Special Blog Post From Captain Sam
Well, it’s over!
Two loops in three years, one month.
It was the most wonderful experience as a couple of our lifetime.
Traveling by boat challenged our skills, patience, and faith at times.
We would not trade it for anything, and we would do it again all over the same way.
Well, maybe without some of the “What Not to Do” scenarios!
We met incredible people, both in person and virtually through our videos and social media!
While I had a 40-year career in aviation and still have close friends from way back, the friendships developed in boating are much different.
There is just a different type of bond: from pulling into a marina helping others tie up to getting help from complete strangers when we broke down.
How We Got Started
When we started the first loop, Rev wanted to video all the trips and publish them.
I was against it, having spent most of my career trying to stay out of the limelight and under the radar.
Rev said she was doing it anyway.
So I reluctantly agreed. I mean, what else could I say?
Our first videos were talking heads mostly to keep family aware that we were still alive.
At about trip #15, we were getting questions on our channel that were technical in nature.
I felt like we had to get it right and it led us to a more educational approach.
In the end, Rev videoed every trip and we made it a point to share what we were learning along the way.
But there is a benefit to us as well. Someday when we are in our rocking chairs, we can sit and watch. We will probably say, who are those two people?
We Learned A Lot and Improved
Rev honed her skills as First Mate, videographer, and chef constrained by the challenges of a mini kitchen.
I gained enough experience to obtain a Master Captain’s license; and with time spent in the engine room (and packs of band-aids) I gained an appreciation for mechanics! I discovered my limitations as well.
We both learned a lot about each other and grew closer together as we marveled at a new way to view our great country, faced daily challenges, enjoyed the freedom, and learned new skills.
It certainly made us appreciate EVERYTHING more.
Our Two Loops
We went around America’s Great Loop. Twice. It is still sinking in!
Our first loop was the “route most traveled” by those doing the loop: The Trent-Severn, Georgian Bay, North Channel, eastern side of Lake Michigan and the Keys.
We kept track of each stop using Google My Maps. It’s really easy to put a pin at each stop. Even anchorages.
To further help us document our loop, we kept an itinerary for our first loop and you can see it here.
Rev also wrote a blog and took pictures as we went along. (Click the link in each trip on the itinerary to see the blog posts.)
After the first one, we just weren’t finished cruising so it was an easy decision to continue.
We started two days later!
Luckily, (although it didn’t seem like it at the time) since we couldn’t get into Canada we had to take an alternate route on our second loop.
So, we saw all five Great Lakes – what an incredible experience!
As a result, we cannot wait to go back up to the Great Lakes plus do more Canada cruising someday!
We also saw the western side of Lake Michigan, which was just as lovely as the eastern side, although different.
And we took the Okeechobee Waterway, so we could experience that as well.
We tracked our trip the second time around again (you can see it here) but Rev did not write a blog. It was just too much work.
Although I will say, her videos got better and better.
Even though we had a total of 234 trips, we stayed at 238 places, since we stopped at additional marinas due to scheduling or needed repairs. During the two loops we only stayed at the same place 36 times, which gave us a total of 202 unique stops.
Here are some statistics for comparison:
Finishing the Second Loop
It was such a thrill to finish America’s Great Loop for the second time.
There are many people who have never heard of “The Loop.”
And there are very few boaters that attempt to do the loop; and of those some never get to finish.
So, of course, the number of boaters who attempt and finish more than once is quite small in comparison.
We weren’t going to let anything stop us!
Here is the Here’s To Us!! docked at Henderson Wharf Marina in Baltimore after crossing our wake at the intersection of Middle River and the Chesapeake Channel!
She is looking good and served us well.
We are considering selling her and moving onto the Great Lakes with a different boat.
In any case, we will continue to have boating adventures, help to educate others, and explore many exciting options as we move forward.
A special thanks to family, friends and fellow loopers as we moved along the two loops.
Also, to those who met us along the way and your gracious hospitality. We have made so many new friends!
For now, it is enjoying life during the summer in the Chesapeake Bay.
Captain Sam – “Over and Out”