October 11, 2013 Report from the Great Loop
Ozel and Maryann Cox along with their two Portuguese Water Dogs, Nissa and Osita, left Rockport on board their trawler Freya in February 2012 to begin the Great Loop. After a short layover in Kemah, they headed to Mobile, AL where they officially started the Loop. The trip from there to Jacksonville, FL went smoothly with the exception of the stern thruster going out so they stopped in Jacksonville to have it repaired. While there, Maryann had to return to Houston for back surgery. They left the boat in Jacksonville and returned to continue the Loop in April 2013.
From Jacksonville, FL they cruised the Atlantic ICW through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware to Cape May, NJ. From there they went off shore to New York Harbor. Next came the beautiful Hudson River. They took their time on the Hudson while waiting for the Erie Canal to open. It had been damaged due to flooding. After three weeks, they decided to take the longer route through Canada since the NYS Canal authorities couldn't say when the Canal would reopen. So they continued up the Hudson, through Lake Champlain, into Canada - the Chambly Canal, Richelieu River, St. Lawrence, Ottawa River to Ottawa, then down the Rideau and the Trent-Severn Waterways, across Georgian Bay and the North Channel.
They entered the US at Drummond Island, MI and continued on to Mackinac City, M; Charlevoix, MI; Beaver Island, MI. They decided to come down the West coast of Lake Michigan - the Wisconsin side via Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and then down Lake Michigan to Chicago . The Chicago River (through downtown Chicago) took them to the Illinois River leading to the Mississippi, where they were at the time of is writing ..
Their plans include taking the Mississippi to the Ohio River at Cairo, IL and taking the Cumberland River to Barkley Lake, Kentucky Lake and the Tennessee River. The American Great Loop Cruising Association is having a Rendezvous at WheelerState Park, Rogersville, AL which is on the Tennessee. After that event they are planning a side trip to Chatanuga, TN before going down the Black Warrior and the Tenn-Tom waterway to Mobile, AL where they will cross their wake. BUT the trip doesn't end there - they have another 895 miles to travel back to Rockport.