Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Chicago is located on the west side, the Wisconsin side, of Lake Michigan.  A seven and one-half hour crossing of Lake Michigan is required to reach Chicago from St. Joseph, MI.  Finally, a day with calm waters occurred, though it was a hazy day.  Given the choice, smooth waters will always win out over beautiful views.

Adding a bit of color and a few challenges, a sailing race was taking place off Chicago's shores.

Clear skies on our departure from the harbor brought gleaming buildings to view.


Chicago is the world capital of skyscrapers.  Many of the tallest building across the country and around the world were designed by Chicago architects.  A visit to this city is incomplete without time spent studying and viewing the architecture, old and new.

An Irish Pub wins the award for decorating with flowers

Two architecturally interesting buildings are the old and new libraries located in downtown.  The old library now serves as an art and visitor information center.  One of the features in this building is the Tiffany glass dome.  The images below are the entire dome, then the close-ups of the segments within the dome.

The new library wears an architecture vastly different than any other building in Chicago.


An architectural feature of many buildings is an ornate clock, often mounted on the corner of a building at the intersection of two streets.  One should always know the time in Chicago without much effort.


The citizens of Chicago are unhurried, warm, friendly, and giving.  The atmosphere on the streets was more comfortable and welcoming than many large cities.  One resident described Chicago as a large city with a mid-westerner attitude.  While studying the unstaffed ticket machines in the subway, attempting to determine how to purchase the correct amount of ticket needed for a trip, a woman with a violin walked up to assist.  She explained that the small amount of fare that we needed to purchase was not available on the machine that accepted credit cards and that the machine that accepted cash only should be used.  But, the cash machine did not give change and the crew did not small bills.  She insisted, and continued to insist after argument, that she would buy subway tickets for us.  Wonderful people.


A wide variety of sculpture adds to the parks and downtown areas in Chicago.  Traditional and very innovative new styles and techniques add greatly to the beauty and interest of this city.

Leaving Chicago through the Bridges

Heading south from Chicago on a boat is an adventure and an amazing tour of architecture.  Part of the adventure is navigating the bridges - 50 bridges in the 23 mile long Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.  (The first 94 miles of the Potomac River had one bridge, one that was over 90 feet tall.)  Most of the Chicago bridges are designed to open, but opening a bridge would snarl traffic for hours.  And, one bridge that has only 17' clearance from the water, does not open.  So, to travel the canal, boats must be shortened to less than 17 feet.

The Skyline Viewed While Leaving DuSable Harbor

Entering the Lock

Approaching DuSable Bridge, Michigan Avenue

Not Much Clearance

Close Enough to Touch

Approaching the Columbus Avenue Bridge

Another Tight Squeeze

The Buildings Create a Canyon 

Looking Back after Passing Under a Dozen or More Bridges

Must Wait for Commuter Train Lull to Have Bridge Raised

The Railroad Bridge That Does Not Open, Looks Much Too Low

Looks Even Lower as Distance Closes

Bent Girders Indicate Some Boats Were Too Tall,  Inches to Spare for Last Dance

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