Donnelly Great Loop Adventure 2017

SV Serenity




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”

Planning for the rivers: Unstepping and shipping the mast (8/19/17)

This is a niche topic. If you look at the venn diagram that shows the intersection of ‘people who read the blog’ (about 4 people) and ‘people planning on doing the loop in a sailboat’ (more than 4), the intersection is not many.

But we are heading south from Sheboygan to Milwaukee on a 40+mile trip with eight hours of time, the day is sunny, the lake is not busy and Jan scanning the horizon, so I have time. And time and a computer are dangerous things. Continue reading “Planning for the rivers: Unstepping and shipping the mast (8/19/17)”

A note from our sponsor

Usually in this space, you would see a weekly update about all the preparation leading up to our trip. This week, our regularly scheduled programming has been postponed due to all the crap we had to get done!  Five days of nonstop work culminated today (3 May) with the closing on our house.  We are officially no longer home owners–we are now nomads on a boat.  In the process, we filled a small truck up with stuff that left our house to move onto our (very small) boat.  And we are trying to fit it all in.

Our original schedule was to leave tomorrow (4 May).  But weather for the weekend here in the Annapolis area is high winds and rain and the idea of being at anchor in those conditions is not pleasant.  So we will sit here!  And go see “Guardians of the Galaxy 2.”  And a Nats game.  And anything else we can think of until the weather turns in our favor.  THEN we will leave.  Because this isn’t a race–it is a cruise!

More to follow once we get some sleep…

Week 7: The Terror!!

Seems the closer we get to leaving, the more we have to get done, the less time that is available and consequently the stress increases. In reality, we could hop on our boat right now and leave and we would be just fine, but our ‘to do’ list is quite long and getting longer! And we are ping-ponging back and forth between the house and the boat and though we are making progress, it is sometimes difficult to see the progress while you are in the middle of the mess! It was a messy, glorious week! Continue reading “Week 7: The Terror!!”

Lesson Learned

We are going to start a post that captures lessons that the learn as we move along our trip.

Do not have anything in your pocket while working on the boat that you don’t want to lose.

This is not a new lesson.  I learned this when my glasses were contributed to Neptune last summer while taking Lucky to shore one morning.  But we continue to learn and this time someone had their keys on them while we were stringing up the dinghy.  I won’t mention names, but it wasn’t me and it wasn’t AJ.  And Lucky don’t drive.  Anyhooo, this person was standing on the port side stern stairs and bent over to pull on the dinghy and saw (her) keys jump up out of her sweat shirt pocket, bounce off the middle step, double flip with a half twist and stuck the landing on the bottom step, and then in a surprise move, moved immediately into a front hand spring and back somersault into the water.  NAILED IT!  She who dropped the key slurred out the MOAPs (Mother of All Profanities) and just about threw herself in the water in an effort to stop the keys from hitting the water.
So we are in seven feet of water.  It is spring.  The outside temperature is in the low sixties.  The water temperature is not warm and the Chesapeake bay is murky on a good day.  We don’t have goggles.  For some reason, Jan decides that she is going to jump in and try to find the keys that someone dropped.  She changes to her swimsuit and plunges in the water and jumps straight back out.  It was, she reported, impossible to get all the way down to the bottom and, furthermore, it was COLD!  I gave it the college try, made it to the bottom and put my hand down into 2 feet of soft sludge at the bottom.  It was not looking good, so I called it a day.  We have more keys.
Ironically, Jan has a basket already in place on the boat for our keys, wallet and cell phone.  We did go to West Marine (and we really need to buy stock in that store) and purchase floats for our keys.  Just in case.
Update:  We got a powerful magnet from our neighbors and attached it to a pole and spent some time dragging the bottom trying to find the keys.  As expected, we got nada…

Turn off the water when you are done using it.

This would seem to be self evident.  If you are brushing your teeth in the morning, make sure you turn off the water when you are done.  Or doing the dishes.  Or cleaning the bathroom.  We have a seventy gallon tank of water on the boat and over the past three days we have had to fill it three times.  We are not taking showers on the boat (we are at a dock) nor are we drinking an excessive amount or even using that much for dishes.  Nope.  What has happened is a series of morning when someone (male, 12 years old) leaves the water on and then we depart the boat.  To come back to an empty tank.  The first time we thought we had sprung a leak and pulled up all our boards and looked in all our lockers for the seventy gallons of water.  Nothing.  Second time, he who did the deed fessed up to the action.  Third time was she who must be obeyed after cleaning the bathroom.  No more!

Week 5 of Prep: The Boat

Editors note:  We are really backlogged on getting information out.  This is a review of activities from 2-9 April.  More to follow…

The focus now is shifting, quite dramatically, from the house to the boat. Our main effort is to get the boat ready for the trip and when we have a chance, or weather doesn’t cooperate, we work on the house. We have had a huge load lifted off of us with the offer on the house and other than a couple of small things that need to be addressed we can now work on our next home.

Continue reading “Week 5 of Prep: The Boat”

Week four of Prep: We Launch and we Purge

We make progress, but it seems like there is a whole bunch of work to get done and time is ticking. We are 30 days out from closing on our house and leaving on our boat and our boat just got put in the water this week! To review: Continue reading “Week four of Prep: We Launch and we Purge”

Boaters Attitude

Boaters, and maybe it is just sailboaters, seem to have a more laid back attitude than say, the military. Or a hospital. Which causes us some stress when we expect things to run like a military operation. Continue reading “Boaters Attitude”

Week Three of Preparation

This week was a whopper and filled with a bit of stress for all involved because some of the major muscle movements came to pass this week and this thing just got real!!! Continue reading “Week Three of Preparation”

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