All posts by Tim & Shirl



Where the heck are they now? Back home.  

Here’s an abbreviated ship’s log for Shirley’s Mom and all others keen to keep track of our whereabouts from October 2016 to July 2017  on our voyage from Ontario to the Bahamas and back. Scroll down to follow our route.

<Oct 25:  North Bay, ON   

-Dreaming & preparation.  See Archives for our March to Sept posts

Oct 25: North Bay > Kingston, ON via land

Map 1
Oct 2016-North Bay to Kingston to launch our journey.

-We’re off! Check out our Southward post.

Nov 2: Kingston > Main Duck Island, Lake Ontario

-Lake Ontario, here we come. Launching & Grounding part 1 starts to tell the tale.

Nov 3: Return to Kingston 

-Ouch! Launching & Grounding part 2 reveals the sordid details.

Nov 8: Kingston > Bath, ON (near Kingston) via land

-Repairs. For reflections on the silver lining of being grounded, you might want to check out On the hard

Nov 17: Bath > Oswego, New York [Lock E1]

-Let’s try this again. Ariose Note Take 2.

map 2
Nov 2016-Lake Ontario crossing x2.

Nov 18:  Oswego > locks O8 to O1  > Phoenix 

-That’s Phoenix NY, most definitely not Arizona!

Nov 19:  Phoenix > lock E23 , Lake Oneida, locks E22, E21  > New London

-Brrr! : Frozen Flakes shares some of our cold weather cruising experiences.

Nov 20: New London (near Utica) > locks E20, E19 > Frankfort

-An Ariose Note slideshow of our experience transiting the New York Canals is in progress.

Nov 21:  Frankfort > locks E18 to E14  > Canajoharie 

Nov 22: Canajoharie > locks E13 to E7 > Niskayuna

Nov 23: Niskayuna > locks E6 to E1, Hudson river Federal lock > Shady Harbour

Nov 24: Shady harbour > Catskill

-Happy American Thanksgiving. This Ariose Note shares our journey down the Hudson.

Nov 26-28: Catskill

-Work on mast and rigging.

Nov 29:  Catskill > Stony Point

Nov 30: Stony Point > Poughkeepsie

Dec 1: Poughkeepsie > Haverstraw

-Corrective work to new sail & rigging (nice change to be dealing with others’ mistakes!)

Dec 3: Haverstraw > New York City, past the Manhattan skyline & Statue of Liberty > Atlantic Highlands, Sandy Hook, New Jersey


Dec 4-5:  Atlantic Highlands > Atlantic City

-Out 1st thru-the-night sail on north Atlantic along New Jersey coast. Seductively serene start turns to 12 hours of torment.

Dec 6-7: Atlantic City

-Vestiges of historic seaside holiday town clash with over-the-top tacky Trumpish

Dec 8-9:  Atlantic City > Norfolk / Portsmouth, Virginia

-Accomplishment! Read about it in Nights/Rites post.

map-early Dec large scale
So are we getting close? Nope, but good progress.  North Bay to Virginia so far …. Bahamas here we come.

Dec 11: Portsmouth > via Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) > anchored North Landing River, North Carolina

-From mega industrial giant mechano-toy-like riverside structures, to lovely meandering creeks.

Dec 12: North Landing River > Alligator River, North Carolina

-Crossed the dreaded expanse of Albermarle Sound with pleasure!

Dec 13: Alligator River

-Rest day.

icw map - day 1,2
Days 1 & 2 on the ICW.

Dec 14: Alligator River > Pungo Creek, near Belhaven

-Feasted on Tim’s birthday cookies.

Dec 15: Belhaven >  Oriental

-More great sailing across open expanses. 8.8 knots!

Dec 16, 17: Oriental

-Enjoying local hospitality & 70 deg F heat

Dec 18: Oriental > Morehead City

-Dolphins & scary fog.

Dec 19: Morehead City > Swansboro

-Cold, wet weather has caught us again.

map-dec 16
Days 3-6 ICW: Alligator River to Swansboro

Dec 20: Swansboro > Surf City

Dec 21: Surf City > Carolina State Park, Cape Fear River

-Happy Birthday Shirley!

Dec 22: Carolina State Park

-Enjoying a day of terrestriality.

Dec 23: Cape Fear River > Calabash Creek, South Carolina

-Sharing our quiet anchorage with pelicans, just a stone’s throw over the state border.

Dec 24:  Calabash Creek > oxbow off Waccamaw River , south of Myrtle Beach

-A very atypical Xmas anchored alone in a serene but spooky cyprus swamp.

Dec 25: Little River > Georgetown

-Xmas Day in this well preserved historic town.

