Possibly, the Greeks said it best:
    When they used the word "theamata" to describe the
Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Translated into English, "theamata" means:
"Must See - Must Experience"

    That perfectly describes cruising America's Great Loop!  
 To simply say that the Great Loop is a fantastic 6,000 mile voyage is really a gigantic
understatement. This journey is much - much more than a long distance boat ride. It will
take you to unbelievable destinations you never thought possible to reach in your own
boat. It will take you to places you cannot reach in a car or RV. It will take you on an
adventure like no other place, person, cruise ship or travel agency ever can.
 However. . . The 'boating experience' is only half the story. The
on shore experience is
absolutely a vital part of what makes your Great Loop adventure the experience of a
 From big city lights to the small towns and quintessential villages, your on shore
destinations will be where you and your 1st Mate, make your most favorite memories.
 You won't be alone on this voyage. Since "Loopers" cruise by the preferred boating
weather in each region, it won't be long before you meet up with other Loopers. Boaters
in fact are a friendly group of people and 'Loopers' are the very most friendly & helpful of
all. It is a rare voyage indeed that we don't meet and make some new friends and 'Boating
Buddies' to travel along the Loop with.
The Great Loop Adventure
      It's a loop. . . In fact it is a GREAT LOOP.  It doesn't matter where
you start. The end of your voyage is known as "crossing your wake" as
you will end in the same place you started without ever having to make a
  Timing is essential to boating in the very safest and best weather for the
area you are cruising in. If you start at Port St. Lucie on the Atlantic ICW,
you will want to head north on your journey in Spring. The best way to
time this portion of your voyage is to plan on being on the Hudson River
near the entrance of the Erie Canal by about mid May. This way you are
cruising in the cooler north during the hottest of Summer.
  Likewise, we want to be off the Great Lakes in mid to late September or
mid October (depending on the weather). This results in cruising down the
Inland rivers through the heartland of America in the Fall. If you take your
time, you will be arriving on the much warmer Gulf ICW in Winter.
        Cruising the America's Heartland in the beautiful Fall is a sight to behold. It will capture your heart and blow your
mind away. The picture above was taken from our anchorage on the Cumberland river. This river navigable year
round and will take you on a wonderful side trip to Nashville where you can visit the Grand Ole Opry and Country
Western Music's Hall of Fame.  
        Fishing is always great on the Cumberland & Tennessee rivers as well as Barkley, Cumberland & Kentucky lakes.
This area attracts anglers for all over the nation who come to test their skills against trout, strippers, and bass. The area
below the Lake (your route to Nashville) is known for it's exceptional trout fishing where 10 pounders are more normal
than the exception.  
It is as amazingly safe - as it is amazing!
        This voyage is Mouthwatering Meals' Mission waiting for you to discover! For those willing to travel far and
wide for the most flavorful Food & Wine experience on the planet, you are in for a real culinary treat. From the fresh
flavors of regional speciality restaurants, to savory seafood shanties to the quintessential taste specialties of New
York & Montreal's street food vendors or the most popular and trendy restaurants in America; America's Great Loop
is marvelously marbled with the Best Culinary Destinations in the world.
   It even includes a visit to the Culinary Institute of America, where you can watch and have lunch prepared by
some of the future greatest Chefs in the World. Furthermore, with your passport in hand and appetite in check, you
can feast on the best European and French cuisine in Montreal and Canada's famous French Quebec.
  Then there are the Wines & Wineries with their free tours and wine tasting. . . From the New York, through the
Hudson Valley, down the Erie Canal or across Canada, all the way to and through Michigan, Wisconsin, and down
the Illinois, Mississippi and Tennessee rivers, you will pass Wineries and Wine tasting events and extravaganzas
about as often as you pass the Coast Guard.
  From NYC famous 'Little Italy' & 'China Town' to Bobby's Catfish Cabin on the Tenn-Tom and from 'The
Captains' Wife' to 'Boss Oysters' on the Gulf ICW to 'Timbers' on Sanibel Island - this is a journey of gastronomic
guarantees. . . It's guarantees to top your list of life's most memorable meals.     
  FREEDOM. . . It just doesn't get any better than this. After all. . . You're the Captain! You decide where and when
you want to go and how long you want to stay when you get there.
  I am a very relaxed and laid back sort. My vessel is a humble vessel and I cruise on a frugal budget. I like to wear
'boat clothes'. However, I also cruise with a pair of slacks, a sport coat, dress shirts and a tie. I don't often wear
them, but I do love those 'special occasions' and destinations. One of my very favorites is staying the night and
having dinner at Mackinac Island's 'Grand Hotel'. They require a coat & tie after 6pm and for dinner. For me? It's not
the price that makes it expensive, it is putting on a coat & tie. When I do that, you can bet the food & service is
worth the change of clothes. So keep in mind, this is not a camp out. It is an adventure and it offers a wide variety of
things to do and see. Some of which, you may wish you had a coat and tie. Still however, it is your choice!
  FREESTYLE CRUISING is what you will be doing the entire voyage around the Loop. As the Captain of your own
ship, you go when you want, assuming weather permits. You stay as long as you want. This is freedom! It will make
you proud to be an American!
        If I ask you "would you know a 55 or 57 Chevy if you saw one?" You would probably say "Sure!" Fact is,
most of us recognize the old classic cars of the 50's, 60s, and 70's immediately when we see one.  But, what if I ask
you "Do you know a 1969 Grand Banks or 1970 Halberg Rassy when you see one?" To that, you might respond
with that "deer in the headlights" look on your face.
  Boat Makes and Models don't change as automobiles. In fact, with new paint & polish, a 1969 Grand Banks would
look as good as a 2016 model. So buying used vs new is seldom noticed. What does matter is how polite you are,
how seaworthy your vessel is, and how well you respect nature and follow the rules of the road.
  On this voyage, everyone of us - the boat bum to the boating billionaire - we end up cruising the same routes,
entering the same Locks and anchoring out at the same anchorages. We all get invited to the same Fish Fries, Beach
Barbecues and bring a dish boat parties. In other words, Whether you paid $350,000 for your boat or $3,500 for
your boat. We all have the same FUN in all the same places!
  On this voyage, it is the Fun. . . Enjoyment and Adventure that will count most! If you have a safe seaworthy boat
and you keep it looking 'ship shape' no one will care or notice how old it is or what you paid for it. Additionally, your
'on shore' experiences will be where you find and make your favorite and most cherished of memories.
      If you dream of "the voyage" - don't let a "dream boat" be your "dream buster". In fact, your boat should be
"your ticket" to realizing your dream voyage.   
Some people buy boats to show the world how far they've come.
Some buy boats to see how far they can go.
The choice is yours!
No boat should be one foot smaller than your comfort requires,
or one foot bigger than your safety demands!
- Capt. John
© 2017 www.thegreatloop.org
"An epic adventure worthy of your epic memoir." - Capt. John
America's Great Loop
You don't just cruise it. . . You live it!