Our Great Loop adventure began in Portland, OR, on May 30, 2018, when Then Again was hauled out of the Columbia River at Rocky Pointe Marina, located on the Multnomah Channel. We used Dave Salmi’s crew at Rocky Pointe for final preparations, including bottom paint and stem to stern/top to bottom detailing, so that when she arrived in St. Paul, MN, she would be easy to clean.
Lenny had taken the train to St. Paul so that he could be there when she arrived. We both love journeying by train, so it was a relaxing way to start the trip. He got there on Tuesday May 29th, which was supposed to be the day Then Again was loaded onto the trailer. Lesson One: No dates are certain! The actual load was Wednesday May 30th.
Louise stayed behind to oversee the loading and finish up final packing from the house in Vancouver, WA. She, Chip, and Dayle left on Thursday May 31st to make the overland trip with half a truckload of “stuff” that didn’t get packed onto the boat before transport because it “wasn’t quite ready yet.” Lesson Two: You’re never totally ready, so when it’s good enough, just go.
Our actual wedding anniversary was Saturday June 2, 2018, but Louise, Chip, and Dayle were in Fargo, ND, that day, so we celebrated on Sunday June 3rd.
If we had kept to our original schedule of loading on May 29th, we would have been able to launch on Friday, June 1st. But one day later on the pick up did not translate to one day later on the launch, because Watergate Marina in St. Paul, MN, did not do any launching on Saturday or Sunday. Our actual launch date was Monday June 4, 2018, and we planned to leave the marina on Monday June 11th. See Lesson One about the date certainty.
An essential part of our Loop is to see as many baseball games as possible, and we began with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday June 5th. We got to see Joe Mauer play and the Twins won the first game of the double header, but we didn’t stay for the second one.
As part of final preparations, we sold our Tundra for cash, and began working on stowage and other tasks that could only be done once Then Again was launched. However, Lesson One (dates) came into play when Lenny strained some muscles in his left shoulder and, after a trip to Urgent Care and Urgent Orthopedic Care, he was in a sling for several days. The weather was also very stormy, which limited time on the boat as well.
Watergate Marina is very rustic with portable toilets and no showers, and it’s mostly designed for those who either live aboard or use it as a launch ramp. Thus, we delayed actually moving out of the hotel until Saturday June 16th. However, Lesson 2 had now come into play. You’re never totally ready, so when it’s good enough, just go.