Thursday, September 5, 2013

Completing The Great Loop Cruise - Help Me Rhonda Crosses Her Wake

I have to be honest - I am just about blogged out and very tired from a very exciting day,  so we'll keep this short.  We left our anchorage at Little River Diversion Channel this morning as soon as the fog lifted. It was a beautiful morning to start the day.

 Rhonda got some more eagle shots on the way down to our crossing point at the Ohio River, so I will take the time to post these.

I spent a lot of time this morning sitting in my favorite spot up by the bow pulpit, retracing in my mind all of the places we have traveled and the experiences we have had in the last 5 and 1/2 years and almost 8000 miles of travel.  Wow, what an awesome experience.  I have to admit, I even got a little emotional just thinking about how blessed and fortunate we are to make the trip and how blessed I am to have such a wonderful wife and "shipmate" to share it with.  Don't laugh - Rhonda took one of her premarin hormone pills just in case it hit her too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here we are approaching the point where we were on 4/30/2008.  On that date we were traveling down the Ohio River and joining the Mississippi River and later the Arkansas River to Muskogee, OK to manage a new marina there.

I went back and pulled up a picture of our previous boat from that day when we traveled from the Ohlmstead Lock on the Ohio River to Caruthersville, Missouri.  We had a 41' Roughwater and docked at a corn barge for three days to wait out some serious weather.  We later sold the boat while we were in Galveston, TX and found our current boat close by at Corpus Christi, TX.  Here's "Help Me Rhonda III."

Here's the chartplotter as we made the turn on to the Ohio River, "crossing our wake" and officially completing the Great Loop Cruise."

We are so blessed to have shared this with our cruising friends, Galen and Becky Dunmire aboard "Mooring Dove."  They crossed our wake with us and we have truly enjoyed traveling with them.  They got some live shots of the event but it will take some time to get all of that onto our files.

We traveled 100 miles today and needed to get through one lock at the 96th mile to be able to make Paducah, KY by dark.  We could not believe it - barges were backed up everywhere waiting to get through and the lockmaster worked us in the moment we got there with no delay!  Awesome.  We got docked and had a celebration dinner with Galen and Becky and Jonathan and Brooke (Salty) at Shandies in downtown Paducah. 

Here's a shot at the Paducah city dock with our old faithful white burgee that is starting to come apart and a gold burgee that we borrowed from Galen and Becky for the picture, signifying completion of the Loop. (They have previously completed the Loop and are on their second time around.) Our new gold burgee is waiting for us at Green Turtle Bay Marina - we should be there tomorrow.  We had to include Wilson in the picture also after he joined us in Lock #11 when we were Castaways there on the Erie Canal!!!

I'm exhausted, time for bed, thanks again for traveling with us!

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