'Toon voyage to raise funds for vets and set Guinness World Record update

Published online: Aug 26, 2011 News
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The May 25, 2011, edition of The North Fort Myers Neighbor reported that a local resident had launched a 6,000-mile voyage to raise funds for veterans and set a Guinness World Record for his trip in a 26-foot pontoon boat circumnavigating eastern North America via the Intracoastal Waterway.

An update on the journey was published June 1.

Here is the latest update sent from sea by George Sinko, who is the captain of the vessel, through friend Mike Matera, co-owner of the Palms Restaurant at Sabal Springs, where many ideas for the journey were hatched:

HMS Patriot

Great Loop Boat Log

Week #9 August 6- August 12, 2011

- 8/06/2011; After a great night's sleep, Chase and I shoved off from Big Basin at 0630 to a perfectly calm river that looked like glass. We are going to try and make Ottawa, IL for a Veterans Celebration. I also noted that when heading down river the markers change and Red is on the left!

We are now into 53 days of nice cruising weather and today is partly sunny and humid. What a difference a day makes from Lake Michigan! Yesterday we only burned 21.5 gal of fuel mostly because I am headed down river.

Five miles down the river I came to the Dresden Lock. This is another huge hole in the water and I was the only boat in the tub! The lock master, Jay, an ex Marine gave me a cup of coffee and we chatted about the foundation and other Loopers.

After I left the lock a large tug pushing 15 barges came at me. Wow what a passage between us. I also noticed that the barges make less a wake than do the speed boats going passed. Shortly after this group of barges passed I came upon another Tug pushing 9 barges. As I approached the Marseilles Lock, I came upon another large Tug pushing 12 barges. Here comes the wait! The Tug put 6 barges into the Tub, backed up and waited for the 6 barges to be lowered. The water came back up and the Tug with the other 6 barges entered the Tub to repeat the process. The whole turn around took just under 3.5 hours and I am told to expect this process as I proceed down river.

As we waited for our turn, another Tug pulled up with 6 barges full of crushed stone, like the kind that go into cinder blocks. By rule of passage, this barge should be allowed to pass ahead of the eight pleasure craft but I believe the Lock Master is allowing us to go through 1st.

We finely made it through the lock at 1300 and cruised down river to Ottawa, IL to a city dock and festival. However the festival wasn't to start until 1700 and I moved on to Starved Rock Marina another 10 miles down river. I am tied up and waiting for a thunder storm to pass through. We had another beautiful cruising day even with the delay at the lock.

The rain storm came through but no thunder or lighting and the rain came straight down with no wind and lasted 10 minutes. Wow, did it get muggy after the rain shower! I took two showers before I went to bed and during the early morning hours, 0400, another thunder storm came through. Once again, very little wind and the storm blew through in 15 minutes.

- 8/07/2011; At 0630 we had a nice sunrise but somewhere rain showers started falling but only lasted 5 minutes. 


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