Small Boat Big Summer,   

The  SiBBS on America's Great Loop     

      Congratulations Katie,                   Congratulations Elizabeth

Mission Accomplished 8-30-09

Keep up with the SiBBS ongoing blogs and boating interests at

Last Ports of Call are added to the list.   More photos will follow.

Katie and Elizabeth, two twenty something siblings, have set out on a trip around America's Great Loop in a 16 foot bright yellow Duroboat.  After a cross country drive from Seattle to Chicago the trip began June 4, 2009



Katie leaves Chicago and Sears Tower                                                               Elizabeth at the helm in St Louis

Notice how the SiBBS decal materialized on the console somewhere between Chicago and St louis. Magic

Only In America,  right John!


An awesome moment in a spectacular summer               At the birthplace of nation and our Constitution

The purpose for travelers, Katie and Elizabeth, is to have a once in a lifetime adventure,  test their boating skills and to help promote Duroboats and the products of the great companies that have supplied them gear and support..  They want to prove that big adventure is possible for regular folks on a budget, using affordable small boats.   They want to bring new people, particularly young folks and women into boating.

You may not want to sit in any boat for 6000 miles but knowing that there are small boats available that can handle some pretty big adventures may inspire you to try an adventure of your own.

For those who don't know,  many people spend a year or more, usually in trawlers and large comfortable, cruisers circumnavigating the eastern third of the US and parts of SE Canada..    The trip has become known as America's Great Loop.

Because Duroboats can go a bit faster without consuming large amounts of fuel, this trip will last only about 70 days and there will be lots of time for fun and sight seeing. 

There are several vairiations of the Great Loop route and like any circle it is possible to start anywhere.  

Katie and Elizabeth have started in Chicago and using the Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers will access the Tenn-Tombigbee waterway.  Following the Tenn-Tom will allow them to reach the Gulf at Mobile Alabama.  After that it is via the Intercoastal around Florida and up the east coast.   There are choices to make but likely they will take the Hudson and canals north to Lake Champlain. Then on to the St Lawrence to make it an international trip. Visiting Candaian frinds will likely be a part of the fun.  They will make their way through Ontario via the Trent- Severn Waterway then back to the Great Lakes.

You can plan to fllow the trip courtesy of Boating Life Magazine.

Boating Life has published their first story featuring the girls and will be publishing more via their magazine and their website. The first article in the may 2009 issue is also on the web     It is titled In Their Dream

Follow the trip via Boating Life and Twitter

The current plan is to let you follow them via a blog the girls will write for

As of this week it is renamed Small Boat Big Summer at the Boating Life Site.

short little updates on trip plans are at Twitter   follow   greatloopsibbs.   

See the waypoints along the trip as located by Spot Adventures


FOR More INFO SEARCH  greatloopsibbs

Ports Of Call  for the Small Boat Over the Big Summer

Will be working to fill in details, people and events as we can get them straight.  significant courtesies have been extended at all of these towns and marinas. If we mised someone we will be trying to get them in. The trippers and website central are sporadic in communicating.

Lake Sammamish,  Issaquah WA Test day


On the road to Chicago

Port of Blarney, Blarney Island, Grass Lake IL  Phil from Turning Point came out to test props.

Prop test day at Port 'o' Blarney gateway to Blarney Island

Famous Illinois Chain boaters destination,  Grass Lake, Il  

Diversey Harbor,  Chicago,  Park Distict personel manning the launch area the morning of June 4 were very helpfull

Hancock Building and northside skyline from the water. 

see Michael Clark's SiBBS video at You Tube

Ottowa IL Heritage Harbor,  folks here were kind to the trippers proving moorage, lodging and food. They ferried the crew back and forth when commercial traffic delayd lock transit. see Boating life for more.

Port Knox, Galesburg IL   short inland trip to get Elizabeth on board.

Graduation, Knox College,

Knox Knox,  Who's there, Elizabeth,      In spirit, forever.

Tall Timbers Marina, Havana Il, A popular Great Loop Stop.  Bob provided two days of moorage while boaters were at the Knox graduation. A send off party on Sunday the 9th sent them on their way again.

