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Old 10-31-2011, 08:47 PM   #61
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RE: Loopers Chime in.

My wife and I were going to do the loop this year but decided to hold off due to financial concerns with various properties we had for sale etc. We did do the Charleston SC route to Key West FL for the winter which is part of the loop in reverse..We then motored up the west coast of FL to St Petersburg in the spring where we listed and sold our boat within 2 weeks. We are now on the west coast with a new trawler and plan to do the rest of the loop within the next few years and can not wait to do the locks and the great lakes area. We have been members of the Great Loop Assoc for several years and this website and other materials out there are priceless.
It is one of those trips that should be on every boaters bucket list.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:23 AM   #62
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RE: Loopers Chime in.

Bill, Please keep us posted on your adventure. I'm about 2 years behind you. Plan on doing just the east part of the Loop but up to Maine then back down to NYC and up the Hudson to Canada. Probably take a least two years and could probably spend a whole summer just on the Cheaspeake.*
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:04 AM   #63
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RE: Loopers Chime in.

If you are a sports fan, nothing* beats the western side of the loop. from*Chicago to NO via the Tim-Tom you have great choices for college and pro sports and even the Kentucky Derby. So many sports venues are within a short cab ride from the rivers. There is* not a wrong way to do the loop provided your vessel is well found and finances in shape. All too many on this forum believe the world centers on Florida, not so unless you enjoy the East coast crowds.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #64
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RE: Loopers Chime in.

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:
If you are a sports fan, nothing* beats the western side of the loop. from*Chicago to NO via the Tim-Tom you have great choices for college and pro sports and even the Kentucky Derby. So many sports venues are within a short cab ride from the rivers. There is* not a wrong way to do the loop provided your vessel is well found and finances in shape. All too many on this forum believe the world centers on Florida, not so unless you enjoy the East coast crowds.
*In Chattanooga we have about 6 Looper boats at the city docks now.* It is a great time for cruising the Mighty Tennessee.

Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Vols, is right on the river.* The boats attending the games are known as the Vol Navy.* However, your mention here, is the first time I've heard of doing a "sports loop".
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:24 PM   #65
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I think you usually end up regretting most the things that you didn't do.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:11 AM   #66
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Folks should remember there is also the little loop.

In Canada simply go right to the Richeau and Rideleau canal system.

This has antique locks and kollege kids working for Parks Canada to take your lines.

It is not cheap, but a lock pass for the entire system is available.

The option of paying for unlimited tieups at the lock entrances is for the very social, as the boats raft 3-5 deep and much is the French portion of Canada , so the party runs late , every night.

The budget folks can anchor out in fantastic lakes and with some planning use day passes or single lock passes to lower the cost.
Unlike locking in the USA these are tiny locks , 8 ft drop, and may be stepped to allow a higher lift.Out one lock into the next.

At Ottowa its 8 or 9 steps , looks like a carnival ride with one lock after another chock a block with boats.Fenders .,lots & lots are useful.

A larger boat would need to stop early if using the lock entrance wall option.

After Ottowa , The St Laurence will take you to Montreal and even Quebec , if you will back track a bit. The SL runs 2+K so planning is required.

From the SL there is a route thru the "bi lingual " reaches where only the kids speak some English.
Town docks however are FREE , so a tie up in a tiny town , with a resturant , breakfast in a different town and lunch in a third is very easy , sorta like being in Europe.

Return is thru Lake Champlain , great scenery but quite deep to anchor in.

A couple of months , a summer, might be spent here , delightfully and fairly inexpensively .

Folks with extra time and little money could stay in the Erie Barge Canal till almost to Buffalo , then turn back and cross to Canada .

Most town tie ups are free , with wi fi and electric laid on.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:30 AM   #67
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I think you usually end up regretting most the things that you didn't do.
Life is not nearly long enough to do "the things that you didn't do".

When you were young, didn't you want to be a fireman? Policeman? Cowboy? Pilot?

You may have wanted to live in Alaska, Florida, California, the desert, the mountains, etc. Or in another country.

You may have wanted to marry a blonde, a redhead, a brunette (OK, I've done that ).

You have to make choices of what you can do based on circumstances including time and finances.

Personally, the great loop is not high on my list. Extended cruising on the USA east coast will do it for me.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #68
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Life is not nearly long enough to do "the things that you didn't do".

When you were young, didn't you want to be a fireman? Policeman? Cowboy? Pilot?

You may have wanted to live in Alaska, Florida, California, the desert, the mountains, etc. Or in another country.

You may have wanted to marry a blonde, a redhead, a brunette (OK, I've done that ).

You have to make choices of what you can do based on circumstances including time and finances.

