Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity



We are the Donnelly family, taking a year away from work and heading around the Great Loop in 2017-2018. We are on our PDQ36 sailing catamaran named "Serenity," which is a reference to the space ship, not 'peace of mind!' We are accompanied by our Dog, Lucky and maybe by our Cat Sid. Though we are holding out to see if Sid, who is 17 years old, makes it to our departure in May.

We arrive ‘home’ (6/7/18)

I have been delaying/avoiding posting that we finished because I’m in denial. If I don’t post, then we haven’t finished and the adventure can continue, all other evidence to the contrary. Continue reading “We arrive ‘home’ (6/7/18)”

Friends (5/22/18)

Good friends take your car while you leave for a year. Take all the crap out of your house when you sell it. Collect your mail and forward to you.

Great friends come spend a week with you on your trip. Rent a house. Let you use their flush toilets and run out their hot water.

The best friends have a cooler of cold beverages and a bag of snacks awaiting your return from a year away.





Waves and new waterbed. Chesapeake Bay (5/20/18-5/22/18)

We have have three days remaining on our trip and three states that we will cross. Assuming weather cooperates. Continue reading “Waves and new waterbed. Chesapeake Bay (5/20/18-5/22/18)”

Welcome back! (A special welcome back from the Chesapeake Bay) (5/21/18)

[Note: This post is a transcript of a recoding of a rant by the Chesapeake Bay. Please note that there may be some salty language that may not be suitable for some of the reading audience. Also note that the Bay is actually a body of water, and cannot actually rant. This is what we imagined he was saying as we spent our first full day back on the bay.]

You have been warned.

Welcome BACK, BITCHES!!!

Saw you coming from a mile away. Or like hundreds of miles away. And I GOT YOU!! You were so happy yesterday…heading through Norfolk, wind off your beam, waves rocking you a little bit then pushing you along to your cushy marina. I saw you look at the weather and I KNOW that you were thinking ‘we’ve been in the Atlantic Ocean, how bad can this be?’ And then you laughed. LAUGHED!! YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN!

Then this morning. Oh it was rich. RICH I TELL YOU! You came out of the river and there was nary a ripple. LIKE GLASS, I was, and I do have to say, I looked really good.


GLASS I was, glass. And you turned and headed north.

Did you not feel the temperature drop as I started to dial up the wave action? Did you not feel the wind pick up and then BLOW IN YOUR FACE! DID YOU NOT FEEL THE POWER!?!?!  WERE YOU NOT IN AWE!?!!?!


Heh. Too much. Too much. Let me dial it back a notch…

Apparently you all got complacent when you were in the ICW. I saw that the water jugs and the grill weren’t tied down. I saw that your dishes were left on the counter. And I saw the the hatches, while closed, weren’t locked.

Which is why I really amped up the waves around 9am. I gotta say, the look in your eyes when the waves started slamming into you EVERY TWO SECONDS WAS AWESOME! Sure, sure…my buddy the Atlantic can really dial up the size, but I got him when it comes to frequency and sheer pain. Those babies slamming into you knocked all your crap every which way! I almost broke your leg with the water jug. I almost broke you french press AGAIN! And when I threw three waves with hundreds of gallons of brine over the front of your boat, through the crack in the hatch and INTO AJ’S ROOM DRENCHING HIM IN WATER WHILE HE WS STILL ASLEEP I PEED MY PROVERBIAL PANTS!!! BWWWWAAAAAHAHHAHAHHAHAH! BWAAAHHAHAHAHHAH!

WHOO…woo…w. Wow. Missed you all.

You know, I did hear your pathetic cries from the boat:

“Why”, you sniveled. “Why.”

[In baby voice] Oh, you poor baby…you super dooper sad that it is all wavy and it make your tummy upset? Did Jimmy bump his head? Did Janny spill her coffee? OOOO…sooo sad.

Should have thought about THAT crap when you started talking up other places. Word got back to me about your trip. How you LOVED the Bahamas, how it was the BEST place you had ever been. How CLEAN the water was. And how you LOVED Canada, how it was the BEST place you had ever been and how CLEAN the water was. Don’t you think I WANT to have clear and clean water?!?!? Think it is my fault I happen to have Baltimore and Washington DC spewing crap into my water?

And when people asked where you were from, you said the Chesapeake Bay, but you didn’t say “The best cruising grounds in the world.” Or that “you will love it.” Or anything other than “we like it.” “We like it?” I’m MILLIONS of years old and you ‘like it?’

And, finally, if that wasn’t bad enough, you said that the worst day on the trip was the Delaware Bay. REALLY? That PISSANT LITTLE BODY OF WATER WAS WORSE THAN ME?!?!? REALLY?!?!? I just couldn’t let that pass.

Which is why I kept the waves dialed up for two hours. Just punishment for not showing the bay enough respect. The third hour? That was just for fun! Sorry!

Not sorry.


Welcome back. Hope you enjoyed the rest of the day. I mean it was really good sailing after noon; winds down to 10 knots and teeny tiny little waves. Will take it easy on you tomorrow–know you have another long day. But I expect a little more respect from you all in the future, or you can rest assured there is more where that crap came from.


Rain puts the dismal in the Dismal Swamp (5/19/18)

Our trip today takes us from the Alligator river to the Dismal Swamp. Note to North Carolina: Spend some money on a PR dude/dudette and see if you can come up with more inviting names. Continue reading “Rain puts the dismal in the Dismal Swamp (5/19/18)”

We escape imaginary thunderstorms. And then it rains (5/15/18-5/18/18)

We leave our next home running to escape thunderstorms. Wait for days for rain and then when we next leave? It rains. Continue reading “We escape imaginary thunderstorms. And then it rains (5/15/18-5/18/18)”

Big Creek, NC and we find our next place to live (5/14/18)

After leaving Beaufort, we spend the day with friends, both new and old, and perhaps find the area where we want look at living long term! Continue reading “Big Creek, NC and we find our next place to live (5/14/18)”

Back into the ocean, Beaufort here we come. And we find another FWHOTBBNTWWU (5/12/18)

To hell with the ICW–at least for a day. We are heading into the Big Bad Atlantic for a (hopefully) short run to Beaufort. If we can get out of the fog. Continue reading “Back into the ocean, Beaufort here we come. And we find another FWHOTBBNTWWU (5/12/18)”

Why are there so many boats?!?! Welcome to North Carolina (Part Deux) (5/11/18)

After the debacle yesterday we were hungering for something a bit better today. We got it. For a bit. Then came the swarm of boats. Continue reading “Why are there so many boats?!?! Welcome to North Carolina (Part Deux) (5/11/18)”

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