The Great American Loop #62
Dave Bernheisel
Dave Bernheisel
and his crew are piloting a 1980 Mainship 34-I (powerboat, slow, single diesel) named Going There (as opposed to all those folks who have "been there") around the Great American Loop.

Click on the link above for more information.

Basically, Dave says, they're boating up the coast to NY, then up the Hudson to Troy, across the Erie Canal, through the Great Lakes, by Chicago, down the Mississippi, around Florida and home. No small journey, eh?


On the Great American Loop


And so the Loop is completed and Going There is there

(04.27) At 12:53 p.m. on April 24, 2003, Going There crossed Latitude N37 36 off Windmill Point in Chesapeake Bay and closed the Loop. (We bought the boat in Urbanna, Virginia so we didn't have to get to Lewes, Delaware to close the Loop.)

It was a trip of 6227 miles. burning 1597 gallons of diesel fuel.

From time to time I have mentioned that Big Blue would surge a bit. This symptom changed to momentarily dropping 4-500 RPMs a couple of days ago. Coming through Norfolk the problem got worse to the point that I feared she might quit on me. One of the reputed best places for service on this engine is near Yorktown so I promised Big Blue that if she would get us ,there she would have medical attention from the Perkins equivalent of the Mayo Clinic.

She did and the doctor came. The problem was a faulty lift pump and, since replacement, she hasn't missed a beat. So, for all of you who have struggled with me over the surging -- case closed.

After the new lift pump the weather was threatening and blustery. Further, I had cruised the Chesapeake Bay for many years so it didn't have the allure of other parts of the trip. Anyway, all of this, combined with the "smelling the barn" syndrome that had been affecting me for a couple of weeks, made me hustle more and more.

So, after just a couple of more stops, we pulled into Lippincott Marina at Kent Island Narrows at ten on the morning of April 26. It was an emotional moment when Wann and I turned Going There's keys over to a broker to find a new owner.

Reflecting on the cruise, it was an experience of a lifetime. I've talked about scenery and cruising aspects, and they were great. One aspect that I have mentioned only rarely that was even more important was the people. These included family and old friends that helped, some of the more daring even crewed -- his wasn't the QE II.

Then there were many new friends met along the way (we hope they will become old friends), who took me in and showered me with all sorts of kindnesses. To both groups my deepest thanks -- not only did you make the trip possible, you made it a joy.

My one-page e-mail format prohibits me from acknowledging you individually but, in addition to Mary who was a fantastic sport (and good crew), there is one person I have to mention. It's Pat Hart. When my machine choked on the address list, he took over and dealt with bad addresses, full mailboxes, Juno going down, and a host of other irritations. All of our readers should join me in a hearty thank you to Pat.

Finally, a favor to ask of you.

In Florida, a new friend asked how many people receive the dispatches. I had no idea. I know we are hitting at least three continents but dispatches are forwarded on to people I don't know as well as reaching people through e-zines such as the Log Cabin Chronicles.

So, now I want to know who you are, where you are and how you came to receive this stuff.


Send directly to me at

If you don't e-mail, snail mail is
66 Sussex Drive
Lewes, DE 19958.

As I expect tons of responses, I would appreciate all in the same format: Name, Location, Relationship (family, friend from Lewes, met in Canada, received from John Doe, etc.).

Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed the cruise as much as I did.