We are making the "Great Loop" - up the east coast, through the Great Lakes and into Canada, and then down the Mississippi and around Florida. It promises to be the adventure of a lifetime! We invite you to join us through our blog.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Captain's Log, Supplemental - Scotland

Well we aren't aboard Gemini, but we are on an adventure. To Scotland. After documenting our Loop adventure using a blog, I decided that it's the best way to do it. Unfortunately I didn't set up a new blog before we left. My solution to this dilemma is this "supplemental log".

Most of you know that Rebecca is in Scotland this year on a Fulbright teacher exchange. We decided to try out military Space-available travel to visit her for Christmas. The most likely flight would be Charleston AFB to Ramstein AB, Germany - then on to Scotland by another means. As the time grew close, we were monitoring the flights from a few different US terminals. I found a flight from McGuire AFB, NJ, to Prestwyck, Scotland - the next day! We hurriedly prepared the house, packed, dropped the pups at our groomer's, and left tons of instructions for our wonderful friends Diane and Joe Harwell. It was 1:00 pm before we could get on the road. We drove to Andrews AFB, near Washington DC, arriving after midnight. We hit the road again and arrived at McGuire AFB with a few hours to spare. The passenger terminal at McGuire AFB was a very nice facility. It was even nicer when we were shown to the VIP lounge.

We slept on the way and arrived pre-dawn in Prestwyk, near Glasgow. One of Steve's bags didn't make it... the one containing the flannel-lined pants. We got contact information for the lost bag and then found the train station to head for Edinburgh. Rebecca had already instructed us about getting from Waverly Train Station to Fettis by bus. We showed up at this gorgeous "Hogwarts-like" building and the receptionist paged Rebecca. It was so good to get to hug my child! She had to teach for the rest of the day, but took us to her flat to rest until she got off.

We have already had quite a few adventures here in Scotland, but I will try to break this down into small bites. I will post again soon! And my apologies for the "sideways" photos. I'll try to correct that before the next post.

Bella knows something's up.

Did we remember everything?

McGuire AFB passenger terminal

Main terminal inside.

The VIP lounge - it's good to be a general!

There was a piper on the corner as soon as we came up from Waverly Station!

This is Fettis College - where Rebecca teaches this year.

Rebecca's apartment building

A nice Scottish breakfast with ale!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Home Again! We Crossed Our Wake!

What an adventure! And the end was a wonderful as the other parts!

We left the Savannah Yacht Club and headed down our creek. As we got a little closer, we could see a welcoming committee on the dock. Family and friends showed up with Mimosas and a sign to welcome us home. Chris and Remy surprised us by being there too! It was so good to see everyone and to be tied up at our own dock.

Our gold "looper" flag had arrived - the one that says we completed America's Great Loop. Chris handed it up to us for the photo op. We will have it on permanent display soon. Eventually we all parked on the porch for more Mimosas and some snacks. Everyone left fairly early - I think they knew we were pooped!

Now it's back to reality... unloading the boat, doing laundry and going about all the things that land-based people do. Steve was not happy to discover that it takes $85 to fill the truck with gas! Our next project will be deciding where to live and sorting through two households of stuff! I think I would rather stay on the boat!

We have had an awesome adventure! We have seen beautiful places, learned geography firsthand and visited historic places. People always ask us what our favorite part has been. They usually mean which location was our favorite. While we do have some favorite spots, our favorite part has been the people. There is a stack of "boat cards", the boater's equivalent of a business card, in our boat. It represents most of the people we have met. Some of these people have become very good friends. Some have been "loopers" and some have not -  some have not even been boaters. They have come from all walks of life and all areas of the country. With the boaters, we have shared experiences, meals, drinks and docks. We have shared wonderful conversations. Almost everyone we met along the way has been "good people".

Many of these "good people" will be coming through Savannah and visiting our dock. We look forward to seeing them! Eventually we will get back "out there" too, but there is much to do at home first.

Thank you for joining us on our adventure. We were glad to have you along! Although we were having a blast, we knew that we had the support of our family and friends. Some of you joined us along the way, some joined us by way of the blog only. We appreciated having you with us... We love you all!

Beth, Steve and Ryder

Leaving the Savannah Yacht Club

Heading into Turner's Creek

We can see our dock from here...

Ryder is low-key about it, as usual

Approaching the dock

How many times have I done this?

We are now "Looper  Veterans"!

Family and friends waiting on the dock

Sa brought the Mimosas... thanks!

Got to talk to the grandpuppies

Sunset at our dock - home again.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Last Leg

Not much farther to go...

King's Bay Submarine Base and St. Andrews Sound are between Fernandina and Jekyll, and I have provided what photos I could. We couldn't get very close to King's Bay and that was OK with us. There were lots of Homeland Security boats going by, and they looked like they meant business. St. Andrew's Sound was easily the worst conditions we have had during the entire trip. The wind was whipping, and there were large waves that broke over the bow and rolled us when we had to change course.We very happily pulled into the marina at Jekyll and hung out for the evening!

Yesterday (Wednesday) we cruised a long way to get to Kilkenny Marina, near Richmond Hill. We had a very nice meal with Chris Davis and his family. This morning we started home. There is a new bridge under construction at Skidaway - we didn't know if that would affect our transit. As it turns out, there was no problem at all.

We cruised past Isle of Hope, and then turned aside to stop at the Yacht Club for a couple of hours. Rebecca wants to be at the dock when we get home, and she can't leave school early. We are hanging out here so that we can show up at the correct time. I will finish up my blog tomorrow (or maybe the next day)!

The sub base

Homeland Security

White pelicans - don't see them around here often

This doesn't even begin to show how rough it was!

A dolphin boat at Jekyll

Millionaire village

This area was very shallow

Some of the small islands had areas of stone like this. The stone was ballast in ships that came here to harvest oak trees for ship-building

Coming into Kilkenny

We had an escort this morning

Bridge-building at Skidaway

Isle of Hope marina

Almost there...

Savannah Yacht Club