Crossing The Wake


It’s hard to take in, that moment when you cross your wake and complete the 6,000-mile waterway tour-of-the-U.S. called The Great Loop. Such mixed feelings! Behind you (well, behind me anyway), months of diverse experiences and emotions. So much delight and even thrill but also, sometimes, discouragement. Such determination but also, sometimes, doubt. Dozens of arrivals and departures…a new place almost every day for weeks on end. New friends who became very special friends. Learning (and re-learning!) something new almost daily, which is part of the fun, but also feeling exhausted at times by the need to keep doing that. The constant decision-making, with often-incomplete information, when safety and comfort are at stake. The total reliance on a partner in a close space and sometimes under duress, which works well most of the time but, being humans, not always! 😉 And, in my case, the uncertainty of how long I would stick with it (because I began “just to get you started”), leaving the boat a few times and coming back to start again. No regrets, though! Challenges? For sure. But regrets? Nope.

And now…done! So it’s a mix of celebration and sadness. Because it’s been a lifestyle for almost a year. The boat has become home. The new friends were often hard to leave behind. I’ve learned so much, not just about parts of this country I didn’t know but also about myself. And that learning will continue.

In some ways, it’s a survival story. In other ways, it’s a celebration of dreams realized. Below, the story in photos and captions of Many Moons crossing her wake yesterday. (I”m still doing this by phone because of a weak signal. Please excuse any typos.) PS: More posts to follow on the completion of our journey – Lake Superior still to come – and my continuing reflections about it.

The morning of the big day dawned beautifully on Lake Huron, with another before-sunrise wake-up csll.
Because of the early wake up, Boo and I took a nap while under way. (Have I mentioned that I’m a natural nightowl, in retirement? 😉 )
The blue dot is where we crossed our wake. (Well, Jeff and his boat did. I didn’t do the whole loop. It was his dream and became my adventure.) This is where the Great Loop began for us, last August. We traveled a few hundred miles across Lake Superior to get here.
At the De Tour Reef Lighthouse, our friends on Redemption came alongside to document “the moment.”
Thank you, Redemption, for this photo!
When we got to the marina at DeTour village, we found the gold burgee that Jeff had ordered waiting for us. I saw it before he did and tried to get it on before he saw.
Ta-da!! I’m not sure how many gold burgees we’ve seen on The Loop, but not a lot. It’s a special club.
A cousin of mine owns one of the small islands nearby and came to pick us up in his boat and bring us over for a visit. What fun on our big day! His place is gorgeous.
We took his jet skiis out for a spin during a 3-hour visit.
Back at the marina, the evening was turning into an Independence Day celebration.
Complete with a live concert at the marina.
And fireworks! Right there! Our 2nd night in a row for fireworks at our marina.
This old boat, more than 40 years old and iust 34′ long, with one engine and no thruster, has taken us around the country. Thank you, Many Moons! We aren’t home yet so keep on chuggin’!

12 thoughts on “Crossing The Wake

  1. Much credit of Many Moon’s success certainly goes to its Skipper Jeff and you, the first mate. Congratulations!

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  2. Congratulations on crossing your wake! I’ve really enjoyed living vicariously with you throughout your journey. You’re a very good and talented writer.

    John H Rochester, NY

    (Sent remotely)

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    1. Thank you so much! On evenings when I didn’t have the energy, followers like you inspired me to write anyway. And it always helped me too. More to come!

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    1. Thanks! Boo-The-Boating-Cat probably adjusted more easily than i did. 😄 She has kept to her usual habits. Mainly sleep all day and explore a little at night. She goes outside less after she fell overboard! Or more cautiously anyway.

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  3. Mary,
    Great job! Congratulations to you and Jeff!!! Thanks for taking the time to take pictures and post about your adventure. This has been the best Great Loop blog I’ve ever followed. Will really miss the daily updates. Looking forward to hearing about your next trip in Many Moons.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! And for the compliment. (You know, better than most, that this casual and personal writing approach is a stretch for me. 😄) Sorry i wasn’t able to fulfill your request and hope your trip to Europe went well.

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  4. Congratulations, and don’t you have to do it again now that you know what to do an what not to do? Like skip Beaufort and spend more time in Beaufort, or vice versa?

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  5. WOW! I can’t wait to put your victory approach in the paper! Congratulations to the both of you. What an achievement.

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