Unique adventure: Cruising the great loop

Pam and Joe Hallberg lived in White Bear Lake for 20 years and still consider it their home port. 

Joe and Pam Hallberg of North Oaks and Fort Myers Beach, Florida, received their BaccaLOOPerate degree from America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. The degree is given in recognition of completing a 6,000-mile adventure around America’s Great Loop. 

Boaters circumnavigate the eastern part of the United States and Canada, cruising up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, through the New York State Canals, into the Great Lakes, down the inland river system, across the Gulf of Mexico, and around the southern tip of Florida.

The Hallbergs crossed their wake on Dec. 14, 2017 in their home port of Fort Myers Beach. They did so aboard Tasteful Traveler, their 42-foot Nordic Tugs trawler. The couple spent a total of 12 months of cruising over a three-year period. Their trip around the Great Loop carried them through New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., the Thousand Islands area between northern New York and southeastern Ontario, Peterborough, New Hampshire, Appalachicola, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, Oxford, Maryland, and many lock walls. 

“It’s an amazing adventure,” they said, “but the treasures are the people we’ve met along the way and the friendships we’ve gained. We’d like to say thanks to all the loopers and buddie boats for making this the best trip ever for us.”

Joe Hallberg owned Hallberg Engineering Inc., a company founded by his father Warren, and relocated to White Bear Lake in 1998. He sold the business in 2013. Pam is a part-time travel agent who focuses on food and wine destinations. They ate their way around the loop, noted the couple, and particularly enjoyed the “low country” food of South Carolina and Georgia. A stop in upstate New York at the Culinary Institute of America was also a highlight. Food is prepared by student chefs who hope to someday land a job at a three- or four-star restaurant. 

For more on their adventure, visit the Hallberg's blog: joeandpamafloat.wordpress.com. 

Approximately 100 boats complete the Great Loop each year, making it a feat more unique than swimming the English Channel or Climbing Mount Everest. Throughout this trip of a lifetime, they relied on South Carolina-based America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association to provide them with information and assistance vital to the completion of their journey. Visit www.GreatLoop.org for more. 



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