Beardstown IL,  Harold from the Beardstown Mains StreeT Project arrange for a hotel stay, a tour of Beardstown and some meet and greet with local merchants.  Darren from S and R Marine  a Suzuki dealer in town helped immensely with the post break in oil change on the Suzuki 50, which by the way is running great.

The Duroboat and an old River touring boat at Beardstown Marina.

Alton Il, The boat was moored 2 nights at the Alton Marina while the crew toured nearby St Louis. This is a large clean first class facility.   Thanks to the Marina for Moorage and a local yachtman who gave his yacht up for overnight sleeping quarters.

Kimmswick MO, Hoppy's Marina,   A well known fuel stop.  The crew overnighted here, topped off the gas and got a pull out and change of the lower unit lube oil. Hoppy and his buddies were quite helpfull with river knowledge. Friend Jill joined the trip there.

Cape Girardeu, IL   Met friend Susie there for some fun and land based sleeping quarters.

Kentucky Lake,   Gils had a great time at the Green Turtle Bay Marina in Grand rivers KY. There is more about this stop on the Boating Life website.

At famouse Green Turtle Bay Marina.   Girls got a condo for the night

and a cool ride,  see the photo gallery

Birdsong Marina Camden TN    Friend Jill's family rescued her from the Girls and the Girls finally headed down river alone for the first time. but not before they learned about pearl culturing on the Tenessee.

Midway Marina Lake Pickwick TN    Mexican food and thunderstorms.

Columbus Marina in Columbus TN   made the news with video   worth watching but you have to suffer through a short commercial first..

Demoplis Al,  need to get the marina name  but in the mean time just know it is the current home of Mr Gill Hummel, vagabond,  he says google him.

Bobby's Fish Camp on the lower Tenn Tom  Considered a must stop.  Bobby sits reclined in his lazyboy in the middle of his restaurant.   The camp flys the blue and yellow flag of Sweden.

Dog River Marina   The ride cross Mobile Bay was wild.

Mobile's Tallest building from the Bay, or maybe from the river.

Ole Shakey Marina.   Ole Shakey's website,  now the home of the soon to be world famous Rachel's Widows Walk restaurant.   Two days of relaxation, good music and great fun in Moss Point MS

Loopers,  this is worth the side trip west to meet Captain Sam Craft.  Sam is a sailor, harbormaster and plays in the band at Rachel's.

Rachel's perched above the Ole Shekey Marina.  Sam's Jolly Fisherman a 72 ft Schooner is moored in the foreground.  Sam competes with his ship to be known as the pride of Moss Point.


LuLu's in Gulf Shores AL,   Met the famous Lucy Buffet, LuLu's prprietor, namesake and sister to Jimmy.

LULU and the Loopers,  sounds like a 60s buble gum band.   L to R   Lulu, Elizabeth, Sammy, Katie.

Pirates Cove In Josephine AL    late arrival and quick overnight.  Hot spot and must see on the Loop

Sammy's Grandparents  family welcome and just a little downtime.

Destin Florida  Hot, Hot Hot,  Party at Crab Island,  Sammy snorts sunscrean and interviews with the Destin Press

A awim in clear water at Crab Island.


Panama City  At Bay Point Marina  the crew slept on the boat and were mistaken for " Green Peace Gurus" whatever those are.

Appolachicola      Boat was in put into the Great hands of Marc Grove of Wefing Marina for a scheduled 100 hour oil change.  Marc adopted the crew for their stay and was full of good advice and other needed help.  Marc specializes in trailerable trawlers.  Good boats for doing the loop on a budget in aboat you can actually sleep in.   He gets them from our great friends at C-Dory and Arima.  Boats that like Duroboat are made and proven in the great Northwest.

Gulftream Motel and Marina , Steinhatchee       Crew had there first meal at Howie's Pizza with lodging moorage and dinner schduled for the Gulstream.  Met on the dock at Howie's by new friend Pam from the Steinhatchee Chamber.   As rhe stay in Steinhatchee lengthened Howie's bacame the key internet access point.