Personally, the great loop is not high on my list. Extended cruising on the USA east coast will do it for me.
I agree with both Carp and Ron here. Of course circumstances can determine what we can realistically do. However, those things that we could do and didn't are the ones most regretted. The Great Loop is not on my bucket list, but extended cruising is. It's whatever cranks your tractor. At my age I am conscience of getting it done.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #69
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I think you usually end up regretting most the things that you didn't do.
A small boy heard the ocean roar,
There are secrets on my distant shore,
But beware my child, the ships bell’s wail,
Wait not too long to start to sail.
So quickly come and go the years,
And a young adult stands abeach with fears,
Com on, Come on the ocean cussed,
Time passes on. Oh sail you must.
Now its business in mid-aged prime,
And maybe tomorrow there will be time,
Now is too soon, its raining today,
Gone all gone-years are eaten away.
An old man looks, still feeling the lure,
Yet he’ll suffer the pain, than go for the cure,
The hair is white, the steps with care,
The tide has turned, he is aware.
So all too soon the secrets are buried,
Along with him and all regrets he carried,
And it’s not for the loss of secrets he cried,
But rather because he’d never tried.

It makes me sad every time I read it.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:02 PM   #70
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I agree with both Carp and Ron here. Of course circumstances can determine what we can realistically do. However, those things that we could do and didn't are the ones most regretted. The Great Loop is not on my bucket list, but extended cruising is. It's whatever cranks your tractor. At my age I am conscience of getting it done.
My wife was wary of taking a month long cruise (from SC to FL). Then her mother passed away. I pointed out to my wife that I was only seven years younger than her mother. She thought about it and agreed to make the cruise. Now she can't wait to go on another. I'm toying with the idea of cruising to the Chesapeake (we're originally from MD) next summer for two or three months.

The other thing we (Americans) have to keep in mind is the direction our country and economy may take after the next election in November. We may see prosperity or we may see fuel costs skyrocket with taxes, restrictions, etc
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:12 PM   #71
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[ QUOTE=rwidman;96432]My wife was wary of taking a month long cruise (from SC to FL). Then her mother passed away. I pointed out to my wife that I was only seven years younger than her mother. She thought about it and agreed to make the cruise. Now she can't wait to go on another. I'm toying with the idea of cruising to the Chesapeake (we're originally from MD) next summer for two or three months.

The other thing we (Americans) have to keep in mind is the direction our country and economy may take after the next election in November. We may see prosperity or we may see fuel costs skyrocket with taxes, restrictions, etc[/QUOTE]

Do it, Ron. That will be a cruise you will never forget. Two months is about right to really get the feel of the Bay. It is truly a special place. The towns are great, but leave plenty of time for anchoring off the rivers and creeks in quiet coves. I can't wait to get back. Hopefully we will make it up there in 2013.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:48 PM   #72
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We plan to do the northeast to great lakes on one long 6 month cruise, then back to the Chesapeake, next the south east, Bahamas take a break and then do Cuba, Belize and panama, if its going well through the Canal. We just got the baby out of Grad School and have to work hard for 3 more years. The Miss from Chicago to the delta just seems too long.
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:20 AM   #73
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The Miss from Chicago to the delta just seems too long.
It is too long. Hang a left at the Ohio River then a right on the Tennessee or Cumberland Rivers. You will be in for some good cruising. Then enter the Tennessee Tom Bigbee or TenTom to cruise down to Mobile. The Illinois and Mississippi Rivers are the bad part, The southern Mississippi is horrible cruising.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:25 AM   #74
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The other thing we (Americans) have to keep in mind is the direction our country and economy may take after the next election in November. We may see prosperity or we may see fuel costs skyrocket with taxes, restrictions, etc
I suspect we will see the latter and I suspect this will put a massive damper on the boating scene. A lot of the marinas in BC are hurting now from the weak economy and I will not be surprised to see some of them closing down by next summer.

It won't take much to tip the economic mood of the country back over the edge and when that happens I think we!ll see the boat market sink back below where it was a few years ago. Between employers dropping insurance coverage for their employees on a massive scale, the jobless rate skyrocketing, and the national debt exceeding any possibility of repayment and recovery I believe the boating scene will drift back to small boats cruising locally at best.

While not the main reason by any means it's one reason we continue to hold onto our 17 foot Arima. If-- or more likely when-- the nation sinks back into a depression and we have more critical things to do with our money than buy diesel at $6 a gallon (a level already touched by aviation fuel) and pay for haulouts and all the other ongoing expenses that go with owning a cruising boat we'll still be able to "cruise" this area we love so much. Thank God we don't have to travel far to be in it.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:50 AM   #75
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We may see prosperity or we may see fuel costs skyrocket with taxes, restrictions,

True , but if the election goes against Statism , just the concept of opening up the congress closed 85% of our energy resources should knock a buck off the fuel, with 2 bucks less possible as just a bit of supply comes on line.

Although fuel is reported as the spot price , the vast majority of fuel is sold years earlier in the futures pit.

