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Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity

Month

December 2017

Marco Island to Marathon: We sail! And find a secluded beach getaway (12/11/17-12/12/17)

This is a catch up post from earlier this month. Two days of travel in which we remember that we are actually a SAIL boat, head out and enjoy the wind and waves. Or at least enjoy the wind. And have one of the best sailing days on the trip. Continue reading “Marco Island to Marathon: We sail! And find a secluded beach getaway (12/11/17-12/12/17)”

Key West!! By Bus. And we love the bus! (12/23/17)

Day two of our attempt to make it to Key West, and, spoiler alert, we are successful. Continue reading “Key West!! By Bus. And we love the bus! (12/23/17)”

10% Chance for rain (12/27/17)

I’ve been brushing up on my meteorological skills over the past couple of days. “Burshing up” being secret code for getting any meteorological skills since up to this point I have had none. But what I have had is this phone with a ton of apps that tells me exactly what is going to happen weather-wise and it is always correct!

Well. Mostly.

Continue reading “10% Chance for rain (12/27/17)”

We get SO CLOSE to Key West! (12/22/17)

Our original plan was to visit Key West by boat. Leave our mooring ball, head 50ish miles towards the sunset until we get to Key West, stay a couple of days, tour the town, then head back to Marathon for Christmas.  But we looked at the weather and if we wanted to return, we would be bucking East winds with some waves. And that isn’t fun. And the Key West mooring field has a mile(ish) dinghy ride to get the dog to shore for his twice daily constitutional. Which is not something we wanted to necessarily do if we didn’t have to. We made the decision to get a car and drive to Key West! Not sexy…not adventurous, but it gets to the same end–that we get to see the sights of the famed place and the incredible sunset! Continue reading “We get SO CLOSE to Key West! (12/22/17)”

Snorkel Thursday (12/21/17)

There are days during the past seven months where we have been tired. Exhausted. Scared. Uncertain. Frustrated. Angry. Stressed. Anxious.

This was not one of those days. And a warning up front. If you are in a location that is north of the Mason-Dixon line, where there are actually four distinct seasons, at least one of which has that white stuff known as snow, then you may not want to continue. Or at least be warned; this post contains images of warm weather, sunny skies and blue water. No snow. Continue reading “Snorkel Thursday (12/21/17)”

Marco Island: We escape the weather in our own private marina (12/7/17-12/11/17)

Start: Pink Shell Resort and Marina, Fort Myers, FL, 0726
End: Marco Island, Marina at Factory bay, 1346
Total Distance: 35.0 nm
Time: 6:20
Average Speed: 5.5 kts

Our time at the Pink Shell resort ended at 0726 when we pulled away from the dock. It was a quick trip with the tide into the Gulf of Mexico and another 35 miles south Marco Island. Jan was at the wheel when started into the channel that led to Marco Island and I took the wheel so she could arrange the lines. When I looked down at the speed, we were flying at almost eight knots and we were crowding a power boat in front of us…the current was fast with a full moon! Continue reading “Marco Island: We escape the weather in our own private marina (12/7/17-12/11/17)”

Fort Myers: A tale of two cities.

Fort Myers turned out to be one of the most interesting stops on the trip. Not because of the town itself (though it was nice and we enjoyed it). Rather because we stayed in two different places, had two different experiences and realized that our trip is changing. Continue reading “Fort Myers: A tale of two cities.”

Preventative Maintenance Matters (12/5/17)

Let’s be honest. I have not, as I have grown up, shown any great aptitude or even good attitude when it comes to maintenance. Of anything that has an engine.  Computers I love breaking/fixing and breaking again, but mechanical stuff?  Forget it. For example, I burned more cars (two) than I fixed or worked on (zero) through college. Upon joining the Army, I got drilled into my head that preventative maintenance is key to making sure you stuff works. That is–take care of the equipment by doing the routine services and it is going to last a lot longer. But I didn’t actually DO the maintenance; just made sure it got done! I mean, your hands get dirty and stuff! When it came time to get work done, I outsourced it to someone else. Rather have someone else dork it up than me! Continue reading “Preventative Maintenance Matters (12/5/17)”

Pelican Bay. Old Florida. Mosquitos, Alligators and we LOVE islands! (12/2/17-12/4/17)

We have had the best luck on this trip when we stop at out of the way islands. Beaver Island in Michigan, Washington Island in Wisconsin, Hope Island in Canada. And now another gem; Cayo Costa. An island just outside of Fort Myers, reachable only by boat. And it was a winner!!

Continue reading “Pelican Bay. Old Florida. Mosquitos, Alligators and we LOVE islands! (12/2/17-12/4/17)”

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