The “After” Gap: Don’t Anchor Here

When you end something big like The Great Loop, there’s a kind of gap afterwards. It can be an unsettling time, filled with satisfaction but also a sense of loss.

It’s important not to set anchor in this “after” gap because it can suck you down. It’s just as important not to rush through it because it can be instructive. It may even raise you up.

I left the Mainship Many Moons about two weeks ago, leaving behind a lifestyle that consumed me for a year. Since then, I’ve been sort of wandering around and sleeping a lot. Now, I’m finally undertaking the tasks and appointments that were waiting for me.

Why take my time? After all, I’m the consummate capable person! I get things done! 😉

Because I want to listen. And listening takes time. Transitions (of all types) are unsettling… but they can also be illuminating, if you listen to your discomfort.

We live in a “been there, done that” kind of culture. Cross another off your list! On to the next! I want to take time to absorb. After a completion or transition, I’m not (quite) the same person. But how have I changed? For me, change means growth. My greatest fear is to stop growing. So I want to I learn how I have changed…and, I hope, have grown.

I approached retirement that way, and am trying to approach the end-of-the-Loop the same way. Will I get some “aha’s?” Probably, if I stick with it. I may or may not tell you about them. Not everything should be shared with the world! 🙂

PS: If you’re struggling with transition or loss, of any kind, know when to call for help. We aren’t meant to walk through these things alone, and don’t have to. It’s helpful to know what kind of call to make. In Coast Guard jargon, “May-Day” means lives are in danger. “Pan-Pan” means a vessel is in distress. Either will bring response, but knowing what words to use can bring the right kind of response. As always, words matter…

This mooring ball marked an underwater shipwreck near our anchorage about 15 days ago. It reminded me of the need for judgment when dropping anchor–whether literally or metaphysically.
Boo the Boating Cat takes a last look over the water while at anchor near Munising, reflecting (or so I like to think) on what she has learned during her months under way. She is a more resilient and adaptable cat now.
The water here at Munising is calm, but was very rough just an hour or so earlier. And life is like that. When it gets rocky, hang on…things will get better!
I miss the views of open water, but other kinds of water are soothing too. I visited this rough-and-tumble little river just days after leaving the boat. Ah, the sound! Just as relaxing as the view above. I’m so grateful I have all my senses, and can switch as needed to get the “soul-food” that I need.
Yep, I still use the AquaMaps app even though I’m now on land. (I’ve deleted a lot of under-way apps, but can’t quite delete this one. I lived with it so long!) The red boat marks my current location, across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. The pink dots represent our stops from Norfolk to Cape May. (That longest stretch was 96 miles! Jeff zoomed straight up the Chesapeake Bay, eager to put miles on after sitting in Solomons Island for six weeks while I went to Egypt.)

7 thoughts on “The “After” Gap: Don’t Anchor Here

  1. John & I although late readers of your emails, really enjoy your thoughts & visions for a new you. We also miss our loop boat, but have journeyed back home to the quiet of our mountains in Colorado, & with our new motor home purchase look forward to new adventures, off the water. Take care.


    1. Since I last saw you, another looping boat I knew well quit the Loop and sold the boat. Sometimes it’s the right decision to stop something. Wishing you both well! Please stay in touch and let me know where your new motor home takes you.


  2. I’m a looper-wanna-be.
    I think I missed the #loop as life had me away from water for so long.
    At 71, I’m back near water in Michigan, within a football field of Anchor Bay (Lake St Clair _ a sweet heart shaped sea that connects Great Lakes Huron & Erie).
    This post meant something to me and I thank you.


    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I do expose myself sometimes in these posts, as you know, and it helps to know there are “real people” reading, who feel a little of what I feel. How great that you are so near the water. There are many ways to receive its power. One doesn’t necessarily need to be on the loop!


      1. I do that too but that makes us even more loving. My recently now done 30 year marriage was the harbinger of changes all the way around.

        I would’ve had the money to loop-d-loop and so on had I left 10 years earlier ~ my ex was a financial expert ~ hmmm. My savings and two inheritances disappeared…. so I’m proud of myself for (mostly) getting over that.

        My real GAP now is accepting what I can or cannot do. Mostly physical ~ getting older isn’t for sissy’s!

        But I love on all and it comes back. Two awesome sons and three grands keep me striving to be best of me.

        Keeping writing your heart!


  3. Greetings from Lanse, Mi. Gail and I followed your posts from day one last summer.
    Thankyou for taking us to places we would have never heard of much less visited.
    Your hangover from your voyage is ours as well! God Bless You and Jeff on your transition!
    Looking forward to meeting you, Norm and Gail


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