Traveling America’s “Great Loop”

The link above leads you to the website for the extremely popular America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. The Association is composed of a group of boaters fanatical about cruising America’s east coast, “including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.”

Eva and Ron Stob started the organization when they attended a Trawler’s Fest in Melbourne, Fla., to sell their book, “Honey, let’s get a boat.” Along with the book, the Strobs offered a sign-up sheet for those interested in forming “America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.” That was 1999.

Today, the Association numbers well in excess of 250 and 70 boats, with an advisory council comprised of the founders and regular dinners at various locations.

The maps inside the website display the various means of transiting the “Great Loop,” whether it be by sailboat or by motor boat. Quite simply, the Great Loop shown is a circular route that begins, say, in Miami, Florida, up the inland Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway north to the Hudson River in New York, north again by the New York Barge Canal (e.g., the Erie Canal) to the Great Lakes, west to Chicago, the Chicago River, or by other alternative routes to the Mississippi River or by other Midwest rivers south to the Gulf of Mexico, east along the southern coast to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway down southerly along Florida’s west coast to the tip of the Florida peninsula, around the tip to the east coast of Florida, north back home to Miami, Florida, or other city or town along the Atlantic coast.

Those who have cruised the entire Loop, or Loopers as they are called, recall a memorable voyage they will remember the rest of their lives.

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