By April 13, 2015 0 Comments Read More →


Note:  My friend, Mary, is a “Looper” and she is going to share her adventures with the rest of us. This is the first installment of many as she “loops” the Eastern United States  in the Proud Mary accompanied by her husband, Jim, and  Walter, their intrepid Cairn terrier.


Walter Lifejacket

Walter in his life jacket

For those of us who choose to cruise the waterways of North America, “Looping” refers to circumnavigating the eastern United States – America’s Great Loop (AGL).  For quick reference, a photo of a general route is below. The Loop includes Intercoastal waterways, open ocean, some of the Great Lakes and rivers not to mention approximately 6000 miles, eighteen states, and more than 100 locks. An array of options for avid cruisers !!!!

 By way of background on us as Loopers, it all began with Jim’s retirement in 2001 when he began building the Proud Mary, a wooden cabin cruiser based on a design for the Alaskan Tolman Skiff. Upon my retirement in 2006, we trailered the boat to northern British Columbia where she lived for 5 years, cruised southeast Alaska for three summers, and salmon fished on Lake Babine. Upon her return to the lower 48, she cruised Lake Powell in Utah and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway across Louisiana. The last three years has been spent in making modifications to the boat and planning to cruise the AGL . . .AND we are now on the verge of launch in the TennTom Waterway north of Mobile, Alabama.

Loopers come in all shapes, sizes, schedules, and budgets. Many Loopers have “large live aboard” boats and leisurely take years to do the Loop and include side trips to the Bahamas and north into Canada. Fast “Loopers” generally are on smaller boats and plan for 6 months-ish on the water. We fall into the latter category. Our boat is 26 feet with limited on board facilities, a canine first mate (Walter), and a sense of adventure that others including friends and family may consider insane. Other than just riding around in the boat, we will be visiting many attractions along the way as well as visiting some family and making many new mariner friends.


Map of A Typical Loop

We would love to take as many friends along for the ride as possible, so we will be sending progress reports to Living Ben. Please join us for our Great American Loop adventure . . . Mary, Jim, Walter, and the Proud Mary

Posted in: Be My Guest, Travel Life

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