SWFL firefighter completes 6K mile Great Loop in 28 days

Published: Updated:

A Southwest Florida firefighter is home after a 6,000-mile boat journey traveling America’s great loop.

Steve Hernden is a Cape Coral firefighter and completed the trip in 28 days.

Hernden spent eight days alone and 20 days with family members who joined him on different stops.

While most people might think twice about traveling with family in such tight quarters, Hernden said it’s a memory he’ll cherish forever.


“Tomorrow’s not guaranteed. We don’t know what we’re going to respond to if things are going to happen, just life you never know about tomorrow,” Hernden said.

The 6,000-mile journey circumnavigates the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada.

His cousin April joined him for part of his journey.

“He was going through some things. I was pinned up against the wall and steve was over on the other side. And you know, of course, we get on each other’s nerves, but we’re family, so you always love each other,” April said.

Hernden stopped in New York City and Chicago, but the native of Michigan said his favorite stop was close to home.

“It’s right on Lake Huron. So, I was able to bring my boat into the river dock for the night. To bring my boat from Florida all the way up into the Great Lakes to the house I grew up in was probably one of the coolest things,” Hernden said.

Hernden’s back to work with Cape Coral Fire Department but is already thinking of what’s next.

“I have a plan right now; it’s probably the end of 2023, maybe 2024 loops Gulf of Mexico. So from here, head down to Cuba over to the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico loop it around to Texas and then home,” Hernden said.

His family members are already packing their bags.

While Hernden prepares for his next adventure, he said he’ll continue running local charters and he plans to take the lieutenant test at the fire department.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.