Four years on the Great Loop
For boaters with dreams of coastal and inland cruising, Bruce and Susan Armstrong have authored "Coming Full Circle: A Voyage on America's Great Loop" (2010, Armstrong Travel Ventures, www.armstrongtravelventures.com, $18.95).
The Armstrongs explain how they went from day boaters to full-time liveaboards who spent four years cruising the 7,500-mile Great Loop. For 11 years, they had boated on Long Island Sound, most often fishing. They occasionally anchored overnight at Port Jefferson Harbor, N.Y., and on those nights they "realized that the only thing keeping us from heading to Boston or Miami or London was the capability of our boat," they say in the introduction.
The Armstrongs bought a Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot and named her Gulf Cart. With a full load of 580 gallons of diesel, their range topped 1,250 miles at 7.5 knots. The Armstrongs' Great Loop journey began in Naples, Fla., and the book explains what they expected and the surprises they found along the way.
Says Bruce Armstrong: "We never knew what the day might bring after we left the dock. Every day was fresh, and most of our experiences were so positive."
This article originally appeared in the June 2011 issue.