False start for Cedar Key on the 28th.  It was a little too rough and the waves were just the wrong direction to make a run.  The SiBBS returned to Steinhatchee for more Steinhatchee fun and hospitality.

Fiddlers restaurant, and Pelican Point Condos Steinhatchee,  Jim Hunt entertained at the retaurant and provided a great condo to shelter the crew.  Jim it tuns out is a World Class Gut Bucket Virtuoso,  The stall in Steinhatchee covered 5 days and 4 nights give or take a day or night.   More pics in the glossery.

Jim Hunt plays the Gut Bucket at Fiddlers.  Practicing to place

high into the final rounds when the SiBBS produce

The Great Loop's Got Talent

Cedar Key Florida, and the Island Place Condos,   The girls really liked Cedar Key and had the Steinhatchee stop not forced them to make up time they would have liked to spend more time there. Cedar Key is one of those bits of America not yet changed by the dominance of cookie cutter franchises.

Sunset from the deck of the Island Place casts a red glow over

the docks at  Cedar Key.

Tarpon Springs, Florida  Hauled out at Stamas Yachts and hit the town.  Leraned about the sponge diving history. The SiBBS savored a little Greek Culture,  Ooo Pa!

Spongeboat Squaredock,  a good days work in Tarpon Springs


Two Dolphin Marina,  Bradenton Florida,  A welcome site after the wild ride across Tampa Bay. Two Dolphins is a first class facility.  Spent July 3 and 4 and enjoyed festive crowds of boaters at the marina to see the fireworks.  Thanks to Charlie.

Legacy harbor Marina, Ft Myers FL  arrived late but got laundry done.  camped on teh boat.  Up early to cross florida.

Loggerhead club and Marina, Lake Okeebogee, Pahokee FL This stop was halfway across Florida. Nice little cabins in a new top notch Marina.  SiBBS took the Rim route for comfort so they did not see too much of Okeechobee.

Anyone for a swim at Lake Okeechobee's Loggerhead Marina?


Capt. Hiram's Resort  Sebatian FL.   site of the Rhab concert.

St Augustine,  Hurricane Patty's dock    marina closed Patty's the place.   Bye to SAMMY

Landing Marina, Jacksonville, FL   new friends at the dock dinner with Ron of turning Point

Mornigstar Marina,  St Simon's Island, GA The Beach Bed and Breakdast is THE place to relax 

Hell's Gate Marina, near Savannah GA     toured Savannah with Looper friends Bruce and Jeane

SiBBS rumble around in Bruce's model A.   Savannah GA

City Marina, Charleston SC     Wings in town and night on the boat at the dock.  Interview in the AM with Live5TV  and scoot.  Amanda at the Marina was great.

Myrtle Beach,  ended up being a fast stop and not much to talk about. 

Beaufort NC,   still waiting for blog updates from the girls to get this marina name but we know that in Beaufort they met Corlis and Mike Bradley. 

Norfolk VA , great hospitality from Gordon and Kay Shelton allowing a few days of courtesy moorage.  Katies 4 year Beloit College roomie Miranda was in town so everyone had a fun but short visit.

Hampton Va,  Hampton Marine Service has become a bit of an extended host.   Boat has shown need for repair. Since the builder, remember Joel was headed their way for his next ride along we packed a kit of parts to make some needed repairs to the boat.  The girls got hold of a car and headed for DC to pick him up.   They spent a little time touring and have now headed back to the boat to get is again shipshape, do an oil change etc before resuming travel.

While boat is laying over in Hampton the crew, now including Joel,  is bouncing between Elizabeth's Issaquah HS friend Nick's apartment and staying with Jen's ( another Beloit friend) family in Williamsburg VA

Since DC was part of a side trip by car it was skipped by boat. 

Fairport Marina Reedsville MD, quiet little town sat to chat on new friends Nick and Lucy's sail boat and tried to catch crabs with them and marina mates Bill and  Lisa.  No crabs caught.

