Hi All…Ben here at the Looper’s Ball,
I’m not sure if that’s the official name, but that’s what Jeff calls it. We’re in Joe Wheeler State Park on the Tennessee River, and a whole bunch of other “Loopers” (people doing the Great Circle Loop) have gathered here in their boats to have a big party for a few days.
It’s great because I get to meet all their dogs, and Jeff and Izzy get to play games, like Kayak racing.
Jeff was sort of ‘volunteered” for that one because they needed one more guy to even the heats. Even though he’d never kayaked before, he watched a few of the others race around the course and picked up enough techniques that he felt comfortable trying his luck. So he slid into the kayak like an old pro, and took off up the course. Here he is taking off from the dock…note the form… trying his hand at at this sport for the first time ever.
Looking good at the turn as he muscled the other guy out of the way at the mark.
Down the home stretch to the finish line …IT’S ROGERS FIRST!
Well, that was pretty exciting!
Next came the dinghy race. Sounded easy, so Izzy and Jeff and I signed up for that one. After all, we have a fast motor on our dinghy and we should be able to beat everyone! And I really love dinghy rides! What I didn’t know was that we had to race backwards, and with Jeff driving blindfolded! Izzy and I could see just fine, and we had to tell him which way to turn. Jeff told Izzy to tap him on the shoulder on the side we should turn toward, and he would be able to figure it out.
Well it wasn’t as easy as we thought. Of course, Jeff never wants to go slow, so we took off like a bat out of hell. All went well for about 5 seconds, then we started veering off course. It was at that point we realized that Jeff and Izzy had some trouble with the “right” “left” thing, as we corrected and re-corrected our course until we had spun entirely around. At this point we were heading backwards right back to the dock, at a rather alarming rate of speed. I don’t know if it was Izzy’s shouting, my barking or the laughter of the fast approaching crowd that got Jeff to slow down.
Finally we got turned in the right direction and headed out for the mark. We passed it once, came back around, and then ran over it. That brought more cheers and hoots from the crowd. By this time, Izzy was laughing hysterically, I was barking, and Jeff was getting madder and madder by the second. Pretty soon I took a position lying down in the bottom of the dinghy to hide… which was made even harder by the bright yellow life vest that Izzy makes me wear.
This was turning out to be the dinghy ride from hell!
Somehow they managed to finally cross the finish line…if you extended it way over there by those boats on that picture up there. I think everyone quit keeping track of our time after the third turn around the buoy. Jeff was mad. I heard someone say we came in DFL. I think that’s a sailing term that means Dinghy Full of Losers.
Here’s Jeff after the race telling friends Theresa, Bob, Karan and Greg that it was my fault.
Blue Arrow came a little late after having some repair work done. Nicoline brought the “ Captive Carp” T-shirts that she made for Jeff and Izzy, with the picture of the carp that jumped into our boat in Illinois.
They all wore them to the awards banquet.
Jeff got an award that night for being first in the Kayak race
And another for DFL in the Dinghy race…
They had fun with Jan and Nicoline from “Blue Arrow”
Greg and Karan from “CC Manhattan”
Dan and Biddi from “Biddi and the Beast”
Bob and Theresa from “Theresa”
and Rudy and Dee from “True Love II”
and Terri and Frank from “Frankly Terrific”
While everyone partied, I was on the “Izzy R” keeping things safe while the sun went down over the Tennessee River.
Fall is coming, so we’d better be on our way.
Next week Mike and Debbie come to visit us, so Izzy said I had to get a bath.
She thinks I smell better now.
- Izzy and Jeff (and Ben, too)
- Our dream of cruising on a boat Around the Great Circle Loop and beyond has the drawback of leaving our friends and family far away from us for an extended time. This blog is intended to keep you up to date on our travels and adventures, and encourage you to join us for some part of our trip as we make our way around the waterways of the eastern US, Canada, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Click on the archived posts below to follow our journey. Our dog, Ben, has been helping us write this blog since he has more time!
Ben's Perspective on the Adventure
- ▼ 2009 (33)