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Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Great Loopers Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler
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On Sunday 21 October the America's Great Loop Cruising Association (AGLCA) began its annual Fall Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park, on the Tennessee River west of Athens, Alabama. In attendance were some 240 Loop Veterans, Loopers in progress, and Looper-wannabes, as well as numerous sponsors. Attending were Music City Squadron members Mavis and Bob Duthie (Veterans), and Lili and Tom Hudson (wannabes of the Class of 2014).
The Lodge at Joe Wheeler is a perfect place for this event, with a dining room large enough to hold us all, where seminars were held on routing various sections of the Loop and things to see and do along the way, and a smaller room below where sponsors had table set up and where seminars tailored for un wannabes were held, on subjects such as Buying a Boat, Equipping Your Boat, Maintaining Your Boat, Cooking Aboard, and Selling Your Boat.
The Joe Wheeler Marina was full of boats owned by Loopers, many of whom were just getting started on their Loops, and some owned by Veterans as well. Many were open to visitors during the Dock Crawls on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, and more than a few were for sale. It was interesting to me that not everyone Looping owns a diesel trawler. Of course Mavis and Bob brought their beautiful Grand Banks 36 Katy Leigh down from Kenlake. But there were also Bayliners, Sea Rays and Carvers, several dismasted cruising sailboats, and one salty old wooden hull Eldridge McInnis motorsailer with father and son about halfway through their loop, having started in New England. And this is hardly an All-American Adventure - there were Loopers from Brazil, Australia and New Zealand in attendance.
At the final dinner on Wednesday evening, Bob Duthie was surprised to receive the AGLCA's annual Skipper Bob Award for "Making It Better" for the association and its members. Bob's own impressions of the Rendezvous can be viewed on his website http://greatloopcruising.com
Altogether a fun and informative experience; the Spring Rendezvous will be held in Norfolk, as that location coincides with the schedule of most Loopers cruising north toward Chesapeake Bay and New York City at that time of year. As there are a number of other members of Music City Squadron dreaming and planning to Loop, I highly recommend joining AGLCA and attending a Rendezvous or two.
P/C Tom Hudson
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Posted on 10/21/2014 3:02 PM by Tom
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