On April 1st of 2006, the trawler "AMARSE" departed from the Portofino Marina, located in Clear Lake , near Houston , Texas .  AMARSE and her crew set out to traverse many of the inland waterways of the eastern United States and parts of Canada .

    This exciting route, often referred to as "America's Great Loop Cruise", covers many of the areas along the Gulf of Mexico from Houston , Texas to include the Gulf Intracoastal waters of Louisiana , Mississippi , Alabama , and the Florida panhandle.  An offshore passage cleared the great bend of Florida with direct routing from Carrabelle , Florida to Tarpon Springs.  Continuing along the inland waterways, we traveled south to Ft. Myers .  Crossing through the Okeechobee canal through Lake Okeechobee led us the east coast of the Florida peninsula.

    Turning north, we traveled the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) through northern Florida , Georgia , South Carolina , North Carolina , and into the state of Virginia .  North of Norfolk, VA, the waterway joins the massive Chesapeake Bay .  Fred and Judy thoroughly enjoyed some leisurely cruising in this beautiful and historic area before heading north to New York City .  From the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River took them past West Point Academy , up through Albany to Troy , NY .

     Although AMARSE had intended to cruise Lake Champlain , the floods of 2006 forced the alternative plan to continue through the Erie Canal , Oswego Canal , and Lake Ontario   to the St. Lawrence Seaway and into Canada .  There are many canals with much historic significance to be experienced in this region.  Several of the Great Lakes , the Thousand Island region, the historic Rideau Canal , the Trent-Severn Waterway, the Georgian Bay , and the North Channel of Lake Huron were all traversed toward the west and, ultimately, returned us to the United States with Mackinac Island , Lake Michigan , and on to Chicago , Illinois .  We lowered our antennas, radar, and other high devices to allow us to travel right through the canal that passes through downtown Chicago .

     We heading south along the Illinois River till joining the famous Mississippi River and then south to St. Louis , Missouri .  Next was the Ohio River , Cumberland River , and the Tennessee River where we cruised these lovely waters during the height of the fall foliage.  In mid-November, we headed further south again along the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway arriving in Mobile , Alabama .  At this point, we had officially closed the Great Loop cruise portion of our 2006 adventure.

    We are presently deciding where the next adventure will lead us.  All in all, over the span of 239 days, we have traveled some 7296 miles, traversed 156 locks, and have experienced some of the most beautiful areas of this great country.  Thankfully, we have made many new friends all along the way and we've had the opportunity to visit with family and long term friends too.

    Please wish us well in our quest for new adventures.