Looper Palooza 2023

Shelly, Ray, and Ray’s brother Russ arrived in Ft Meyers FL for this week’s Looper Palooza event.

Ray, Shelly, and Russ Sirois in Ft Myers FL

The three of us presented on “Our Great Loop Experience” to the crowd of about 250 Loop Planners and Gold Loopers at this event.

AGLCA events are always worthwhile. https://www.greatloop.org/
We got to rekindle friendships that began on our Loop! Ray, Marilyn Antonacci, Shelly and Jim A after checking in at the registration booth. SPINNING DREAMS III and Shellerina met up at several ports along the way.

We particularly enjoyed presentations by the Costas on cruising the Bahamas , and by the Fullers on cruising the Down-east Canadian Loop!

Shelly facilitated a round table discussion on Galley Tips. All chairs were soon filled with fun-loving attendees after this pic was taken.

Her virtual “handout”: https://shellerina.com/looptips/

Ray facilitated a round table about the popular Looper boat, Mainship 350/390.

Ray’s virtual “handout”: https://shellerina.com/mainship390/

There were *some* signs of hurricane Nicole, but most of Fort Meyers has recovered. Several Looper friends of ours lost their boats in that hurricane, including Marilyn and Jim Antonacci.
This Ft Meyers municipal marina is where Shelly and I spent Thanksgiving 2021! It is right in the thick of things in that town, close to great eating on First St!

Remembering Thanksgiving 2021 in Ft Meyers: https://shellerina.com/2021/11/25/giving-thanks-today/


We’ve been reading up on the Bahamas… we have begun some of the legal processes to ensure we could go to the Bahamas AND make it legal to return to the United States when we’re done!

Gene is loaning us his chart books.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has sent us this sticker so we have a chance to be able to be re-admitted into the USA if we decide to go “overseas!”
When a foreign vessel sails within a couple miles of a port like the Bahamas, it is often required to fly a solid yellow “Q” flag for “quarantine” which means the vessel has not cleared customs yet in that country. Only the captain is permitted to go ashore to get clearance for passengers and crew to obtain all the proper clearances.

We are learning a lot about the process, and are jumping through the hoops in case we decide to ‘go for it!’

Splash Day after a full month on the hard…

January 6 is famous for many things:

– Twelfth day of Christmas, aka “Little Christmas”

– The Epiphany

– 2nd anniversary of the attacks on the US Capital

But for Shelly and I, we’ll now remember it as Splash Day after being hauled out December 6, 2022 for a bottom job and some fiberglass repairs.

Being high and dry for a month can dry out the packing material in the “stuffing box” which is keeps most water from coming into the boat where the propeller shaft comes through. This seems to have happened to our boat, so there was a slow but steady stream of seawater coming in around the shaft.

The fix is simply to tighten the stuffing box so the material compresses a little tighter around the shaft. That’s what we did, and it worked! The next time we haul the boat out, we’ll have new packing material added in the stuffing box.