South River Marina, Annapolis MD   A wonderful scenic place base for trip to Baltimore and an Orioles game.

Summit Point Marina, Chesapeake City cute little town.  Diverting from the intercoastal to spend more time in calm water the trip moved north on the Delaware river.

$2.50 ft Marina, Philadelphia PA  Stayed with Knox College water polo buddy Lexi.  Saw the liberty bell but wasn't allowed to ring it.  .....something about it being cracked?

Trenton NY  Courtesy of Brown's Point, a trailer arrived to portage back to the intercoastal and Laurence get ready for the the Big Apple.

Small Boat Big Hummer  

Browns Point Marina,  Laurence Harbor NJ  Paul the Suzuki dealer is gave the boat an oil change, checked a problematic bilge pump and kept watch on the boat while the girls take in NY.

Thanks guys!

New York.   via auto and Subway, very common way to enter the city.    Tried to get on today show. Our faces went national for 2 seconds of fame.    Staying at Beloit College friend Rob's place in Brooklyn.


Front Street Marina, Newburgh NY, Tom Galivane ( spelling) set us up with Harbormaster John for a courtesy docking.

Cuddy cabin deployed for a night at the front Street.


Coeymans Landing Marina, Coueymans, NY,   Pronounced Kweemans  Had Lunch and met Carl Allen and talked boats. 

Schuyler Yacht Basin, Schuylerville, NY  Met Mike and Peg

Met Mike and Peg who set us up with an apartment in Burington VT

Small Boat Exchange, Shelburne, VT

Duroboat outside the Small Boat Exchange one of Duroboats very

oldest and most loyal dealers.

The Pride of Shelburne,  John Freeman and son Ian at the SBX

downtown Burlington, VT a town full of fun.


Canal de-Saint Anne de-Bellevue  and Sorel  Quebec

Finally entered Canada

One of the locks in Canada near Sorel.

another lock   then turning south to Montreal.

Ottowa River lock system and Rideu Canal.

Trent -Severn

Georgian Bay

North Channel    Little Current Ontario

Back In the USA

De Tour Village MI.  This remote spot in the UP thats short for Michigan's Upper peninsula was home for a night and turned out to be their last in water spot in Lake Huron.  From their on 5 to 8 foot seas kept them off the Great lakes until they relaunched at Marinette WI on lake Michigan's Green Bay.

Mackinac Island, a day trip by ferry was teh best they could arrange with remaining time.  Seas were so bad even the ferry trip was exciting.   Mackinac was worth it.  This no car island is a step into America's historic past in a very elegant way.  Travel on the Island relies heavily on our equine friends. 

Marinette, WI a short overnight at the Tarragon and back in the water early for the cruise down Green Bay to teh town of Green Bay.  The girls did a photo shoot for teh Beloit college magazine then headed up the fox until stopped by inoperative locks.  Sammy portaged tehm around the locks and positioned the boat for re-launch a few miles up river.

Appleton Yacht Club the starting point for the off the Loop finale through Wisconsins heartland via teh Fox and wolf river systems.   When all teh locks are reopened this coul be another way of looping as the Loop may evenutually cross Wisconsin to the Mississippi.

Wolf River Outfitter's Fremont WI  The trip up the Fox and through Lake's Butte des Morts, Poygan and Wimmecone and onto yhe Wolf River  went very fast as water was much friendlier than Lake Michigan. Louis Wood's and his pals Randy and Steve took the girls fishing Fremont Chamber  set up a Lunch at Channel Cats.  Channel Cats is the largest of several pretty cool waterfront restaurants and bars in downtown Fremont.  The Wolf River is famous for walleye fishing and giant runs of White Bass.

Clearwater Harbor, Taylor Lake, Chain O Lakes, Waupaca WI.

The Official Completion of the Small Boat Big Summer Adventure.   

Thanks to Amy Barker of the Waupaca Chamber for setting up a great day at the Harbor.  

The day started with a cruise accompanied by the famous Chief Waupaca paddlewheeler.  Then lunch at the Harbor.

