First day on the Great Loop
24 October 2014 | Arkansas River
Lester & Robyn
October 18, 2014
Robyn and I awoke at 3:22 a.m. It was to be our first day on the Loop. Last night, the Marina hosted a Bon Voyage party for us Loopers. We were all presented with some awesome hoodies from the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce. The marina gave us all Three Forks Harbor ball caps, along with a wonderful party. Kim, the Harbor Master at Three Forks Harbor, met us bright and early bearing numerous copies of the Muskogee Phoenix newspaper. We had all been interviewed the evening before, and the papers were “hot off the press.” All of the boats departing Three Forks for the Great Loop were featured on the front page.
At 9:00 a.m. Robyn's Nest, Milady, and Dream Chaser pulled out of the slips, lined up in the harbor for a group photo, and finally glided through the channel into the Arkansas River. Overwhelming feelings of joy and happiness were abundant in all of us. Our day was finally here! As we started downriver, I couldn’t help but remember when I pulled into Three Forks over a year ago from the delivery of Robyn's Nest from Michigan. Kim was there taking pictures of our arrival, just as today she took pictures of our departure. The arrival had been as emotional as the departure was. The first being the immense pride in what I had just accomplished, and the second was like leaving family for a long time. Milady took the lead with Robyn's Nest next, and Dream Chaser bringing up the rear. Flint and Vicky aboard Dream Chaser won't be able to really begin the loop for another month or so, but they wanted to escort us down river several miles at least. They stayed with us until we got within a few miles of the first lock. When Flint announced on the radio that they were going to turn around and leave us, the mood aboard Robyn's Nest and Milady really hit a slump. Flint and Vicky have become really good friends, and we can't wait to see them again.
It had been a year since going through a lock, so I was a little apprehensive about how the crew would handle it. Before leaving the lock Melinda had shown us how to make a bridle using a section of water hose. She explained how it made it much easier to throw the line over the bollard when tying up to wall inside a lock. With a few minor adjustmen
We continued down the Arkansas River to Kerr Lake. On our way, Kevin, aboard Milady, and I debated over staying at a marina for the night, or anchoring out.We decided on an anchorage about one mile from our next lock. I wondered how the crew would do setting the hook. We arrived at the designated spot, and the anchor was set at 5:09 - mission accomplished! After a few minor hitches setting the anchor, I popped the top on a beer, and Robyn and Cathy started dinner.
Sometime after dinner while relaxing, Kevin called and said he was having issues with his generator. He had made arrangements to meet a mechanic at Salisaw Creek in the morning. We remained at anchor until he got back and took care of some minor issues we had ourselves. We were all very tired, so it was lights out around nine o’clock. All in all, it was a good day.ts, the lock through went very well, and the “bollard catcher” is decidedly a keeper! We congratulated each other on our accomplishment, and I was off on my next worry about anchoring for the night.