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Great Loop Reluctant Partner Ambassadors
Does your partner have a Great Loop adventure on their bucket list, but you aren't sure it is right for you? You're not alone. We have other members who once felt just as you do and they can be a valuable resource to help ease your concerns and get you out on the adventure of a lifetime!

Do you or your partner have questions about Looping? Join Us and gain access to our Reluctant Partner Discussion Forum.  Not a member?  Follow our facebook page to learn more and hear about upcoming events.

If you would like to begin the conversation by having one of our Reluctant Partner Ambassadors contact you, just complete the attached form and we can have one of them reach out.
You are welcome to find their contact information below and contact them directly too!

Patsy Conrad

I had never boated at all until Tom bought the 28 foot Catalina sailboat, which was originally kept at Lake Norman outside of Charlotte, NC.  He had the boat trucked to Charleston in 1999, where he prepared it for cruising, something neither of us had ever done.  We left the Charleston area in March of 2000, headed south, wintered in Florida, bought a house in Pensacola, and sailed the boat to the dock at our home, arriving in January, 2001.  I thought we were done except day sailing or short cruises, but Tom had other ideas and started talking about doing "the Loop", whatever that was, before we finished unpacking the boxes.  I had no idea what he was talking about, and frankly, didn't know if he did either.  He mapped it all out, we provisioned the boat, hugged our new neighbors goodbye, and we left our dock in March of 2002 to do the loop.

I wasn't as reluctant as I was scared.  There was still so much we didn't know about cruising, but I trusted Tom as a captain, particularly after he got his hundred ton Captain's license.  The fear of the unknown geographical area we would be covering and all that might happen was daunting to me.  We successfully completed the loop, arriving home in November of the same year.  We were welcomed by our neighbors standing on the dock.  It was very emotional to know we had stretched ourselves far beyond our comfort zone and both of us were proud of all we had learned and gained.  Tom admitted to me on that day that he really didn't believe when we started out that we would actually be able to cruise True North over five thousand miles and arrive safely back to our own dock.  I am very glad I didn't know that before we left!  

I am eternally grateful that we did the loop.  It changed me and my life as a whole forever.  The bonus, of course, was the life long friends we made.

See Patsy's contact info and listing in the AGLCA Member Roster.

Kay Creech
I am Kay Creech, and yes I was a reluctant spouse.  There were so many questions and the fear of the unknown.  Can I, a farm girl, do this Great Loop?  My husband Robert and I joined AGLCA in 2007.  We attended our first Rendezvous in the spring of 2008 in Charleston, SC.  It was wonderful talking to other boaters about their Loop and  attending the meetings on different subjects about the Great Loop.  I left that rendezvous feeling like I can do this and what a wonderful journey it was going to be.  I have boated since 1972.  We have had fishing boats, sailboats, and now a 43 foot Jefferson named C-Life.  We left on our Loop in May 2008 and finished one year later in 2009.  Robert and I have cruised the east coast to the Keys each winter since 2007 on our boat C-Life.  Each day is a new journey and we are still learning something new about boating on each trip.  I look forward to being a Reluctant Spouse Ambassador.

See Kay's contact info and listing in the AGLCA Member Roster.