Maureen Meighan who has taken over management of the Harbor from her dad Pat was a great host.  The Harbor is often party central on the chain.    Pat a winter time Florida resident has run portions of the Great Loop and made open water runs to Cuba nad the Bahamas.  He has a 30 year old Stamas Yacht, remember John Stamas who helped out the girls way back in Tarpon Springs.  Small world.   John, Pat loves his Stamas.

The day included a photo shoot with Ty Helbach and visits with Henry Veleker who works with development for Waupaca. Emily from the Post Cresent newspaper stopped by to interview the girls.      After 6000 miles of serious boating over confidence and complacency set in on the pastoral Chain O Lakes, as during the second photo shoot of the day the girls simply ran out of gas. For the first time they had to paddle to shore. 

Thanks to the friends family and supporters who came out to congratulate our travelers. 

Thanks to all those who sent messages of support throughout the trip.

As this is being written the last blogs are not yet at  but watch for them.  There are lots of pictures yet to be posted here and there so come back.  Changes to this page will be made for some time to clean it up and complete the record of Elizabeth and Katie's Summer.

We love them and are incredibly proud of their accomplishment.


The SiBBS Boat and Sponsor List


Ride Along Record:

And More Photos added regularly.

The SiBBS  boat:  

The boat the used on the trip is a 16 ft bench model Duroboat hull with interior and equipment modifications chosen to add stroage, and improve long range capability on the journey.  Joel Coltain has provided most of the specialty modification and internal assembly.

Call to ask about a Great Loop Edition Duroboat for your next trip

The boat is a 16 ft Duroboat.  Since safety is key we have chosen to use boat in Duroboats traditional bright yellow.    It will have with a custom double wide console, and extra storage.

The boat features a modern fuel efficient Suzuki outboard motor with power tilt and trim.

These companies are sending along equipment to assure a safe and fun trip..  You can find their products in a variety of other boats and at retail outlets that handle quality marine and outdoor gear. Search on their names to get websites.

Suzuki                           -  high performance 50HP EFI 4 stroke

                                      Motor is running great.  Suzuki Dealer S and R in Beardstown helped out with oil change.

Bob's Machine Shop -  hydraulic jack plate

                                working fine. expect to get more use out of it in Florida flats

Lowrance                 -   navigation and VHF radio gear.

                                great stuff ,  weatehr, gps, directions, all working great.

Seadog Line             -   critical components, lighting and hardware

                                good solid hardware no problems so far

Uflex                       -    steering system

                                hundreds of Duroboats use UFlex steering we don't recall a single issue or complaint.

Mustang survival      -    PFDs and safety gear

                                The horse collar shaped PDFs are much nicer than a full PDF relly allow for full movement.     No reason not to wear them.

SPOT                       -    satelite tracking

                                good to send out the OK messages and fun to track progress

The Railmakers NW -    console grab rails, side rails

                                see these rails on Duroboats worldwide good folks good product

Sandspike                 -    beach anchoring, lines, fashion

                                expected to use in florida but went right to work in Beardstown IL

Turning Point Propellars-  stainless prop and performance set up

                                tech support above and beyond at prop selection day again at launch

Exide                       -     dual batteries

                                starting everyday so far providing lots of Aux. power also.

Acrylico                   -  Acrylic windscreen

                                a custom Duroboat screen arrived in Chicago the night before departure, good work Carlos

AGLCA                    - Membership America's Great Loop Cruisers Association

                                                      AGLCA Burgee have helped create welcomes at many ports.


Many folks have helped in preparation for the trip and given material and moral support along the way

Joel Coltrain, put in heroic hours o get the boat ready and to support the cross country drive to Chicago.  Joel

coached Katie and Elizabeth in the workings of all of the equipment and made adjustments to the boat after the early portions of the trip

John Mirassou wrote the book Only In America and has provided valuable example, moral encouragement and enthusiasm for the trip.  see his website  Until the girls write their own story john's may be the most fun road trip book about the Loop that you can find.

