Mainship Many Moons has completed the last 32-mile leg of her 6,200-mile journey which I call “The Great Loop-Plus,” as she returns to the marina where it all began.
Captain/Skipper Jeff and Navy Captain/First Mate Mary feel rather sad by this “last leg of the journey.” The boat doesn’t seem to care.
Funny how that old boat is almost a living thing to me now, with a personality – and my trust and affection. So it has a small water tank, too little privacy and many quirks. So it drives like a water ski boat. (I never did master driving it in tight spaces.) Yes, I craved to leave its confining spaces — and did. But I also came to love the soft rumble of its sturdy diesel engine. My ear tuned into its sounds until I could tell when something was “off.” I learned that it can handle heavy seas better than me…and that it has all we need to survive and often thrive.
I guess I came to love that boat–not like a guy loves his boat, I suspect, but a kind of love nonetheless.
So, now, the final milestone that truly completes the trip. We left at 0600 on July 30, 2021 from the tiny marina in Pequaming, on Lake Superior. I remember that morning well. Jeff was eager to see how far he could get. I was “just getting him started,” expecting to leave in a few weeks or months. Now, 19 states and more than a year later, we are back where it started.
Soon, our floating home will be hauled out of the water and towed to its winter storage in Jeff’s yard. (The cruising season is short here on the 47th parallel.) When will she see the water again? Sometime next June, I suppose. We both have other things to do. For me, the focus remains on my waterfront camp – which still lacks a cabin – and other land-based trips and making time for Mom. But am I thinking about another journey on this trusty old boat? Oh, yes. Maybe not such a long one. It did become a trial, for me, at times. It’s important to learn from trials, don’t you think? As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.” I still have more learning to do. But we charge onward, don’t we? Because life is indeed short…and the older you get, the shorter it seems. Yes, it’s important to take time to reflect. Learn. Evolve. Improve. And then carry on! Where? Stay tuned!
Photos and captions of our last leg in Lake Superior, below.