Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Gold Loopers at Last!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Before we actually set off on our Loop adventure from Sturgeon Bay, WI in August 2013 we took several short cruises to get used to our then new to us boat. We travelled across Green Bay to Menominee, MI; north to Escanaba and Fayetteville; and across Lake Michigan to Leland. So we could have crossed our wake in any of those places. Lake conditions were our deciding factor- Our preferred destination of Menominee was a go!

We spent an extra day in St. Ignace waiting for the best weather, then on July 10 cruised about 50 miles to the small isolated Beaver Island near the top of Lake M. We arrived in time for lunch at Delhinney's, a short walk from the marina. We topped off our fuel for tomorrow's trip, noting that diesel here is more expensive than in Canada.

Weather and wave forecasts were spot on. Wednesday's waves were less than .1 meters- it doesn't get much better than that! We untied our lines at 5:20 am to begin our 120 mile trip. We did not see another boat during the first 70 miles. Our tug performed like a champ today and every day on this journey. We actually crossed our wake near Jackson Harbor on Washington Island, but did not touch land there on either end of our Loop. We returned to Menominee, MI around 1:20 pm to officially complete our Loop. We love the marina here- it has the most well-appointed boaters' lounge we encountered, and the rest of the facilities are equally impressive. We immediately felt we were "home." Fellow snowbirds Pappy and June met us at the marina and took us out to dinner and a visit to their lovely northern home.

Our daughter-in-law and her father drove our truck and trailer to us the next day, and we loaded up the boat and headed for our land home.

What a journey! August 2013-July 2018

  • 9,826 miles including various side trips
  • 190 locks
  • 3 boats: Mara Beel I, our 42' Ocean Alexander; Short Vacation (with John and Pam Short) from Deltaville, to Georgetown, VA to take possession of Mara Beel II, and of course Mara Beel II, our 27'  Ranger Tug. The decision to downsize was a long-term plan that happened sooner than anticipated when Mara Beel I sold right off the bat. Its a long story!
  • We lost 3 of our parents during the trip, all in their 90's
  • 3 grandchildren were born during our trip.
  • We gained numerous life-long friends.
Gold Loopers at last!

Mara Beel is for sale!

During the nearly 2,000 miles we covered this summer from the Chesapeake to Michigan, our Ranger Tug (2014, 27' ) performed perfectly, having no issues whatsoever while we pushed her pretty hard for 9 solid weeks. We have not regretted our decision to downsize at all- this boat is a champ! However, we have decided our cruising days are over due to Mark's back problems. The herniated disk he sustained a year ago makes living on a boat less than ideal. We are going to concentrate on being around for our kids and grandkids and enjoying life on the banks of the Mississippi River, rides in our pontoon boat, and wintering in our Florida home where the water is "soft" all year.


  1. Incredible trip and summary! So proud of you guys for completing this amazing journey. Glad we may once again hang out more often!

  2. Congratulations on finishing the Loop! So many memories and I thankful Ken and I are a couple of them! 😎