Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


While in Nashville a cruise was undertaken with a few of Glen's relatives:  cousin Emily, cousin-in-law Mike, and first-cousin-once-removed Anne.  The expanded crew piloted Last Dance up the Cumberland River, through the Old Hickory Lock and Dam, to Creekwood Marina.  Of course, folks new to cruising boats have a passel of questions.  During the question/answer session, Emily said: "Why don't you write a post on the blog about flags?"  So, here is the response to the request.

One note -- Emily must not have been looking at the flags closely, as she would have recognized the affiliation indicated by one and have commented.  More later.

Flag etiquette on boats and ships developed centuries ago as a means of communication.  Rules remain today.  The only time the United States flag can be flown lower than other flags in on a boat.  The position of highest honor is at the stern, so the flag identifying the country of origin or registration of the boat is properly flown from the stern.  While US boats are in the United States, there is no rigid requirement that the county flag be flown.  But, in foreign countries, it is expected.

When entering a foreign country, a boat is required to fly a small, yellow flag indicating it is in quarantine.  This flag is flown from the starboard spreader or the jackstaff on the bow.  No one is allowed to go ashore, except the captain to immediately clear customs.  When the foreign country accepts the boat and all aboard as eligible to enter the country, the quarantine flag is replaced with a small flag of the foreign country.  This flag is called a courtesy flag.  The route chosen for Last Dance's journey on the Great Loop will take her to two foreign countries: Canada and the Bahama Islands.

Other flags are flown on boats to indicate affiliation with organizations and groups.  Flags of yacht clubs and organizations are known as "burgees" and are sometimes triangular or swallow-tailed shaped.

The burgee on the jackstaff of Last Dance indicates membership in the American Great Loop Cruisers Association.  This burgee is flown by members as they cruise the Great Loop route.  It is a great assistance in identifying other boats on the Loop and brings many people together.  The impromptu rendezvous noted in the North Channel posting was organized because boats displaying this burgee kept arriving at the anchorage, and a party broke out.

Boats that have completed the Great Loop fly a burgee with a gold background and those who have cruised the Great Loop multiple times fly a burgee with a platinum background.

The burgee with DF is the DeFever Cruisers burgee.  Arthur DeFever designed Last Dance and many ocean-capable cruising boats (he does not like the term "trawler.")  An association of owners of DeFever-designed boats, and those admiring his designs, provides information and camaraderie.  Our Passion for Cruising - We would rather be anchored in a scenic cove than tied up in a marina. We would rather explore a deserted beach than swim in a country club pool. And we would rather share a libation on deck with fellow cruisers and enjoy a golden sunset than watch TV ashore.

Rotary International is a worldwide service organization with 34,000 local clubs.  Glen has been a Rotarian many years.  Rotary has some fellowship organizations comprised of Rotarians with similar interests.  This burgee represents the International Fellowship of Yachting Rotarians and was originally founded in Great Britain.

The Gator flag is the one Emily should have recognized, and with her University of Tennessee loyalties should have invoked a comment.  Glen's doctorate was earned at the University of Florida and his college football loyalties are with the Gators.  Few Gator fans have been found in the north, but in St. Joseph, MI, there was a sailboat named Gator with this logo painted on the side.

George Dibbern's flag is a very different type of representation and message.  Dibbern left Germany on a sailboat in the 1930's because he did not like the nationalistic politics.  He was in New Zealand when the Nazis took control of Germany.  The New Zealand authorities would not let him in port flying the old German flag and he refused to fly the swastika on his boat.  His solution was to design his own flag and make his own passport, declaring himself a citizen of the world and a friend of all peoples.


IslandBeach said...

Great to see a replica of George Dibbern's flag. Am trying to reach Glen Moore but the edress from a previous life is no longer valid. Glen, if you see this pleas get in touch with me.
Erika Grundmann

Emily Passino said...

Love the stories for each of these flags. As for the Gator flag - I'm sort of like Switzerland when it comes to alma maters.