Dec 26 & 27: Georgetown

-Another couple more relaxing days,  waiting for post office to open.

map cb to george
Days 10-12 ICW: Carolina Beach to Georgetown

Dec 28:  Georgetown > mouth of Price Creek, north of Charleston

-Lullabied by dolphins blowing & krill feeding

Dec 29: Price Creek > Stono River

Dec 30: Stono River > Rock Creek near Ashepoo Coosaw Cutoff

-Peaceful tidal marsh until early morning duck hunter wake-up shots.

Dec 31:  Rock Creek > Beaufort, South Carolina

-Happy New Year’s!

Jan 1, 2: Beaufort

-Starting 2017 in relaxed tourist mode in this gorgeous town, steeped in history.

Jan 3 & 4: Beaufort > out into the Atlantic to Fernandina Beach, Florida

-Uneventful (i.e. good!) 26 hour passage, hop-skipping over Georgia.

Jan 5: Fernandina Beach > mouth of St.John’s River

-Quick departure decided by pulp & paper mills!

Jan 6: St. John’s River > St. Augustine

-Steeped in Spanish history. Winter gear back out!

map-beau to st a
Days 19-22 ICW/Atlantic: Beaufort to St.Augustine
map-early Dec large scale
Now we’re getting there!

Jan 7: St.Augustine

-Extra day to get some great deals on boat parts.

Jan 8: St. Augustine > mouth of Matanzas River

-Unplanned overnight “anchorage” when low tide grounded us high & dry!

Jan 9: Matanzas River > Daytona Beach

-Pleasantly uneventful.

Jan 10-16: Daytona Beach

-Relaxing in mid 70 degree F sun, while stalling as we wait for favourable weather window for our upcoming Gulf Stream crossing.

Jan 16: Daytona Beach > Titusville

Jan 17-18:  Titusville, through Canaveral Barge Canal to Atlantic > Palm Beach, Lake Worth

-30 hour passage provides welcome relief from Florida ICW.

Jan 19-20: Palm Beach > toward Gulf Stream & Grand Bahama > return to Palm Beach

-This aborted passage provides fuel for  a blog post!

Jan 21-26: Palm Beach

-Stuck for who knows how long dealing with engine mishap and waiting for next Gulf Stream crossing weather window.

map - daytona to palm
Daytona to West Palm Beach

Jan 27-28:  Palm Beach > West End, Grand Bahama

– Tah dah!! Just like that, we made it!

Jan 29-31:  West End

– Relaxing while waiting for the winds to relax, too, and looking forward to heading out to explore the Abacos. We share a bit more in “Better in the Bahamas“.

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 3.29.10 PM
Gulf Crossing!

Jan 31-Feb 1: Mangrove Cay

-Short hop to a little island that is common stop over on the way across the Little Bahama Bank.

Feb 2 -5:Great Sale Cay

-Parked ourselves here for several days … a perfect place to do “nothing”.

Feb 6-7: Double Breasted Cay

-With no other boats around, we were wondering about their absence – but not complaining about having a lovely little sandy island all to ourselves for a couple of days!

Feb 8: Foxtown, Little Abaco Island

-Easy place to access, but, without a harbour, it’s an exposed anchorage. The winds were in the right direction to allow us a stop in this town seemingly unaffected by tourism.

Feb 9-12: Allens-Pensacola Cay

-Well-protected bay offered beautiful sandy beaches and lovely trails through the woods. One trail went to a signing tree hung with all of the jetsam and flotsam creatively rearranged into cruising signatures. We added our creativity to the lot, of course!

Feb. 11 -13: Cooperstown, Little Abaco Island

-This town, the administrative centre, was really well kept and quite a contrast from others we had seem. A morning at the student learning centre of the local library gave a welcome opportunity to work on the blog and catch up on emails.

Feb 14-16: Powell Cay

-Just a short hop north-east across the Sea of Abaco, brought us to this beautiful uninhabited Cay. Trails led to the wild Atlantic side. We really enjoyed our time here because of the lack of human activity and the naturalness of the island.

Feb 17-18: Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay

-No mooring balls for us! By dawn, we were high & dry yet again!

Feb 19: No Name Cay

-Touristy stop to see the “wild” pigs. An interesting curiosity. News of Shirley’s son’s accident moved us on the next day.

Feb 20-: Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island

-A large harbour packed with cruising boats of all sizes and configurations. Great place to stock up as it boasts a surprisingly mega grocery store that would out-compete ones back home!

Noname Cay to Marsh Harbour- Great Abaco Island - Bahamas
No Name Cay to Marsh Harbour- Great Abaco Island – Bahamas

Feb 21-Mar 9 :  Shirley > Vancouver & return

-A short hike to the airport and Shirley was off to be at Marcus’s side with Tim left to solo Ariose.  A major wind storm 2 nights later found Tim conducting evasive (orchestral?) maneuvers in the dark and driving rain!

