Last week we attended the Spring Rendezvous for the members of the America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association in New Bern, NC. There were approximately 200 attendees. Of those, 60% were in the Planning stage. That could mean that they have a boat, but are still planning on how they were going to manage their lives while looping. Or, many of them were actively looking for a boat to begin their journey. Much of the discussion involved the Looper Lifestyle.
One of the first decisions for the Looper Lifesyle that everyone has to make is to decide if they are keeping their house or if they are going to sell everything and put things in storage. I learned some new terminology at the conference. A land home is referred to as a “dirt house”. So, I would hear people say we kept our “dirt house”. The other term I learned is that we are “all in”. What that means is that they no longer have a home and they are a full time cruiser. That is us. We are “All In”. There is something about that phrase that I like. It shows commitment to the Looper Lifestyle. It also has a feeling of freedom. We are no longer tied down by “stuff” (other than what is on the boat) and no longer a slave to the house. Plus, no more property taxes!
We attended many sessions highlighting the Great Loop route, but it was really the interaction of like-minded people in search of their dream. We were told that more people climb Mt. Everest in a year than complete the Great Loop. There have been only about 2,000 boats that have done it. We are in a remarkable exclusive group.
We met an 80 year man looping by himself in a trailerable tug called the Nimble Nomad. (We met him later at a stop and had him tie up to our boat as the marina was full.) There is a couple from Finland that sailed across the Atlantic to do the Loop. One couple is traveling with a dog, cat and a parrot, but they cannot bring the bird into Canada so they are getting a bird sitter for that part of the trip. We have a single woman in our group that is doing it on her boat.
We are lucky that Canada is celebrating their 150th birthday. All canals and parks are free and the Looper boats are welcomed. Hearing this was so refreshing. Such a change from traveling abroad where being an American is something that is apologetic. We are really looking forward to the Canadian portion in Georgian Bay and the North Channel.
Staying in the town in New Bern was a highlight in itself. It is a companion town to Bern Switzerland and the town has numerous decorated bears throughout. We had fun taking pictures with them.
We are now moving onward north feeling very inspired by this group and organization of Loopers and those committed to the Looper Lifestyle.
“There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me”. Jimmy Buffett