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America's Great Loop Cruisers Association 2002 Fairhope, Alabama Rendezvous

    November 7-10 (official dates), 11-12 (unofficial extension due to weather)

We enjoyed great fellowship, good food, and more than a few crazy moments with fellow Loopers in Fairhope, including several we've met earlier on the cruise: Alan and Connie on Odyssey, Pat and John on Morgan, Bob and Cheryl on How 'Bout Us, Jerry and Judy on Lazy J's. We also made many new Looper friends: Butch and Lynne on Aisling, Pat and Jim on Patty Wagon, Jean and Garrett on Boat of Us, Chuck and Pat on River Belle, Bruce and Cindy on Island Time, Tom and Patsy on True North, Harry and Karen on Chinook, Terry and Nancee on Reliquary, Richard and Julya on CAVU, Richard and Wendy on Dick's Dinghy, Dave and Pat on Going There, and the people "responsible" for most of us undertaking this big trip , Ron and Eva Stob on Li'l Looper (they wrote "the Book," Honey, Let's Buy a Boat, that has launched so many newbie cruisers on the Loop).

Highlights of the Rendezvous, in no particular order, were the Royal Red Shrimp at Fly Creek Cafe, dinghying up the creek during the Poker Run (watch out for that sandbar!), singer/songwriter John Reno (yes, we'll buy both of your CDs), a shopping excursion and Girls' Day Out lunch in Fairhope (where we talked boats over our salads), a field trip to the USS Alabama, Krispy Kreme doughnuts every morning (thank you, Garrett), learning vital words of wisdom from experienced Loopers about the parts of the cruise still ahead, "open house" aboard the boats, the ditzy Dinghy Race (blindfolds, rowing stern first, and Gary creating a "waterfall" hazard for those passing in front of the Poet), and the wonderful hospitality provided by Jack at Fly Creek and Bev at Eastern Shore.

Although the Rendezvous officially ended on Sunday, most of us hung around, having too much fun to leave--or was it the weather?? It was one thing to bounce up and down in our slips, quite another to head out into Mobile Bay where we could see whitecaps boiling up. A couple of the more intrepid cruisers headed out on Monday and Tuesday, but it was Wednesday morning before most of the rest of us were ready to face the chop. After getting past Point Clear, however, we found much nicer waters and headed for the Intracoastal Waterway, where we expect many of us will meet again (and again!) later on this trip.