The One With The Time We Almost Lost Our AGLCA Burgee

If I was making a short list of my most cherished possessions, the list would include: my bible, baseball glove and our AGLCA burgee.

People who know me really well will likely understand the first two items. But unless you’ve got an AGLCA burgee of your own, you might not know why it’s so special.

First, let me address the question: What is an AGLCA burgee?

In simplistic terms, it’s a white flag with a half map on it that we hang on the front of our boat. It signifies that we are members of America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association.

More than that, it identifies to other boaters that we are on the Great Loop.

I would relate it to being in a sorority or fraternity. Similar to recognizing Greek Letters, boaters recognize the flag. It’s a big conversation piece in marinas and it’s always very exciting to see other boaters with the same flag.

There’s a big sense of comradery that comes from being flag flying member of the AGLCA. And a lot of admiration from other boaters who see the flag.

So how did we get the flag?

Honestly, we paid for it.

Anyone can join the AGLCA. In fact, we joined long before we purchased a boat. It’s an incredible resource for people planning to do the Loop. There are constantly seminars offered and advice being shared.

The Association also provides people actively Looping with contacts all over the country (called Harbor Hosts) as well as tons of connections with marinas and stops along the way.

Most importantly, it has provided our family with the best friendships. We’ve been able to connect with other Loopers- both in person and virtually.

Last year after attending an AGLCA conference, Brent and I purchased our white burgee and gave it to the kids for Christmas. (This is a never before seen photo as we kept our dream pretty tight lipped!)

So if it’s a replaceable item, what is so special about your AGLCA burgee?

Well for starters, did you just see the picture of my kids’ smiles last Christmas morning as they held that burgee?

It’s a big deal.

We hung it on our boat Day 1. It has traveled over 4,000 miles with us and it’s spent time in 18 states. It even went to Canada without us.

The burgee is in almost every single picture of our boat. And most pictures from the journey. It’s been through a hurricane. Battered by the wind and rain. And bleached by the sun.

Similar to my bible and my baseball glove- it’s been there through good times and bad. It’s safe to say it’s been the most significant item of 2020 for our family (yes, even more important than toilet paper!)

Trust me when I say, I’m not a super sentimental girl. But this flag is special!

So how did you almost lose it?

Last night (yes, this is hot off the press) our boat, Light & Salty, had a rough night.

A huge storm rolled through in the afternoon. We anticipated it and breathed a collective sigh of relief that we’d planned ahead and gotten to a nice marina. Unfortunately, even that wasn’t quite enough…

First, we’re on a T-head (end spot) at the entrance to an inlet. Additionally, it’s a fixed dock which means it does not move with the water. And finally, the winds were almost double what had been predicted.

11PM was high tide. Around 10:15 we began hearing a loud noise. When we opened the door we found that the water was so high it was inches from being over the dock.

We scrambled to make a few adjustments in the bad conditions. And set alarms to check again every hour…not that we needed to! The wind was sustained at over 30mph and the gusts were as high as 60.

Around 2PM Brent went outside and saw something blown against the last piling on our dock. It only took him a second to realize it was our AGLCA burgee.

The wind ripped it off the front of our boat. And by some sort of miracle it caught on a piling 40 feet back.

*This is normally where I would put a picture…but trust me, I was NOT outside taking pictures of this event!

What are you going to do with the flag now?

Well, as I type it’s sitting on the couch next to me. While it’s tempting to keep it safe inside, we’ll rehang it tomorrow. We’ve already ordered more flag clips and I’ll probably use some zip ties too for extra good measure.

This particular flag only has to make it another 2,000 or so miles before we’ll retire it and trade it for a gold AGLCA burgee.

Wait, you’re replacing it soon?

Yes! Once a boat has completed the full Great Loop you’ve earned the right to fly a gold flag. It’s a BIG deal and we can’t wait for that honor!

As always, thanks for following along on our crazy adventures! You might also enjoy reading:

The One With All Things Remote: Working, Learning and Living

Elderberry Syrup Saved My Vacation (Recipe Included)

The One Where I Herd Cats Down A River

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  1. Mary Walker on December 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Wow, how lucky you were to find your burgee. I have known Gold loopers to display their white burgee in a shadow box as a way to display it…. especially if it’s tattered and worn. A badge of courage!

    • momwithamap on December 31, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      Yes, we will definitely find a special place to display it once it’s not on our bow anymore! How are you guys doing on your new boat?

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