There are numerous little places to explore in the Florida panhandle. In fact, our early loop plans contemplated nearly a month meandering slowly down the west coast of Florida. #1 lesson learned on this journey: all plans are subject to change.
Still fueled by the adrenalin rush of crossing the Gulf of Mexico, we realized we could reach Fort Myers in just two long days. Unanimous vote by the crew, let’s go for it!
Venice, Florida, November 10th
Thanks Capt Rick for arranging the most decadent of dinners at the Crows Nest in Venice. When we docked at the restaurant, we were met by two of the most capable marina hands on our journey who tied us up, lick-it-ee split. Thanks Brad and Aaron!
If you are in the area, the waterfront restaurant is a must visit. Here’s the Crow’s Nest website (go ahead and click) so you can see why.
And yes, 11/10 was definitely a happy 59.
November 11, 2018 – Armistice Day / Veteran’s Day
Happy Veteran’s Day everyone. Thank you for your service, Dave.
One Hundred Years Ago – on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 an armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War.” On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On the same day the previous year, unidentified soldiers were laid to rest at Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. If you want to know more about Veteran’s Day, here’s a wonderful lesson from the History Channel.
Happy Birthday, Miss Saucy Austy
Our niece, Austin Maurer, born on the 11th hour of the 11th month of the 11th year (November 11, 2011 at 11 am).
Today is the day Exhale will cross her wake. In our final leg we celebrated a golden sunrise, for a gold looper day.
Familiar Waters – the canals of Town & River
It was a little bittersweet as we entered our home canal. The bucket list adventure was quickly coming to an end. For some on board, the journey was ending too soon. One crew member was more decisive; Admiral Maddie Sue was eager to return to her grassy yard.
Fort Myers Arrival – Crossing Her Wake
As the house came into view, we could see fellow boaters and land lubbers awaiting our return. Thank you Steve Jones, friend extraordinaire, for orchestrating the warm homecoming!
Upholding a glorious mariner’s tradition, we were greeted by a Canon Salute!
Friends at the dock included
Raising the Gold Flag
As Capt Rick has said, numerous times, the best part of this journey is the people we met. We made many new friends along the way, friends for reasons, friends for seasons, and a special few, who we believe, will be friends for a life time.
Thank you everyone, for sharing in this journey.
This is the PC Exhale, Gold Looper 2018, signing off for now.
Great Loop Final Stats
Nautical Miles (NM): 4,908, Average speed: 6.30 knots, Fuel Consumption Per Hour: 3.46 gallons, NM per gallon: 1.82, Avg Nautical Miles per travel day: 35.3
Statute Miles (SM): 5,648, Average Speed: 7.25 MPH, SM per gallon: 2.096, Avg Statute Miles per travel day: 40.6
Engine Hours: 779
Total Days to complete Loop: 256, Travel Days/Stops along the way: 139
Total Locks completed = 150
- Florida – Lake Okeechobee area: 7
- Virginia – Great Dismal Swamp: 2
- New York – Troy & Champlain Canal: 12
- CANADA – Chambly Canal/Quebec: 9
- CANADA – Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway: 5
- CANADA – Rideau Canal/Ontario: 47
- CANADA – Trent-Severn Waterway: 44
- Illinois – Calumet, Illinois & Ohio Rivers: 8 locks + 2 dams (wickets thrown down)
- Kentucky – Kentucky Lake Lock and Dam: 1
- Tennessee – Pickwick Lock and Dam: 1
- Tenn-Tombigbee Waterway: 12
States and Provinces traversed on the water:
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama (18)
Canada Provinces (June 10 – August 9): Quebec, Ontario (2).
Side trips (via train, plane or automobile):
Los Angeles (MS [3 – April, May & Sept], Rick [5 – May, June, July, Sept, Oct] & Maddie [2 – May, Sept], Cleveland (RMG, MS & Maddie [2- April and July], Craig [April]), St. Charles, St. Louis, and Chattanooga (with B & B), Lookout Mountain & Missionary Ridge, TN by train (with B & B), MS road trip from Orange Beach, Alabama to Fort Myers with Maddie, drove from Fort Myers to Orange Beach with Dave Floyd