Meriah Sailing Around the World - Opening Page

Meriah & Company - Introduction to Meriah & Crew. Links to The Past & Victoria Growing Up

Our Voyage - Introduction to Meriah's Journey with World Satellite View showing Meriah's Progress

Meriah's Home Base - Vancouver Island

Meriah's Present Location - With Weather Links,Charts & Latest Journal Entry

Victoria's Page - Her Own Journal and Some Great Photos

Ship's Log - Index of our Travels showing Ports of Call with links to Journal Entries, Photos & Charts

Our Agenda - Outline of where we plan to go

Contact Us - You can send us an e-mail

Hot Tips on People & Places

Hot Tips on Equipment, etc.

click to open

GPS Locator Map - APRS*

Our position is automatically recorded by Ham Radio transmissions. Clicking the red circle on the map below should give you a series of links to images showing Meriah's present location at our call sign "VE0MER". You will also find Meriah's latitude & longitude as well as a short message from us. By clicking the "Weather Link" box at the bottom left of the map, you will find a very useful resource list of URL's for tracking weather conditions.

For more information, you can check out the Past Positions link just below.
This "Present Location" page will remain behind Pop Up Frames... Close them to exit.

If you wish to look at our past APRS positions and related messages, you can click here. Type in our call sign "ve0mer" (VEzeroMER)

*Automatic Position Reporting System

If we are at sea, the chart and journal entries below may indicate a previous location to the immediate APRS updates above.


December 2003 to June 2008 (scroll to bottom of sheet or click here for most recent updates).


Dec 25, 2003...Christmas Message:

Hi everyone. At last, after nearly ten thousand miles, we've settled for awhile here in Gloucester Mass., USA of all places. Not by choice, of course, since we were on the way to the Bahamas.

We had to return back to BC by air for a couple of weeks in September, then Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax and made its way as far as Summerside where, thankfully, Meriah safely rode it out. Unfortunately we were soon after rammed amidships by a fishing vessel while at the dock in Ballantynes Cove, NS., resulting in some serious hull damage. Temporary repairs allowed us to continue, but challenging weather conditions continued to force us to take shelter for up to a week at a time along the coast of Nova Scotia and we had to wait two weeks through gales in Clark's Harbour before finally being able to cross the Gulf of Maine to Bar Harbour and then on to Gloucester.

The weather was just too crazy and by now it was already the beginning of December with the worst early snowstorm ever recorded in the region... 65 knot storm force winds with chill factor of -15°C, seas outside the harbour of up to 50 feet and up to three feet of snow (remember "The Perfect Storm)! That was when we decided to stay here for the winter.

Gloucester is one of the largest and most diverse fishing harbours in the US with a wonderful "Old Country" mix of Italian, Portuguese and American culture. The disappearing traditions of the Atlantic fishery are still alive here and the community is full of sailing people who are just as crazy as us. So we have lots of friends, and with the help of Mark Sheldon, Meriah is safely tucked in to a little marina he manages with some of the best resources on the east coast available here for maintenance and repairs. We're now house-sitting an apartment for the winter looking out over the harbour in "Little Italy" with car included! Finally a chance to slow down and relax with plenty of time now to catch up with all of you out there. Phone number here until the first of April is 978-283-8797 in case anyone wants to call.

As we reflect on the whole trip up to now, we see that it has been far too much at once and should ideally have evolved over at least a three year period. Now that we have made it back to Larry's spawning ground (Atlantic Salmon fortunately do not die), its time to slow down the pace and go with the flow. Its interesting, too, that some of the most wonderful experiences for us on the way back south in the fall have been opportunities to meet up with new friends while harbour-bound by stormy weather. Things might have been tough, but there have definitely been good times in this first stage of our voyage; Nicky and Victoria are still hanging in there.

One great little story has been from our recent arrival at Clark's Harbour where in 1977 I first met up with Dewey Nickerson, a retired fisherman and self appointed ambassador who would meet all new incoming vessels, welcoming their crew into the community and taking care of their needs. So, here we are in 2003, sailing once again into Clark's Harbour some 25 years later... I climb up the ladder of the wharf to be met by another retired fisherman looking out for newcomers. He asks if I know anyone in the community and I answer that the only person I knew was Dewey Nickerson, but that he was probably gone now. Turns out that the man in front of me is Dewey's son and we are both captivated by these wonderful circles which join the present and the past.

