Onward! Nefertiti to Many Moons

Two weeks ago, I left the 230-foot M/S Nerfertiti on the Nile River to fly back to the U.S. Today, I return to the 34-foot Mainship Many Moons on the Patuxent River to continue the Great Loop. It took about 10 hours to fly 9,000 miles. It’s taken 10 months to cruise about half of that! (With a few long pauses.) Such different ways to travel – and both insightful.

My new dental crowns are settling in nicely so it’s safe to continue our seat-of-the-pants boat journey. Oh, we will have a plan – but it will often change. I’m feeling a bit anxious about getting back into that day-by-day mode. Spontaneity is great until it gets risky or uncomfortable! Jeff must be feeling some anxiety, too…although, being a man, he’s not likely to say so. 😉 He’s been in place at Solomon’s Island (Md.) for six weeks, working at the marina to pay for his slip and making new friends. But I know he’s eager to go.

During three weeks in Egypt, I was guided the entire way. My only responsibility was to show up on time and keep up my energy. Now, we’ll be guiding our own path again, completely responsible for our own experience. But of course, we are always responsible for our own experience, aren’t we? We are always guiding our own path.

Photos and captions below reflect on boating across the world, the different ways of travel, and a few ways that I am “taking Egypt” back to Many Moons with me.

People love to be on the water, no matter where they live — but only in Muslim countries are the women garbed this way. I understand better now why, and it’s not just religion. Men don’t marry before about age 30, and intimate relations of any kind are prohibited. No wonder most women prefer to cover up around those roving eyes.
The harbor at Alexandria (Egypt) reminded me of the mooring field near Chicago — crowded with boats!
I cruised the Nile River on the 75-passenger cruise ship M/S Nefertiti but it wasn’t my only mode of transportation in Egypt.
These small and agile boats called felucca also cruise back and forth on the Nile. We took several excursions this way.
We even “travelled” by hot-air balloon! About 25 people fit into one basket.
And it was a glorious ride, floating over the Nile River Valley! (We launched before sunrise.)
We also traveled by horse-and-carriage….
…and by foot! (This is inside the Great Pyramid.)
And of course, by camel.
I would have loved to ride on a horse, and not just behind one–but there wasn’t time for everything.
Besides the memories, what else am I taking with me as I rejoin Many Moons? Spices! The proprietor of the Aswan Spice Market in southern Egypt was most persuasive. I bought a big bag of these mixed peppercorns–and other stuff.
My roommate and I show off our purchases at the Aswan Spice Market. Spices are heavy when purchased in bulk, and we both worried about luggage weight limits. We made it back without paying extra.
As we head north toward the Erie Canal, I’m thinking about the 35 locks there. We’ve already done about that many, but what new challenges await? In Egypt, our ship went through just one lock (above) and all I had to do was watch.
Many Moons will be home again for a month or two. I’m both excited and nervous.
Regardless of emotions, I’m determined to keep writing – like this famous Egyptian scribe in the first museum we saw. The work of scribes is one reason we know so much about ancient Egypt. Who will care to read about Mary and Jeff on Many Moons? It doesn’t matter. I write because I must.
Whoever reads about us, they won’t need a Rosetta Stone to figure it out. The stone is one of the most famous archeological finds. (This is a copy, in the Alexandria Library.) The same script in three languages, it enabled researchers to understand the ancient Egyptian “language” of hieroglyphs and therefore to “read” the inscriptions in the ancient tombs. This is how we know so much about ancient times, centuries ago. (And, the scribes!)
Like so many things, distance is a matter of perspective. My flight from Cairo (Egypt) to Washington D.C. took 10 hours.
It will take us about the same amount of time to cruise to the north end of Chesapeake Bay, about 80 miles. This Nebo screen shot shows that many Looping boats have caught up with Many Moons while she sat still, and some have passed her. (We were ahead of the crowd for a long time.) The “20” marks Solomons Island and the “10” marks Annapolis.
This is a map of The Great Loop. Many Moons began in the far north, off the top of the map, in Lake Superior (not shown here). She has traveled counter-clockwise through the blue dots and is now at the “31” on the right. She will follow the blue dots north, and then the red ones west and southwest and north again. If all goes well, she will be back at her homeport in Lake Superior before August after traveling almost 6,000 miles at 8.5 mph.

4 thoughts on “Onward! Nefertiti to Many Moons

  1. Mary,
    I know I am not the first but…Welcome ‘Home.’
    Day and I have followed your trip through Egypt and enjoyed each post. Thank you for the specific pictures as well as the accompanying descriptions. We were hoping that you and jeff might change your plans and take the ‘long’ trip home. I refer to up the Northeast coast, into the Canadian Provinces, down the St. Lawrence seaway, and home. It is just a few miles further and you should be home by Christmas!
    Cheers, Jock

    John K. Cowperthwaite, Jr.
    PO Box 261
    Tenants Harbor, ME 04860


    1. Hi, Jock! Actually, you are the first. Thanks! And nice to hear from you again. I haven’t forgotten your invitation to Maine! Or your generous reception of us in Beaufort. I am planning to see you and Day again, one way or the other!


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