Leaving to Begin the Loop

This morning, promptly at 8:30 am, our scheduled departure time, we dropped lines to begin the Great Loop. Our live aboard dock mates, three couples, saw us off after having thrown us a bon voyage party the night before on the porch of the guest cottage at our marina, Hartge Yacht Harbor. We managed to back out of our slip smartly with an audience. We traveled about five hours and 45 miles on our first leg and anchored at Worton Creek on the eastern Shore of Maryland.

Our first attempt at setting the anchor did not go very well. The captain, John, did not let out enough chain for the anchor to power set the anchor. That mistake will not be made again. With Gloria at the throttles, we retrieved the anchor and did it the correct way the second time. After shutting down the engines the dead quiet of this anchorage was remarkable.

Not long after setting out, a bug in the engine speed synchronizer appeared again. Intermittently, the port engine would occasionally drop 200 RPM and return to speed after about 15 seconds. John’s brother, Jerry, an ace mechanic along for the the first part of the trip – dropping him off in Poughkeepsie, NY – diagnosed and fixed the problem while underway. A locking nut on one the control cables had become loose. Tightening it up fixed the problem. My goodness, I was thinking the worst, maybe a failing fuel injection pump. What a relief.

Tomorrow will see us travelling another 45 miles or so to the Bohemia River where we will stage for the next day’s transit through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to Delaware City. Then it’s down the Delaware Bay to Cape May, NJ.

Continue reading “Leaving to Begin the Loop”

Getting Ready to Begin the Great Loop

This blog is to document our travels on the Great Loop and share with friends and acquaintances who have an interest in following along on our adventure. The Great Loop is a waterway route that, for example, starting in Annapolis, the route we are taking takes us north on the Chesapeake Bay, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to the Delaware River, down the river to Cape May, NJ, up the Jersey Coast to the Hudson River, north on the Hudson to a canal that leads to Lake Champlain, another canal at the north end that leads to the St. Lawrence River. We will go downriver to Montreal, up the Ottawa River to Ottawa, then down the Rideau Canal to Lake Ontario. After heading west on the lake, we will enter the Trent-Severn Waterway (canals, lakes, and locks) to the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Then it’s west to Lake Michigan, to Chicago, through a canal to the Illinois River, then the Mississippi past St. Louis to the confluence of the Ohio River. Then, it’s up the Ohio past Paducah, KY to reach the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway which eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, AL. Then, we will cross the open water of the Gulf to the West Coast of Florida, around the keys, then north on the Intracoastal Waterway back to Annapolis. The trip will take at least one year to complete.

Our tentative departure date is May 10th. It is weather dependent. John’s brother, Jerry, will be joining us for the first two weeks of the trip. We will drop him off in Poughkeepsie, NY on the Hudson River. He lives in Northwestern Connecticut. We will be staying three nights at the Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island. Our son, Jack and his wife, will be visiting her parents in Manhattan at the same time so we will get some visiting in. Jack is a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy.