The “Great Loop” is an approximately 7000 mile journey that circumnavigates 1/3 of the U.S.. We will begin our journey from the Gottschalk Marina located aboard Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base which is “Journey’s” home. We will travel the Intracoastal water way from NC to VA transiting the “Great Dismal Swamp” to Norfolk, Va. where Tom grew up in a boat building family on the shores of Willoughby Spit. We will continue to head north transiting the Chesapeake Bay to the C&D canal and then down Delaware Bay. Once we arrive at Cape May, NJ we will decide on our route to New York harbor. After super storm “Sandy’s” destruction on the Jersey coast and intracoastal waterway we may elect to transit the 150 mile run to New York in the Atlantic Ocean. Once in New York we will travel up the Hudson river to the Erie Canal. The Erie Canal will connect us to the Oswego canal and Lake Ontario. The 60 mile crossing on the eastern end of Lake Ontario will take us into Canada and the Canadian Heritage Canal system. Regarded as the most beautiful section of the “Great Loop” we will transit the Trent Severn waterway to Georgian Bay which is the northern most section of Lake Huron. Once we arrive at Mackinac Island we will head south to Chicago and the Illinois River. The Illinois river connects to the Ohio River,Mississippi River and into the Tennessee River. We will take a side trip to Chattanooga to visit family and friends. Back on the Tennessee river we will connect to the Tombigbee waterway system to Mobile, Al. Continuing along the Florida’s panhandle we will decide on weather we will jump across the Gulf of Mexico from Carrabelle to Tampa or stay on the waterway around the “Big Bend” . We will continue to the Florida Keys where we will leave “Journey” for Christmas either in Atlanta or Los Angeles with Cait. During late February we hope to cross the Gulf steam for the Bahamas returning in April to Ft Pierce. Continuing north in Florida we plan to explore the St. Johns river for a few weeks. We will transit Georgia and South Carolina before completing the “Great Loop” in our home port of Camp Lejeune, NC.
We plan to follow the seasons staying in warm weather during our year long adventure. We will stop and anchor or tie up each day except during ocean crossings and only plan to run for 4-6 hours per day. Our preference is to get underway early in the morning arriving at our destination by 1300 so we can go ashore and explore. We are carrying guide books and about 60 pounds of charts. This adventure is about the “Journey” with the destination only being the end result. Our crew will consist of Tom, Melesia, Hank Clark (Melesia’s Dad) and of course “Mango” the flying dog.