Dave HellandDave is a long time Seattle area boater who is a valuable friend and consultant to Duroboat helped inspire and advise on boat details.   Dave is on his 3rd Duroboat which he rigs for some serious adventure. Dave has a long boating history which includes hydo racing,  model boat racing and wilderness exploration.  Daves current 16 has many of his own custom touches which have yeilded performance of over 40 MPH and  13 MPG with only 50 HP.

Stacey Hunt:  Stacey really got on board with the project.  She organized the going away at St Andrews, helped to sell t-shirts and contibuited generously to expenses.

Randy Vance  and the team at Boating Life Magazine  they jumped on board with the whole SiBBS concept previewed it in Boating Life, visited in Seattle for some pre plannig and have helped make the tripp a much more public adventure than it ever could have been without them.

Kelly Flory:  Kelly is with Martin Flory, She has graciously conected us with one of our sponsors Turning Point Propellar and has followed the trip with enthusiasm.

Andy/Debbie Moore, and the Moore Family Farms, and friends have provided, moral support and financed a significant amount of fuel for the trip.

Bob and Marge Piriczky and family, long time friends have provided moral support, a nice contribution toward fuel and Chicago lodging for a key member of the trips initial support team. All is appreciated.

Vince Rizzo, family and staff of Cubs Park Service, ( the premium place to park and get souveniers at Wrigley) attended the initial launch and cruise through Chicago, supported a side trip for the launch support staff to Wrigley Field, (Cubs lost, bummer) and contributed fashion apparel for the trip. They have also made substantial contributions to the fuel fund for the girls.

Michael Clark:  Prepared the first video record of the trip which highlights the launch and intial leg down the Chicago river.  see it on You Tube   Great Loop SiBBS

The Collective McPhail relatives, Neizel's, Lange's, Clark, Groat et al:  They have all hosted travelers, traveled to the Knox Graduation ceremony and Havana IL departure, provided food, lodging, T-shirt management, and financial support to the the early days of the launch.

Susie "Watson" Frcka, a long time Chicago friend met the trip in Cape Girardeau Il and treated the girls to some lodging, some food and a tank of gas.  Very nice.

Corporate Select Embroidery Bob and the team at CSE helped with the SiBBS Logo and printed the T -shirts sold to finance portions of the trip.

Teresa of ALGCA keeps calling ahead and e mail blasting the members to let the ALGCA members and sponsors know the girls are coming. It has helped insure a warm welcome wherever they go.  Teresa's efforts are much appreciated.

UMMA, ( United Marine Manufacturers Association)   Kent Woolridge, Jill Gunsenhouser, Jane Melton  and staff,  always a great supporter of Duroboat and boating in general the UMMA has continued their support of this effort to promote boating for the benefit of all their member builders and suppliers

Sam Craft and his girlfriend Ann at the Ole Shaky Marina site of Rachel's Widows Walk Restaurant.  Sam and Ann provided a couple of days of lodging a convertable Volkswagen and some festive fun for the girls.  Sam appraises real estate in the Moss Point MS area.  he Captain's a real life Pirate ship and owns a handful of Duroboats.

Marc Grove -   Going above and beyon in Apalacicola.  see Ports Of Call

Allan and Susann Syme ,  Fellow cruiser who met the girls at Dog River Marina on Mobile Bay has insisted they call them for up to the minute weatehr as he has the best gear.  That has come in handy.  They have invited the girls to stop at their house after they cross Okeechobee

Town of Steinhatchee, Lots of help over an extended stay in the "Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem

John Stamas of Stamas Yachts,  This fellow United Marine Marine Manufacturers Association builder and outstanding citizen helped the girls in every way possible.  Most appreciated is his help in checking out the boat to assure they have the safest possible ride to continue the trip.  .If you need a fishing machine that is a bit bigger than a duroboat give Stamas Yachts a look.

Ray and Camille, Loopers who a few years ago traded in normal life for a family year on the loop.  They opened their Bradenton home to the SiBBS.  Boatless for now the couple and their son have enough memoribilia to keep the loop always close to their hearts.

