South on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

Early yesterday morning we left Aqua Yacht Harbor and headed South into the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway that locals call the “Tenn-Tom.” Three locks and 55+ miles later, we arrived at Midway Marina in Fulton, Mississippi. As shown in the screen shot below from Nebo (a boat travel tracking app), our home for the day is on … Continue reading South on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

My Captain, my Hero

We are now eighteen travel days and just over 1100 miles into this adventure called America’s Great Loop. And what an exciting journey it has been! Every day, Rick’s expertise at boat handling and dedication to this trip amaze me! He’s rocking the Captain role! As his first mate, you might be surprised to know … Continue reading My Captain, my Hero

19 Boats in a Lock!

The caring, training (most sessions taught by experienced Great Loopers), friendships, and fun of the 2019 Great Loop Rendezvous ended Thursday evening with an enjoyable awards dinner. Early Friday morning a group of looper boats headed East on the Tennessee River for a ten day side trip to Chattanooga, led by a local boater. Later, … Continue reading 19 Boats in a Lock!

ALGCA Rendezvous

This Great Loop Rendezvous group photo was taken this morning at Joe Wheeler State Park, with a few members' boats in the background. Can you find us? Many good seminar sessions this week, ranging from previews of future travel and ports/anchorages, to finding a good weather window for the 170 mile Gulf of Mexico crossing, … Continue reading ALGCA Rendezvous

Great Loopers Care

Rhonda here.... Greetings from beautiful Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama! We're here with hundreds of folks in all stages of the Great Loop adventure....those who are dreaming and planning; those, like us, who are in progress; and those who have completed the Loop and earned the coveted "Gold Burgee". We proudly fly our … Continue reading Great Loopers Care

Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers!

The 1966 Percy Sledge tune When a Man Loves a Woman was recorded in FAME Studios in the tiny North Alabama town of Muscle Shoals. FAME Studios was established in 1959 and over the next two decades it and its successor/competitor Muscle Shoals Sound Studios (MSS) created much of the sound track of our (mainly … Continue reading Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers!

Up (or is it down?) the Tennessee River

Late yesterday we arrived at Aqua Yacht Marina on Pickwick Lake in northernmost Mississippi, after a beautiful - but slow - day on the Tennessee River. As we left the Clifton, TN Marina Friday morning, classic cruiser “God's Grace" (fellow looper) was just passing us on the river, having enjoyed a peaceful anchorage instead of … Continue reading Up (or is it down?) the Tennessee River

Paris Landing and the Collegiate Big Bass Bash!

Late morning on Thursday we slipped our lines at Green Turtle Bay, headed through the Barkley Channel and then south on Kentucky Lake/Tennessee River. After a short 45 mile trip, we arrived at Paris Landing State Park Marina, saw a couple of Looper friends we had met upriver, had dinner at the modest marina restaurant, … Continue reading Paris Landing and the Collegiate Big Bass Bash!

Thanks, Green Turtle Bay!

Greetings friends and family, Rhonda here.... What a wonderful week we've had in this special place! GTB is located between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake in northwest Kentucky. It's rather remote, but a very nice "resort" on rolling acres of trees with water all around. We have a great slip (close to the laundry--it's the … Continue reading Thanks, Green Turtle Bay!

Emerging from the Fog

I love this image of R&R (the boat and the people) emerging from a fog bank on the Mississippi River. It was a tremendous relief to get through the dense fog and regain situational awareness. Similarly, through new experiences, repetition, and training, Rhonda and I are starting to learn our duties as captain/first mate, communicate … Continue reading Emerging from the Fog

First anchorage, and on to Paducah!

After our long travel yesterday, we anchored at the Humphrey's Creek Anchorage, just south of the Ohio River's Olmsted locks. This was our first overnight experience "on the hook" and it could not have been better! A cool evening, dinner in the cockpit (open rear area of the boat), and a magnificent sunset. The designated … Continue reading First anchorage, and on to Paducah!

We did the Mighty Muddy Mississippi!

Last evening Rhonda hosted docktails aboard R&R for twelve of our new lock wall buddies. We met people ranging from those almost finished with their 6000 mile loop, to a couple just finishing their second day. We enjoyed the fellowship and did some planning for those who (like Rick) want to get through the Mississippi … Continue reading We did the Mighty Muddy Mississippi!

St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, and a Lock Wall

At 6:00 this morning at the Alton Marina, a volunteer from one of the looper boats called the lockmaster of the Mel Price Lock (just a mile south) to check when a group of ten boats could lock through. The lockmaster's response was that if we came right away, we could get through with no … Continue reading St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, and a Lock Wall

Peoria to Beardstown, an Illinois Odyssey

Yesterday we drove our rental car back from Lafayette to the Ivy Club in Peoria. Friends we met in Ottawa had passed through the Ivy Club while we were gone and, with our permission, checked and tightened our boat's dock lines. These people seem to look out for each other. A couple of Walmart runs … Continue reading Peoria to Beardstown, an Illinois Odyssey

Illinois Surprises!

Today, we planned to leave Heritage Harbor Marina at 2:00 PM with a pack of boats hoping to lock through the Starved Rock Lock when construction ended late in the afternoon. But (being curious and impatient) around 9:30 AM I called the Starved Rock lockmaster, who told me that if got there in an hour … Continue reading Illinois Surprises!

Rafting off in a lock

Yesterday, Loop day three, we left the Joliet town wall around 8:00 with a group of other loopers. By law, the Joliet drawbridges could not open until after 8:30, giving priority to rush-hour car traffic. Traveling with a pack of other Looper boats was a learning experience for me. I'm used to setting my own … Continue reading Rafting off in a lock

Bridges and barges and locks, Oh My!

We started this morning at Hammond Marina. We entered the Calumet River about a mile from there, and followed the Calumet River, the Cal-Sag channel, and the Chicago ship and sanitary canal, through South and southwest Chicago to Joliet, Illinois, which offers a free dock wall for transient boaters to use on their way through. … Continue reading Bridges and barges and locks, Oh My!

… And they’re off!

After a 10 day delay due to Rick's illness and inclement weather, this cool and beautiful Michigan Fall morning we embarked on our Great Loop voyage! We left Yacht Basin Marina around 9:00 AM, passed through the Holland channel, honked our airhorns to greet good friend Rose near Laketown Beach, and set a compass course … Continue reading … And they’re off!

Equipping R&R

As we prepare to embark on the first leg of the Great Loop, we are equipping R&R, which in 2003 had minimal navigation electronics installed. For many years she cruised mainly on the Cumberland River, where the main electronics need was a depth sounder. We also chose to install Wave-Wifi cellular/WiFi antennas and router equipment … Continue reading Equipping R&R