So a preview of our spring and summer plans for the new year after repairs to Meriah includes slowly making our way up the coast of Maine to Nova Scotia & Cape Breton, The Magdalen Islands, Prince Edward Island, the Gaspé and then the Lower St Lawrence. We will finally continue inland to Lake Champlain and the Hudson River waterway to New York and on south to the Bahamas for the winter of 2004/05. Hopefully our web site will be fully functional by then, so it should be easy for any of you to follow our progress.

Larry, Nicky & Victoria Christina



Well, here we are. Thanks to our good friend Mark Sheldon we've hauled out at a little private boatyard at the far inside end of Gloucester Harbour. Now waiting for our insurance company to authorize repairs to the damaged hull. It looks as if the RCMP (Police) have caught up with the fishing vessel that rammed us and are getting ready to compare paint samples for proof, as we were not aboard at the time. There was obvious damage to the fishing vessel which was spotted by a friend of ours in Ballantynes Cove shortly after we had left.

In the meantime, Nicky is scraping off all the white paint above the waterline as we prepare to refinish the hull. Larry has also prepared the damaged area for stripping back the broken planking and repairing the galley inside which was displaced about half an inch inwards by the impact. Through all of this we are still living aboard Meriah. an interesting challenge in itself. One great bonus for Victoria is the Municipal playground which is just across the parking lot... she is meeting lots of other kids.

Over the winter Victoria also enjoyed taking dancing classes with "Dancers Courageous" and swimming lessons with the YMCA. We have also been introducing Victoria to homeschooling after some extensive research by Nicky. We will soon also register for grade one with Saturna Island School in a great British Columbia Gulf Islands offshore education programme.

Yes, as of this spring with a brief visit back to British Columbia, we have moved Meriah's home base from Cowichan Bay to Saturna Island where we plan to set up a mooring and facilities in Boot Cove (click for map) in preparation for an eventual return after our voyage is completed.

GLOUCESTER UPDATE ... From June 6/04

At last, approval from the insurance company for Larry to do the repairs himself. We found some great western red cedar at a local lumber yard and with the generous offer of shop and table saw use from Barry who lives in a condo next to the boatyard and offer of an industrial router from Ed who lives nearby, we quickly got started. The ten damaged strip-planks were routed out and new scarfed lengths from three to six feet glued and screwed back into place with West System epoxy. This was all faired into the shape of the hull with planer and sander and then a six foot length of three inch by five inch oak through-bolted inside across several frames (ribs) for additional support to the damaged area. By July 6th all was completed, including a new paint job to the topsides and another coat of copper bottom paint to the hull below the waterline. We were now ready for launching on the high tide.


We will soon be back on the air with the ham radio to update our APRS positions. (Installing a new tuner).

July 18th to 21st: Shelburne, Nova Scotia... A wonderful time docked at the new Shelburne Yacht Club. We visited all the local museums and managed to repair our alternator which had "fried" on the way across the Gulf of Maine. Not only did we meet new friends here, but also an old friend, Willa Magee, who recognized me walking down the sidewalk in town! She and her husband are doing exciting aquaculture work with a rare mutated species of seaweed which contains kainic acid and dihydrokainic acid. Along with other benefits, these have the potential for repairing nerve sheathing of the central nervous system.

July 21st & 22nd: Shelborne to Halifax... At sea for one day and one night (110 miles). Depart Wed 1pm ... Arrive Thurs 8am.

July 22nd to 27th: Moored at the Armdale Yacht Club just in time for the two for one steak dinner. Lots of old friends here and a real surprise to meet up with "Spray Venture", last seen at Key West, Florida in June/03. We paid a visit to the Citidal Fortress Museum and also checked out King's University where Larry took his degree in Sociology and Psychology before heading on to Carleton in Ottawa for postgraduate work. Finally we took Cathy Osborne out for a sail with her father and mother... Don was one of the last of Canada's lighthouse keepers on St Mary's Island in Harrington and, finally, Souris, Prince Edward Island.

July 27th: Halifax to Sheet Harbour... At sea for one day (60 miles). Depart Tues 11am ... Arrive Tues 11pm.


Aug 8th: We have since left Sheet Harbour and stopped at Port Bickerton and White Head Haven, then into the Bras d'Or Lakes, stopping at St Peters and Little Harbour, with several days at Baddeck. We've now returned to St Peters and are planning to visit Ballantynes Cove, Charlottetown, Summerside and then on to Anse à Beaufils and the Gaspé Penninsula. Will try to sit down somewhere soon for a proper update of text and charts.


