Lakeshore cancer survivor finishes 6,000 mile boating trip

Man finishes Great Loop

GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - If you beat cancer at the age of 69, what would you do?

For one Lakeshore man he decided to test himself in what some call the ironman of boating. Saturday, he completed his nearly year long quest called the Great Loop.

David Pike boated close to 6,000 miles, alone in a dinghy.

"I just had this need to do something myself," Pike said. "I wanted more of an adventure, so I decided to do in a dinghy, a 15-foot dinghy."

As of Saturday, he's now a member of America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association.

"Boaters recognize it pretty much as a circle navigation of the eastern United States," Pike said.

He began in Grand Haven in August of last year and he stopped in nearly every state to play some pickle ball. It took Pike a month and a half to get from Grand Haven down to Fort Myers Beach. 

"My hat's off to the local pickle ball ambassadors, many of them put me up in their homes," Pike said "I slept in their boats, I slept in my tent, I've slept in my boat which was a challenge."

While many people thought it was a crazy idea, Pike knew he needed to do it.

"For some reason I needed to have a solo experience, something that would pass or fail based on my merit," Pike said.

But when asked the question... why?

"I guess I have to think about that, I'm still struggling with those reasons like why was it so important for me to do it alone, I don't know," Pike said. "I'm 69-years-old, and I'm healthy, I did want to do something while I had my health because it's never a given.

And I thought I better do it -- if I'm going to do it, now is the time."

Which proves that age is really just a number. Pike also noted that being a cancer survivor has made him appreciate every day that so many people seem to take for granted. 

So for now, he'll head back to Spring Lake and his life back on land. 

"I am very happy to be back and my wanderlust has been satisfied for a long time," Pike said. "People have asked me what my next adventure and I tell them: It's probably going to involve a T.V. and a lounge chair."

His wife, Ann, admires his tenacity and persistence but she said she's ready for him to be back home.

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