In a falling market few want to lock up todays high prices , creating an instant surplus.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:37 AM   #76
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John,
As Pinapple Girl mentioned we sold the boat and are in RV mode, EVERGREEN travel trailer 31 ft to be exact. Lying Beddeck, Nova Scotia and it is very nice. (The Maritimes were on our list for the last yr of the cruise and we did not get here, so this kind of completes things for us.)
We did the Great Circle Cruise in 5 seasons, put the boat in storage wherever we stopped for the season, one or two years we had no idea where we would end up, but always found a good yard to haul and store. NOT a problem.

I have mentioned a hundred times over to individuals and groups, GO BEFORE YOU CANNOT. Did I mention to go asap.
There will never be a perfect time, on the trip you are never more than two-3 days from home or whereever due to proximity of air travel and rental cars.

The trip is 5,500 miles , we did over 9,000 and did not get to complete it, recall go before you cannot.

Also, all those people who do it in one year miss a huge amount of fantastic cruising.
I get in conversations with them all the time, some are close friends, and start mentioning places that we stopped and they did not, such as the Keys, Tortugas, myriad of ports and anchorages in the Chessy. The Rideau Canal and Ottawy, Montreal, lots of these places in one yr you must choose between no doing both.
How about the Finger Lakes region in NY, and Lakes Huron, Erie and the like. nope no can do in one yr.
The final year of the cruise was to be more than a yr on board, from Finger Lakes in NY out the St Lawrence the Maritimes and east coast US to Fla and then the Bahamas for the winter return to east coast and sell the boat there, NEVER returning it to the Gulf Coast. In fact we stopped at a friends dock a day or so out of Patterson and he mentioned that we could do something or the other on the way back. I explained that we would be back but the boat would not! And did not!

A great place to store the boat is BARRETTS yd in Waterloo, NY, not expensive and great people. We stopped in to visit in the travel trailer on this trip, a month or so ago. Parked among the boats stored on the hard, they were all around us. Pat, THE WIFE said that she woke during the night looked out the window and saw all the boats, broke out in a cold sweat, thought that we were back on the boat!
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #77
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[QUOTE=charles;97099]John,
As Pinapple Girl mentioned we sold the boat and are in RV mode, EVERGREEN travel trailer 31 ft to be exact. Lying Beddeck, Nova Scotia and it is very nice. (The Maritimes were on our list for the last yr of the cruise and we did not get here, so this kind of completes things for us.)
We did the Great Circle Cruise in

...snip....


THE WIFE said that she woke during the night looked out the window and saw all the boats, broke out in a cold sweat, thought that we were back on the boat!
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For some, doing the loop in a year is all they can/want to do in their big plan. Some may feel covering the area quickly and coming back to explore some areas might be the better idea...not my style but some people do think like that.

For some, they are more interested in the bragging rights...you can usually see that in how they boat locally and describe their local trips...what they did, enjoyed, etc...nothing wrong with it...just not my style either (though at one point in my life it might have been).

No right answer to this any more than the right answer on how to live your entire life.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #78
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John,
Lying Beddeck, Nova Scotia and it is very nice.
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Say hello to my brother-in-law, Henry Fuller, who owns Cape Breton Boat Yard.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:38 AM   #79
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NOT bragging rights just a lot of fun, meeting interesting people and visiting great places. Just as we are doing in the RV thing, we ATTEMPT to see and do all that we can as it is likely that we will not get to the same area again. So no bragging just EXPERIENCING all that we can, as always YMMV
If one does not desire to visit every museum, we dont do all but leave few out, then dont. Did a ceildah dance thing last nt. No desire to see another but it was very entertaining and informative. YMMV
Boats look nice here as well.
Amazing how one can get criticized so easily here! Just because we did something does NOT mean all must do it. I present, as many others, what we did and suggest that it worked for us, may not for someone else.
YMMV
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #80
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The southern Mississippi is horrible cruising.
Ahhh, but you are wrong! To me anyway. I grew up there. For me I'll tie up for an extended stay in Deer Park, LA, and visit family. Nearly my entire extended family lives within 25 miles. Then there is another route that is never brought up. Cross over to the Atchafalaya River at the Old River Locks where the Red, Black, Mississippi, and Atchafalaya all come together (or near enough), and go down to Morgan City to enter the GIWW. It'd be like Huck Finn going home again. I can already smell the river bank mud in the hot summer sun while baiting a catfish trotline with crawfish! Venice will be another extended stay to try and hook up with some of my high school friends. Seems like a lifetime ago. Gas was cheap, couldn't conceive of someone going on a shooting rampage of total strangers, the only terrorists I'd ever heard of were Carter and the Iranians, and I couldn't wait to become a millionaire so I could buy one of those shiny yachts that docked on the other side of the marina from all of us commercial fishermen/shrimpers! What I wouldn't give to have some of those days back again.
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