Unknown Boatman, Lake Okeechbee , trailered the boat around the closed for maintenance Moorhaven lock. A short distance but big savings as going around via the keys would have been a bit of a detour.

Andreea  at the Loggerhead.  a warm place to sleep and help en route.

Ron Bailey  from Turnigpoint Propellars   Introduced SiBBS to his family and provided a nice dinner in Jacksonville

Larry Luv McDonough of the Beach Bed and Breakfast in St Simon Is  when he heard of the girls trip he said send them over here I have a room.  Little did Katie and Elizabeth know they were about to enter a new world of luxury.

Bruce and Jeane,  Loopers from Savannah GA, show the SiBBS the town with style and grace.  Rumblin to the country Club for a Seafood feast.

Corlis and Mike Bradley At the dock in Beaufort the harbor master introdcued them to the girls.  They all made friends and the bradley's extended katie and elizabeth some good southern hospitality.  Mike is very much involved in expanding the boating business in North Carolina.

Bob Piriczky,  a second big debt of gratitude to lifelong buddy Bob.   Remember the deer that left his blood on the boat, on the trip to Chicago?  It was a long time ago now.  Anyway Bob took it upon himself to check out the trailer parked for the summer at his house and found the axel bent.  He has since disassembled the boat used his extensive Chicago connections to get it straight and is in the process of putting it all back together.  Much appreciated Bob!

Peg and Mike  a couple the girls met in NY arranged for them to get a few nights of soft beds in a condo in downtown Burlington.  Much appreciated.

JibTurner,  long time Duroboat fan ran into the girls at teh Little Current Yacht Club by accident but ended up storing the boat for a few days and helping the girls get to a bus so they could make it to Breeze's wedding in the nick of time in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin.

Sammy Almohandis, Sammy drove the Suburban cross country to meet the finish and then when it became clear they were running out of time went all the way to Sault ST Marie to get the girls to and from Breeze's wedding.  He has since trailed behind in the Surburban to support portages as needed. he was doing the hard time behind the wheel while the girls lived the good life at sea.  Great job Sammmy.

Mary McGuire Slevinarranged a great day on Mackinac Island Katie, Elizabeth and Sammy. Everyone ought to put Mackinac Island on their bucket list.  It is on mine.

Kim Pelky of the Tarragon Motel in Marinette WI, graciously received the girls and put them up for the night.


Ride Alongs:

Joel Coltrain:  the car trip to Chicago,  on the boat Chicago to Havana,IL   on the Boat Havana to Kimmswick, Mo

Rosemary McPhail:  ( the worried mom)  on the boat  Havana to Beardstown IL

Sammy Almohandis: Elizabeth's Knox college friend,  on the boat Havana to Beardstown

Jill Gunzenhouser:  UMMA executive, on the boat Kimmswick MO

Sammy Almohandis:  rejoined the adventure in Moss Point MS and is cruising with the girls to his granparents house on the panhgandle intercoastal and then to lower florida.  So far Sammy is the longest ride along. Moss Point to a planned departure from the boat July 10.  Fuel efficiency will go up but the fun level and support down.

Joel Coltrain:  rejoined the trip in DC for a week of genteel cruising only to find himself once again drafted into boat maintenance.   he will be aboard when the SiBBS boat pulls out of Hampton.  Joel stayed through trenton NJ and then departed for eattle from NY.


Press: has the running blog about the trip and is the primary record.

regional stories from around the loop will be referenced here.

From the Issaquah Press

From the Ottawa IL  Times

From Moss Point MS

TV Interview from Columbus MS  

From destin Florida

Video from Chicago

Link to You Tube sibbs start on Chicago River.


More from  the Great Loop SiBBS  Photo Journal Follows:

Katie and Elizabeth on the Illinois River sporting Cubs Park Service fashion wear.

Elizabeth at the helm on the Illinois between Havana and Beardstown

Shown protected by the Mustang Survival colar type PFD is the famous right arm of Knox College pitching ACE Sammy Almohandis,  Not shown are the famous legs and slightly damaged knee of the Knox College standout corner back belonging to the same aforementioned Sammy Almohandis.


