Ocean Cruising Club members Ed and Sue Kelly have completed exploration of America’s connecting inland waterways via the American Great Loop in 329 days. Angel Louise is the first boat known to complete both American & European Great Loops.
The American Great Loop is a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern portion of the United States and part of Canada. It is made up of both natural and man-made waterways, including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Rideau Canal, the Mississippi River and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The entire loop is approximately 6,000 miles long.
On the European circuit, they voyaged from the North Sea to the Black Sea, via the Rhine, Main, and Danube, the Sea of Marmara, through the Bosphorus, on to the Aegean Sea as well as the Mediterranean and North Atlantic (London to London in 494 days, 6,200 miles).
They completed two transatlantic passages between the two circuits. Ed noted, “When you hit your 70s there is not a whole lot that’s more grand than exploring on your own vessel. So many in the OCC inspired and informed our exploratory cruising.”
Ed and Sue have now visited 49 countries on 5 continents in the last 11½ years! Angel Louise is a Catalac 41, a 30-year-old classic English-built catamaran. Celebrations are underway aboard Angel Louise this week!
About the Ocean Cruising Club
Though it has no physical clubhouse, the OCC is the “home port” for those who have sailed long distances across big oceans. With 41 nationalities represented among more than 2500 members, and Port Officers around the world, we have a more diverse membership and a more international reach than any other blue water sailing organisation. Our Board and Committee comprise 7 women and 7 men representing 9 countries in Europe, North American and Australia, reflecting our diverse membership. Our Port Officers, Regional Rear Commodores and Roving Rear Commodores represent the frontline interaction with our current and prospective members around the world.
The Ocean Cruising Club exists to encourage long-distance sailing in small boats. A Full Member of the OCC must have completed a qualifying voyage of a non-stop port-to-port ocean passage, where the distance between the two ports is not less than 1,000 nautical miles as measured by the shortest practical Great Circle route, as skipper or member of the crew in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.36 m) LOA; associate members are committed to the achievement of that goal. This standard distinguishes the OCC from all other sailing clubs. It’s not about what you are or who you know, but simply what you have done that matters. Our awards seek to bring to light the accomplishments of ordinary people doing extraordinary things on the world’s oceans.
Our membership as a whole has more experience offshore than any other sailing organisation – in the number of circumnavigators, in the range of extraordinary voyages members have completed, and in the number of solo sailors and female sailors among our ranks. This is what sets us apart from other organisations, even as it draws us together as a group. We bring the spirit of seafaring to our association by always being willing to assist any fellow sailor we meet, either afloat or ashore.