Bahamas to Vancouver

Feb 24 -27: Great Guana Cay

-Easy passage across the Sea of Abaco. It was nice to be at the safety of a dock at a really reasonable rate to boot .50cents a foot!

Feb 28:  Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay

-A lovely sale back though the Whale Cay Passage which goes on the outside (Atlantic) to Black Sound Green Turtle Cay where I docked at the same place Shirley and I were before. An upcoming ‘blow’ as the locals call, is expected for the weekend, packing winds in excess of 50kph! Not takeing a chance with anchors in that wind since my experience back at Marsh Harbour!

Marsh Harbour to Great Guana Cay to Green Turtle Cay
Marsh Harbour to Great Guana Cay to Green Turtle Cay

Here’s an overview so far of where we’ve been in the Bahamas:

Mar 9: Shirley Vancouver > Marsh Harbour > Treasure Cay > Black Sound,  Green Turtle

-Relieved to be reunited!

Mar 10: Green Turtle > No Name Cay

-Settling back into duo life aboard.

Mar 11 & 12: Red Bay, Great Abaco Island

-Protected from westerly winds while being entertained by thunderstorms.

Mar 13-15: Marsh Harbour

-Back to familiar grounds to re-provision.

Mar 16: Man-O-War

-Quaint British Loyalist settlement steeped in boat building history.

Mar 17-18: Hope Town, Elbow Cay

-Charm and signature lighthouse Out-shines Man-O-War but tourist-heavy presence erodes genuine flavour.

No name to hope town
Island hopping in the Abacos.

Mar 19: Tilloo Cay

-Abbreviated our day’s sail to ride out heavy winds.

Mar 20: Lynyard Cay

Hope town to lynyard
Final days in Abacos: Hope Town to Lynyard Cay.

-Lovely sail to south end of Sea of Abaco… our final anchorage in the Abacos.

Mar 21: Abacos to Eleuthra passage, Spanish Wells.

-Adios to the Abacos as we enjoy a fantastic 11 hour Atlantic passage over the 4000 meter (yes, meter!) depths to cross to Eleuthra, anchoring off Spanish Wells.

lynyard to spanish wells
Abacos to Eleuthra passage

Mar 22-27: Spanish Wells > Meeks Patch

Another, relatively minor, overnight grounding… practise makes perfect! Checked out anchorages to ride out several days of forecasted 40-50km winds… found a secure spot on our own in the lee of this lovely slip of an island. Let the near-gale begin.

Mar 28: Meeks Patch > Nassau, New Providence

-Smooth day sail only to be required to stand off out of the harbour while 3 mammoth cruise ships headed on their way.

Mar 28- Apr 2: Nassau

-Interesting taste of urban Bahamas where we’ve promised our host, what happens in Nassau stays in Nassau!

Apr 2-8: Nassau > Exumas – anchored between Allens Cay, Leaf Cay and SW Allens Cay

-Picked our way through Yellow Bank’s coral heads to reach the cays we’ve longed for: the Exumas.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 4.22.25 PM

Apr 8: Allens Cay > Shroud Cay

– Mangrove Creek & mating tropicbirds & solitude. Lovely.

Apr 11: Hawksbill Cay

– Shoreline hikes and exploring Loyalist ruins.Apr. 13: Warderick Wells

-Moored at Exuma Land & Sea Park Headquarters (started with our trademark grounding move) for 4 days of exploring land & sea.

Apr. 17: Staniel Cay

Apr. 20: Big Major Cay

-Counted 36 boats anchored overnight off of “the” pigs’ beach.

Apr. 21: Black Point Settlement, Great Guana Cay

-Sardine:predator standoff entertained for hours.

map- hawk to gbps
Southern 1/2 of our Exuma island hopping

Apr. 23: Fowl Cay

-Gorgeous coral a short swim away; amazing Rocky Dundas caves a strenuous current-ridden row away.

Apr 26: Compass Cay

-Beautiful beach, finger coral forest, and frightening thunderstorm.

Apr 29: Cambridge Cay

– Stunning above & below water! Bell Rock & spectacular underwater life off islets.

May 3: O’Brien’s Cay

– Sea aquarium + Johnny Depp’s place.

May 4: Norman’s Cay

– Squeezed in at high tide for 360 degree protection. Entertained by our remoras.

May 6: Highbourne Cay

– Sunset arrival for surge overnight.

May 7:  Nassau – Palm Cay Marina (south-east coast of New Providence)

– Half & half sail:motor with a few stops to check out coral. Ritzy marina. Rendezvous with Rose & Joe. Long overdue provisioning.

May 8:  Nassau – West Bay (west coast, obviously!, of New Providence)

– Ideal anchorage. Played tourist & connected with Kelly.

