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Old 08-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #1
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The Great Loop- What would YOU ask the experts?

I have the opportunity to work with Waterway Guide and America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association on a free webinar to help educate people about cruising the Great Loop. What would you want to know about the Great Loop? I'm planning on asking the experts about the following topics but I'm totally open to ideas!
What is America’s Great Loop?
Who should consider traveling the Loop?
What to expect
How to prepare
Possible routes
What else would you ask if you were doing this webinar?
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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What side trips (such as Lake Superior) would you do?
Which route did you take (number of options)?
If you did it again, what stops would you do again versus avoid?
Where would you spend more time, why?
What was your percentage of anchoring versus marinas?

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Old 08-23-2018, 03:18 PM   #3
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Max draft allowed, max air draft allowed, specialties and special places along the way, history

L
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:44 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Ms, cC. How long do you plan to be en route? (months/years)
Along the lines of Mr. OC's point. What side trips such as Trent Severn and Rideau waterways.

As far as route alternatives: In lieu of the Chicago to Sorel (Quebec) leg would you consider going out the St. Lawrence and around to New England?
How many aboard (full time or visiting).
Do you have a "Plan B" due to medical, mechanical or monetary issues?

Enjoy...
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:50 AM   #5
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I have never looped but have talked w many that are or have done it.
What struck me was the number that have returned to the NE to cover some of the cruising grounds they missed the first time. Also the number that have over wintered and returned another 1-3 yrs to experience more.
Personal opinion is too many are on a mission to loop and the schedule prevents them from fully experiencing and enjoying the NE including...
NY canals St Lawrence Lk Champlain Chambly Canal
1,000 IS Rideau Trent Severn
Georgian Bay 30,000 Is....

Hard to find that much clean clear fresh water... not to mention the scenery.
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:22 AM   #6
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I have never looped but have talked w many that are or have done it.
What struck me was the number that have returned to the NE to cover some of the cruising grounds they missed the first time. Also the number that have over wintered and returned another 1-3 yrs to experience more.
Personal opinion is too many are on a mission to loop and the schedule prevents them from fully experiencing and enjoying the NE including...
NY canals St Lawrence Lk Champlain Chambly Canal
1,000 IS Rideau Trent Severn
Georgian Bay 30,000 Is....

Hard to find that much clean clear fresh water... not to mention the scenery.
I agree with you. I viewed my trip as more of a sampling of different places to return to. IMO, it's unrealistic for most doing the Loop, to commit to enough summers to cover the Northern part fully. Probably more realistic to do the Loop as most do in a year, and then plan the return trip(s) based on areas you want to further explore. For me, this would be the Northern part of the Loop and the Tennessee river.

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Old 08-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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My question ,

where is a time table for the AGLCA so I can be a week ahead or 2 weeks behind the gaggle?
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:56 AM   #8
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How to best control costs while still making it a fun journey?
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Old 08-24-2018, 12:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Max draft allowed, max air draft allowed, specialties and special places along the way, history

L
I agree on logistics topics. I've heard dockage is more available for boats under a certain size, details on that? areas where fuel is scarce?

and also agree on special places along the way. Several others have said as well... highlight places worthy of extended exploration for those not bent on getting the loop done ASAP.

Whatever you decide to cover I am sure will only scratch the surface as there is so much material! I hope you have fun with it.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:08 PM   #10
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I’ve watched the “gaggle” come down LakeMichigan for a decade. It’s akin to a moving trailer park....cliques traveling together in groups of four to eight boats. They eat, drink, and disrupt tranquility together. I’m with FF... I’d stay far away from the AGLCA pack. I’d also run it counter-clockwise to about mid-way down Lake Michigan, and then turn around an head back to destination clockwise. That’s if you value scenery and tranquility. No farther than Traverse City on Michigan side or Sturgeon Bay on Wisconsin side. Of course if you like high prices and T shirt shops, by all means keep heading toward Chicago (not that points north on Lake Michigan aren’tslowly succumbing to tourist mania. The loo p is over rated and a haven for groupies and drop outs.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:58 PM   #11
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As Diver pointed out, at best it's a sampling. Someone mentioned it was as if people were on a mission and I think some are. They take the shortest route and miss so much. However, there is one forced mission and that is forced by climate. You really only have 4 months to do the northern portion, from the Hudson to the Illinois.

