Coming Full Circle Reviews

Great Loop, Good Read Over the course of four summers, from 2005 through 2008, Bruce and Susan Armstrong cruised the Great Loop counter-clockwise starting from their homeport in Naples, Florida. Thanks to several side trips, the Armstrong’s put 7,000 miles under the keel of their Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot, Gulf Cart. The book they recently published about their experiences, Coming Full Circle: A Voyage on America’s Great Loop, makes for good reading, not only for the accounts of the trip’s more harrowing moments, like the violent squall that hit them while returning from the Dry Tortugas to Key West, but also for the cruising advice you can glean from their descriptions of the ports they stopped at along the way. Their writing is evocative enough to make you truly appreciate the appeal of this classic American cruise, even during the voyage’s quieter moments. The book is illustrated only with maps of their route, but the Armstrong’s posted more that 300 photos … at –Soundings Magazine


Four years on the Great Loop For boaters with dreams of coastal and inland cruising, Bruce and Susan Armstrong have authored “Coming Full Circle: A Voyage on America’s Great Loop”.

The Armstrongs explain how they went from day boaters to full-time live-aboards who spent four years cruising the 7,500-mile Great Loop. For 11 years, they had boated on Long Island Sound, most often fishing. They occasionally anchored overnight at Port Jefferson Harbor, N.Y., and on those nights they “realized that the only thing keeping us from heading to Boston or Miami or London was the capability of our boat,” they say in the introduction.

The Armstrongs bought a Nordhavn 35 Coastal Pilot and named her Gulf Cart. With a full load of 580 gallons of diesel, their range topped 1,250 miles at 7.5 knots. The Armstrongs’ Great Loop journey began in Naples, Fla., and the book explains what they expected and the surprises they found along the way.

Says Bruce Armstrong: “We never knew what the day might bring after we left the dock. Every day was fresh, and most of our experiences were so positive.”-Southern Boating Magazine


“Come aboard, and welcome to Gulf Cart“. This greeting will be your start of an amazing adventure with Bruce and Susan Armstrong as they take you on an armchair tour of their four years cruising the Great Loop. Through their eyes, you will view the greatness of our country as seen from the water, the backyard of America. If you are planning on starting your own adventure of Looping, you are about to get pumped up.
Tom Conrad, AGLCA Member and Skipper Bob Award Winner


Almost ten years as a live-aboard cruiser and I’ve not yet done The Loop. If I ever do, this book will be my constant companion. Chock full of the kind of information cruisers need with great story telling to make it personal and interesting.
Beth Tally – First Mate s/v Up Jinks and author of The Beacon.


As a non-boater, I did not expect to be much interested, but to my surprise I found myself truly enjoying the adventures of the Armstrongs cruising the Loop. A definite must-read for both boater and non-boaters!
Carl L. Steinhouse, author of five books about Heroes of the Holocaust


There are a lot more interesting places
to spend the night on a road trip than
in one of the typical motels found at
Interstate exits. Travelers can instead…

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Cruising America’s Great Loop is one of
the premier boating adventures available
in North America. We spent four summers
aboard our 35-foot trawler Gulf Cart

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