Thursday, September 22, 2016

We have the Gold!

Miles Traveled 0
Total Miles Traveled 7206

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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Golconda, IL to Grand Rivers, KY

Miles Traveled 52.3
Total Miles Traveled 7206
Day 378

“Moni Jean” crosses her wake!

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 communities.

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.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Uniontown, IL to Golconda, IL

Miles Traveled 50.7
Total Miles Traveled 7154
Day 377

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 river.

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 for $12.

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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Evansville, IN to Uniontown, KY

Miles Traveled 59.7
Total Miles Traveled 7103
Day 376

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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Evansville, IN Day 6

Miles Traveled 0                                                                                                                 
Total Miles Traveled 7044
Day 375

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.

This cargo bay could hold 20 Sherman Tanks

Crews Quarters

Officers mess hall

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Evansville, IN Day 5

Miles Traveled 0                                                                                                                 
Total Miles Traveled 7044
Day 374

 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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Evansville, IN Day 3

Miles Traveled 0
Total Miles Traveled 7044
Day 372

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 Rivers, Kentucky.