Aug 24th: Now at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Québec waiting for headwinds to die down before continuing up the St. Lawrence River to Rimouski and then Rivière du Loup. We rented a car today so we could at least drive to Cacouna for a visit. We hope to head out Wednesday night to arrive in Rimouski by noon on Thursday.


Aug 28th: After spending two days at Rimouski it was a sometimes gusty overnight run to Gros Cacouna where we arrived just in time to anchor in the lee of the Island and be protected from screaming easterly winds and torrential rains.


Aug 31st: Arrived here at the Quebec City Yacht Club this morning after a dark and stormy night of sailing from Iles aux Coudres. We had rested there at anchor until midnight, waiting for the tidal currents to be with us after the pleasant Monday daytime run from Cacouna.


Sept 14th: After a great long weekend visit at Quebec City with new friends, we finally departed on the next Wednesday morning for Sorel (beginning of the waterway to New York City). On the way we stopped and spent an extra day at a well protected little marina at Batiscan while the leftovers of hurricane "Frances" blew by as gale force winds. Here at Sorel we took down Meriah's masts and once we have properly secured them on deck will finally be ready by Thursday to head into the Richelieu River on our way south. Have set up a jury antenna for the ham radio so we can continue with APRS position reporting and e-mails aboard Meriah. Today joined by an old friend, Chris Ross, for the trip to Chambly. We're having wonderful warm and sunny weather!


Sept 16th: Arrived in Chambly, Québec... first stop after a day's run on the Richelieu waterway which leads to Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and New York City. Drove with a rented car to Niagra Falls, visited with friends & family, and met up back aboard Meriah with Helen, the girl next door in Montreal from some fifty years ago, and her husband, Nick.


Sept 28th: A short day's run through the Chambly Locks to Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu at their south end. We will wait here for the remains of hurricane "Jeanne" to blow by south of us (it never came, but we had lots of chores to do anyhow). I'm sure Nick had a great game of golf.


Sept 30th: A wonderful sunny run south to Rouses Point, NY... the beginning of Lake Champlain. We cleared US customs here and then continued south another 15 miles to Carry Bay for the night. Much to our delight, we met some great people here at the North Hero Marina and were invited out for a steak BBQ up the hill.


Oct 1st: Another great day south to Partridge Harbor, a cosy little cove and perfect shelter for the 30 knot south winds forecast for tomorrow.


Oct 3rd: Sunny weather again for the run to Whitehall, end of Lake Champlain and beginning of the Champlain Canal. Tied up with free moorage at the Municipal Dock here and enjoyed Chinese food at a nearby restaurant.


Oct 4th: Foggy in the morning (no radar with the masts down), so we waited until noon, and another wonderful sunny day, before departing for Fort Edward, only 20 miles south and where the canal system meets up with the Hudason River. Another free Municipal Dock, but only just enough water for Meriah to get up the narrow channel winding back from Lock # 7.


Oct 5th: Sunny again this morning, but with a nip of cold in the air reminding us of why we are heading south. On our way to yet another free Municipal Dock at Waterford, NY. This is where the Erie Canal system meets the Hudson River at the end of the Champlain Canal... After the Lock at Troy, just a couple of miles south and still some 150 miles up from New York City, we will be back in Atlantic tidal waters. Very much enjoyed our stay here with friendly volunteers to welcome us and lots of other cruisers also heading south with dreams of warmer waters. So we decided to stay here a few days extra to celebrate Nicky's birthday. This was also an opportunity for us to rent a car and go out looking for a facility further south where we could put our masts indoors for maintenance and then have them installed back into place... Heavy duty work with the main mast weighing nearly a thousand pounds.


Oct 11th: A day's run down to Catskill...and up a creek. Actually, a great sheltered anchorage, though we had to use two anchors (Bahamian Moor) due to poor holding on a rocky bottom. Here we had found one of the best facilities on the Hudson for dealing with our masts... heavy duty crane, an inside work area, hot showers and best of all, an excellent restaurant right on the same property at Hop-O-Nose Marina. There is even a bulding supply centre right across from the anchorage. Here we had to make a new starboard spreader for the mainmast... the old one had rot and we fortunately caught it just in time to save losing our rig! Also an opportunity to oil the traditional "service" protecting our rigging wire and to put a new coat of paint on the masts. Nice to be inside for this... the rain was finally falling in buckets, but we were ready for it.


