Hopefully, we can get this to fly, er sail. My last effort was about 6 months ago and meet with so much frustration I finally called it quits and took my efforts to WordPress. I am still there but with their "free" programs the limitations are enough to make me come home to the AGLCA site or upscale. One picture and no video capacity tends to leave me wanting to abandon. After all, it was the the AGLCA posts and the videos of Kate and Jessie (from my wife) that really provoked the Loop thought. And why not. I post at least one blog a week and really want to take friends, family and others that wish to join us along from their arm chairs.. Who knows? I believe that is where we started and now we are ready to get underway (kinda, sorta). We are first taking a trip to Europe (two years in the planning and financing) for her 90th birthday. We will get back to our boat in mid September just in time to head out to Chicago and the inland rivers before the Lakes get ugly. I DO NOT wish to spend another winter here in Huron, Ohio!!! We've made some wonderful friends and the staff here has been so kind considerate and helpful that, to us, they are family. If you are ever in this area, take the time to stop at Harbor North. It is not the most glamorous stop but the people and surrounding amenities more than make up for that. We've been here prepping our boat since the 1st of March (truthfully nothing much got done until early May (because of the weather) when we hauled out. Since then we have worked hard (almost a 1000 man hours to date) and ate feeling the time crunch breathing down our neck. We leave for Europe on Saturday and will return here on the 15th of September. Lines will be loosed and our Loop will be an actuality three days thereafter. I did hope to do some more Great Lakes sailing prior to our departure but.... this will be the last schedule we will allow to mandate our travels for years to come. Thanks to all of you that offered us consideration that we were already Looping because we were on the Loop and prepping but flying the Burgee and setting off from the dock will make me feel like we are. Yes the delays and deterrents gave us some valuable knowledge to take on our trip and have, truthfully, strengthened our resolve confidence (funny how knowledge tends to do that) but the experience is what matters now. You can not teach experience!!! Nan"s taken sailing lessons and I have crewed (even captained) other vessels here for deliveries and/or moving to get a good feel for Lake Erie but not on OUR vessel. When we cast off in September, we"ll take it easy while we do sea trials and then we will go as hard as we can whenever the weather permits. We are planing numerous dawn to dusk days to teach Chi town ASAP. From there, I don't care if their is a fall chill to the air or foggy mornings and other unforeseen delay, we will do about 40 miles most days and stop where,when and as long as we want. That, my friends, to us is Looping. Hopefully, everyone who wants will get a chance to share the adventure in one way or another.