AGLCA Fall Rendezvous

The reason we have been a little negligent in posting lately isn't because we haven't had much to post. To the contrary, the reason is that sooooo many things are going on that we have been hard pressed to sit down at the computer and get caught up. Some big projects have been completed, and preparations are coming down to the wire for the beginning of our next big adventure. Anyone that has prepared for a two-year cruise understands how hectic and stressful that can be. So, you ask, what does that have to do with an AGLCA Rendezvous? Good question...

We are often asked to do presentations for various boating organizations. We joined the AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association) not too long ago to participate in the group activities and to gather information for our Great Loop cruise from the experienced members of the association. It has been an educational experience. When we were asked to do a presentation at the fall rendezvous on areas of the Atlantic ICW from Jacksonville to Myrtle Beach, we jumped at the chance to share our information with the group. The Fall Rendezvous is held every year at Joe Wheeler State Park in Alabama. This is an absolutely beautiful setting and perfect for a boating organization rendezvous. Located on Wheeler Lake, the Park has a resort lodge, restaurant, cabins, camping, fishing, golf, tennis, swimming, convention/banquet facilities, transient slips and a marina. Arriving in the fall with the changing colors of the foliage made this area even more spectacular.  

There were approximately 50 boats at the marina and nearly 200 members in attendance. I would estimate that we had at least half at our presentation (Jacksonville to Myrtle Beach) and maybe more. Many were first time Loopers and would be traveling the ICW waters for the first time. There were lots of great questions and copious amounts of notes taken. Our slide presentation seemed to be well received and several members asked us to copy it to flash drives so they could take it along with them. The lunches and dinners provided by the lodge were excellent and we came away a few pounds heavier.

One of the things we enjoy the most at any of these gatherings is the opportunity to spend time one-on-one with other boaters and share our knowledge and experience. It's also great to be able to absorb lots of information and knowledge from boaters that have been to places we have yet to travel and tap into their vast library of knowledge. Even with our decades of experience, we learn something new almost every day and always look for new resources and information. At the Rendezvous, we were not disappointed.

It isn't all seminars, luncheons and dinners, although there's nothing wrong with that. The Rendezvous' include lots of social events that are always well attended. The backwards blindfolded dinghy races are always a blast. To keep it safe, only one entry is on the water at a time, and their time from the starting line to the finish line determines their position in the race. There is an outboard category and a rowing category. The helmsman is blindfolded, and the first mate calls out directions to steer. We saw lots of loop-de-loops, but everyone crossed the finish line safe and sound. An outdoor concert in town was held to the tune of Bluegrass bands and declared an event not to be missed. The Trawler Crawl is always well received as many members get the chance to show off their boats, and many of us get some great ideas for improvements to our own boats.

Everything good seems to end too soon. At the end of the Rendezvous, one by one, the boats untied their dock lines and headed off to make the first lock of the day south towards Mobile and the Gulf coast. Those like us that came by car were packing up and checking out of the hotel. Every room in the resort has a water view, and after a couple of days, it was hard to say goodbye to this fabulous location. We are looking forward to arriving next year on board Beach House. In just a few short weeks, the adventure will begin again for us. The plan is to head for the Florida Keys around December 1st and spend some time making sure all of the new equipment is working properly. Some time in early January, we will cross over to the Bahamas to spend the winter and begin research for the Bahamas edition of The Great Book Of Anchorages. Book sales have been amazing and keeping up has slowed us down a bit also. But it's a labor of love.

Coming Soon, the Garmin GPH10 autopilot has been installed and calibrated so that will be our next posting, as soon as we have a few minutes. The real biggy is the installation of our brand new Next Generation 3.5KW genset. We're really excited about this installation and can't wait to get it posted. A couple of smaller projects almost finished are the raw water flow alarm and the install of the Argus (Autonomous Remote Global Underwater Surveillance) Survice Engineering depth monitoring system. A few more minor tweaks and adjustments and we should be ready to shove off as scheduled. Right now, we're back in the Chesapeake, by car, spending the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. This will be a Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration since we will be underway around Christmas. The final realization will probably come once we drop off the cars for storage and really get into cruising mode. Stay tuned, more to come very, very soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.