On September 9th, 2017 at 3:50 PM, My Sharona crossed her wake at Pier 33 in St Joseph, MI.
I want to thank my wife Sharon A who bought me this boat in May of 2014. I also want to thank her for allowing me to do the loop. She joined me on many legs of this fantastic journey.
I want to thank Tiegh Curran, the general manager at Pier 33 who started a hour long conversation about boats with me and Sharon in 2011 at the Chicago Boat Show. We were not looking to buy a boat ( we had several) but we had a great discussion. That discussion lead us into buying a boat from Pier 33. Now read this carefully. I ordered the most perfect looper boat that served my needs. It is what I wanted. My wants/needs are my own and no one else’s.
PS, I think Bayliners are great boats.
I left Ludington this morning at 11:30AM, it
was a little rough, not as bad as last weekend. With trim tabs set to down, I was able to clip along at 30mph, comfortably. 50 miles from St Joe’s it smooth out and I turned off the trim tabs and was able to cruise along at 38MPH. With 30 miles left to go, I opened it up it to 47 MPH. It was fun skipping across the water. Yes I burned a lot of gas………. It was my last hurrah. (for today), so who cares. I passed a couple of looper boats today who were headed south. I wish them safe travels.
Tiegh and the staff of Pier 33 met me at the dock with Sharon who caught my lines.
They presented Sharon and I with flowers, took videos and pictures and threw us a small party. It is a little stressful docking in a river with a current while 12 people are watching. Tiegh presented me with my Gold Looper flag which we traded out for the white. YEA
This was a fantastic journey. Since I am still working, I did it in segments over several years. I was bad, I did not keep track of anything. This is what I know, I did a whole bunch of miles, went thru a lot of locks, burned a bunch of gas. I did many left turns and a couple right turns. I saw America from the water and met some great people in person and thru this forum.
I want to thank Foster for all his weather advice and great sense of humor which is similar to mine. The Wilson’s for sharing their knowledge of the Erie Canal, Lake Erie, Put-In Bay and Lake Huron and allowing Sharon and I to meet their family. To Jim Healy who shares his great knowledge with not only me but also with this group. To Joe Pica and Alan Lloyd for answering my questions and always being there. To Captain John and his first book that gave me encouragement. Capt.Ed who tells people to do Lake Erie.
My words of wisdom for future loopers. Please do not forget that this is your journey. As long as you do it safely, do it as you please. There is no right or wrong. Buy the boat you want and can afford. Stop where you want to stop, go where you want to go. Enjoy. Encourage others. Cast off those lines. HAVE FUN.
I did this loop with 2 hand held radios, a Garmin chart plotter, paper charts, a PLB while always wearing a PFD on a 20ft center console.