Local couple spends year exploring U.S. by boat

St. Vital couple saw 18 states during year-long boating trip “On Business”


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This article was published 06/09/2016 (2456 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A St. Vital couple has spent the past year away “On Business,” becoming the first Manitobans to complete the boating adventure known as America’s Great Loop.

Andy and Twylla McKendry recently returned home from 357 days aboard their diesel-powered PT35 Troller named “On Business.”

Andy put the boat in the water on Aug. 4, 2015, and left Victoria Harbour soon after with friends. Twylla joined him two months later since she had to continue working. They completed the Great Loop on Aug. 6, 2016, and flew home to Winnipeg at the end of the month.

Supplied photo Andy and Twylla McKendry are pictured while on their year-long trip around America’s Great Loop, a 11,056-kilometre nautical adventure they recently completed.

Together, they embarked on a journey that spanned 11,056 kilometres (6,870 miles), traversing 18 states and 188 locks. They spent $6,180 USD on 2,301 gallons of fuel on their trip.

Each year, only about 100 boats complete the Great Loop, which circumnavigates the eastern part of Canada and the United States, cruising up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, through the New York State canals and into the Great Lakes. Boaters also travel down the inland river system, across the Gulf of Mexico and around the southern tip of Florida.

Overall, the McKendrys’ best memories stem from the fellow adventurers they met along the way of the Great Loop.

“We’ve probably got 75 to 100 boat cards, which are like a business card with your boat information,” Andy said. “We met them at different stages of the trip because you can start it from anywhere.”

For Twylla, Christmas was a standout moment since they served a holiday meal for eight people aboard their boat in Florida.

“We had a full regular Christmas dinner with turkey and potatoes and dressing,” said Twylla, who works as a chemist in a lab.

“The kitchen has a three-burner propane stove and oven. I’ve got a fridge and a freezer and a double sink. Our boat could sleep six people, but we never had more than four.”

As for Andy, he especially enjoyed anchoring out behind the Statue of Liberty, going to the naval academy in Maryland and spending Canada Day on the Rideau Canal.

“There are so many things to see,” he said. “You can’t possibly see it all.”

Now that they’re back home, they’re already looking ahead to future voyages on the water.

“We’re going to do our boating in Ontario in the summer,” Andy said. “And then when Twylla retires, we’ll do the Great Loop route again.”

Until then, they’ll continue to reflect on their journey and share their stories, which Twylla recorded on her blog called Cruising On Business. For more stories and photos from their escapades, visit www.cruisingonbusiness.wordpress.com.

Twitter: @LanceWPG

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