|ON LINE & ON YOUR MIND
Monthly News & Updates
on America's Great Loop,
from Capt. John
|. . . AROUND AMERICA'S GREAT LOOP
and let Capt. John show you how.
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General thoughts about Looping:
You don't just cruise it. . . You live it!
Boating itself can be a great adventure, but cruising
the Great Loop is the greatest adventure of all. Looping
provides you with all the excitement and discoveries of the
very first voyagers to set foot in this New World. Even
today, for all of us who go down to the sea in ships, when
we take to the water in our boats we are joining the ranks
of our history making Pioneers an Adventurers. On
America's Great Loop, there is always an unknown ahead
of you - where incredible sights and adventure await
around every bend in the rivers and waterways.
You can of course, cruise the Loop alone, but the
greater satisfaction is in boating with others. Shipmates on
this voyage experience a bonding - be they family or
friends. Teamwork makes everything on your boat
wonderfully better. Working together to leave the dock,
enter a Lock, cruising and anchoring out will expand your
life and relationships. If you are doing this with the one
you love, lucky you! It is a bond that will glue the two of
you together forever.
There will never be a day spent cruising the Loop,
that you don't learn something new. There is never a day
when you are not required to make a decision you've
never made before. The very biggest risk in boating
America's Great Loop is to your own ego.
There will be times when wind, wave, or current becomes
the master and you the slave. Somewhere along the way,
your ego will be lost overboard. That's the good news!
For with the loss of your ego, comes wisdom. Times like
this are when you will realize your weakness and God's
strength. When you realize this, it will make you a better
person, a better spouse, a better friend, and a better
First of all, you may have to learn a new language.
Boats don’t have fronts or backs - they have bows and
sterns with bow lines and stern lines. There are a few
knots you need to know. There is nothing intuitive about
making boats go. You will always want to make the boat
go faster but that burns a lot more fuel. This requires a
bit of education. You must know the rules of the road,
and boat safety. You need to learn tides and how to
anchor. It's all a big continuing education class when you
are on the water. I've been on it 24 years, I learn
something new every voyage, every year, almost every
day. So don't go thinking you have to learn it ALL before
you go. If you get caught up in that myth, you'll never
learn it all, and therefore will never go! Learn what you
reasonably can to be a good safe boater, then go. The
most valuable lessons you will learn are waiting for you on
America's Great Loop. It teaches all of us our best lessons!
Have lots of fun and prepare yourself to be inspired!
Mostly, cruising the Great Loop is just plain fun. If you're
smart, you will have more money for fun, than you need
for your boat and boat fuel. From trolling and catching a
really big fish, exploring a hidden cove, eating out at a
wonderful waterfront restaurant, having a nightcap at a
crazy Tiki Bar, finding the best ice cream cone in the most
unexpected places, or just relaxing at anchor in a quite
paradise cove, enjoying the sunset and reading a book -
cruising the Loop is a magical time of pure freedom fun &
The Great Escape
Boating the Loop is all consuming of your attention.
While you are aware of each minute, weeks pass like
days, and time somehow becomes measured by sunsets
instead of hours. Long before this voyage is over, I
guarantee you will ask yourself, shipmate or someone:
"What day is it?" Not "What time is it?"
You will become resolutely courageous, fearless,
and develop great fortitude. It takes intrepidness to
venture out into the unknown, even if the unknown is
safe. Not everyone can do this. That makes you very
special. You are intrepid! And FYI - based on 24 years of
keeping records, of those that have expressed interest in
cruising the Loop - only 1 in 230 have so far reported they
actually did it. That makes you NOT just one out of a 100,
but one out of 230.
This is reason number one for cruising America's
Great Loop. Joy is more than happiness or pleasure, or
fun. It is an elevation of your entire spirit – a rejoicing.
Can cruising the Great Loop give you joy? You bet it can
and will. Ask anyone that's done it. Crossing your wake is
like winning an Olympic Gold medal. You will feel the joy!
The accomplishment, the adventure, the total experience is
overwhelming. Your adventures are out there, your joy
unbounded. It is an adventure, an experience, an
awakening you will relish and cherish and talk about the
rest of your days.
Dining while cruising the Great Loop:
It's dine in or dine out all the way around. I prefer to
dine out. My boating philosophy includes "eat to live on
my boat" and "live to eat on shore". When cruising the
Loop you can savor the flavor of a five star seven course
meal and a great bottle of wine at Mackinac Island's
Grand Hotel. Or grab a burger hot off a wood fired grill a
half block from Lady's Bridge Marina. You can treat
yourself to some Oysters Rockefeller at Boss Oysters or
to what may be the best fried catfish in world at Bobby's
Fish Camp. Then just wait until you discover The
Fisherman's Wife and her homemade pies.
You can dress up or dress down and be yourself at
some wonderful waterfront restaurants from Hurricane
Patty's in St. Augustine to The Cove at Leland (Fishtown)
on Lake Michigan, or The River Dock Restaurant on the
Illinois River. This of course is naming just a few of my
When dining on your boat - the menu varies from
PP&J to canned peaches. Or you may want to cook up
the fresh catch of the day. That gas grill on the stern
of your boat will certainly get a lot of use whether it be
burgers, hot dogs, grilled shrimp or walleye. The fresh
catch of the day is the only thing that keeps me from
going out to eat.
What you need to know . . .
1. This is absolutely the safest long distance voyage on
the planet. Sure, one needs to be a safe boater in a safe
suitable boat and know all the rules of the road. Beyond
that, this voyage is safer and easier to complete than
you can possibly imagine in advance. When it is over...
