The return to New Zealand from Indiantown was long and arduous and included an 11 hour layover in Houston due to a broken United Airlines B787 "Dreamliner". The day after our arrival back home, Carolyn was admitted to hospital and was found to have suffered a heart attack and had to have a stent put in one of her coronary arteries. There has been a further episode which has her back in Hospital at the moment with the likelihood of another stent in another artery. While this is a common procedure these days and her prognosis is good, she will require around 6 months of careful monitoring and rehabilitation. However, even if she becomes well enough to endure the long haul flights back to the eastern USA, we would never be able to get travel insurance to cover this condition and the risk of a recurrence over the extended period of completing the Loop is too great to take. It became obvious early on that our adventure was over and the only logical alternative was to bring Loopy Kiwi back to New Zealand to cruise more familiar ground.
So....arrangements have been made for the shipping to take place from Savannah GA in mid April. I will travel back to Indiantown, along with Charlie and Pauline to assist, in mid March and we take take Loopy Kiwi the 400-odd miles to Savannah (so we get to complete nearly half the Loop). There, she will loaded onto a cradle and put on the ship, which takes a month or so to reach the Port of Tauranga, about 200 miles south of Auckland where we live. We will bring her up the coast and should be in our local marina by early June. While we are both devastated at not being able to complete our dream of cruising the waterways of the eastern USA in our retirement, we have managed to console ourselves with the thought of having our lovely boat back here in NZ. We also get to show it off to friends and family that otherwise would have never got to see her, and we could do a lot worse than cruising the coast of New Zealand instead - Woody is going to love it!!!
I had read a few blogs about the Loop that finished suddenly, usually with the boat being left somewhere while the owners went home for some reason, and I always surmised that there was a tragic story attached to the premature end of their tale. I guess this is ours, but I will continue to update the blog even though I find it quite disheartening to do so at the moment. Any reader who is contemplating doing the Loop should take heed of our circumstances and "just do it" while you still can. You just never know what is around the corner.
To all our Looper friends that have already heard our sad news and offered good wishes for Carolyn's recovery and condolences for the demise of our Loop adventure, we both thank you very much.
"I dreamed a dream in days gone by" - Fantine (Les Miserables)