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Old 08-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #41
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Many offshore fishing trips but not many cruises over 70 miles one way.
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My passion for improving my boat(s) exceeds my desire to constantly cruise them.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:52 PM   #42
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In 14 years we have gotten some use out of Bay Pelican. Cruised the Gulf Coast from Key West to New Orleans, the Atlantic Coast north to Eastern Nova Scotia, most of the Canadian Maritimes, the St. Lawrence, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, all the great lakes except Superior, the Chesapeake, York and Potomac rivers, Trent Severn, Richaleu, Ottawa River, Erie Canal, east and west, the Hudson River to the Erie Canal, Chicago River, and the Caribbean from Florida to Trinidad.

Currently specialize in hanging at anchor and checking to make sure the sun sets.

Marty
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:29 PM   #43
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Trips so far

We bought the boat in Loudon TN and brought it to the Manatee River last October. App 1370 miles with 19 locks, 3 rivers, Gulf crossing from Carrabelle to Cedar Key. Quite a memorable trip.
Just returned from a 5 week trip to Mobile Bay from our home port in Palmetto FL. with numerous stops along the way. Some days in marinas, some days on the hook. App 1070 miles total.
Outside of one near grounding coming into Apalachicola (close but we got off) and 1 really bad weather night (the first night out) the cruise was very nice.
Saw some of the biggest waves ever that first day out and don't wish to see them again while 30 miles from land.
Planning a spring trip to the Bahamas as well as several of the out islands after some additional gear additions. May take 7 or 8 weeks for this one.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:43 PM   #44
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My first trawler was a 38 foot Sea Chief. Took her from Seabrook Texas to Norfolk Virgina and returned. Both ways in the ditch via the ocachobee. I've taken my present trawler to Rockport Texas and to Lake Charles La. I retire next year and will ad to this.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:51 PM   #45
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Not far enough, but given time and good health...
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:29 PM   #46
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The Bradfords Retirement Cruising

Getting ready to retire, in 1993, living in Colorado, we were boat shopping in Seattle. We had no big water, boating experience. We looked at many different styles and manufacturer's boats, to only become more confused. We wanted to go to Alaska in the spring of 1994 upon retiring. A very good broker had showed us most all of his boats in our price range. He then very nicely suggested we pick one model/brand of boat that he said "would keep us out of trouble", while learning! The small 34', single Lehman engine boat was his suggestion, even though he didn't have one to show us! We took his advice and only looked at the single style/model from then on! It's amazing how much easier it is to "shop", when you only compare "oranges to oranges"! We purchased a little 34' CHB in soutern California and had it trucked to Anacortes, WA. that fall. In the spring of '94 I retired and we traveled from Colorado to Washington, floated the boat and checked out the systems, with the help of numerous fellow boaters advice, and with the assistance of an "experienced buddy boating couple" for 4 days, took off for SE Alaska. What a trip! We wish everyone could do it! I did have experience with radar and navigation, but everything else was a whole new "learning experience". Our "buddy boaters" weren't going all the way north, so we parted ways after "picking their brains" for 4 days! We went all the way to "windy" Skagway and found it would be nice to have a thruster when docking in the wind! Most everywhere we went we found helpful hands to aid in "catching a line". Returned to Anacortes in late August/September and sold the boat, having "been there, done that! Big mistake!
In 1997, we bought a 3058 Bayliner on a 3axle trlr, with twin BMW diesels. Trailered it to Anacortes in 1998 and took it to Alaska. Again, a very nice trip, but fast, too fast we thought! The logs appear with very little warning, requiring the helmsman to "pay prompt attention!! We picked our "windows of passage" for fair weather, but prefer to cruise at trawler speeds. Again, spent all summer in SE!!
In late 1999 we bought a 43' Defever, twin Lehmans, in Ft. Lauderdale. Spent the first winter in Bahamas, back to FL in the spring, north to Maine via the ICW, back to NY and started the loop/circle. Really a great experience and we wish once again that all boaters could do it! Arrived in Mobile about Thanksgiving, then to the Keys for Christmas, back to Bahamas until April 2001. We then went to Dominican Republic and continued east and south, down the island chain to Trinidad, to be south of the hurricane zone, for insurance purposes! Spent 4 months in Trinidad, then west bound island hopping to go to Cartagena, Columbia! Yes, we had seen the movie "Romancing the Stone" and wanted to go to Cartagena! Fun times! We were "buddy boating" with friends on a much larger boat, and have many detailed stories of this trip! Went through the Panama Canal in December, then north bound up the Pacific West coast! Another adventure!! We arrived in San Diego in June 2002, Puget Sound in August 2002. Wintered over there, then north to Alaska again in April 2003! Yes, we love SE Alaska! Returned to Anacortes in September. We've been boatless for about 7 years now but did ride with our friends when they returned to SE Alaska, across the Gulf of Alaska, from Prince William Sound. We flew back home from Sitka.
We've had a few health problems but feel we're on the mend and ready to go boating again, although we're in our upper 70's. Do it!! All total about 20,000 nm, per GPS
Dick & Mary Jo Bradford
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #47
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We then went to Dominican Republic and continued east and south, down the island chain to Trinidad, to be south of the hurricane zone, for insurance purposes! Spent 4 months in Trinidad, then west bound island hopping to go to Cartagena, Columbia! Yes, we had seen the movie "Romancing the Stone" and wanted to go to Cartagena! Fun times! We were "buddy boating" with friends on a much larger boat, and have many detailed stories of this trip! Went through the Panama Canal in December, then north bound up the Pacific West coast! Another adventure!! We arrived in San Diego in June 2002, Puget Sound in August 2002. Wintered over there, then north to Alaska again in April 2003! Yes, we love SE Alaska! Returned to Anacortes in September...