You will wonder what it was you ever worried about!
2. There is no shortage of adventure or discovery on
America's Great Loop. None! Every day will be an
adventure, and everyday you will discover something
3. For every NYC, Chicago, New Orleans and St.
Louis, there are a thousand hidden anchorages, harbors,
small towns and villages where you will discover your
fondest and most favorite memories cruising the Loop.
4. Cruising on a boat is the great equalizer. When
cruising the Loop you will share the waterway and
anchorages with some million dollar boats. My son and
I anchored next to a 90 foot yacht for 2 days. We
shared a Beach Bar BQ and a fresh caught fish fry
'shore lunch' the next day. In our conversations, the
owner said he spent $3 million for his yacht. We told
him we spent $3,000 for ours. . . And we all laughed
aloud together! Realizing, here we were - at the exact
same destination, at the exact same time, having the
exact same fun.
5. The Great Loop is high quality cruising. The
Canadian Heritage Canals, Georgian Bay, the Great
Lakes, the Inland rivers, the Gulf & Atlantic ICWs are
all shockingly beautiful. Who knew there are such
awesome and safe destinations within the United States
you could reach in your own boat? It is all so far, yet
so close to home. . .
6. Cruising on your boat is wonderfully easy and
relaxing, but it is mostly about patience, fortitude and
persistence. Point your boat in the right direction, take
care you don't hit anything along the way, and you’re
good to go just about anywhere in the world.
7. TV on a boat is stupid. You won't watch much TV
cruising the Loop. I watch the News & Weather. The
rest is a waste of your time.
8. When cruising the Great Loop, every single day will
energizes your life. Everyday is exciting. Everyday is
different. You will look forward to every one!
9. When cruising the Great Loop, other boaters, the
Coast Guard, Bridge and Lock Masters all, refer to you
by your boat's name. Remember this when you
get the urge to name your vessel something really stupid
10. Never "over estimate" the experience, skill, or
common sense of another vessel's Captain. No matter
how big or expensive his boat may be. There are Village
Idiots everywhere. Some of them own really big and
11. Slower is always much better than faster. Not only
do you save fuel, but most boating accidents happen
because someone was trying to get somewhere in a
hurry. Take your time. There's no rush. Enjoy the
12. On America's Great Loop, you find great people
everywhere you go. This is so very true. Boaters (for
the most part) are an extremely friendly & helpful
group of people. "Loopers" are the best of all.
13. Rough passages, boat maintenance, getting trapped
on board for days of nonstop rain, living in cramped
quarters, not having enough space, or fresh water,
lightning storms, traveling at speeds which make a snail
seem supersonic. . . You will experience this; but
cruising the Loop makes it's more than worth every
miserable stinking moment.
14. All voyages include a few times when a great steak
and/or ice cream will be the sole topic of all your
thoughts and conversation.
15. A very good strong Bimini top and a good hat will
be worth their weight in steak and ice cream.
16. How do you like your Forts?
When cruising America's Great Loop, you will
realize we have a startling history of warfare. From
Atlantic ICW on the east coast, across the Great
Lakes, and down the Mississippi or Tennessee - it is
almost as if you are cruising from Fort to Fortress.
When will men ever stop killing each other?
17. Remember - Davy Jones Locker is full of all kinds
of stuff. Favorite hats, Ray Bans, Rolexes, Reeboks,
Montblancs, IPads, IPods, IPhones, keys, wallets,
flashlights, knives, tools . . . you name it, its down
there. So, if you don't want to loose it - don't take it. I
recommend you leave your most valuable of valuables
at home locked up in your Bank's Safety Deposit Box.
18. You don't just cruise the Great Loop. . . You life it!
So prepare yourself for an experience that will inspire
you. Cruising the Loop, which is a minimum 1,500
miles longer than the Nile; makes it truly an 'epic'
boating adventure. Stopping and lingering at most of the
wonderful destinations and getting to know some of the
local natives along the way, is what will turn this
boating adventure into the most cherished experience of
Entertainment around the Great Loop route:
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... There is just so much to do cruising around America's Great
Loop you can't possibly do it all. You can bask in the bright lights of Broadway or chill out in Hideaway Harbor. Of
course, everyone loves New York and there are a million reasons why: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State
Building, Grand Central Station, the Ellis Island National Monument, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Museum
of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Times Square, Broadway, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, 5th Avenue and Central
Park, and your cruise on the Hudson won't be complete without a visit, tour and lunch at the "CIA" - that's the
Culinary Institute of America.
Every day on the Great Loop you will discover some form of entertainment that’s beyond anything you will
experience anywhere else. There are the Fish Festivals, Shrimp Festivals, Crab Festivals, Lobster Festivals, Catfish
Festivals and even Walleye Festivals. On the Atlantic side you'll have Plays, Movies, Museums galore. There's also
some of the best Golf courses in the USA, you can boat right to their docks.
If sight seeing is your thing, you in for a real treat all the way around the Loop. 38 of the top 50 North American
tourist attractions are reachable by boat on America's Great Loop. Yes, you can boat right to Washington DC
where everything from the Smithsonian to the White House awaits your visit. If you add Canada, Montreal, and
French Quebec to your route, you will see Blue Whales on the Saguenay River.
Entertainment along the way... Wonderful waterfront restaurants, tempting tourist attractions, and more places you
will want to stop at, see and explore than you can shake your paddle at... It's all a part of what I mean when I say
prepare yourself for "more fun than fuel".
|Copy of Capt John's SUPER LOOPER - Newsletter