July 15, 2014

Day 304 - July 15, 2014: Anticipating completing the Great Loop

With the hazardous weather on the lake, we spent today in Pentwater mostly on Great Laker anticipating completion of the Great Loop. After 1 1/2 years of researching, looking, and deciding to purchase the American Tug, 1 1/2 years researching the Great Loop and outfitting the boat, and starting our trip in September 2012 (taking 10 months off over the winter of 2013/14), we are about to complete our dream adventure.

The culmination of the trip will be marked by "crossing our wake" at the end of the Grand Haven Pier and replacing the current America's Great Loop Cruising Association burgee, which has a white background, with one that has a gold background. The gold background signifies to other boaters that we have completed the loop.

The Gold AGLCA Burgee!
One of our routines during the trip was recording data about our travels. Both of us kept fairly detailed spreadsheets, mine mostly focussed on the logging of boating data, and Anne's on tracking travel and expenses. In addition, I maintained a daily blog, and Anne kept a daily diary. This rainy cold day was the perfect opportunity to bring these up to date, do some reminiscing, and compile some overall statistics. Since Anne has a banking background and I have an engineering background, this data collection/analysis/processing comes naturally.

Summary Data:   As of tomorrow in Spring Lake, we will have...

  • Spent 305 days living aboard Great Laker
  • Cruised 6,850 miles (the basic loop of 5,250 miles, plus 1600 miles on side trips)
  • Taken over 11,000 pictures, saving about 9,000 of the best
  • Visited 17 states, 2 countries and 2 provinces
  • Traversed through 147 locks
  • Stayed one or more nights in 179 places
  • Dined out 152 times
  • Trekked to the laundromat 28 times
  • Toured 72 museums, battlefields or forts
  • Visited 20 family members and 34 friends along the way
  • Taken a break to travel home and back 4 times
  • Accumulated 914 hours on the boat diesel engine
  • Averaged 7.5 mph (when including all engine-on hours)
  • Consumed 2191 gallons of fuel, averaging 2.4 gallons per hour
We took a break to eat lunch at our favorite place called the Cottage Garden Cafe on Third Street. Tomorrow looks like low winds and sun, and we plan to depart at first light. 

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