Oct 27th: Another couple of days after re-stepping our masts to get our rig back together and we're on our way to a free dock at Mariner's Restaurant just north of Poughkeepsie, NY. Here we enjoyed a wonderful "all you can eat" seafood & pasta buffet. Great to have Meriah's rig back in place again, though it will still be a few days before everything is back in order for ocean sailing.


Oct 28th: Here we are securely anchored off the community of Nyack, NY after an enjoyable day with bright fall colours interrupted by fascinating castles and grand estates spilling down to the water's edge. We will stay here a few days visiting sailing friends and giving Victoria a chance to play with other kids, watch the Halloween parade and do her "trick or treating" in a friendly neighbourhood. We are also enjoying the hospitality and facilities of the Nyack Boat Club as we await a good weather window for the run down the Atlantic Coast to Cape May, NJ. We are only a half day's run away from New York City.


Nov 2nd: A blustery S wind in our teeth all day on our way to New York City. With high winds forecast for tomorrow, we decided to stay at Liberty Landing Marina... a good jumping off point for the trip down to Cape May. (Late breaking news - With 30 to 40 knots forecast and poor weather over the next few days, it looks as if we will be staying here at least until Sunday. Check with our APRS for further update).


 Nov 9th: A weather window at last! Shortly after midnight we depart New York for the 275 mile run (two nights & two days) to Norfolk, Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake. Leaving the harbour at night was an interesting experience in itself with non-stop shipping traffic for us to avoid. Once offshore we have moderate northerly winds and sunny skys to make this a fairly comfortable run, though the temperatures are hovering only just above freezing. We are warmly dressed, though, and the furnace hums away to keep it toasty warm down below where Victoria happily sleeps or plays and occasionally joins us in the cockpit as we stand our watches. For us it's simply sleeping & steering.

Nov 10th: Another fine 24 hours, passing Cape May on the New Jersey coast just before midnight and continuing offshore down the Delaware Coast through the starlit night... sunrise at 7am... sunset at 5pm... and then by 10pm fimally arriving off the Municipal Docks at Hampton. Another busy harbour entrance with immediate communication from the Pilotage Authority wanting to know what size of vessel we were and what route we would be taking as we entered. We're right across from the city of Norfolk where the Intracoastal Waterway begins under the watchful eye of the US Navy's east coast fleet... now a tired but happy crew with the most challenging (winter offshore) portion of our trip south finally behind us. We'll stay here and rest a bit. From here on we will be heading south down the sheltered ICW system which follows inlets, rivers creeks and canals from here as far as Miami, Florida , all just inside the Atlantic coast of the US.


Nov 15th: Heading out for the Intracoastal Waterway and our first stop at Great Bridge, a total run of 22 miles for the day. Passed lots of Navy ships heading out to sea as we entered Norfolk. In the Waterway there were several "lift" or "swing" bridges for us to pass through as we motored along at about six knots. Great sunny weather, with cool north winds behind us. We're travelling along with "Painkiller", also heading south with Earl and Debbie aboard. We met up with "Painkiller" at Catskill while getting ready to install our masts ... and met again the other day when they turned up in Hampton after transiting the Delaware and Chesapeake.

Nov 16th: Stopped at Coinjock for fuel on the way to Broad Creek, NC where we anchored for the night.

Nov 17th: Anchored off Bear Point.

Nov 18th: Anchored in Campbell Creek, just off the waterway.

Nov 19th: Anchored in Cedar Creek just off the waterway and close to Beaufort, NC at the south end of Cape Hattaras.

Nov 20th: Arrived in Swansboro, North Carolina at Dudleys Marina for rest, showers and grocery shopping.

Nov 22nd: Arrived in Wrightsville where through Victoria and their kids we met Jack Kilbourne and his sister, Kristine Thompson. Victoria had a wonderful time playing with her new friends and we were all invited to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner together with the whole family. A great holiday stopover!

Nov 26th: Anchored in the Shallotte River. At three in the morning the tidal current and contrary winds caused "Painkiller" to drag her anchor right down onto Meriah. By some almost impossible chance our bowsprit became entangled in Painkiller's anchor gear, nearly ripping off our bobstay as the flooding tide began swinging Painkiller around. Fortunately we managed to pry the gear loose and bring Painkiller alongside for the rest of the night. A close call which could have resulted in losing our rig. At least our Bruce anchor held!

