Its official….we have the Gold Burgee. For those that are not familiar with the
Great Loop, when you are planning or currently doing the Great Loop, you fly
the white burgee, when you have completed the Great Loop, you fly the gold
burgee, and if you have completed the Great Loop more than one time, you fly
the platinum burgee.
On September 21, 2016 at 4:33 p.m. this afternoon, we
crossed our wake entering Green Turtle Bay Marina, Grand Rivers Kentucky. We started our Great Loop Adventure September
10, 2015 and over the last 378 days we have cruised 7,206 miles. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime,
not just for the places we have visited, but also for the people we have met
both currently doing the loop, the local boaters, and in each of the
We have traveled with other loopers, but have mostly
“done our own thing”, and have even been labeled as stealth loopers, as we
would appear and disappear along the way.
We took side trips to Chattanooga Tennessee, spent the winter in the
Keys of Florida, explored the St. Johns River in Florida, took the northern Canadian
route to Montreal and Ottawa, and finally a short trip up the Ohio River to
Evansville Indiana before returning to our home port.
We have shared our adventure through our blog and have
had over 45,000 page views on it since we started, okay, most of them may have
been from my Dad. Several people have
asked “what was the best part” but we really can’t pick just one, each place we
visited seemed to be unique in its own way and the people we were there with,
made it special. We would like to name and
thank all of the people we have traveled with, but would not want to do so for
fear of leaving someone out. We are looking forward to spending time with
family and friends, before turning the page to our next adventure.
It was a little foggy this morning at our anchorage at
Wabash Island, we could hear the barges passing but couldn’t see anything.
As the sun came up, the fog slowly disappeared.
This was the perfect cruising day on the Ohio River.
I’m glad this bird pointed out this log floating down the
We stopped at the floating E-Town Restaurant at
Elizabethtown, Illinois along the Ohio River, they serve fresh caught catfish
from the Ohio River, and pond raised catfish.
I asked if the pond fish was raised from local ponds and was informed
they come from Asia…….we decided on the Ohio River catfish. This was one of the best catfish dinners we
have had, including sides of baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw, all
This will be our last night on the Ohio River, and our
Great Loop Adventure. We will lock
through one lock on the Ohio and one lock on the Cumberland Rivers tomorrow,
before crossing our wake and returning to Green Turtle Bay Marina.
We had a great time at Evansville visiting family and
friends, this was a great side trip that we definitely won’t forget. We were off to an early start with clear
skies and calm waters. We caught up with
this barge just before the railroad bridge at Henderson, Kentucky.
Our only lock today was the John Myers Lock and Dam.
We anchored next to Wabash Island and grilled
chicken for dinner, this was a nice quiet spot to watch the sunset.
We took a tour of the USS LST 325 moored here at
Evansville, Indiana located in front of the marina. The ship is a decommissioned tank landing
ship of the United States Navy. Called
the ship that won the war by Churchill, the LSTs were essential in sea-to-land
invasions and many were built in Evansville, Indiana. At it's peak, the Evansville Shipyard employed a workforce of over 19,000 and completed two of these massive ships per week, becoming the largest inland producer of LSTs in the nation. The LST 325 is 328 ft. long, 50 ft. wide and
1625 tons of steel power. This floating
piece of history was on site in Normandy on D-day. She is also the “Last of the Class,” meaning
she is the only operational LST in existence.
Tours are led by dedicated and learned crew members, some who served on
LSTs. The LST 325 occasionally leaves
port for cruises on other waterways, and is scheduled to leave port October 17th
for Cape Girardeau Missouri, then to Vicksburg Mississippi.
Doors on the front of the ship open to allow cargo to be loaded or unloaded.
We saw a unique
boat come in to the marina yesterday, not a looper, just a couple of guys
cruising down the river system to Mobile Alabama. The boat is a Chinese Junk, built in Hong
Kong and shipped to Guaymas, Mexico on May 15, 1974. The boat weighs 24,000 pounds, measuring 36
feet long by 13 feet wide.
It was in the movie “Lucky Lady” starring Gene Hackman,
Liza Minelli, and Burt Reynolds. It was
sunk twice in the course of making the movie and once in a storm in San Carlos
Bay. It took four years to restore the
boat. The upper portion is the original
teak: the hull is yakal wood covered
with marine mahogany and fiberglass. It
has a Detroit diesel MT-353 engine and an 8 KW diesel generator.
This must be the portrait of the Lucky Lady
located on the engine room hatch door.
As we cruised northeast on the Ohio River and passed the
Cumberland River, we didn’t think we would see any loopers, as most people
doing the loop either turn south on the Tennessee River or Cumberland
River. On our first day at the Inland
Marina at Evansville, a looper “RioMarLago” stopped for fuel. They are from Tacoma Washington and started
their loop from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Yesterday, another looper “In Deep Ship” stopped in for the night; they
started their loop from Huntington, West Virginia.
“In Deep Ship”
Our plan is to be here at the Inland Marina
visiting family and friends until Sunday.
We will leave Monday morning the 19th, and make the three day
trip back to our home port, crossing our wake at Green Turtle Bay Marina, Grand