July 1, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow


June 20, 2013
New Adventures


May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug


May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference


May 6, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy


April 15, 2013
In The Middle


March 29, 2013
On The Hook


March 18, 2013
Tinker Time


February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix


February 15, 2013
Time Travel


February 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation


January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending


January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports


December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current


December 1, 2012
New Neighbors


November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?


November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?


October 15, 2012
CHANGE OF LATITUDE


October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable


September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem


September 1, 2012
Promises


August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options


August 1, 2012
Go West!


July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination


July 1, 2012
Propane


June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly


June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour


May 15, 2012
Making New Friends


May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New


April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast


April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler


March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature


March 1, 2012
Last Dance


February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique


February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound


January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World


January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation


December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell


December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds


November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love


November 1, 2011
On the Water Again


October 14, 2011
First Impressions


October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun


September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road


September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!


August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row


August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat


July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home


July 1, 2011
One Step Closer


June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future


June 1, 2011
Made in the USA


May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice


May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around


April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude


March 15, 2011
Helping Hands


March 1, 2011
THE PERFECT BOAT!


February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options


February 1, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!


January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing


December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing


December 15, 2010
The New Plan!


December 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg


November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water


November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile


October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough


October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?


September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool


September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland


August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"


July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time


July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous


June 1, 2010
On the Hard


May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West


May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board


April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance


April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures


March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise


March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound


February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters


February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise


January 15, 2010
New Frontiers


January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences


December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port


December 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady


November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello


November 13, 2009
A Cult Following


October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time


October 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye


September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature


August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote


August 1, 2009
Crab Crazy


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North


June 1, 2009
Northern Migration


May 15, 2009
Priceless


May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye


April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!


April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy


March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound


March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?


February 15, 2009
Slow Motion


February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View


January 15, 2009
High Anxiety


January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands


December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure


December 1, 2008
All Together Now


November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike


October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River


October 16, 2008
Big City Lights


October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins


September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop


September 1, 2008
The Space Ship


August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle


August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!


July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around


July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop

   

Lets All Do the Rendezvous
By Kismet, Tuesday, June 15, 2010

If one day you plan on becoming a “Looper” the very first order of business is to join America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association (AGLCA) and attend at least one of their twice yearly (spring/fall) rendezvous, preferably well in advance of taking off on your cruise. The 2010 Spring Rendezvous was held April 25-28 at the Grand Strand Resort and Marina in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (this facility will probably be used again next year). The Fall Rendezvous (October 24-27 2010), is typically held at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama.

During every rendezvous event a group photo is taken to help preserve the memory of a time well spent.

The main purpose of these rendezvous events is to pass on Looper lore, offer camaraderie, assistance and information to Loopers as they approach the Loop halfway mark, providing general and navigational information for trip planning as they go forward on that stretch. Once that half of the Loop is completed the Loopers arrive at the other rendezvous site to gain information on the remainder of their trip. The other reason you might want to attend one of these rendezvous is if you are only at the “planning stage” and not the “doing stage.” You may need more information, a gentle nudge or some additional support to make your dream become a reality. There is also an added benefit of attending one of these events – access to the sharing of and encouragement by the many veteran members often in attendance to help one in planning for and fulfilling a dream adventure. The reason you’ll want to join AGLCA is because it provides a current, or potential Looper with invaluable information and resources in the form of rendezvous events, a website, links to member blogs and a member forum – all great tools for planning or executing this great adventure.

Jim gave two presentations during the rendezvous. Exploring Lake Michigan and Side Trip up the Potomac.

Our reason for attending the Spring Rendezvous this year was two-fold. Jim was asked to return as a speaker for two of the navigational cruising seminars, one on a side trip up the Potomac (which we did last spring) and the other on cruising through Lake Michigan (our home waters). He also signed up to help conduct the Men’s Session.

We arrived Saturday morning by car (our boat is currently in Key West and we are making our way home right after the Rendezvous for some quality family time) to the Spring Rendezvous in Myrtle Beach, a day before the kick-off of the event. We wanted to have some time to walk the docks at the marina and see who we might know that was in attendance and for a chance to become acquainted with a few of the current Loopers. Both of the bi-annual events are held at a resort that has conference facilities as well as hotel rooms and a marina, since most Loopers currently doing the trip will arrive by boat (this year there were approximately 25 boats in attendance). The other attendees, mostly potential Loopers will want to reserve a hotel room.
Eva and Ron Stob are the founders of AGLCA. You can find them still in attendance at the Rendezvous.
We had an enjoyable afternoon reacquainting ourselves with a few Loopers we had met previously and we were able to make a few new connections while walking the docks. Since we usually find boaters to be typically happy, positive and eager to lend a hand, we always feel we have something in common with most of the long-distance cruising boaters we meet.

The AGLCA organization was originally founded, in 1999, by Ron and Eva Stob, authors of the popular book, Honey… Let’s Get a Boat. The current owners, Steve and Janice Kromer have taken the organization to another level along with their daughter Kim Russo (Event MC) and Teresa Davidson (Marketing and Sponsor Services).

