6 Years, 11 days in the making.
9,247 miles including side trips.
10,394 Gallons of Diesel.
WE’VE COMPLETED THE GREAT LOOP
Today is the day that everything up to this point has meaning. We cross our wake. We go GOLD.
In November, 2010 we bought Conductance and left her for the winter in her home port of Boston. In May of 2011 we started to bring her home. On May 30, 2011 we were in awe at the sight of the Statue of Liberty. At that time we didn’t know that we would be back to visit her 6 years later. There wasn’t even a notion that such a thing as A Great Loop was an adventure we ourselves would be heading on.
We saw the Niagara River, Lake Erie, The Trent Severn Waterway, The Rideau Canal, The Finger Lakes, as summer excursions. Loving the adventures of cruising and its wealth of knowledge and history in every port we often wondered if there was more. What next? Scott was commissioned to work in Nashville. We both looked at each other and asked, “Can we bring the boat?”. Research showed that there was this thing called The Great Loop that takes you through 4 of the Great Lakes, to Chicago down the Mississippi to the Gulf and then around Florida and up the east coast back to the Hudson River and then the Erie Canal to home. Still not convinced that we would do the run past Nashville we set off in June of 2015 to Nashville. The North Channel, an extension of Georgian Bay north of Manitoulin Island is the most stunning cruising on the Loop we have done. The Illinois River past Chicago not so much. The Mississippi again isn’t beautiful but the history is second to none. We turn east on The Cumberland River to Nashville.
While in Nashville the concept of returning back up the Mississippi is quickly realized that it isn’t feasible. There is a 250 mile stretch with no provisions or fuel. Going against the 5 knot current in that stretch would take so much time. We decided to run to Florida and the East Coast. So after Scott’s work is mainly complete we make a dash for Florida, on Christmas Day 2016. Leaving Conductance in Indiantown, FL as we head home til we can run again. March Break of 2017 we take a vacation on Conductance and enjoy the sunshine of Florida for a week. Leaving her again in Cocoa Beach, FL we head home hoping to be back to run the east coast. That journey begins in May 2017. So today June 10, 2017 we are back at the Statue of Liberty holding our gold flag and enjoying a celebratory red wine in the shadow of the Lady. New York City and its glory towers over us as we watch a gorgeous sunset and the lights of the city turn on.
Our bucket list did not include a sleepover at the Statue of Liberty but now that we have done so it should have been. The end of a perfect day. An end to an experience that only a few hundred a year have completed. The start of the new journey toward a platinum Great Loop flag as tomorrow we begin our journey.