I think there should be more attention to the inland rivers. We stopped on the TN River so we could then explore it and the Cumberland and next time we intend to do the Ohio and Missouri and then the Arkansas.

I think many loopers don't see much of what is on land where they go as they're on so quickly to the next stop. I'd suggest more emphasis on land attractions.

Diver's the only other looper we've known recently to see Lake Superior. Back to his description of sampling. What we did on each lake was listed all the places we'd like to see. Then we'd say, we have 20 days for this section and that means we have time to really see 7 locations so we'll pick these 7 this time through.

We didn't loop as if it's our last time, or only time, just our first time. We fully intend to do it again in probably 2020 or 2021. First time was 2016.

You can't do the NE coast and the loop in the same year. Can't even do the Chesapeake justice. They all need separate trips. Climate dictates. The year of the loop you need to be ready to hit the canal on May 15. That doesn't give you much decent temperature to get there. We made that trip as a delivery type run, exploring the coast other times.

Someone mentioned St. Lawrence vs. the Erie route, which is mostly overlooked as an option. Many loop boats are not conducive to the trip around Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It does require extra sea worthiness

Also, it takes more time than the Erie route to Lake Ontario or to Lake Erie. We did this trip this year as part of going up and back down the coast, not part of the loop.

I'd say the treatment of other places and routes is important as the emphasis is generally on the shortest route. That means no Lake Ontario, no Lake Superior, no Georgian Bay, no Lake Cumberland, Ohio or most of the Tennessee.

I look at the loop as the time to explore cruising grounds apart from your norm. If you're an East Coast cruiser then don't waste May on the East Coast. If you're a Lake Michigan cruiser then don't spend loop time on Lake Michigan.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:56 PM   #12
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Since we are interested in doing the loop over multiple years and leaving the boat in storage in the north over winters, we would be interested in marinas that offer heated winter storage for loopers in places like western New York, Georgian Bay, northern Michigan/Wisconsin and even south of St Louis.
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:51 PM   #13
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I read many version of "the loop" on this thread, so one question, what is the "true" great loop ? I always thought it was doing real circle around east part of north america so from gulf of mexico up to st Lawrence, down along Atlantic coast to Florida and back to gulf of mexico.

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Old 08-25-2018, 02:52 PM   #14
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I would ask why bother to race around burning fuel and missing many interesting things to do. The sole purpose of many seems to be looping not enjoying.

IMO the next remote port is probably not more interesting than the next close port.
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:24 PM   #15
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I thought this thread was to propose questions not opinions?
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:35 PM   #16
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I thought this thread was to propose questions not opinions?
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:37 PM   #17
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I read many version of "the loop" on this thread, so one question, what is the "true" great loop ? I always thought it was doing real circle around east part of north america so from gulf of mexico up to st Lawrence, down along Atlantic coast to Florida and back to gulf of mexico.

L
The "true" loop is any that gets you to circle the eastern US. Generally, it's done counter clockwise. It is up the East Coast. Then multiple options.
1. Around Nova Scotia and down the St. Lawrence.
2. Up the Erie to the Oswego and it to Lake Ontario
3. The Erie west to Lake Erie.
As asides to those you can to the St. Lawrence directly or from Lake Ontario and then take the Trent Severn to Lake Huron.

It continues through the Great Lakes to Lake Michigan so that it always includes Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, generally includes Lake Erie, and may include Lake Ontario and Lake Superior.

From Chicago, on Lake Michigan, it heads south on the Illinois to the Mississippi. It can take the Mississippi all the way south to New Orleans and then the Gulf of Mexico but most take the Ohio to the Tennessee (short run often on the Cumberland) and then the Tennessee to the Tennessee Tombigbee and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

From the Gulf of Mexico, one returns to the East Coast either by circling around Key West or by taking the Okeechobee Waterway across.

