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March 14, 2011
Vol 1, No 1-11  

Looping the Loop

 

The Great Loop, that is  

 

Doing the Great Loop by circumnavigating the entire eastern half of the United States is a goal shared by many inland boaters. We often write about people who have traveled all or part of this 5,500-mile journey, and in April, that's what all the stories will be about.

 

Gary Kramer visits the annual rendezvous of  America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association (AGLCA) and shares what he finds with readers. Here's a solar-supplemented boat from State College, Pa., that's well-prepared:  

  

 dragonfly  

  Photos by Gary Kramer 

 

  

 burgee 

 

AGLCA burgee; a gold one indicates a completed Loop 

 

Newcomer Beth McCue takes up the story of the organization's history and of the couple who now run it, Janice and Steve Kromer. Find out about these people in April:

 

Janice and Steve 

 Janice and Steve Kromer Photo by Beth McCue 

 

One of the northernmost points of one Great Loop route is Canada's Gaspe Peninsula, just above New England. Linda Aksomitis explores it for our readers, trying out sea kayaking for the first time. Here are Aksomitis and her friend, Suzie Loiselle, in their kayak. Here's PercÚ Rock, an area landmark, too.

 

  Linda and Suzie             Perce Rock

Loiselle, left, and Aksomitis in their kayak                  Perce Rock

   Photos by Linda Aksomitis

 

You'll probably never find another story as honest as Bob Duthie's "Mistakes We Made When Buying a Boat for the Great Loop." Here's documentation of a memorable clearing of Belle Isle Bridge--sadly, the mast stood six inches higher than the bridge did.

 

 Belle Isle bridge

Belle Isle Bridge bonks the mast. Photo by Bob Duthie

 

In the departments, Capt Fred Davis tackles the implementation of Rescue 21 by the Coast Guard. It literally could be life-saving information. The U.S. Coast Guard sent him this sector map of its commands.

 

sector map

Map courtesy USCG 

 

Denise Sarsfield gives recipes for two yummy dips and a drink in Food Afloat, which look like this.

 

 

food and drink

 

Captain's Shrimp Pate and Admiral's Pineapple Passion

 

    Photo by Denise Sarsfield 

  

In Waterway Law, Joan Wenner talks about waterfront access, such as this Huron, Ohio boat facility.

 

 

 Huron Ohio 

 Photo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

 

 

In her Heartland Haunts story, Ashley Spratt recounts how a federal grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helped the city to revive its boating heritage with the construction of Grafton Harbor in 2007 when it had been damaged by flooding. Its harbor looks like this, now.

 

 

  Grafton Harbor

 Grafton Harbor view Photo by Joe Desherlia

 

 Finally, Patti Clausen's account of the photographs of John Guider is not to be missed. Guider is the photographer who uses platinum prints for his black-and-white work, and he has started doing the Great Loop in a sailboat-rowboat hybrid he built himself. Just take a look, and then look some more when the April issue arrives in your mailbox.

 

 

 

one egret

many egrets 

 

 

 

 

sunset

 

 Photos by John Guider

 

 

And, one more thing. If you're going to the Houseboat Expo in Louisville, March 18-20, stop off at Booth 641 and say "Hi!" to Mark Gentry. Should be a great show.

 

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Alabama State Parks

 

Share Your Memory and Win! 

Memories logo

 

 The Alabama State Parks system is promoting its Web site. That's why it is starting a contest it calls "Alabama State Parks . . . Where Memories are Made," Readers are encouraged to enter by submitting a written memory and/or photo of a favorite Alabama State Park memory. Write to share a memory of a previous visit to one of the state parks. Attach a photo with your comments or, if you like, submit and share a video. You could win a $250 State Parks gift card.

 

A total of six gift cards will be given way during three drawings in 2011, with the first drawing to be held on June 1. The winning entries will be posted on the Alabama State Parks Web site and Facebook. Click here for a complete

list of rules.

  

Ala logo

  

Tell your story for a chance to win. Look at our memories collection here. If you don't win, try again the next month by sharing that or another memory. The last drawing will be in December. The best thing about the promotion is it will allow you to recall a precious time of your life.

 

And--one more chance to win. While visiting a park, pick up one of the "Where Memories are Made" bumper stickers and place it on your vehicle. If one of our park managers spots it on your car, you could win a prize. Promotion bumper stickers will be available at point of sale locations throughout the state parks. There's a lot to do at Alabama's State Parks, including freshwater boating.

 

See you on the water or at a park soon!

Lee Braff

HeartLand Boating offices