Wow! A more than excellent trip report! I felt I was right there, stride for stride. And you captured perfectly the feeling one gets at their first hang when they meet other members. Hammockers are endearing good people and the most fun to be with.
BTW, you failed to mention to your wife that these strangers that you were meeting from the internet, in a remote area of the woods, always talk about their machetes!
Thanks so much for that report; it made my day!