 

 

Current owners of AGLCA, Janice and Steve Kromer have taken the organization to another level since taking over the helm. The Kromers’ daughter Kim Russo (left) was MC for the Spring Rendezvous. Teresa Davidson (right) keeps sponsors and loopers happy all year round.

The four-day Spring Rendezvous started mid-afternoon on Sunday April 25 with registration, which included sponsor gift bags, the opening of the Ship’s Store and a welcome introduction of current Loopers followed by a reception and dinner with an introduction of veteran Loopers. After dinner there was a presentation by Dr. Jerry Reves on a medical survey he is conducting on health concerns of people while doing the Loop trip. With 225 members in attendance (a record number) it was quite a lively group, all enjoying the chance to come together to experience camaraderie with other boaters who have similar interests and passions.

The first night started off with introductions, reception and buffet dinner.

Monday began with a briefing of the day’s events followed by four sessions: Cruising North Carolina to Chesapeake Bay with Captain Alan Lloyd; What You Need to Know to Begin the Loop with Alan and Susann Syme; Exploring the Chesapeake Bay with Ted Stehle; A Grandmother Single Handles Her Adventure with Gillian Outerbridge. After a lunch break there were two more sessions, the Men’s Session, moderated by Gordy Brown and Jim Favors, and the Women’s Session, presided over by Sue Brown and Audrey Stehle. Both of these sessions fostered a lively exchange of information within the group to answer pressing questions that are more gender related. Next on the agenda were Looper Crawls and Vessel Safety Checks in the marina. The Looper Crawls provide potential Loopers an opportunity to see some of the types of boats used for cruising the Loop and a chance to ask questions of the boat owners, such as; what works best for them and why they are using the type of boat they are. If you were still undecided on what type of boat to cruise the Loop in this might give you an opportunity to narrow down the search. Some veteran Loopers, who are changing their future lifestyle, might show up with their boats for sale. The Vessel Safety Checks allow you a chance for a boat inspection, offer ideas about what you might want to add or change in maintaining a safe environment, etc. This busy day was then followed by another reception and buffet dinner.

Day three began with another chance to visit the Ship’s Store for AGLCA Looper memorabilia, burgees and logo wear. Also available are many books, navigational charts and guidebooks about cruising the Loop. This was again followed by the Daily Briefing and four more sessions: Cruising DE, NJ, NY and the Hudson River with Mitch Brodkin; Choosing the Right Boat for your Needs with Curtis Stokes; Champlain, Rideau, Trent-Severn and Erie Canals with Alan and Susann Syme; Side Trip – Potomac River to DC with Jim Favors. Lunch this day was outside on a terrace. It provided still more time social interaction. After this break, there were two more sessions: Exploring Georgian Bay with Mike & Robin McKeown and Crew Management & Watch Keeping with Capt. Henry Marx. More Looper Crawls and Vessel Checks followed the afternoon sessions. Tuesday night everyone was on their own for dinner.

Wednesday, the final day of the rendezvous, began again with an open Ship’s Store and briefing. Jim led off the sessions today with his Exploring Lake Michigan followed by three more sessions: Discussion on the Harbor Host Program with Betsy & Rick Johnson; Chicago to Rogersville, Alabama (site of the AGLCA Fall Rendezvous) with Gene Schnag and AGLCA Web Page and Discussion Forum with Steve Kromer. A group photo and more Looper Crawls and Vessel Safety Checks followed all this good stuff. Finally, the conclusion of the four-day event featured a reception and an Awards Dinner.

Ted Stehle received the Skipper Bob award on the last night of the event for going above and beyond in making things better for Loopers.

The Awards Dinner is in place to honor people who have gone above and beyond the usual helpfulness to the organization and Loopers in general. This year Gordy and Sue Brown were recognized as tireless volunteers for the organization. Ted Stehle was awarded the Skipper Bob Award. Ted was very well thought of by the late Skipper Bob and his wife Elaine Reib and exemplified what the Skipper held dear.

There were no activities planned for dinner on Tuesday night so we met up with our friends Louis and Diane on their boat for meatballs and a fun time.

Aside from all the activities and presentations we signed up for we were fortunate to “rendezvous” with our good friends Louis and Diane Wade as they managed to arrive at the marina for a short visit during the event (they are heading home to North Carolina after spending the winter in Marathon, Florida). They introduced us to a couple of Loopers we had only briefly met before. On our free night, we sat on Bella Luna and ate Diane’s tasty meatballs while the conversation focused on the Loop and boating, of course.

The staff at AGLCA is constantly renewing their efforts to make this organization a viable tool for this niche group of boaters called Loopers. Attending a rendezvous can be a reaffirming event for some, but for others, who may be a little more hesitant and have more concerns about the whole Loop thing, being able to connect with other’s like themselves or listen to the sharing of the more experienced Loopers can be very helpful in gaining the confidence needed to move forward. Reflecting back on the event now we have to agree we had nice weather, great facilities, interesting and informative speaker sessions, good food and the best part of all – coming together as a group with similar passions and eye on adventure.

To become a member of AGLCA or sign up for the Fall Rendezvous visit their website http://www.greatloop.org or call Janice Kromer at 1-877-478-5667.