Nov 27th: A brief stopover at North Mrytle Beach to visit West Marine, then on to a free dock at Barefoot Landing.

Nov 28th: Arrived at a dock at Georgetown. Its Sunday and all stores are closed, but Victoria found the only place open. An ice cream shop!

Nov 29th: Here we are rafted alongside a shrimper at Leland's in McClellanville. Fresh shrimp for dinner... and we also discover through the manager, Dwayne, that the original Herreshoff "Mobjack" (sister ship to Meriah) is just ahead in Charleston. Dwayne grew up with Fred Wichmann who, with his son, "Bunky", had rebuilt Mobjack several years ago. "Bunky" had contacted Larry through this web site some five years ago.

Nov 30th: Now in Charleston at Uncle Henry's dock next door to Fred's and the Mobjack. A great opportunity to meet "Bunky" and all the rest of the family. Victoria was delighted to find that there was also another six year old Victoria... the two of them had a wonderful time together and we were all invited to dinner with Laura and Preston.

Dec 3rd: Arrived to anchor in Rock Creek. While checking out water depths Meriah was carried down by the ebb current right onto the sandbank. Anchors out and a line to the top of the mizzen were all too late to pull us off, so we had to wait until 9:30 PM for the tide to come back and set us free. Meriah stayed fairly upright through the whole ordeal, but we all moved aboard "Painkiller" for the evening. It was a simple matter to winch in the chain to be anchored safely in deep water for the night.

Dec 4th: Broad Creek's anchorage was full, so we spent the night dockside at the nearby marina. A good restaurant meal.

Dec 5th: Here we are docked at Savannah, Georgia. Weather is really warm and we are enjoying the waterfront shops restaurants and pubs.

Dec 8th: After a nice break visiting pubs, restaurants and ice cream parlors, etc. in Savannah, we now continue south to Kilkenny Creek. Probably our most difficult day going through the Intracoastal Waterway. Water depths are particularly "thin" in Georgia and other boats are frequently going aground while under way. We had our depth alarm set at seven feet to keep it from ringing all the time and even then managed to touch bottom as we slowed down for the alarm. We backed off OK, though, and continued on to Kilkenny. The marina here offered us our first experience of being eaten alive by blackflies and the washer & drier had to be "jimmied" in order to even accept our quarters. The big surprise was the excellent restaurant next door to the marina in this isolated little community. We had a good feast... likely as good as the one that the blackflies had on us!

Dec 9th: A great anchorage this evening in Cedar Creek, just off the Crescent River. Quite narrow here, so we set bow and stern anchors to keep from swinging with the tide... big mistake ... when the tide turned with the current against the deeper keel at our stern, we swung closer to shore and by midnight were aground with only three feet of water instead of the five we needed to float free. Needless to say, we were well heeled over... so Nicky read a book while Larry prepared lines for setting a "Bahamian" moor ...Connecting the stern anchor line directly to the chain of our forward anchor, therefore allowing us to swing with the tide but pivoting only around the point where the two anchors were attached. At 2:00 AM we were afloat, the srern anchor attached, and now ready in deep water for tidal currents from any direction. No more bow & stern anchoring for us when in tidal waters!

Dec 10th: In spite of headwinds gusting up to 25 knots which slowed us down quite a bit as it worked against our rigging, we are finally in Brunswick,, Georgia. This is one of the best (and least expensive) marinas we have found all along the waterway. Here we have all the facilities most cruisers dream of! It is such a friendly and comfortable place that we've decided to stay here for Christmas! Temperatures are still a bit cool, but we have heard that most of the facilities just south in Florida are all booked up with vessels from marinas damaged by hurricanes further south. We also hear that facilities in the Northern Bahamas are in serious trouble due to hurricane damage, so we may head for the Exumas first.


Dec 25, 2004...Christmas Message:

Well, its been a great year for slowing down and smelling the roses as well as meeting new friends along the way. Quite a shift from the headlong pace of getting here from British Columbia.

Our year began with a first experience of living ashore in many years... in Gloucester, Mass. Our friends, Al & Barb Boudreau, offered us their apartment and car while away south for the winter and Mark Sheldon provided winter moorage for Meriah and haulout space to make hull repairs in the spring. With a playground right next to our dock, Victoria was kept busy with an endless selection of playmates and we all enjoyed new friendships as a result of chance meetings out there in the community. We also had an opportunity to enroll Victoria in dancing classes and swimming lessons.

