Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity



We are the Donnelly family. We spent a year on our boat in 2017-2018 cruising in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas. We came back to the great state of Maryland, worked a bit, went to school and now are heading out on our 2019 adventure--a trip to Europe!

Our next trip begins!  (Twice delayed) (6/25/19)

Before we begin, a special shout out to Shannon from M/V Darwin who is a travel agent, does it for a living, and appears to enjoy it.  I have been playing travel agent for the past two months, arranging our trip to Europe and it suuuuuuucccccckkkkkssss.  Like big time.  And I fully expect that because of my inexperience, our trip will be filled with missed connections, lost tickets and other calamities due solely to my incompetence as a pretend travel agent.  Which is why it was no surprise that at 0610 on June 25th, I got a phone call from Amtrak telling us our train to Philly had been cancelled and would I please call so that they could arrange alternate trains for us. 

This is going to be great.

Continue reading “Our next trip begins!  (Twice delayed) (6/25/19)”

Our journey in a picture

When we got back from our trip, we spent three weeks with my dad in Minnesota.  While we were there, he asked that we meet him at 10am on Tuesday morning at his condo.  Which was weird because we were spending every DAY with him with there so why we needed to show up at a particular time was unclear.  And dad wasn’t giving any details.  So we showed up at our appointed time  and in walked a woman named Laura Pidgeon.  And in her hand was a picture she painted of our trip.

She had painted a picture for dad’s girlfriend that summarized, in pictures, the major events in her life.  Dad asked her if she would do the same thing for us and she said she would.  She then went through our blog posts1 and pulled out the major events and put them in the painting.  Which is picture you see on the post.  It is amazing and hanging in our house to remind us of our year on the boat.

1For which she deserves a reward.  Or counseling.  Or both.

Back to ‘normal’ life (Aug/Sep/Oct)

We spent a little (very little) time planning our trip, a lot of time on the trip figuring out what the hell we were doing but exactly ZERO time actually figuring out what it would be like once we returned.  Based on what we started with, we had some idea of our ‘to do list when we got back home’:  Get a smaller house in the area that we left from so AJ could go back to his school; Get a job (Jan) or not (Jim); Get a haircut (or not); and in general, revert to life on the hard and not on the boat.  ’Normal.’ Continue reading “Back to ‘normal’ life (Aug/Sep/Oct)”


The trip recap in numbers.

S/V Serenity and crew
Boat size:  36 feet long, 18.5 feet wide, 3 foot draft (depth in water)
Boat type:  PDQ 36
Number that started the trip:  5 (Jim, Jan, AJ, Lucky the dog and Sid the cat).
Number that finished the trip:  4 (Sid decided to stay in the Bahamas) Continue reading “Numbers”

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. Continue reading “Welcome back! (A special welcome back from the Chesapeake Bay) (5/21/18)”

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)”

Blog at

Up ↑