Friday, July 26, 2013

Shore Leave

Although we continue to enjoy our extended shore leave, we have not completely abandoned Freedom for the summer. One of our favorite summer events on the the Sassafras is the Georgetown Harbor Boat Parade and Fireworks. So, on July 3rd we cruised Freedom from her summer slip at Summit North Marina, in Bear, DE, back to Sailing Associates in Georgetown. There we spent two fun nights  -- entertaining a boat load (literally) of friends on the Fourth.

We were only back in Delaware for a few days before we returned  Freedom to the Sassafras for the installation of new starter batteries and some maintenance work on the heating and cooling system. We are using this time to make sure all of our systems are in good shape before we head south in early October.

We are also keeping busy with some long range planning.  Our first stop this fall will be Charleston, SC, where we will stay for at least 2 months, and possibly all winter. Last year's passage south was a marathon  -- long days of early mornings and sunset anchorages.  In contrast, this year we are building in an extra week of travel time -- affording us more leisurely days and time to actually enjoy the sunsets. In addition, we will be cruising alongside our friends Ted & Mimi who will be taking their Chesapeake Bay Buy Boat Nelly to a boat show in Georgetown, SC. It will be a great adventure!

At winter's end, sometime in April, we will begin our journey along America's Great Loop: 

America's Great Loop is a continuous 
waterway that encompasses the eastern portion of North 
America - including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal 
Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage 
Canals, and the Inland Rivers of America's heartland.
For the pleasure boater,
 It offers over 5,400 
miles of safe, scenic and friendly cruising.

Sounds exciting doesn't it?  Right now we are reading everything we can about the loop -- from books to magazine articles to "Looper Blogs" to determine the best route for us (there are several options) and what preparations need to be made before we begin our adventure.  We anticipate traversing the loop from South Carolina to the Gulf Coast of  Florida in about 8 months (April-December). The main goal is terms of timing is to follow the warm weather, or keep ahead of the cooler weather.  Most importantly though, our goal is to see and enjoy everything we can -- from secluded anchorages, to historic sites, to towns and townspeople. We can do that!

Here is a map of the Loop, including the different route options:

Stay tuned as we continue to plan -- but in the meantime there are places to go and things to do on the Bay and beyond.