The next stage of our voyage was to head back north up the coast of Nova Scotia. Our good friend (and Victoria's "Godfather") Jack Santé, joined us for the trip across the Gulf of Maine as far as Shelburn. In spite of the usual fog, good weather followed us most of the way until our approach to Cape Breton. Here, with cold and foul weather following on our tail, we passed through the "magical" portal of St. Peter's Canal into another world... an instant transition to the wonderful sunshine and sheltered waters of the Bras d'Or Lakes. Here, up at Baddeck, home of Alexander Graham Bell, we met up and enjoyed a visit with Diana Banks-Ross, a family friend from years gone by, with her husband, Dan. Thanks to a generous offer of their car we were able to drive around the "Cabot Trail" and enjoy some breathtaking mountain views looking out over the Atlantic or back into the forested hills and valleys behind us. Even had a chance to visit with cousin, Hammy Carter up in Dingwall, way up north by Bay St. Lawrence.

Retracing our path from last year, we sailed back through the Canso Cut to visit friends in Ballantynes Cove and then on to Prince Edward Island. At Wood Islands we joined the car ferry "Confederation" as honerary crew on a run across the Northumberland Strait to Pictou and return with good friend, Stirling (Boots) Macphail, the Chief Engineer. Much of our time after a good meal aboard was spent up on the bridge and Victoria was even allowed to push the horn button to announce our arrival! Then on to Summerside Yacht Club and a rental car to visit friends in Victoria and other parts of the Island.

Contunuing the eastward path, we next sailed up to the Gaspé Coast where we could spend time at Anse-à-Beaufils before beating our way against wind and tide up the St. Lawrence River towards Québec City. A short rental car run from St-Anne-des-Monts to Cacouna for a visit while waiting for a weather window ... then heading on to Rimouski where we met up with Pierre, Marie and 5 year old Laurence; we will see them again later in Québec City. Catching the good weather as it comes, we make a run for Gros Cacouna where we ride out another storm at anchor in the lee of Cacouna Island. We are just at the beginning stages of the fall season frontal systems which come across from Canada's northwest and meet up with others coming up the Atlantic seaboard... so you make a run for it when you can.

Next, the final run to Québec City with beautiful weather, anchoring off the ferry dock at Ile-aux-Coudres to wait for the flood tide. Then the headlong rush through the night, now in torrential rain with heavy shipping traffic and up to six knots of current pushing us along at up to twelve knots in the shadow of the north shore mountains. We fly down along the southern edge of the Island of Orleans, past the Citadel and Château Frontenac and just making it to the Québec City Yacht Club in time as the tide begins to turn against us.

Our new friends, Pierre, Marie and Laurence had also arrived back from their sailing holiday and we very much enjoyed spending time with them. Pierre also arranged for us to get a car, so getting around was made easy. We spent a week enjoying Québec City and its wonderful old world heritage. Larry explored his old haunts of some fifty years ago, including the "Lower Town" along the waterfront. Here he remembered the poverty of local residents which was reflected by street urchins begging in the cobblestone streets and line upon line of drying laundry hanging high above across the narrow lanes with echos of shouting voices up and down the alleyways... a far cry from the cultural mecca of today.

All too soon we are on our way again... under the Québec bridge and up the narrowing St Lawrence River. Just before Three Rivers we tuck into a river estuary dock to ride out the reminants of Hurricane Frances which still packed a good fifty knots of wind with torrential rain! With improving weather we sailed on to Sorel, not far from Montreal, where it was time to remove our rig with a crane, laying the masts fore and aft on deck. From here on the bridges across the waterway heading south are too low for our main mast's 60 foot height above the waterline.

We have been joined by Larry's old friend, Chris Ross and with all lashed in place we begin the first stage of heading down the Richelieu, Champlain and Hudson River waterways to New York City. Our first stop is Chambly where we tie up Meriah and rent a car for a bit of overland adventuring. First to Niagara-on-the-Lake where we visit Peggy Walker, our good friend and connection to Cacouna. Of course its an opportunity to see the Niagara Falls... an awesome experience for Nicky. On the way back we visit Jack & Pat Santé in Toronto, then on to Ottawa for more visiting with friends and especially Larry's family there... Lara, Katy and Andrew. Victoria is so thrilled to have her older brother and sisters!

