What is the Great Loop?

What is the Great Loop?

The Great Loop is a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern portion of the United States and part of Canada.  The entire loop is approximately 6,000 miles. Per the Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, at any time, about 300 “Loopers” are tilting at the full circle. Some Loopers travel it in a single, year long trip and others break it into sections by year.

In 2018 we entered the Loop in northern Michigan at Yacht Haven on Drummond Island, MI at:
46°00’48.0″N 83°52’57.0″W
46.013333, -83.882500
Elevation: 154meters / 505feet

Estimated Timeline following the Weather

September – October
Lake Michigan
The Illinois River
The Upper Mississippi River
The Ohio River
The Cumberland River
The Tennessee River
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

November – January
The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
Crossing the Gulf of Mexico
Lake Okeechobee Waterway

February – March
Bahamas

April – May
Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway

June – July
Hudson River
Lake Champlain
St Lawrence Seaway
The Great Lakes/Canada’s Heritage Canals/Georgian Bay

August (starting home)
Lake Michigan
The Illinois River
The Mississippi River

Resources:
https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/great-loop.html 
http://www.greatloop.org/
http://www.captainjohn.org/


2020/2021 Loop – Platinum Loop

Ready, Set, Go for a repeat performance starting from Inver Grove, MN and returning to Inver Grove, MN.


2018/2019 Loop – Gold Loop

For the 2018/2019 Loop we made a great big giant ribbon pattern across the Mid West, Southern, Eastern and Northern seaboards of the United States and Canada starting from Ashland, WI to Drummond Island, MI.  We Looped around back to Drummond Island, MI and continued following the Loop until the Mississippi River where we tailed off the end of the ribbon.

Getting There

Getting to the Great Loop was our the first challenge!  There is a lot of big open water. Lake Superior tends to lay flat in August which is why we debarked the first part of August 2018.

Started the Ribbon Leg 1:
46°35’40.1″N 90°53’18.8″W
46.594472, -90.888556
Elevation: 183m / 600feet

We exited the Ribbon Leg 1 and entered the Loop at:
46°00’48.0″N 83°52’57.0″W
46.013333, -83.882500
Elevation: 154meters / 505feet

Going Home 

Our second Loop actually started we ‘crossed our wake’ and continued on to Grafton, IL. At Grafton we exited the Loop, turning starboard, and followed the Northern Star to head home.

Exited the Loop and started the Ribbon Leg 2 at:
38°58’06.1″N 90°27’59.1″W
38.968372, -90.466402
Elevation: 127meters / 417feet

See you in St Paul in October <year tbd> !

The End
44°51’25.8″N 93°00’48.7″W
44.857158, -93.013521
Elevation: 208meters / 682feet