hours minutes seconds
Our Down East Loop Begins!!!
Our Latest Blogs
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.
The Sailing Adventures of QE II
This site is intended to provide updates and information about the experiences and adventures of Elizabeth and Larry Hunter-Blank aboard the QE II. We do this to provide a shared experience of our time aboard QE II with our family and friends. Thanks for your interest.
Two months after meeting Elizabeth she said to me, “you know I grew up sailing and I think it is a wonderful hobby. I think you’d like it. Would you be interested in learning how to sail?” Keep in mind, I just recently met this girl and I knew then that I liked her so I replied, “you know, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn to sail”. Nearly 30 years later, I continue to learn how to manipulate the boat and sails so that the wind will take us where we want to go.
Since that time, we have owned three boats: Serendipity, Anticipation and QE II. The later we are now beginning our 20th year of ownership. We lived for over 5 years of our life together in Chicago where we sailed Anticipation and often dreamed of what it would be like to own a larger cruising sailboat that would take us across Lake Michigan and beyond.
Four years after we returned to Kansas City, we still felt the “bug” to buy a bigger boat and we were fortunate enough to be able to purchase the “boat of our dreams”. We bought a 2001 Catalina 380 at the Annapolis Boat Show and have enjoyed the experience ever since.
Virtually every year we have managed to sail across Lake Michigan at least twice to experience the wonderful harbor towns of Michigan or sail along the western shore of the lake into Wisconsin. That has been very satisfying. Elizabeth has often expressed an interest in doing the “Great Loop”, a water adventure that takes one down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida, back north along the Atlantic coast returning to Chicago via the Great Lakes. Frankly, I’ve not been that interested. However, I have been intrigued with the idea of a Great Loop through the Great Lakes.
Inspired by that concept, we are now planning to embark on what will be a three (3) year sailing adventure. Our first summer will be a sail along the US shoreline of each of the Great Lakes; north through Lake Michigan (along the Michigan shore), south in Lake Huron, east in Lake Erie and culminating our first year in Rochester, NY after exploring Lake Ontario.
The second summer will be spent completing what is known as the “Down East Loop”. That year we will sail out of the St. Lawrence Seaway, around Nova Scotia and Maine, travel south past Massachusetts and through the Cape Cod Canal. From there we will make stops in Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard before heading to Newport, RI to spend time with Elizabeth’s sister and her family. From Newport we head west to Block Island and through the Long Island Sound into New York City. Following a short stay we will head up the Hudson River to our final leg, a transit through the Erie Canal.
Our third and final summer will be spent sailing along the Canadian side of the Great Lakes with a focus on the Georgian Bay and North Channel before an exploration of Lake Superior. We plan to conclude our trip by sailing south in Lake Michigan along Wisconsin before returning to our home port of Chicago.
This blog is intended to chronicle that trip so that we have a record of our adventures and can share our experiences with friends and family. We thank you for your interest and look forward to sharing many of our experiences with each of you.
We also invite you to also become engaged with our Vlog (Video Blog) which can be found on our YouTube Channel, The Voyages of the QE II. A link to the channel can be found immediately below.