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|So. . . Just how safe is this voyage anyway?
| Cruising America's Great Loop is beyond doubt the very safest 'long distance' voyage on the planet - and I would never mislead you about that!
Most "Loopers" average cruising near 6,000 (over or under) statute miles on their voyage around the Loop. With the possible exception of a few areas, we
never cruise after dark and our daylight segments are generally an average of between 40 and 60 miles per day.
Of that 6,000 miles, we have only two locations that require us to leave totally protected waters and enter the ocean. One is a 76 mile crossing the
bend in Florida's panhandle between Carrabelle and Steinhatchee, FL. The other is a easy 22 mile run about a half mile off shore from Manasquan Inlet, NJ
to Sandy Hook and into Raritan Bay. Both of these crossings are safely made by leaving early and arriving during daylight.
The entire rest of your voyage consists of cruising very protected inland waterways including the Gulf & Atlantic Intracoastal Waterways, across a
few Bays & Sounds and of course, across (or along) a portion of the Great Lakes. The rest of your journey will be on the Inland Rivers including the
popular Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland rivers, beautiful Kentucky Lake, and the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway.
All in all, this is a wonderful, relaxing, easy going and safe voyage. You will cruise in a counter clockwise direction to take full advantage of the tides
and currents (this saves a great deal of fuel). In addition, you will want to time the start of your voyage so that you are taking advantage of the perfect
boating weather in each geographic region. This way, you will be boating across the cooler North in Summer, heading down the beautiful Inland Rivers in
Fall, cruising across the much warmer Gulf in Winter, and heading up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in Spring.
It doesn't matter where you start, but it matters when you start depending on where you are starting from.
Go with the flow. . . Cruising America's Great Loop in the recommended counter clockwise direction, will bless you with the best fuel economy.
Cruise it slow and easy and you will be blessed with the safest voyage. Cruise it by the recommended seasons, and you will be blessed with the very
best weather - as well as the very best scenery.
These pictures are taken on Kentucky Lake (above) and the Tennessee River (below) in Fall. This is the prime time to be in the Heartland of
America as the colors stretch from their reflection in the water to the Great Smoky Mountains.
|It is America's most Amazing, Attainable & Affordable, Boating Adventure!
An Epic journey any safe boater in a safe suitable boat can make.
"Loopers" are those of us cruising America's Great Loop. In the more extended definition, it includes those of us doing it as well as those of us who have
done it, including those of you about to do it. Loopers come from all areas and all walks of life. We are not pirates or drunken sailors, but indeed good
friendly God loving, law abiding citizens. As you will discover, this is a perfect time and opportunity for personal growth and spiritual rejuvenation. In fact,
I've said it many times, if you don't believe in God when you start this voyage - you will long before it is over.
Out here, in this amazing water world among boats and boaters, there are a boat load of myths when it comes to boats, living aboard and cruising. Those
myths are often brought forward from decades long ago. When it comes to cruising America's Great Loop. The truth is, we live aboard long distance
voyagers are not a bunch of drunken sailors. We "Loopers" are not actually "Looped". We call ourselves "Loopers" because we are cruising America's Great
Loop. Not because we are drunk! (lol)
This is an amazing voyage. It is an incredible 'boating' adventure. It is also exceedingly much greater than a 5,600 (plus) mile boat ride. It is an
experience that will change your life and give you a whole new pride and perspective of America. It is one that will present you with equally astonishing
amounts of excitement, entertainment and cherished memories ashore as it does on the water.
|Who are "Loopers" and what makes them so great?
Among Loopers, there is a remarkable amount of camaraderie. By far, Loopers are first and foremost 'responsible' boaters and are indeed the friendliest
and most helpful boaters on the water. That's saying a lot, as boaters in general are an incredibly friendly group of people.
Additionally, since we are all cruising the Great Loop by each geographic 'preferred weather' season, it is never long before we end up gathered into
friendly like minded groups. In any given area you will eventually find a group of like minded Loopers cruising together. With your handy VHF Marine
Radio, you will hear us talking, and even hear us hailing your boat on the radio inviting you to join in the conversation. Without doubt, between meeting other
boaters during wait times at Locks and Lift Bridges, or in anchorages and Marinas, you will eventually meet up with like minded Loopers.
This voyage can be, (and will be if you want it to), a very social event. Ask any boater who has completed the Great Loop: "What their most
memorable and enjoyable part of it was?" - and I guarantee that included in their answers will be a reference to the wonderful nice and friendly people they
met along the way. It's just another one of the many reasons why this voyage is so much more than just a boat ride. You will not be alone, you will not be
isolated from other like minded boaters, and many of us make great long lasting friendships along the way.
|Here in this picture, (if you look hard) you can see six vessels
cruising the Great Loop together.
Not only is it fun. There is safety in numbers,
and it makes it impossible to get lost -
assuming of course, the guy in front doesn't make a wrong turn
and everyone else is paying attention! lol
|Sometimes. . . You will find yourself in the middle of no where.
Sometimes. . . It is in the middle of no where, you find yourself.
While safety is always the primary concern, and boating under the influence is just as serious as driving under the influence. Fact is, that's a
fact of life in today's world just as much as texting and driving or falling asleep at the wheel. Additionally, every village has its Idiot, and some of those
idiots have bigger and more expensive boats than you or I. So don't go thinking that just because 'the other guy' is in a bigger, better, newer or more
expensive boat - he knows what he is doing.
For any situation concerning the dangers above, I would rather be on my live aboard size boat cruising 7 to 10 mph, than in my car going 75 miles
an hour. This is a wonderful safe voyage for any safe boater in a safe boat. Boaters are wonderful people and Loopers are the very best of the best. For
sure this is a safe voyage, and even more so, this is really a voyage every American boater should make. You will forever cherish and talk about: "your
experience cruising America's Great Loop!
|DISCOVER AMERICA'S GREAT LOOP