Back to Meriah in Chambly where we connect with Matthew and Loretta Pierce from the old days with Canada World Youth some 20 years ago in Nova Scotia and Jamaica. They have a young son, Nigel... another great friend for Victoria. Our proximity to Montreal also allowed us to re-connect with Helen (Gibb-Carsley) Farrell and her husband, Nick. Helen had been "the girl next door" to Larry in those early Montreal days. She brought along an old photograph of the two of us... a touching memory of the special friendship at age 9.

With fall colours blazing, we continue on our way south through canals, locks and swing bridges to the headwaters of the Richelieu at Lake Champlain and on through the Champlain Canal to the Hudson River. The 250 miles from Sorel to Troy Locks and beginning of the Hudson Waterway is all easy going for us when compared to the beating we could take off the coast of Nova Scotia with the frequency of fall season frontal systems and gales increasing daily, now all well to the north and east of us. The weather here during this same period has been mild and sunny most of the time with warm breezes drifting over sun-drenched fields and forests. Nicky loves it... with lots of similarities to the canals back home in Holland! We stopped for awhile at Waterford, just north of Troy to celebrate our anniversary and Nicky's birthday.

Just a short hop now down to Catskill, our chosen facility up a sheltered creek for taking care of maintenance work on our masts and rigging. Then the job of re-stepping the masts and "tuning" the rig. After two weeks we are once again on our way down the Hudson River and fully prepared for the offshore run from New York City. The weather is now starting to break down, though, as frontal systems from the northwest begin dipping further south. We enjoyed several days in Nyack at the Boat Club anchorage as guests of sailing friends met in Halifax this past July. It was Halloween and Victoria was thrilled with the Main Street Parade and an evening of being a vampire princess for "trick or treating".

Now only a day's run to New York City and the very comfortable Liberty Landing Marina. But it blew like stink on and off for about a week. While waiting here for the offshore weather window, we had an opportunity to visit the emotional site of the World Trade Centre... It was a powerfully humbling experience!

Back at the Liberty State Park next to the Marina, Victoria was able to ride her bike past the Statue of Liberty and spend time at the playground having fun with other kids. Here we met up with Kelly, Jason and their daughters, Alexandra and Isadora... two new friends for Victoria. We got together for dinner that evening at the Lightship Restaurant and a couple of days later, at the height of our stormy weather, enjoyed an overnight stay at their home in nearby Chatham, New Jersey.

Finally, the window arrived. A night departure out of New York Harbour, past "Lady Liberty" with her torch all lit up... and shipping traffic all over the place for a good exercise in night navigation. Wonderful sail, though, with northerly winds of 10 to 20 knots. Two days and two nights, past Cape May, New Jersey and all the way to Norfolk, Virginia where we tie up well after dark at the Hampton Municipal Marina... weather window still holding! Time for some rest and relaxation.

Here in Hampton we met up with Earl and Debbie Chappell. We had met Earl back in Catakill aboard his vessel, "Painkiller", where he waited for his wife to return from a visit to Ontario. He and Debbie had left well before us and taken the inland route south from Cape May via the Delaware and Chesapeake... with our direct offshore run we had arrived here ahead of them. As they came ashore in their dinghy, Victoria greeted Debbie with, "So you finally came back!". They have since become very best friends and as our two vessels have continued sailing south together down the Intracoastal Waterway, Victoria is always looking forward to visits with her favorite "Aunt Debbie".

The "Intracoastal", a sheltered waterway of rivers, creeks and canals, lies just inside the southeast coast of North America. It is fairly well maintained from Norfolk, Virginia south to Miami, Florida, though budget cuts in maintenance combined with silting caused by stormy weather at ocean inlets have made the run much more challenging in recent years. A good idea to be travelling with another boat in case one of us gets into trouble! And, yes, we have been aground on one occasion, but still able to slow down and back off on our own thanks to the alarm on our depth sounder which gives us advance warning. We've also been nearly high and dry at a couple of anchorages... mainly due to strong tidal currents swinging us into the shallows... but then we're off again with the rising tide and safely into deeper water.