LadyMJ, that sounds like an amazing trip (they all do)! Would love to hear more details about the trip south and through the canal. I went to Cartagena after passage through the canal, but on a cruise ship, not under our own command. We dream of making this trip some day, though probably west to east as we're starting in California. Would love to hear about any difficulties you encountered, the path you took, the precautions that made it safe (and the ones you didn't take that you wish you may have?). Where did you stop? Where was the best place to take on fuel?

The Defever 44 and the IG of the same are two boats we keep coming back to... love the IG for the extra stateroom which, with a 10 year old daughter rounding into her teens and the desire for family to visit on occasion, would seem to suit our needs. How did your Defever handle the trip? What do you wish you had available that you didn't? What would you not live without?

Great post, LadyMJ. Thank you!

PS. Here's hoping that you and yours get back out on the water again!
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #48
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Thanks for your inquiry! I rambled on so much and know we didn't give any details! As you know, it's just one day trip at a time, and each day has a story! Most stories are pleasant in our memories, although at the time som "seas are rough"! The trip on the Pacific west coast has many lengthy passages, the stories of the Papagayos, with the winds, are not an exaggeration! If you've read of any of the cruising in this area, they say travel with "one foot on the beach". It's true, you have good water depths just off the beach! We spent 2 days, anchored on the beach, or very near, with the winds blowing so hard our buddy boat had it's dinghy blowned upside down, then came back right side up before I could go help, thank goodness! His dinghy was behind the stern of his 71' boat, so "mostly out of the wind"! The rest of the Papagayos trip was mainly uneventful! The fishing boats share the good travelling water, most of the time! Sometimes maybe compete for it! They just think we're fishing!
Equipment we wouldn't have been without include: watermaker, Paravanes, SSB (on the Atlantic side), covered bridge. The 43' defever did well in rough seas, but the Paravanes take about 90% of the unbearable roll out of long passages. They even help in the Pacific coast "rolly" anchorages! We carried 600 gallons of fuel, so had good range, as you would with either the Defever 44' (900-1000 gallons), or the Island Gypsy with even more fuel capacity! When we were travelling from Trinidad west bound, the pirates were active off Venezuela and Columbia, so we stayed offshore on the islands of Curacao, Bonair and Aruba, and also went non-stop and 60+ miles offshore on our way to Cartagena. Three sailboats when into a harbor on the way for an overnight. They were hit by pirates, not a pleasant story! One thing we did find was that the pirates preferred Canadian flagged boats, as they don't normally carry firearms! It seems that some "Yanks" do carry firearms, so they avoid them! Not a possibility if you travel thru Mexico as we're told they would confiscate your boat & all, if you violate their laws!! These problems vary from day to day, so just be cautious, as you venture into foreign waters! One precaution is secure your dink with chain & Lock, or better yet, keep on the bridge, etc. They say an outboard motor is the equivalent of an individuals annual wage/salary, in many of these countries! Very rough seas on this 400nm stretch, along with a storm, perhaps the roughest we experienced!
Going thru the Panama Canal we hired an Agent to procure our necessary paperwork, etc. He was very professional, timely and expensive! After we went thru and were anchored off Panama city, Panama a sailboat came in and anchored, awaiting passage from west to east. He said he was riding a taxi to start getting his passage paperwork. The taxi driver said he could help him get this accomplished so he hired him. The driver drove him to all the necessary stops/places, along with supply trips, etc, and charge him $65. Of course, the passage cost at that time was $500 for a boat less than 50' overall length. Yes, they do measure your boat! Your line handlers, and lines(rented), are additional!
Best wishes! Dick & Mary Jo Bradford
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:15 PM   #49
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by ArchF August 5th, 2013, 8:37 am

I am doing the great loop single handed right now in my 36 ft Marine Trader. I am 3,024miles from Melbourne FL, my starting point.
I have done well over 100 locks having come up through the Champlain, Chambly, Rideau, and the Trent Severn. Came through the Georgian Bay and North Channel. I am now in Frankfort Mi on Lake Michigan.

I plan to be in the Keys for Christmas.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:23 AM   #50
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Single handing in the locks. What type boat do you have?

