Community (Day 53-54)

Docktails at Alton Marina

At least 22 boat crews came to “docktails” (dockside social hour) tonight, our last evening of a long stop in Alton, Ill. After the sun set, we hosted four boaters in our salon, lit by solar flames, while snacking on Scotch Eggs that we made in the air fryer.

Hosting visitors on Many Moons

What fun.

The Looper community is like a river; it ebbs and flows, divides and converges. In our six days here, we’ve sadly watched familiar friends head down-river before us, reinforced links with friends whose schedules coincide with ours, and met new friends who arrived today. It reminds me of my camaraderie with Navy shipmates, which continues to this day. Your paths join and then diverge, but you remain close, because you shared something special.

Early tomorrow, we will join nine other boats to head down-river, through two locks on the Mississippi, past St. Louis and on toward Kentucky. And so it goes.

I thought six days in one place might be weird, or boring. Nope, neither. It was restful and rejuvenating, for both Jeff and me. As I talk to more and more Loopers about the pace and purpose of The Loop, most mention their desire for pauses to explore and absorb. Linger a bit. Make friends. Yes to all of that!

And there’s the need for maintenance, of both body and boat. See photos and captions below.

Jeff and I both got dockside haircuts from a boating stylist. We needed it after 2 months under way! (Other boaters saw us getting a cut and lined up behind us.)
Jeff checks the oil, a regular maintenance requirement since there are no Jiffy Lubes on the water. This requires pulling up the floor boards of the main salon, so I need to make myself scarce during this activity.
Jeff scrubs the hull. The bow of Many Moons is still white, unlike most boats once they reach the Mississippi, because Jeff had the foresight to apply automotive clear-coat before starting. (Loopers call their yellow bows “the brown frown.”) Still, you do get marked up from rubbing docks and what-not!
We are the proud new owners of a bike cart, delivered here in Alton by Amazon. We got the idea from other Loopers. (It’s common to share tips that way.) It came in handy on our grocery trip today.
This is a coffee shop, not a post office (any more). We stopped here during our shopping outing.
Looper line-up! Many Moons is the one with the flag visible. This is just one dock of the 200-slip marina.
The gathering begins for “docktails” on the shore adjacent to the floating marina.
The skipper of Soul Mate hovers over me! (He got a kick out of that.) His boat is 60 feet, almost twice as long as ours, but there is no “rich-guy” arrogance. It comes from Duluth Minn., also on Lake Superior.
Mother Nature graced us with a nice sunset after a day-long drizzle.

6 thoughts on “Community (Day 53-54)

  1. So incredible to learn today of your adventure. We are staying at Baraga state park and inquired at the Finns about Jeff and his whereabouts. We were told of t h e story in the L’anse Sentinel and just finished reading it now.
    Be safe, enjoy and we’ll be watching.


  2. This sounded like a perfect respite. So many enjoyable moments. I got a taste of that enjoyment looking at your great photos. (Wow that guy is tall!!) Love to you and Jeff


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