John Guider Closes the (Great) Loop

John Guider's Skerry at rest on the riverbankSeven summers ago, John Guider set out in his specially modified Skerry from Cairo, Illinois, on the first leg of an historic Great Loop transit, heading down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. His 6,000-plus-mile rowing and sailing voyage would take him around the Florida coastline, and northward up the Eastern Seaboard to the Hudson River and onward into the Great Lakes, then down the Illinois River to the Mississippi.

After devoting several months each summer since 2009 to a leg of the voyage, in mid-August of this year Guider returned to his starting point at Cairo, closing the Great Loop.  This makes his circumnavigation one of only a handful undertaken in a non-motorized vessel.

A gifted professional photographer, Guider has been documenting the people, places, and vistas along his route, from isolated campsites to fancy marinas, wild nature to bustling cities, on his John Guider: The River Inside Facebook page  and on his website,

Tall Timbers Marina, Havana, ILIllinois Valley

Taking on Chicago

Designed with decking and watertight compartments for Guider's voyage, the Skerry Raid is shown alongside the standard CLC Skerry, below right.