Marty
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #51
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I'm in the early planning Stages of a trip from the panhandle to the Exuma's. planning on Georgetown and then return. Next spring possibly.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #52
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Georgetown Bahamas

We went to two Georgetown Regattas, in 2000 & 2001. Lot's of fun, it's better if your as self-sufficient as possible, as anchoring out is done by most. Marina is small & limited as often over 400 boats attend. The bay is large though and lots of anchorages scattered throughout. Water available at the grocery store "dinghy dock". Have you looked at? George Town Cruising: Home Dick & Mary Jo
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #53
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We went to two Georgetown Regattas, in 2000 & 2001. Lot's of fun, it's better if your as self-sufficient as possible, as anchoring out is done by most. Marina is small & limited as often over 400 boats attend. The bay is large though and lots of anchorages scattered throughout. Water available at the grocery store "dinghy dock". Have you looked at? George Town Cruising: Home Dick & Mary Jo
Thanks LadyMJ. I'm researching all I can and appreciate the insight
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #54
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Georgetown: Meat is expensive and difficult to find better cuts. You may want to stock up. Water is available at a dinghy dock. If you do not have a water maker bring several 5 gallon water jugs so you can cut down on fairly long dinghy rides for water.

Marty
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:19 PM   #55
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Hi, Dick and Mary Jo! Thank you, again, for your fantastic response. I will tell you that it sent me scurrying to research "Paravanes," a concept that I believe I now understand... assuming that you weren't using them to eliminate marine mines. (If you were, that was an element of your voyage that you skimmed over too quickly!)

I had also never heard of SSB, though have often considered getting a HAM license. The SSB is, obviously, almost infinitely easier and very good advice.

We had not heard of pirates near Venezuela, and I have wondered in my fantasy world about refueling there because of their ridiculously cheap subsidized fuel. (Has anyone out there ever taken advantage of this?) The opportunity to save literally thousands of dollars on refueling makes that an appealing idea, but who knows what things will be like if/when we ever get to make this trip?

Anyway, thank you for your wonderful response!

Shanty
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:30 PM   #56
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Larry

I think you will find a 34' American Tug to be an almost perfect Great Loop Boat.

Marty
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:38 PM   #57
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Shanty,
The Cruiser's SSB frequencies doesn't require a Ham license, in fact, I think there have been some changes down this line! Others cruisers I'm sure will give you the updates! Refueling in Venezuela was not an option for us, 10+ years ago, but all things change! In all our cruising years, other boaters were what got us through many difficult times! Most all boaters (+95%) are the best source of current information in your cruising areas! Generally everyone is there to "lend a helping hand, or provide information" to help us less informed, as we were! The pirate situation is normally identified over the cruisers' networks, if they still exist!
Best regards, Dick & Mary Jo
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:46 AM   #58
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Shanty

We are in the Eastern Caribbean. We know of boats that have refueled in Venezuela. Generally they have had to remove their American flag to avoid problems.

We are well aware of the attacks on cruising boats from "pirates" based out of Venezuela. Noon Site (web site) reports these fairly well.

In general most cruisers don't think the cheap diesel is worth the risk. If you have large tanks you can fuel in the Grenadines directly from a tanker which gets it diesel from Venezuela. Much cheaper than elsewhere but higher than from Venezuela.

Diesel in Trinidad is no longer cheap for foreign boats as the country has instituted a two price system, one for nationals the other for foreigners. When we were last there the foreigner price was based on the average price for diesel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Final comment on the pirates. They seem to operate most often in the offshore islands of Venezuela. The attacks on the Trinidad to Grenada run have been isolated.

Marty
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:30 AM   #59
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Larry

I think you will find a 34' American Tug to be an almost perfect Great Loop Boat.

Marty
We are on Day 265 of doing the Great Loop and have traveled 5,600 mi so far with 1,100 mi remaining.

Marty is right, as our American Tug has proven to be the perfect boat for a couple doing the loop. It is the ideal compromise of size, draft, height, and economic operation, along with great style and quality. Everywhere we have gone we get attention from people asking about the boat.

I wouldn't trade this boat for any other looper boat we saw, and we are already talking about doing the Great Loop again!
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #60
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How far have you taken your Coastal Cruiser?

Have you completed the Great Loop?

Or a long trip on the ICW?

Have you traveled the Pacific Coast into Mexico and beyond?

Have you completed the inside passage to Alaska?

This is a thread to make others dream. Tell all about your voyages so we can dream about that voyage and someday make them ourselves.

I dream of going down the pacific coast into Mexico, then crossing into the Caribbiean if possible. Has anybody done that?

Personally in my Coastal Cruisers I've made the inside passage from Washington to Alaska twice, including two Gulf of Alaska crossings.

This is a trip everybody should take, and the great thing is anybody with a boat big enough to sleep on can do the inside passage. Fuel avaibility is a non issue for almost any size boat, and the scenery is unforgettable.

The gulf Of Alaska is not for the faint of heart, and requires a range of at least 300 NM but the crossing opens up the great cruising grounds of Prince william Sound.

So where have you gone, and how did you like it. Please do tell.
This has been a great thread- Thanks for starting it!! I've recently discovered Tony Fleming's fantastic Inside Passage videos on YouTube, and it has certainly sparked an interest is someday cruising that area (though in a more modest boat!). Summers on the hook in the Inside Passage, winters on the hook in Baja - sounds like a dream to me!
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