Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!
We welcome Joe F. on board as our newest virtual crew member, just in time for the 2018 cruising season.
The crew has spent the week in Jacksonville at the Lamb’s Yacht Center. The yard has looked at the boat, developed a conceptual estimate, and projected the work to start on Monday.
The skipper spent the week ordering material to arrive on Monday so he has time to install the projects in parallel with the yard work. The largest of these projects is to increase the solar bank 300 watts so the array will be a total of 500 watts when completed.
The skipper also worked on the 2018 Cruising Plan which will be unveiled below.
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
When work is completed on the boat the crew will head north to launch their Platinum Loop Quest. Americas Great loop Cruising Association awards a Platinum Burgee for Looper’s who complete the loop a second time.
The crew will rejoin the A-ICW about mile 740 and head north to mile 0 in Norfolk, Virginia. Along the way, they will stop at some of their favorite places and visit a few new ones.
In Georgia, they will stop and explore Cumberland Island and revisit Jekyll Island.
In South Carolina, they will stop in Port Royal and Charleston where they will visit Fort Sumter.
In North Carolina, they will run up the Pamlico River to visit Bath before crossing the Albemarle Sound.
They have decided to take the Dismal Swamp Route rather than the Virginia Cut to enter the south side of Norfolk.
After leaving Norfolk, the crew will cross the Chesapeake Bay over to the Eastern Shore where they will visit Onancock to acquire some more of those Best in Class sticky buns at the Corner Bakery. Then they will head back across the Bay to head up the Potomac River to visit Washington D.C. On the way down the Potomac River, the crew will stop and explore St Mary’s near the mouth of the river. Then it will be up to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal with a possible stop back in Annapolis.
The crew will then head south down to Cape May for a few days.
The three day run from Cape May to New York City is always dependent on the weather, wave, and wind conditions out in the Atlantic Ocean. The crew will decide if they will run inside or out in the Ocean the first two days based on the weather conditions after they arrive in Cape May.
The third day from Manasquan to New York City has to be run outside. The crew plans to anchor out behind the Statue of Liberty after arriving in NYC.
The Hudson River is one of the hidden gems along The Loop. The crew will take their time up the Hudson and will probably spend a day eating at the Culinary Institute.
Further north the crew will arrive at Waterford and will start the Erie Canal. At Oneida Lake the crew will make a decision to continue west on the Erie Canal or branch north to Oswego. If the water level is agreeable and the skipper can get their air draft down less than 15.5 feet, they will head west to Lake Erie. Then cruise Lake Erie west, then north along Lake Huron to Mackinac Island.
If they are forced to go across Lake Ontario, they will head to Clayton to explore the Thousand Islands. Then they will cruise the Trent-Severn Waterway, Georgian Bay, and North Channel to arrive at Mackinac Island.
The crew will head down the eastern shore of Lake Michigan to explore areas they have yet to see as they head towards Chicago.
From Chicago, the crew will take the normal route down the Illinois River to the Northern Mississippi River. However, the crew will take a side trip up the Northern Mississippi River to Minneapolis/St Paul.
On the southern run, the crew will once again break from Looper tradition and turn south on the Mississippi River at Cairo and head all the way down to New Orleans, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn style.
After arrival on the Gulf Coast, the crew will head back east to rejoin other Loopers at Mobile Bay. Then back around the panhandle of Florida to Ft Myers to complete the Platinum Loop.
Hope you enjoy the adventure in 2018.
The crew will continue to sit in Jacksonville to complete repairs on the boat.