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Old 01-06-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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Oh, just some Great Loop daydreaming?

Well it's 0 degrees here in Louisville, Ky. truck won't start and I'm daydreaming about doing the loop. Lord willing and creek don't rise, I'll be starting the loop about Oct. 1, 2015.

So I'm learning about schedule, I'm figuring 4 seasons to complete, 10/1 - 10/25 to get to Joe Wheeler SP from Louisville for the fall rendezvous, another couple weeks to reach the gulf. Short hop the gulf (single handing so can't do the full crossing) and reach the warmth about 12/15.

Couple questions; Of the travel journals I've read, I have not seen anybody going around the tip of Florida and visiting the keys, they all use the Okeechobee cut thru. Why is? Must be something I'm missing.
Also when do folks start travelling north? The next two sort of solid dates appear to be the spring rendezvous the first week of May and Manhattan left turn mid to late may.

Anyway, anyone else daydreaming about this trip?
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Of the travel journals I've read, I have not seen anybody going around the tip of Florida and visiting the keys, they all use the Okeechobee cut thru. Why is? Must be something I'm missing.
If all you want to do is to go from the West Coast of Florida to the East Coast of Florida (and vice-versa) then using Okeechobee ICW saves a lot of miles. Only if you want to visit the Keys does it make sense to take that route. Or if you have a sailboat with a mast so high that even tipping it on the side will not take it under that 49' bridge at Port Myakka. (sp?)
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:16 PM   #3
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Well I guessed that! Lol. I just figure you have at least 2 months of winter to play where it's warm and the area around the keys just seems like the logical place to do that? Also this is coming from reading a limited number of journals, maybe many more folks go that way and I've just missed that.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:25 PM   #4
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Well I guessed that! Lol. I just figure you have at least 2 months of winter to play where it's warm and the area around the keys just seems like the logical place to do that? Also this is coming from reading a limited number of journals, maybe many more folks go that way and I've just missed that.
If you have the time I would not miss the Keys we enjoy the Miami area also
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:50 PM   #5
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If you have the time I would not miss the Keys we enjoy the Miami area also
I was down in your part of the world this past fall. Stayed at Patty's place in Buras. (Plaquemines Parish) Had a great time, caught many redfish. love that part of the country.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:00 PM   #6
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Great thread, Greg! I'm here in St Louis suffering through another forsaken winter as well. so the idea of traveling south couldn't be more inviting!
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:11 PM   #7
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Great thread, Greg! I'm here in St Louis suffering through another forsaken winter as well. so the idea of traveling south couldn't be more inviting!
Right now, the idea of traveling south is very inviting! (And I am in Florida, where it is going to drop down to about 15 degrees tonight!). However, full disclosure is that I am in Northern Florida -- not down there with the palm trees. :-)
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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Right now, the idea of traveling south is very inviting! (And I am in Florida, where it is going to drop down to about 15 degrees tonight!). However, full disclosure is that I am in Northern Florida -- not down there with the palm trees. :-)
I'd trade today's STL wx for Panhandle wx in about as much time as someone in MSP would trade for STL wx today!
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
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Greg, hello from former Louisvillians! We live in Cape Coral and will be beginning the Loop Mar 1. We've lived here for 20 years and have made many trips to the Keys. It is a longer trip to go to the Keys than Lake O but many Loopers do go to the Keys for the Winter, others cross to the Bahamas (usually via Lake O then South to cross over). To give you an idea of the mileage difference, we're 120 miles to Stuart via Lake O. It's 130 miles just to Marathon. The Keys are a great place to visit, but sometimes can be a challenge in the Winter because of wind. We got stuck in Marathon in late Feb 2012 for a couple of weeks, although not a bad place to get stuck.

Stay warm!

Gina
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Right now, the idea of traveling south is very inviting! (And I am in Florida, where it is going to drop down to about 15 degrees tonight!). However, full disclosure is that I am in Northern Florida -- not down there with the palm trees. :-)
I'm in Florida with the Palm trees. Expecting 40 tonight. Brrrrrrr.