Above Elizabeth in the big river locks.

Below Katie Same Locks



Carting courtesy of the folks at Green Turtle Bay Marina. 

This is a Port of Call with Style.


Living on the edge Down By the River. Erosion a fact of life. 


Katie, Red Beans, Rice, a  Sunburn and Blue Ribbon Beer.

Finally some southern Cooking. 




Working dinner somewhere in Florida's panhandle.

above  Katie plots a course for the next day while

Elizabeth catches up on blogging below.

Dolphins sighted in open Water

First gators of the trip.  Just the right size.

More than one Small Boat this Big Sumer.  The Steinhatchee

River relentlessly propesls SiBBS Katie and Elizabeth and

Sammy, toward the sea.


SiBBS  "Fiddle" while the Gulf churns.  This trio of shots taken at

Fiddlers, during the 4 day layover. After 20 minutes at Fiddler's 

everybody new their name in the "drinking town with a fishing problem"

Scot and Jim appear to be flashing some sort of Fiddler gang signs.


No   7-Eleven in Steinhatchee but at Fiddler's  Katie, Sammy

Elizabeth and Jim see to be able to find a pretty good size Gulp

of something.

Katie and Sammy chat with one of the locals on the dock in

Steinhatchee.  Sammy thought he was an ok guy but wondered

why he didn't talk a little more.


Sunrise comes to Cedar Key as the crew says farewell and

points the Duroboat toward Tarpon Springs


Sam and Elizabeth locking Through on the Way to L. Okeechobee



Doing the Pahokee Florida Mosquito dance


Cool cabin arranged by Andree at the Loggerhead Marina.

Lake Okeechobee, Pahokee Florida.  Sure beats the deck of

the boat. Ocean like Okeechobee  has views to the horizon.

Sammy has packing duty in Sebastian Florida

Trying to set a new one flip flop trend on the streets of Fernadina FL.

St Augustine, FL   Oldest bridge on the ICW

Ron Bailey from Turning Point Propellars stops to see the Duroboat

and meet Elizabeth and Katie in Jacksonville

Elizabeth and Katie enjoy the niew from their room at the

Beach Bed and Breakfast in  St Simon's Is.

Beach B&B loaner bikes, perfect change of pace from boat.

Also perfect to see the charms of St Simons IS.

Lighthouse on St Simons IS, GA

On the waterfront Savannah GA

Loopers L to R, Jeanne, Eliz, Katie and Bruce at a gorgeous

Counrty Club Seafood buffet in Savannah.  Thanks J and B.

At Baltimore's Camden Yards for an Oriole game with Beloit College friend Jon

Baltimore  Great view of a Bud Light  with Camden Yards in the distance.

Elizabeth, Katie and Rob on the mean streets of New York

Where the Loop turns left for the Erie Canal amd straight north  for the Champlain Canal. 

Closing  Americas Great Loop get a little nearer every day.

In Burlington, met another beloit College friend Nick Hendry

Boat awaiting return of the Girls to resume trip.  Scene is near Little current Ontarios

on Manitoulin Island.  Boat in the capable hands of Jib Turner.


Archived Status 

Pre trip ,   

Seattle Bon Voyage Party at St Andrews Bar friday the 22 of May was great fun.  Thanks to all who attended and bought T shirts to support the expedition.

Tentaive trip start June 3, 2009  subject to weather and event schedules.  looking like this may get delayed a bit.we are running late on rigging the boat and we hear sections of rhe Illinois river may be closed to recreational traffic..

Joel the assembler with heroic effort fisnished the boat Sunday May 31.  It is on the water ( Lake Sammamish, Issaquah WA) for its maiden run as this is being written. The boat leaves for Chicago on Monday, a few days late.  We plan to test with one of our sponsors  Turning Point Propellars  on Wed June 3 near Chicago and launch into Lake Michigan on June 4.  One day late.  First leg of the trip is in jeopardy as we are told the Illinois river may be above its banks and closed to pleasure boatsing.  We'll see.