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Old 08-07-2017, 09:46 AM   #1
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Lake Michigan to Florida

Considering the possibility of a trip down from mid Lake Michigan to bottom end of Florida. Boat will be a 7 knot trawler, 40', and I would be single-handing.
This is new territory for me, but not for some of you guys!
Allowing for weather, and leaving mid September, about how long should this trip take? (Not in a hurry)
What problems/hazards should I expect along that route?
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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The conventional looper wisdom is to be at Hammond or Chicago by Labor Day. Lake Michigan can get pretty snotty in mid Sept but the good news is there are ports and rivers you can duck into about every 20 miles or so. There can be real nice days in late Sept and early Oct but maybe not so many of them. Pay good attention to the weather. Lake Michigan can be vicious.

Next major challenge will be making it through the locks and dealing with commercial tows on a 40' boat. Others have done it single handedly but you really should have a crew. If I remember right, it is about a 179 mile trip.

The third challenge is crossing the Gulf O'Mex from Carrabelle or Apalachicola to Tarpon Springs. On a 7 knot trawler, you are looking at an overnight trip. Again, you really need a crew for that.

The trip normally takes about 3 months on a 7 knot trawler.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:11 PM   #3
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Two areas of difficulty as a single hander will be the locks and the non-stop Mississippi run. The Mississippi is really not set up for pleasure boats.
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:24 PM   #4
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Lots and f information with this group. Home - America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:58 PM   #5
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Slow Gypsy,I wish you well on your interesting voyage.
For Aussies wanting to understand the Great Loop, unlike anything in Australia,check p28 of the August Afloat Magazine(AFLOAT Magazine August 2017) article "America`s Great Loop" which may surprise, as you appreciate how much of the USA is accessible by the Great Loop we often read about. It sure added to my understanding, what a great opportunity for exploring your country and its complex inland waterways.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:02 PM   #6
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If you decide to do the loop route you will pass by our marina . I hope you have the time to stop by . Whatever you decide have a great trip .

Also there's a Colvin design steel sailboat at our dock that you would probably like to see .
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:11 PM   #7
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I want to thank everyone for your suggestions and encouragement. Wishing me good luck, and I don't even have the boat yet!
I am working on it, and I'll let you know if things work out within the next couple of weeks - just wanted to know what I would be up against.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:48 PM   #8
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Will be passing through Chicago in mid September. Joe Wheeler state park in mid October for AGLCA rendezvous. Should be a lot of loopers there heading in the same direction. Hope to be in Fort Myers in mid November. Doing the Tennessee Tombigbeee route. Always nice to know there are others doing the same thing.

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:51 AM   #9
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Slow Gypsy,


Have a good trip!


Cheers


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Old 08-10-2017, 05:21 AM   #10
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I would run down the East coast , 10,000 times more interesting than what is after Chicago, heading south.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:06 AM   #11
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I would run down the East coast , 10,000 times more interesting than what is after Chicago, heading south.
Certainly a more interesting route but not from mid Lake Michigan in mid September on a 7 knot boat.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:59 PM   #12
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I would run down the East coast , 10,000 times more interesting than what is after Chicago, heading south.
Here's a rarity: I agree with FF 100% on this! Much easier and infinitely more scenic than the MS. Leaving mid-September, you want to do the first 1/3 of this as fast as possible (unfortunately). It can start getting real cold in October well into NY and facilities start closing.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:50 PM   #13
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We've been out for four years and 15000 miles. Lake Erie and Lake Michigan have been had the worst weather by far.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:20 PM   #14
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We've been out for four years and 15000 miles. Lake Erie and Lake Michigan have been had the worst weather by far.
Yup. You can travel 150 miles of open water to Chicago or 500 miles to Buffalo. I know which I'd pick in a slow boat leaving in September.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:26 PM   #15
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I would run down the East coast , 10,000 times more interesting than what is after Chicago, heading south.
The Tennessee River is beautiful and very interesting all the way to Knoxville. The Cumberland River is beautiful. Then the Gulf Coast is also interesting, especially to one not use to the area. OC is doing a great job of pursuing even the less visited areas like Lake Superior. Most Loopers miss it entirely.

Joe Wheeler State Park where the rendezvous takes place is a beautiful park. Tennessee, and even more Kentucky, really know how to do state parks. Several great ones on Kentucky Lake.

We even found St. Louis to be a very interesting stop down the Illinoi and Mississippi.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:18 PM   #16
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Just saw at Waterway Guide, they are closing the NY Canals to navigation 10/11.

https://www.waterwayguide.com/latest...s-september-13
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:22 PM   #17
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The Tennessee River is beautiful and very interesting all the way to Knoxville. The Cumberland River is beautiful. Then the Gulf Coast is also interesting, especially to one not use to the area. OC is doing a great job of pursuing even the less visited areas like Lake Superior. Most Loopers miss it entirely.

Joe Wheeler State Park where the rendezvous takes place is a beautiful park. Tennessee, and even more Kentucky, really know how to do state parks. Several great ones on Kentucky Lake.

We even found St. Louis to be a very interesting stop down the Illinoi and Mississippi.
Is there a place to stop in St. Louis now? Or did you go up the Mizzoo to St. Charles, or take a car from Alton?
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:31 PM   #18
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Is there a place to stop in St. Louis now? Or did you go up the Mizzoo to St. Charles, or take a car from Alton?
We did a car from Grafton. There are a couple of marinas on the Missouri but we were too big. Alton is the other option. We arrived in Grafton late on a Friday and then left the following Tuesday. That gave three complete days to check out the Missouri, to explore St. Louis and we did go visit Ferguson. We felt an obligation and we wanted to talk to some local residents of both races. We enjoyed St. Louis. We do plan to return and go up the Missouri River, perhaps as soon as next year or we might delay until our next Loop.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:59 PM   #19
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We do plan to return and go up the Missouri River, perhaps as soon as next year or we might delay until our next Loop.
I don't hear much of cruising on the Missouri River. It seems most people don't do it. I was thinking of heading for the upper Mississippi next year from the great lakes, turning right at Grafton. This seems to me to be a more interesting trip than the Missouri, but I haven't done a lot of detailed research. I recall you saying something about the upper Mississippi not being worthwhile in another thread. I'm curious over the choice between the two, and comparisons from any who may have experience in that area.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:29 PM   #20
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I don't hear much of cruising on the Missouri River. It seems most people don't do it. I was thinking of heading for the upper Mississippi next year from the great lakes, turning right at Grafton. This seems to me to be a more interesting trip than the Missouri, but I haven't done a lot of detailed research. I recall you saying something about the upper Mississippi not being worthwhile in another thread. I'm curious over the choice between the two, and comparisons from any who may have experience in that area.
I think the upper Mississippi would be worthwhile and interesting. Definitely want to do it once. Not a stretch one will likely want to repeat annually. Every river and every part of the country has it's uniqueness.

You're right, not many do cruise the Missouri. You can cruise over 700 miles up the Missouri and 600 up the Mississippi to Minneapolis.
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