Frequent side trips include the Bahamas and the Tennessee River. Other side trips can include the upper Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, the Arkansas, and the Cumberland Rivers. Also, along the East coast they can include the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River.

The only real limitations to the loop are weather in the northern portion and winter shut downs. The Erie Canal is generally open early March to late October. This year it's May 18-October 10 so shortened time. Most loopers want to leave Chicago no later than September 30. Many Chicago marinas close on October 15. The Welland Canal (Lake Ontario to Lake Erie) also has a season but it's typically late March through Late November. However, it should be noted that this past year there were many commercial vessels that waited too long and faced heavy ice on the lakes and the St. Lawrence and got stranded.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:16 PM   #18
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The "true" loop is any that gets you to circle the eastern US. Generally, it's done counter clockwise. It is up the East Coast. Then multiple options.
1. Around Nova Scotia and down the St. Lawrence.
2. Up the Erie to the Oswego and it to Lake Ontario
3. The Erie west to Lake Erie.
As asides to those you can to the St. Lawrence directly or from Lake Ontario and then take the Trent Severn to Lake Huron.

It continues through the Great Lakes to Lake Michigan so that it always includes Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, generally includes Lake Erie, and may include Lake Ontario and Lake Superior.

From Chicago, on Lake Michigan, it heads south on the Illinois to the Mississippi. It can take the Mississippi all the way south to New Orleans and then the Gulf of Mexico but most take the Ohio to the Tennessee (short run often on the Cumberland) and then the Tennessee to the Tennessee Tombigbee and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

From the Gulf of Mexico, one returns to the East Coast either by circling around Key West or by taking the Okeechobee Waterway across.

Frequent side trips include the Bahamas and the Tennessee River. Other side trips can include the upper Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, the Arkansas, and the Cumberland Rivers. Also, along the East coast they can include the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River.

The only real limitations to the loop are weather in the northern portion and winter shut downs. The Erie Canal is generally open early March to late October. This year it's May 18-October 10 so shortened time. Most loopers want to leave Chicago no later than September 30. Many Chicago marinas close on October 15. The Welland Canal (Lake Ontario to Lake Erie) also has a season but it's typically late March through Late November. However, it should be noted that this past year there were many commercial vessels that waited too long and faced heavy ice on the lakes and the St. Lawrence and got stranded.
Thank you for the info, I did not know there was so many variation possible!
If I had to do it, what I hope in the upcoming years, I would want to go to Nova Scotia, St Lawrence, up Ottawa river down Rideau Canal, up Trent Severn, lake Huron then til Chicago etc This should a hell of a trip.
I guess that if you start from somewhere in Canada as soon as the ice permit, let say from somewhere between Nova Scotia and Quebec, you have around 5 months to reach Illinois and head south before getting stuck.

L
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Old 08-26-2018, 07:25 AM   #19
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Thank you for the info, I did not know there was so many variation possible!
If I had to do it, what I hope in the upcoming years, I would want to go to Nova Scotia, St Lawrence, up Ottawa river down Rideau Canal, up Trent Severn, lake Huron then til Chicago etc This should a hell of a trip.

L
Actually there are other variations...
NY Champlain canal, Lk Champlain, Chambly canal to the St Lawrence.

Too many great places too little time.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:45 AM   #20
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"From Chicago, on Lake Michigan, it heads south on the Illinois to the Mississippi. It can take the Mississippi all the way south to New Orleans and then the Gulf of Mexico but most take the Ohio to the Tennessee (short run often on the Cumberland) and then the Tennessee to the Tennessee Tombigbee and on to the Gulf of Mexico."

Yes, but booooring.

The hassle with the Miss is the usual spring run off has made different areas build massive walls to keep the Miss out of their homes.

If you love driving down the river with 50-70 ft flood walls as the view , you may love the Miss.

I would make a U turn at Charlevoix Mi., and head south thru the Rideau.
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