The plan if we had one, was, go south to somewhere warm for the winter. At that time we naively thought, if we go to say, South Carolina surely it would be warm, but no, there was frost on the docks each morning so we head further south, OK Florida it is, Jacksonville was just as cold and frosty as SC it was not until we reached Stuart FL that the temps were in the high 70's mid 80's. We really had not planned to travel that far south and now we will have to retrace our path back north to begin the loop. So, Stuart was the start of the loop for us. We now call the trip south our shake down cruise, as we, (Jim) was able to really get a good handle on the boat and what we needed to add to it as far as navigational and safety equipment to do the trip. So, on March 1st we began our trip north on the Great American Loop with a pit stop back in Jacksonville to get canvas made for the upper helm and new bottom paint for SweetPea.
We have been to so many incredible places and met so many wonderful people so far to numerous to mention. I would like to send a big hello to 3 boaters we met when we first began the trip south Bob and Denise on Liberty who left their state of RI one day before us heading to the Keys, Pete and Jerri who we first met in Melbourne Fl on their boat 5 o'clock and Scott and Lane on Esperanza out of Canada who spent a month in our homeport before heading south, we did some traveling with all of them at different times along the way south and look forward to catching up with them again in the future. I can't believe its been a year!
A few days before we left Westport Ma. Jim installed a new chartplotter so all the travel info is actual,
as of today we have traveled a total of 5559 miles, and the 3857miles are how many miles since we left Stuart FL, which is the start of the loop.
The 22.1 mph is the fastest we have traveled, and the 9.1 mph is the average speed, we have really learned to slow down which helps considerably with fuel consumption. We estimate that when the loop is complete, it will be well over 6000 miles for the loop and total miles once we are back in New England will be over 10,000 miles.
Tonight we are anchored behind an island on the Tennessee River with our friends Mike and Twyla on NautiNell. This is our view, however this morning we woke up to another cool morning with heavy fog and only the sound of the fog horns in the distance. Life is Good.
For those of you who have been following our blog, thank you for your comments, questions and e-mails, with almost 15,000 page views we hope to meet some of our followers and those of you in the background in the up coming months. Or maybe we will see you at Joe Wheeler State Park at the rendezvous, in a couple of weeks.