Conquering the “Greater Loop”: 65-year-old Kayaker Achieves Historic Feat

Mark Fuhrmann is not your average retiree. He is a man on a mission: to combat the evils or “bad” in the world with positivity, community and caring. A passionate kayaker, Mark’s dream was to kayak across North America, from the tip of Canada to Florida and back, solo and unsupported. He even achieved a world record: called the “Greater Loop”, Mark is the first ever to complete the circuit of almost 800 miles (roughly 11,000 km) traversing the Great Lakes, the Illinois, the Mississippi, the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Coast.

Mark’s epic journey began on June 2, 2020, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and ended on August 2, 2023, in the same city. In between, he paddled for 268 days, averaging about 40 km (25 miles) per day, and slept in a tent or on moored vessels. Dangers such as fog, waves, currents, tides, storms, locks, dams, bridges, ferries, fishing boats and wildlife, were a constant threat. However, Mark also met many kind and generous people who offered him food, water, shelter, and encouragement.

The motive for this adventure was not just personal altruism, but also philanthropy. The trip raised funds and awareness for two causes close to Mark’s heart: Doctors Without Borders and Captains Without Borders. The former is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides emergency aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care, while the latter is a non-profit organization that provides education scholarships and assistance to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to pursue careers at sea.

Mark chose these charities as a tribute to his late wife, who was a doctor who practiced in remote areas of the world. Mark himself has a background in maritime PR and communications. He was motivated by his wife’s memory to support the people who are making a positive difference in the world, just like she did.

Mark’s message for his expedition was “Reverse the Bad”, wanting to inspire people to be more positive, compassionate and caring in these troubled times. He believes that everyone can do something to make the world a better place, even in small ways, and hopes that his journey will inspire others to follow their dreams and passions.

This journey was not only an incredible physical feat, but also a spiritual one. Feeling a deep connection with nature, himself and with others, Mark stated he learned many things about himself and about life throughout his odyssey. There were moments of joy, gratitude, awe and peace, but also moments of pain, frustration, fear and loneliness.

The achievement also was a historical one. Mark felt he followed the footsteps of many explorers, traders and settlers who shaped the history of North America, as he saw many places of historical and cultural significance along his route. The journey taught him much more about the history and culture of the regions he visited.

Mark stated he has no regrets about his adventure and no plans for another one anytime soon, and is looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren and getting a good night’s sleep in an actual bed. He hopes that his journey will inspire others to reverse the “bad” in their own lives, and in the world.

He stated one final message for everyone: “Be positive. Be kind. Be caring.”


We at the Herd Law Firm are proud people like Mark Fuhrmann, and other maritime workers and passengers in all types of struggles on the waterways, and never waver in our commitment to help these maritime workers and their families when they are injured.


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