Not every day on The Great Loop is a great day. Just like life on land, there are days you just sort of get through, and wonder when it will become fun again. There are days when your heart can’t receive the beauty that your eyes do, and you wonder when you will be “fully present” again.
And then, you meet some new or sorta-new friends, and laugh and share stories and thoughts, and it is fun again.
And a hot day at a busy marina evolves into a quiet surprise sunset, and you are “fully present” again.
I was awake at 3 a.m. at our quiet anchorage in Panther Bay, my mind buzzing with unresolved questions. I have a busy “attic,” as Jeff calls my active brain, and this happens occasionally no matter where I am. So wake-up came slowly, but that was fine because our destination was Paris Landing State Park Marina, only 10 miles away. It’s known for its reasonable fuel prices and we were due for a fill-up.
Along the way, we passed into the State of Tennessee but somehow hardly noticed.
We filled up the two tanks — almost $300 for 87 gallons. The bill would be much higher if we were using gasoline and I’m grateful again that Jeff’s boat has a diesel engine. Since slips were available, we decided to stay rather than find a nearby anchorage. We retreated into the comfort of our A/C most of the day until nearby Loopers invited us over for a visit. (This is a common stop for Loopers who otherwise disperse pretty widely in this part of the Loop, and there are seven Looping boats in the marina with us.)
It was one of those rich visits, when you connect with somebody in unexpected ways, and laughter is interspersed with meaningful conversation, and the time flies.
We were re-introduced to the “Looper Toast” by Loopers who are more experienced than us. We’ve heard it before, but it didn’t “register.” We’ve got it now. I suppose we’ll be teaching it to others before too long.
“There are good ships and wood ships and ships that sail the seas. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.”