Discovering the Great Loop

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We start this blog as a diary of our travels in our boat. It’s more for us to remember where we have been, and secondarily for a few relatives and friends. Some of those have travelled extensively in the past and now have to remain more fixed. They want to follow along and see what happens. Some of these people may also be joining us for parts of our trip so I’ll also describe things about our boat and its operation. Nearly all our family and friends are from the western US. While anyone else out there is welcome to follow along, just realize I write this for that small group as well as to help us to reminisce when we get too old to keep doing this.

We find the eastern coastal area to be very different from that of the west. The Atlantic is not as rough or as cold or as wild as the Pacific, but the real difference is the intracoastal waterway, which does not exist in the west except for the Alaskan inside passage. Going from port to port in the western US means an open water trip. We do not wish to prove ourselves against the elements. In the east we can be off for a few nights at a remote anchorage, but then be back at a marina near the historic part of town (as we have been in both Brunswick and Savannah, GA) and enjoy the traditional old south.

Right now we are sitting at a marina in Savannah GA. We’re new to boating and have been at it 2 months. At the start of this (2014) year we bought a 1987 DeFever 47 POC (Performance Offshore Cruiser) and started a major refit. At the end of May we came to the boat and started on our way. What we really got the boat for is the Great Loop. Just go to “greatloop.org” to learn more about this.

This year we started a little late and did not know how to pilot the boat, so we decided to wait until next year for the loop and just meander from Florida up the Atlantic intracoastal waterway. We’ll go back to Florida when winter comes and start the loop in March next year.

This started in July 2013 when Sue was in India for a few weeks. I discovered the “Great Loop” on the internet. This is a 6000 mile trip, nearly all in protected waterways that covers much of the US east of the Mississippi (again, refer to greatloop.org). I grew up in North Idaho, and Sue in Santa Clara valley. We have travelled many places in the world, but never in the eastern US. This seemed like the perfect way to see it.

What the East has over the west is tradition. I remember that much of my early education in Idaho was about what happened here in the east. The revolutionary and civil wars, Erie canal, rise of the industrial US, etc. The oldest parts of the US, before good roads and the railroad, started on the waterways. A boat would be a great way to see them. Taking branches off the “main” loop you can see more. There are nearly 30,000 miles of accessible protected waterways in the US, all without ever taking the boat out of the water.

I’m writing several of these posts on August 30, 2014. I will back date this one to the start of our trip, and do the same for a few more that follow, so they will correspond to their content. Once I am caught up to where we are now, in Savannah, GA, things will post on the proper day.

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2 thoughts on “Discovering the Great Loop

  1. Carol Kerr says:

    Here it is, March 2015 and just discovered this blog site from a posting by Jack on Facebook. Wow! I would never have guessed this boat travel was in your future. I love it and will be following your adventures more closely! From what I can tell, there is an awful lot to learn about handling a boat, not to mention navigating!
    Godspeed you guys!

    Like

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