We are Nelly Grange and Jacques Kreitmann.
We are French citizens. We have lived and worked in Paris (France) most of our lives. We have raised our 3 sons until recently – hmm… is it ever finished? Now they’ve gone away – including one in San Francisco and another one in Montreal – and we are retired. So it’s a good time for a little adventure on our own.
When we first met, I had been cruising and racing saiboats extensively for many years. At the time, I was preparing for a promotional tour of the Southern and Eastern seaboards of the US for Cointreau America. I rapidly invited Nelly to be part of the crew, and she took a sabbatical from her job at Larousse to join the party. And what a party it was!
The following months were enough for us to decide to cruise our lives together.
Back to France, back to real jobs, getting married, having kids (not in that exact order though)… all these years, sailing became rare, though I still owned boats periodically. But when I retired – 5 years before Nelly – I purchased a 40′ steel Dutch Motorjacht in the Netherlands, and I – and Nelly at times – toured the inland waterways of Holland for weeks each year, meaning many miles, locks, bridges, and beautiful old cities.
2 years ago, as Nelly neared her job’s end, she hated the idea of settling into a soft, static, narrow-minded retirement. I mentioned the Great Loop, she looked it up on the internet, she immediately decided that I should have mentioned it before… and that we were going to do it.
We’ve been preparing ever since.