Laura Stein  
My husband Ben and I, along with our two daughters Molly and Madelyn, completed the Great Loop in 2017.  Ben first proposed the Loop to me in the summer of 2015.  Madelyn (now 10) was entering Kindergarten and Molly (now just about 13) was going into third grade.  Ben was feeling burnt out in his current high stress, high travel job and was looking to change careers at some point in the future.  He thought it would be a great time to take a year off and travel the Great Loop.  I looked at him like he was crazy!  I asked what he was thinking?  I was finally going to have both girls in school full time, I was busy with volunteer work at their school and all of their activities and he wanted to pull them out of school, pick up and leave our house and homeschool for a year????  He said just think about it.  So I did.  Ben and I have always traveled a lot.  We have always traveled with the girls as well.  I thought and thought.  I weighed the pros and cons of the situation and the adventure.  For Christmas 2015 I gave Ben a piece of paper that said "I'm in!".  And our planning took off.  Ben left his job in April of 2016.  We had been Lake Michigan boaters for about 12 years at that point and already had a boat we were comfortable on (Carver Voyager 570).  He spent the next few months doing upgrades and work on the boat for a longer trip.  I got the girls through the school year and started to wrap my mind around figuring out curriculum for 1st and 4th grade with the plan they would return a year later.  Before we left, I told Ben that IF I agreed to go, I wouldn't want to come back. I was right. We spent an AMAZING 14 months on the Great Loop.  I wouldn't trade a single minute of it. Our family became closer, we had incredible experiences together, we saw so many truly special sights our country and neighboring countries have to offer.  The list is endless.  Sure I had concerns.  Were we making the right decision for our kids? Uprooting them? Taking them away from friends and family? Taking them away from activities?  I firmly believe we did the right thing for our girls.  It's now 2020 and we live on our boat full time. Ben has fully changed careers and works from the boat. We still have our house in Chicago but only spend 2-3 months a year in it. I have continued to homeschool and feel the education (both in books and in life) the girls are getting is excellent. Ben and I don't feel like they are missing out on anything - and most days they agree.  A large part of my reluctance was the effect it would have on the kids.  This is likely a different scenario than many of you will face.  But I too had worries about the boat, and the space, and would we all get along, and how would we get groceries, and find a doctor if one of us was sick, etc. etc.  These are normal worries and we've all been there.  The Great Loop is truly the trip of a lifetime and I'd be honored to answer any questions you may have or worries you'd like to discuss!

See Laura's contact info & listing in the AGLCA Member Roster.

Susan Wilson
In earlier days I boated for years along the Connecticut Shore before getting together with Foster.  We’ve now been boating together for over 15 years on the Chesapeake Bay, and are Gold Loopers.   Foster and I completed our Loop aboard our 45 ft Bayliner Quo Vadimus in 2015, and were awarded AGLCA’s “Harbor Hosts of the Year” in 2018. 
When Foster first brought up doing the Loop, I responded with “maybe someday when we retire”.  We were on a smaller boat in those days, still had a son in high school, and the idea of spending a year living aboard that boat wasn’t attractive.  I was also in a great spot in my career, and about to complete a degree I’d worked toward for years.  I really was a reluctant spouse – I couldn’t imagine just picking up and leaving for a year, especially to live full time on a tiny boat. 

Doing the Loop was a lifelong dream for Foster – since his early teens.  Those who know or have read Foster on the Forum know how persistent he is, and the idea grew on me a bit more after we talked through our wish list for a live aboard boat.  We spent a year shopping for our “dream boat” together.  We ended up buying the Quo Vadimus in 2010.  

After spending a year learning the boat and doing more extensive trips in the Chesapeake, Foster mentioned meeting a couple our age who were actively on the Loop. They told him they were glad they were doing it at this age because they felt it might be too much when they were 10 years older.  When I asked how they managed to get time away from their jobs, he replied that they had left their jobs but intended to go back to work once they returned.  We talked some more about what our lives would look like if we decided to do the same thing, but I still wasn’t quite ready.

Foster was smart enough not to push too hard, and I started to think even more about what it would be like to have a year just to ourselves after working and raising kids for decades.  That idea took root and we decided that we would plan on a departure date 2 years in the future.  When the time came, we both quit our jobs.  Our youngest son agreed to move back home as a house sitter while we were away, and we were able to take our elderly cat with us.  We were off in April of 2014. 

Doing the Loop turned out to be a life changing experience.  While we both went back to work after returning home, we continued to keep the Loop and Loopers active in our lives by acting as Harbor Hosts in the northern Chesapeake Bay.  We have also presented talks at a few of our nearby AGLCA Rendezvous and Looper Lifestyle seminars.  We fully intend to complete the Loop at least one more time, once the stars align again!

See Susan's contact info & listing in the AGLCA Member Roster.