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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Since we completed The Great Loop on May 21, 2013, this will be our last posting on 2 Loopers And A Portie. 

To follow our further cruising adventures, check out our new blog:

We very much appreciate all of you who have followed our Great Loop blog -- it's been fun to have you along.  

We thank you all for your kind words of condolence at the untimely loss of our beloved Striper.   

Ralph & Celeste

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

                                        We always want our pets to live forever...sadly, they don't.
                                                                Striper the Wonder Dog
                                                       September 13, 2002 - May 28,2013

We took Striper to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital this morning. They performed an ultrasound which confirmed she was bleeding internally from tumors surrounding her liver and spleen. They gave her two months at the outset. We opted for euthanasia and said our good-byes to her this afternoon. We are heartbroken.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We began The Great Loop in Snug Harbor, Atlantic City, NJ on May 23, 2012 and we arrived at our home in Cape Coral, Florida on November 11, 2012 where we spent the winter.
On April 15, 2013 we left Cape Coral to complete the Florida to New Jersey final leg of The Great Loop.  We arrived back at Snug Harbor, Atlantic City on May 21, 2013.  
We traveled 5,868 statute miles for a total of 900 engine hours.  We used 1,771 gallons of diesel fuel at an average cost of $3.89 per gallon and a total fuel cost of $6,842.  We made 13 fuel stops in the United States and 1 fuel stop in Canada.

Our average water consumption was 45 gallons per day.

Our trip was 209 days long. Of those days, we traveled 149 days.  We locked through 157 locks.  We stayed at free docks or on free moorings 51 nights.  We stayed at paid docks or moorings 93 nights.  We anchored out 65 nights.

We visited 2 countries; 18 states, and 159 cities.

What we've learned:

We can live well with a whole lot less than we ever thought.

Most people we've met on and off the water have been very friendly and hospitable.

We've learned that a 41' boat can be quite a cozy little home for Two Loopers and a Portie.
** We'll be traveling on Say Good-Bye through the summer and fall.  I'll continue the blog as long as our adventures continue.
What a relaxing day!  We didn't get up at 5:30 AM, we didn't weigh an anchor or untie lines.  We slept in a little. We dropped Striper off at Northfield Animal Hospital to be groomed and have a retest for Lyme and other tick borne illnesses -- negative and we are to give her the antibiotic prescribed by the vet in North Carolina.  Then we stopped at West Marine to pick up a quart of paint,  with a side trip to Hot Bagels and More for the best bagels on earth (so far the bagels we've had in the south don't compare at all).  Mmmmmm.
We drove to Little Egg Harbor to drop off our isenglass panels that were damaged in the wind along our way north to our friend, Val.  We then went back to pick up Striper, who looks gorgeous, dropped her off at the boat, and went to Gilchrist's for lunch.  Ralph had  creamed chipped beef (like no other) and I enjoyed scrapple and an egg.  I have so missed scrapple and they make it just right.  It was nice to see some of our old friends.  What a restful day.
Here are a few photos from today:
Striper and Jen  who groomed her today
Val and Ralph discuss the isenglass project

Denise and Ralph

Gilchrist's at Gardners Basin

Scales Restaurant, Gardners Basin was destroyed during the storm

Gardners Basin, Atlantic City
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 

We weighed anchor at 7:30 AM to 64 degrees, 98% humidity, 5 mph winds and fog as we headed north on the ICW from Sunset Beach behind Wildwood.  We proceeded cautiously because of shoaling and Ralph made notes along the way for Active Captain regarding the shoaling areas. The going was tedious for Ralph, he had to be so attentive.  There are many bridges on this route and we found the bridge tenders very courteous and all opened on request.  

We arrived at Snug Harbor, Atlantic City at 2:55 in a blow.  The wind had picked up and toyed with us a bit, but we were tied up when Ralph's folks arrived to deliver a car to us.  We thank Ken and Debbie Wescoat for use of their slip and  Jim and Lorraine Yost for the use of their car.

We were both worn out but decided to bite the bullet and get our laundry done.  I like the "Laundry Room" in Brigantine -- new equipment and about 40 each of large capacity washers and dryers.  I had hoped to have dinner at the Brigantine Diner -- comfort food -- a hot meatloaf sandwich -- but to our dismay, the Diner is gone and a CVS is on the site.  We got a recommendation for the Macedonian Grill so we had a good dinner there and I did have their meatloaf which was quite good.  Ralph had souvlaki chicken which he thoroughly enjoyed, too.  We came back to the boat, put the laundry away and went to bed.  It was a long tiresome day.

Here are a lot of pictures from today:

North Wildwood

North Wildwood Bridge

Shoaling here....the Captain was noting shoaling for Active Captain

Perhaps Hurricane Sandy damage?

I believe this is Stone Harbor, NJ

Stone Harbor

This little boat is high and dry on the meadows

Many docks replaced in Sea Isle City

This house is either being moved or raised up onto stilts

Another dock being rebuilt

Another shoaling area

Carefully watching the depths in the ICW

Definitely high and dry

34th Street Bridge, Ocean City, NJ

Construction near 34th Street Bridge, Ocean City

Ocean City dock repair

New Ninth Street Bridge, Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City - Longport Bridge

Margate, NJ

Margate Bridge

Entering the Mile Stretch behind Ventnor

New construction on the Mile Stretch

Heading toward Dorset Avenue Bridge

Dorset Avenue Bridge, Ventnor

Vetnor, NJ

Viking Rowing Club, Ventnor, I rowed on the "old ladies crew" one summer

ICW into Atlantic City

Scott and Kathy's house

The Wonder Bar an Atlantic City icon

Atlantic City Rowing Club

Former Surf Baseball Stadium now closed :(

Revel in the clouds

The former Waterway Inn behind Atlantic City

Harrah's, Water Club and Borgata

Home of the Inlet Social Club

Brigantine Bridge and Harrah's

Atlantic City Coast Guard Station

Tonight's back yard

Golden Nugget

Snug Harbor, Atlantic City

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday, May 21, 2013
We departed Delaware City Marina at 6:30 AM in a chilly fog.  We traveled north on the Delaware Bay amidst some commercial traffic.  We saw a tug towing a ship, a sight you don't see too often, and a spotter plane working in coordination with a commercial fishing vessel.  We saw dolphin at the entrance to the Cape May channel and spoke to the captain on the American Star Dolphin Watch boat.  The sun was shining and although a bit breezy it was a beautiful afternoon.

In Cape May, NJ we stopped at Utch's for fuel.  When we started our trip, May 23, 2012 our first fuel stop was Utch's. We continued north on the ICW only a short way to Wildwood and anchored in Sunset Lake behind Wildwood. The depths are irregular and there are crab pots and racing buoys around, but we anchored safely for the night.  We traveled 67 miles today.  It was a very long day.  

Here are a few photos:

A tug pulling a ship -- not seen every day, Delaware Bay

This fishing vessel is working with a spotter plane on the Delaware Bay

Spotter plane working with fishing vessel, Delaware Bay

Spotter plane and fishing vessel working together

American Star Dolphin Watch

Cape May Point Lighthouse

Cape May Canal

Sunset Lake behind Wildwood, NJ

Tonight's back yard