort out the northward parade by passing one another. We have been on the go since first light and are out with manatees & eagles & loons & egrets & immature little blue herons and, of course, pelicans. That’s why.

Why? What budget? All our camera gear has busted any budget and seems to threaten to bust the bank. And Dee finds an immature little blue heron in its a soft aquamarine/blue white stage. I finally get a shot of pellies feather tip skimming the water. Our long lenses enable reach out & and grab something drive by shootings. That’s why.

Why? This boat has been and continues to be a great boat for our life style. When we bought it, we never would have thought it would be important to us as a super platform for on-the-water photography. And that’s another reason why.

Enjoy your day.

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By the Dawn’s Early Light

We have seen several shuttle launches from afar. We have seen one night launch here as guests for a night launch. This launch, our first on location on our boat, was at first light and classified as a night launch by NASA. These shoots are simply spectacular. Even more so is the noise. Just about the time that the rocket is beginning to gain real altitude and when one is reflecting on the impact of the take off comes a deep rumble. It shakes one bones and pretty much every fitting on the boat. Then came the roar of the engines only to soon fade soon as Discovery chases after the International Space Station. Well worth the wait.

And the cow didn’t jump over the moon: Shortly after six, the space station came over as the shuttle’s intercept course is one of catch up. The station passed just under the half moon we had tonight. A bonus to what was a marvelous event.

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Fan Favorite

What’s a day without pellies? They’re everywhere all the time. They goofy, They’re graceful. Simply put they’re great. Pellies have to be all time fan favorites particularly favorites of gulls who follow them around when pellies are diving. Gulls are seeking to mooch (or steal) an easy meal from the pellies just like pellies seek to mooch an easy meal from watermen baiting traps. Interesting food chain around here.

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