Our Last Trip

Our last trip. At Sunset we’re past Charleston but won’t be at Savannah until mid night.

When we started boating in 2014 we knew very little. We outfitted Star Gazer for unknown passages and unknown harbors, adding things we didn’t need and leaving out things we had to add later. Now we know what to do. Now the boat is outfitted the way we need it. We have been everywhere we wanted to go on the water, several times to our favorites. Now that we have made Star Gazer into the ideal boat for us we’re stopping boating and selling it.

The sun is well up on Sunday morning and the seas remain flat with great weather.

Sue found Star Gazer for sale at the St Petersburg boat show around the end of 2013. She fell for the “galley up” design where she would always be part of what’s going on in the salon, the main room of the boat. She liked all the convenience and size of the interior rooms. I found that it would do the loop, although it went deep enough and was tall enough to just barely make it in some areas.  It was probably the best purchase we ever made.

Our first boating year, before the loop we did the Dismal with Paul & Sharon.

The next year, 2015, doing the loop we entered New York harbor for the first time with Keith and Gayle.

We’ve had a bumps, groundings, destroyed props and such, but no disasters. I suppose we could have hit a rogue container in the middle of the night when 50 miles offshore out of VHF radio range and sank. Would we have gotten off into the dinghy or something floating? Would our emergency system that broadcasts our position to a satellite and then to the coast guard have worked, and would they or another ship have rescued us? We’re probably more likely to have a car accident in our future travel, but we’ll try not to worry about that either.

Sue and Sharon ready to ride the Kirkfield lift lock down on the Trent Severn in 2015 on the loop.

Clouds outside our harbor on Lake Michigan in 2015.

Leaving our Chicago marina after a great five days seeing the city.

Being on boat has given us a unique perspective of a part of America that few see anymore. We have anchored out many times in places you will never see without a boat like ours, and enjoyed it a lot, but we’ve found we are more city people than country people. More often than not we dock in the center of the old part of towns and cities, right where the ships came in long ago.


Proof that we’ve been there and done that. Everyone on the loop gets this photo from another looper.

There are few places to really see the stars these days. Other than in Myanmar and once in the middle of nowhere in Texas we had not seen them well before we started boating. On Star Gazer in the more remote areas of the Tombigbee river and alone many miles out on the Atlantic we did see them. We anticipated that and thus the name.

Still on the loop in 2015. At anchor in a tributary to the Tombigbee river. We thought it was clearing and the fog hit us big time just after we left.

We’ve enjoyed visitors, especially our long termers Sharon & Paul and Keith & Gayle. Sue and I discovered that when forced into small quarters, often with no escape, for years we liked each other even more. Our 4+ years of boating has been a great success, primarily because it was done with the correct partner.

We watched the Tappan Zee bridge construction north of NYC each year. This year (2018) it is complete.


2 thoughts on “Our Last Trip

  1. Marty and Cheryl Trepus says:

    Jack and Sue,
    What an adventure you two have had over the last four years! We have been impressed with your love to travel and spirit or adventure! I am sure it is bitter-sweet to say “Good Bye” to the Star Gazer. Thank you so much for inviting us to share a few days with you on a couple of boat trips. Those days on your boat are among some of our fondest memories. We enjoyed spending time with you and loved being on the water! We hope to continue our connection and friendship with you wherever you are.
    We also appreciate all you are doing for the Vision4Word ministry in Haiti. Kendra came home from Haiti to take Nathan to Germany for specialized surgery. He is recovering very well and she is now preparing to go back to Haiti in a few days. We will try to keep you informed about progress there.
    Thanks so much for all of your kindness toward our family! Marty and Cheryl


  2. Sheri Mar Carlberg says:

    Thank you so much, Jack and Sue, for sharing some of your adventures on-line, for those of us who enjoyed vicariously these journeys. You sailed parts of the United States that I likely won’t ever get to, and as you said, some that no one could without a boat. It has opened my eyes to the great beauties of our Eastern seaboard and the charming towns you visited. I appreciated the commentary and your observations, too.

    I know whatever adventures you and Sue embark on going forward, you will bring much enthusiasm and interest. Keep us land lubbers posted! J

    Best regards, Sheri C.


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