2016-2017 voyage


Where the heck did they go?

Here’s an abbreviated ship’s log for Shirley’s Mom and all others who were 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

-We’re off! Check out our Southward post.Map 1

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
Lake Ontario crossing

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.

Oswego Canal
Oswego Canal

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

Oswego Canal
Erie Canal

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.

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

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

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

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.

map-swans to carol bch

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

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!

map-georgetown to beaufort

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

Now we’re getting there!

map-early Dec large scale

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.

map- st a to d beach

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

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

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”.

West End to Mangove Cay to Great Sale Cay
West End to Mangove Cay to Great Sale Cay

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!

Double Breasted Cay to Foxtown to Allens - Pensacola Cay
Double Breasted Cay to Foxtown to Allens – Pensacola Cay

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.

Allens-Pensacola cay to Foxtown to Powell Cay
Allens-Pensacola cay to Foxtown to Powell Cay

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.

Powell Cay to Green Turtle Cay
Powell Cay to Green Turtle Cay
Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay to Noname (pig Cay).
Black Sound, Green Turtle Cay to Noname (pig Cay).

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
Noname 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!


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:

West End to Allens-Pensacola Cay
West End to Allens-Pensacola Cay
Allens Pensacola Cay to Marsh Harbour and back to Green Turtle Cay
Allens Pensacola Cay to Marsh Harbour and back to Green Turtle Cay

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 tourism heavy presence erodes genuine flavour.

No name to hope town

Mar 19: Tilloo Cay

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

Mar 20: Lynyard Cay

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

Hope town to lynyard

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

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!

sp wells to meeks' patch

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

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.

map-compass to obriens

May 4: Norman’s Cay

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

map-compass to normans

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.

map nassau

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.

Nassau to Berrys

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

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

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


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!

Map-baeufort to all r

[maps are on their way]

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!

I’m a solo sailing Autistic adult who is exploring this fantastic world on a beautiful 1969 Alberg 30. Come and share it with me for musings about sailing solo and what it’s like to do it on the Spectrum.