This trip will stretch my comfort zone , imagine all the cities we will pass through!
(captain John’s interactive great loop map)
We first heard of the Great Loop not much more than a year ago. Reactions when telling about our plans has ranged from “Awesome, that is on our bucket list” to “what? How do you get to the Gulf from Chicago??” to “Never heard of such a thing”. So here is an intro to the trip called America’s Great Loop.
We have joined a club called the AGLCA (Americas Great Loop Club) to access routing, planning and forums for networking as we plan and work away around the loop. The founders of the group are Ron and Eva Stob who did the loop and wrote a book titled Honey Let’s Get a Boat.
Roughly 100 boaters complete the loop each year, so it is a fairly small group.
The route takes us out of Lake Michigan through Chicago in mid September. Follow the Illinois River,Mississippi for few hundred miles, then veer off to the Tennessee River and down through the Tennessee Tom waterway.
Our plan is to reach the Gulf of Mexico some time in early November then go east along the gulf coast to Carrabelle and cross the gulf to Florida around Early December.
The winter months will be in Florida; Clearwater, Fort Myers, Okeechobee Lake, Key West and possible Bahamas.)
In the Spring head North on the ICW (Intercoastal Waterway)
Summer will be up Chesapeake Bay, past the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson, across the Erie Canal, into Canada on the Trent Severn Canal System to Georgian Bay.
At this point we well be heading toward home waters- and will utilize the harbor reports and resources of the Great Lakes Cruising club. The route will follow the North Channel along the Canadian Coast of Lake Huron, west to Mackinaw Island, and we plan to cross our wake under the Mackinaw Bridge a year after are starting date.