Boating America
Cruising
America's Great Loop
Boating through downtown Chicago
     Once you toss those lines that have been keeping you land locked from ultimate freedom - You and
your 1st. Mate will quickly settle into your new life of cruising and living aboard. Soon enough, relieving each
other at the wheel and securing the lines when you dock or pass through one of the more than 100 Locks on this
voyage, docking and locking through will be as routine as making the morning coffee.

 On the coastal side, you will keep an eye on the tides and weather; but cruising the Great Loop is not
fraught with the perils of the open sea. Unless you choose otherwise, you will always have land in sight and safe
harbors and dockage at night. In fact, your biggest concern will be the water's depth - so be sure you stay
between the channel markers or you may run aground.

 At night, you can "anchor out" or dock at a marina. You can dine on your boat or dine at a local restaurant. In
the mornings; you can have your coffee, read your email, post your favorite pictures on Facebook, and take
care of your online banking, before getting the boat ready to pull up anchor and shove off again...

 Most Loopers will cruise at a leisurely 7 to 9 knots (or about 10 mph) and will average about 50 miles a
day, often stopping to see the local sights, visit a museum, enjoy an ice cream cone, or take a stroll along the
beach. There is simply so much to see and do on this adventure, most Loopers take a year to complete this
voyage even though they will have only cruised 'on route' about 125 days. The rest of the time, will be split
between enjoying a peaceful paradise cove and visiting all the local sites and attractions.

 Loopers also cruise the Great Loop in a counter clockwise direction; following the Atlantic ICW north to
the Hudson River before passing though the Erie Canal en route to the Great Lakes or taking the Canadian
route to see the Blue Whales on the Saguenay River and cruise the wonderful Canadian Trent-Severn to
Georgian Bay, North Bay and Lake Michigan. From Lake Michigan, you will travel through downtown Chicago to
the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. On this
voyage you will pass crabbers in Chesapeake, cruise beneath the Statue of Liberty, glide past barges and old  
paddle-wheel Riverboats, watch divers harvesting scallops, oysters and sea sponges.

 In the Everglades you will see egrets standing on cypress logs. Around the Carolinas you will see the wild
horses come to eat the exposed salt marsh grasses at low tide. You will see hundreds of Bald Eagles on the
Illinois river. The ever changing scenery will keep you reaching for your camera - and you'll want to thank a geek
for the technology of the "digital age" for not having to buy film for your camera - as you will take a thousand
pictures.

 When planning your voyage, remember: You don’t want to get to the Erie Canal until mid May because of
snow and runoff, and you need to get off Lake Michigan by late October because of the winter winds and cold.
This of course will put you cruising through the "Heartland" of America just in time to catch the beautiful colors of
Fall from Kentucky Lake to the Smoky Mountains.

 In the end, even the most reluctant spouse will thank you and love you more for this time and this experience.
Long before you cross your wake, this adventure will have changed your life. Not only will it have made you a
better helmsman, it will have made you a better person. You will feel the change, and others will see the change
in you. No one can experience such absolute freedom as this, no one can be so blessed as this and not have it
remain in them the rest of their days.  
Just imagine. . . Being a "Looper".  Boating over 5,600 miles through 20 States (or more), and 2
Provinces of Canada, along beautiful beaches, past the Statue of Liberty, across the historic Erie Canal, through downtown  
Chicago, and down the Inland Rivers of America's Heartland to and through Kentucky Lake on your way to the Gulf of Mexico.
     All this, with the options of cruising across Canada's wonderful Heritage Canals as well as cruising the Missouri to
Hannibal and beyond, the Ohio to Pittsburgh, the Cumberland to Nashville, the Tennessee River to Chattanooga and
Knoxville. In fact, this voyage can land you at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a boating adventure that will
take you as close to the frozen tundra as it does the tropics of the Equator. From the Statue of Liberty to the St. Louis
Gateway Arch, you will cruise right to and through American history; as well as North America's most popular and famous
tourist attractions.
     It's an epic adventure on the water and a monumentally memorable experience on shore!    
Many of us dream of sailing off into the sunset - cruising through turquoise waters, walking on
pristine sandy beaches, and having umbrella drinks under coconut trees.

Problem is not everyone is cut out to make a long ocean passage. It takes a special kind of
person to board a vessel and sail off into the sunset, chasing horizons far away from loved ones and familiar
places. Many are just unwilling or incapable of it for any number of reasons. Being that far from family, Kids,
Grand Kids, friends, medical services, and the amenities available close to shore simply makes it impossible for
many of us.

Maybe the greatest aspect of cruising the Great Loop is the fact that you can cruise it and never
leave sight of land much less be much more then a stones throw from it. In addition, you will be boating in areas
that are as readily accessible by Emergency Medical personnel, and convenient to pharmacies, hospitals,
banks, post offices, rental cars, airports, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and endless amounts of
historic and popular places to see and experience. This is seeing America in the 'past' lane. . . Not the 'fast'
lane.

Certainly, this is a much safer and cheaper alternative to seeing America in a car or RV. On the Great Loop,
you are away from big City traffic jams, noise and smog. Instead of cruising down the highway 75 miles an hour,
you're relaxing on your boat at 75 smiles an hour.

Yes, you can boat from Mexico to Massachusetts and on to Memphis. You can boat from Paducah to
Pittsburgh, from Chicago to Chattanooga, and from Nashville to New York and from Waverly to Washington.
You can boat from Tulsa to Titusville and on up to Tonawanda. You can even boat from the French Quarter to
French Quebec. All without ever facing the perils of a wide open sea. All with land in sight. All without ever
having to make a U-turn. All while staying in touch with Family & Friends.

So you see. . . America's Great Loop is much more than an alternative to crossing an ocean. This is an
unbelievable adventure, and though different, it is second to none.
On the next few pages, you will learn all about what to expect when
cruising America's Great Loop. We show & tell you about the routes you can
take and the boat you need. In doing so, we separate the truths from the
myths, and show you how to make this dream come true, by fitting it into your
lifestyle, philosophy, and your pocketbook.
So let's get started. For the "Scoop on the Loop" . . .  click NEXT
© 1993 - CaptainJohn.org
ALL pictures you see on this
site were taken on
America's Great Loop
You will also learn about boat requirements, fuel requirements, distances between fuel stops,
and what you will need to make this wonderful journey - a safe, comfortable and most enjoyable adventure -
even on a very frugal budget.
www.captainjohn.org                                                                    - Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -
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Cruising the ICW on America's Great Loop
- Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -
- Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -
- Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -