We are still in Fort Myers Beach, and will be until the end of the month. So the posts between now & then will be related to all the company we have had & will have in Fort Myers Beach.
You may recall from the last post that we spent a week with Jonell’s cousin Anita & husband Rich.
Yesterday we had a very special visit from Dave & Michele Sylver, the couple we purchased the boat from, and the couple who basically helped us initiate all the sequence of events that led to us challenging ourselves with this adventure called America’s Great Loop.
Many of you know this story, but many of you do not.
Here is the sequence of events that happened between us & Dave & Michele Sylver.
I will apologize up front that it is a long story, but a good one.
1. Dave & Michele’s son David Jr. works at Chrysler.
2. Sometime in the fall of 2013, David Jr joined the Aerothermal group that I was working in at FCA. On his first day with us, at his first staff meeting, David over-heard one of my co-workers talking about Murph’s big boat trip (at that time still only a dream for me).
3. David Jr said – ” you are going on The Great Loop ?”
4. I said – “How do you know about The Great Loop”
5. Dave said – ” my parents are going on The Great Loop next year”
6. I said – “I gotta meet your parents”
7. Ten days later , Jonell & I met Dave Sr & Michele for dinner at the Tin Fish in St Clair Shores. We arrived about 7pm and left about midnight. We totally hit it off with them on the first meeting.
8. One of the significant events of our first meeting was that Dave/Michele said, “If you are serious about The Loop, you should join AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association).
9. We joined AGLCA that fall/winter of 2013.
10. In July 2014, Dave & Michele left Lake St Clair on their adventure.
11. Jonell & I followed their blog, much like you all are following ours.
12. In October of 2014, Jonell & I met Dave/Michele at one of the annual events put on by AGLCA called the Fall Rendezvous. You may recall from one of my previous posts this October that the Rendezvous is a week-long series of classes, intended to help future loopers and active loopers learn from folks who have already completed the loop.
Jonell & I attended as “Looper Dreamers/Planners”, Dave/Michele were there as “Active Loopers”.
13. During the Rendezvous, there are a few nights called Looper Crawls, where future loopers are invited onto the boats of the folks actively doing the loop. That was the first time we had seen our current 43 Viking, then known as the motor vessel “Just Us”. Even on our first introduction to the boat, we lusted after it but never had a discussion of purchase because the Sylver’s had owned it for 20 years and had no intentions of ever selling it.
14. At the end of the week-long Rendezvous in 2014, as we were preparing to say goodbye, Michele said ” our next stop is in Florence Alabama only 30 miles down the river, why don’t you come with us to see what it’s like and take a taxi back to your car”.
15. We did go the 30 miles with them to Florence Alabama, and went thru 2 locks (note-the same locks that Kenny/Carla went thru with us this year).
16. On the drive back to Michigan after the Rendezvous, Jonell & I said to each other “I think that we can do this”. I had previously thought that the loop was only for rich people. There were rich people there and they had the nicer boats, but there was also every walk of life, all ages, and all types of vessels.
17. In Feb of 2015, I was on the AGLCA website looking at boats, and I saw an ad which said “are you thinking about looping, come on our boat for a week and see what it’s like”. So me & Jonell called Richard & Katherine Cope who were actively doing the loop in a boat called “Cat in the Hat” , a 43 foot Hatteras.
18. After a few conference calls with them, we ended up meeting Richard & Kat in July of 2015, and spent one week one their boat on the beautiful Trent Severn Waterway in Canada just northwest of Toronto. We went thru over 30 locks during that one week. We shared Marina & Fuel expenses for the week. Richard & Kat’s motive for the ride/training was in their attempt to find a potential buyer for Cat in the Hat, after their loop was complete.
19. During the week while traveling on the Trent Severn Waterway with Richard & Kat, one of the stops we made was in Peterborough Ontario. While we were docked for the night, we met several loopers in progress during a dinner with about 16 people. Two of the 16 people we met were DAVE & MICHELE SYLVER.
20. It was a great reunion with Dave/Michele, we were able to catch up on their adventure. During that night, Dave pulled me off to the side and said “hey I know you are looking to potentially purchase the Hatteras, but when me/Michele get done with the loop we have decided to sell our house, sell the 43 Viking, and buy a 50 foot Viking that we are going to live on”
Dave then said the magic words – ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PURCHASING THE VIKING ?
21. I answered ” He_ _ yes ! ”
As I said above, Jonell & I had lusted after that boat the very first time we saw it.
22. Dave/Michele completed their trip in August of 2015, and by October of 2015 Mike & Jonell had signed the purchase agreement & were the new owners of a 43 Viking previously known as “Just Us” and now currently known as “Gettin’ Looped”
Dave & Michele have been our Great Loop God-Parents from the beginning, and special thanks to their son, and my worker pal David Jr for gettin’ the sequence of events started.