After years sailing the Caribbean we traded our Tayana 37 for an Island Gypsy to explore The Loop

An entire winter without a blog post

01 May 2020 | Preparing to return to our trawler Nomadic Spirit
Janice Nagle
Our transition from Trawler Trash to Trailer Trash went well. We had a blast in our new RV community. Llano Grande RV Resort is located in Mercedes Texas in the Rio Grande Valley.

The first month was mostly working on our new tiny mansion. After living in a boat or motorhome for 10 years this 500+ sq feet seamed huge. We added a lovely porch, replaced faucets and light fixtures, purchased some new furniture, and Steve customized our golf cart.

This is a great park with many activities. We enjoyed weekly golf scrambles, played lots of cards, I joined the art league and took beginner classes, made many new friends and just had a great winter.

Numerous friends came to visit so the new sofa sleeper came in handy but it was a bit crowded. We decided a guest cottage was needed so we purchased another motorhome both for guests use as well as travel.

Spring brought the Corona Virus, but the park was a perfect place to hole up. Now all activities are back open and life has resumed.

Mid May we will take the motorhome and head slowly towards our boat. Once we Complete our loop we will rent a car to pick up the motorhome. The boat goes up for sale in Ft Meyers where we will cross our wake and bring this adventure to a close. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.....

Finishing up season three of the Great Loop

30 September 2019
Janice Nagle
Leaving the Chicago mooring field at dawn we traveled through downtown in fog so heavy that we could not see the top half of the buildings along the river. The views were amazing but the pictures could not due justice to the architecture that towered above us. Once we passed through the city, the rest of the Illinois river was mostly sparsely populated countryside. Over the 330 miles we passed through 8 locks. Some of these held us up for a few hours while others had us literally gliding right over the dam. These latter dams were wicket dams that could be lowered below the waterline allowing boats to pass right over them when water levels allowed.

The mighty Mississippi was not as terrifying as I had feared. The current was strong enough to bump our average speed from 7.5 to 12-13 knots! The downside was the debris that we had to dodge, from small games to large logs, it kept us on our toes. No marinas are available so we pushed hard for 2 days to cover the 218 miles.

Traveling the Ohio was against the current but fortunately we only saw about 1/2 knot. A detour, a marina or two and we were hauled out and heading to the Ford dealership to pick up a car that I had purchased online.

I love this voyage but was ready to spend the winter in our RV Golf community in Texas. It was a good time to end the season as these rivers were my least favorite part of the loop so far. Next season we will spend time on the lovely Tennessee and Tombigbee Waterway and finish up the Florida coast to cross or wake in Fort Myers.

Three seasons of Our Loop is complete. Here is a recap of our adventures so far:

2017: Florida Mini Loop, 590 miles / 95 days
we traveled from Stuart Florida through the Okeechobee Waterway and followed the coast of Southern Florida to return to Stuart.

2018: Bahamas and East Coast, 1700 miles / 146 days
we traveled to the Abacos and then slowly up the east coast to Cape Charles, Chesapeake Bay.

2019: Lake Champlain route, 2720 miles / 145 days
Chesapeake, Cape May to New York, up the hudson, Canada's canal systems with stops at Montréal and Ottawa, to Mackinac Island, lake Michigan, Illinois river to Mississippi river to Ohio river and Tennessee river.
45 @ anchor
48 @ free or Park walls
52 @ marinas
135 locks!

And so we transition from summer Trawler Trash to winter Trailer Trash
Vessel Name: Nomadic Spirit
Vessel Make/Model: 32' Island Gypsy & 36' Monaco
Crew: Janice & Steve
This adventure began in October of 2007 when Steve came to look at a boat that Janice had for sale on Craig's List. Steve wanted to learn how to sail and Janice needed a new kitchen. [...]
FAVORITE QUOTES: 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do then by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' Mark Twain 'We went cruising not to [...]
Nomadic Spirit's Photos - Seattle
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