May 12: Nassau > Whale Cay, Berry Islands

-Smooth, easy sail. Feeling sentimental about our final leg of time in the Bahamas.

May 14: Whale Cay > Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands

-Ideal anchorage to wrap up.

May 16 & 17: Berry Islands > intended return passage to US Atlantic Coast  > West End, Grand Bahama Island

-Fate has it we weren’t yet finished with Bahamian adventure!

May 17-19: West End anchorage

-Recovery & re-preparing for take 2 of Gulf Stream return crossing.

map - berrys to west end
Preparing to depart the Bahamas: Berrys to West End.

May 20-22: West End > Gulf Stream crossing > St. Simon’s Sound (Brunswick), Georgia

May 26-27: Brunswick, GA > Charleston, South Carolina

Gulf Crossing & beyond.

May 31: Charleston, South Carolina >  ICW near McClellandville, South Carolina

June 1: Waccamaw River


June 2: Prince Creek, off Waccamaw River

June 3: Oxbow off Waccamaw River

-enjoying the Waccamaw’s mystical cyprus swamps

June 4: ICW north of Holden Beach

-Crossed into North Carolina, and the chaos of Myrtle Beach’s swarms of boat traffic.

June 5 & 6: Carolina Beach State Park

June 7: ICW b/n Old Point & Surf City

June 8: Mile Hammock Bay Military Basin

-Surrounded by the military on land, sea & air!

June 9-12: Beaufort, NC

-Interesting anchorage with wild horses grazing to port and tourists grazing this lovely historic town to starboard but tormented by no-see-ums.

June 13: Beaufort > Bay River outlet into Neuse River

June 14: Mouth of Pungo River / south junction with Alligator River Canal

-Full day of sailing.

June 15: Alligator River Marina

-Treating ourselves to a marina stay: showers, laundry, wifi!

June 16: North River, near Albermarle Sound

June 17 & 18: North Landing River

  • saltwater marsh anchorage with not-so-peaceful evening frog chorus.

June 19:  Great Bridge dock

  • lightening strike damage to bridge keeps us overnight

June 20-24: Portsmouth, Virginia

  • ICW complete! Awaiting new starter, then weather window for next Atlantic passage.

June 24: Willoughby Bay, Chesapeake Bay

June 25-June 27: Atlantic passage to New York Harbor

  • 3 days & 2 nights

June 27-June 30: Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island

July 1 & 2: Anchored at Statue of Liberty’s backside.

July 3: Hudson River across from SingSing Prison

July 4: Poughkeepsie, Hudson River

July 5: Hudson River, 5 nm S of Catskill

July 6-8: Catskill (Riverview Marina)

  • Mast down.  🙁

July 9: Troy

  • ready to enter NY Canal System & 30+ locks

July 10: Glenville, W of Lock 9

July 11: St. Johnsville Municipal Marina

July 12: Utica

July 13: Sylvan Beach

July 14: Phoenix

  • Now that’s hospitality!

July 15: Oswego

  • Lake Ontario beckons just beyond the final lock.

July 16-19: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

  • On home turf, and preparing to haul Ariose, and us, out of the water and head home.

July 20: North Bay. Home!

Maiden Voyage: Intentions

IMG_3887_2WHAT & WHY?

The simple answer to what are we doing is we plan to cruise on Ariose, our Alberg 30, from Ontario to the Caribbean, leaving in the fall of 2016, and we plan to use this blog to write about it. We expect to be gone initially for about 6 months, a convenient amount of time to fit within our Canadian winter, Tim’s work schedule, and the hurricane season. Who knows – we may be gone for less time or this taste may hook us sufficiently for it to be the beginning of much more.

The details of our plans, and our motivations, though, are a little more complicated to describe.   We invite you to our conversation where we talk about what appeals to us about cruising. If you listen closely, you’ll also hear Melo, Shirley’s dog, moving in close to try to interject.

Just click here:

Tim & Shirley chat about their cruising plans 2

Here’s a Cole’s Notes summary of what we discuss:IMG_2552

Lots of things appeal to us about cruising. It provides opportunities:

  1. To take a break from our usual lives – a bit of a mid-life escape for Shirley and a continuation of Tim’s lifelong escape from the trappings of a traditional life.
  2. To be self-sufficient, attending to all our basic needs;
  3. To open ourselves to new experiences (esp. Shirley wanting to feel what it’s like outside of hyper-planning mode), to learn, grow, stretch our abilities and test ourselves as we face challenges;
  4. To be better connected with nature, and able to experience a sense of awe that surrounds everyday living on a boat;
  5. To live simply and in the moment, and to cultivate a sense of gratitude; and
  6. To travel to new destinations and better understand our world.

Wonder how these intentions will compare to our actual experiences once we get out there….