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Old 01-06-2014, 06:14 PM   #11
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Right now, the idea of traveling south is very inviting! (And I am in Florida, where it is going to drop down to about 15 degrees tonight!). However, full disclosure is that I am in Northern Florida -- not down there with the palm trees. :-)
Your in LA (lower Alabama) which is west of LG (lower Georgia) where Jacksonville is. It was 84 here in Miami today. I rode 8 miles at Earhart park, and swatting mosquitoes when I stopped. AC still on. We hear rumors of something called "cool" heading this way.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #12
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Don't worry about the crossing to tarpon springs. This year I know of multiple single handers that did it. if you travel in a group you have the chance for some cat maps. Our crossing was uneventful with light winds and 1 ft seas.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:55 PM   #13
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I'm in Florida with the Palm trees. Expecting 40 tonight. Brrrrrrr. Gina
-4 right now...... -20 wind chill.... Why do we live here? I have no idea.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:28 PM   #14
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-4 right now...... -20 wind chill.... Why do we live here? I have no idea.
You do not "live" in -20 temps... you survive!

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Old 01-06-2014, 11:49 PM   #15
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Makes me appreciate the weather here as in yesterday on San Pablo Bay:

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Old 01-07-2014, 06:02 AM   #16
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Marathon would be a good choice to pick up a mooring for a couple of months of winter.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:48 AM   #17
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Hey, Greg. Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, I'm also stuck in the wonderful weather we are having in Louisville but, at least my truck started.

We are future loopers, also. Maybe we will see you on the river, what are you cruising in?
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:57 AM   #18
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Greg, hello from former Louisvillians! We live in Cape Coral and will be beginning the Loop Mar 1. We've lived here for 20 years and have made many trips to the Keys. It is a longer trip to go to the Keys than Lake O but many Loopers do go to the Keys for the Winter, others cross to the Bahamas (usually via Lake O then South to cross over). To give you an idea of the mileage difference, we're 120 miles to Stuart via Lake O. It's 130 miles just to Marathon. The Keys are a great place to visit, but sometimes can be a challenge in the Winter because of wind. We got stuck in Marathon in late Feb 2012 for a couple of weeks, although not a bad place to get stuck.

Stay warm!

Gina
Hi Gina, thanks for the info. So March 1st you'll cross over and head north. Is that early, late or pretty typical time to start up north? Will you go to the spring rendezvous, early May in Norfolk, Va?
I'm guessing my arrival in the Cape Coral area to be the beginning of December, so that gives me 3 full months to explore. Travelling between out of the way anchorages when the winds and weather allow. Maybe the Bahamas but I understand that is a pretty expensive side trip?
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:06 AM   #19
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Don't worry about the crossing to tarpon springs. This year I know of multiple single handers that did it. if you travel in a group you have the chance for some cat maps. Our crossing was uneventful with light winds and 1 ft seas.
I'm open to doing the full crossing but I would also like to visit some of the fishing towns in between. Was thinking about Carrabelle to Steinhatchee, then bounce down the coast, Cedar key, Crystal River, Clearwater and then Cape Coral. But no preset plans, never know who you might travel with and plans are meant to be changed.
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:13 AM   #20
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Hi Gina, thanks for the info. So March 1st you'll cross over and head north. Is that early, late or pretty typical time to start up north? Will you go to the spring rendezvous, early May in Norfolk, Va? I'm guessing my arrival in the Cape Coral area to be the beginning of December, so that gives me 3 full months to explore. Travelling between out of the way anchorages when the winds and weather allow. Maybe the Bahamas but I understand that is a pretty expensive side trip?
March/April is a good time frame to leave from here. Don't think we'll make it to the Rendezvous. We plan to spend as much time as we can in Canada and Great Lakes. Next year we may just cruise the AICW and maybe Bahamas and spend more time on the east coast. Let us know when you are in Fl. We've cruised the Fl west coast and Keys for the last 15 years.

Gina
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