Again, the weather has been with us most of the time with sunny skies and warm breezes only occasionally interupted by frontal passages. Since there is very little open water it is mostly motoring day after day with overnights at anchor and the occasional treat of marinas or municipal docks. Lots of interesting landscapes and communities along the way, but we always look forward to joining up with "Painkiller" at the end of the day to enjoy the sunset with a few beer or a good home-cooked meal. Victoria has even enjoyed a couple of sleepovers at her Auntie Debbie's.

Thanksgiving at Wrightsville was a very special experience for all of us thanks to Victoria. It all began with the sound of children playing up on the dock... Victoria had to go up and join them. Before we knew it we were invited up the street for pizza by Jack Kilbourne along with his sister Kristine Thompson, including Grandpa, Great Grandmammy and all the kids. We had a wonderful time together and were delighted with a generous invitation to join the whole family at Kristine's for Thanksgiving dinner.

The next special event began at McClellanville, Just north of Charleston, South Carolina. Here we were informed that the original Herreshoff "Mobjack" was based just the other side of Charleston. Some five years ago I had received an e-mail from "Bunky" Wichmann who had found our web site... he and his father, Fred, had discovered "Mobjack" in very rough shape near Fort Lauderdale and totally rebuilt her! I still had "Bunky's" address and by the next morning we had an invitation to stop over at Uncle Henry's dock right next door to Fred's and "Mobjack's" berth. It was a great reunion and wonderful opportunity to meet "Bunky" and most of his family. We hardly saw Victoria at all during our time here... "Bunky's" sister, Laura, also had a six year old Victoria, and our own Victoria spent virtually every day visiting with her "twin". It was also great to see Meriah and "Mobjack" next to one another.

Now, here we are at Brunswick Landing Marina for Christmas. With all the hurricanes further south in Florida this past summer there are few facilities available, and what's left is very expensive. We have great facilities here, however, with free showers, free laundry and a very comfortable lounge with phone and internet access. All of this at the least expensive rates we've found so far all the way down the Intracoastal... what more could we ever ask for?

Our New Year's Resolution? Getting down to the Bahamas!

Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year- Larry, Nicky & Victoria

Click Here For Photo


We'll be taking care of text and photo updates as soon as we can.


Jan 25/05 Depart Brunswick to Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Jan 26/05 Depart Ferninandina to Jacksonville Beach.

Jan 27/05 Depart Jacksonville to St. Augustine.

Jan 29/05 Depart St. Augustine to Daytona Beach.

Jan 30/05 Depart Daytona to Titusville.


Mar 10/05 Depart Titusville to Sebastian River.

Mar 11/05 Depart Sebastian to Fort Pierce.

Mar 12/05 Depart Fort Pierce to Bahamas.



Mar 13/05 Hawksbill Cay o/n

Mar 14/05 To Green Turtle Cay

Mar 20/05 To Treasure Cay

Mar 24/05 To Marsh Harbour


April 19/05 - April 22/05 Whale Cay, Bahamas to Morehead City, North Carolina

April 22/05 - April 29/05 To Annapolis, Maryland for the whole summer at a mooring

Nov 08/05 - Nov 09/05 Annapolis to Hampton, Virginia on the way back south to the Bahamas again.

Nov 11/05 - Nov 15/05 Hampton to Beaufort, NC via Intracoastal (Great Bridge, Broad Creek, Pungo River & Cedar Creek).

Nov 18/05 - Nov 19/05 Beaufort to Charleston, SC... Two days & one overnight offshore. Then waiting for weather.

Nov 25/05 - Nov 26/05 Charleston to Brunswick, Georgia, a day and overnight run. Here for Christmas and New Years.

Merry Christmas to All!

We'll have our Annual Update ready soon.

Jan 11/06 Depart Brunswick down the ICW to overnight at Amelia Island Yacht Basin near Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Jan 12/06 Continuing down the ICW to St. Augustine's Municipal Dock for the night.

Jan 13/06 Again down the ICW to Daytona Marina & Boat Works where we wait for a storm system to blow over.

Jan 16/06 On down the ICW to Titusville where we will stay a few weeks and visit Disney World with Victoria. Strong north and easterly winds dominating the weather, so we wait here until a more gentle westerly flow is forecast to help us across to the Bahamas.

Feb 15/06 Weather window on the way for this coming Friday and the weekend. Heading south again to head out to the Bahamas from Fort Pierce. Overnight at a small unnamed island (now "Victoria Island" for us) 10 miles north of Sebastian.

Feb 16/06 Made it to Fort Pierce Harbortown Marina by early afternoon. Now well positioned to head out the ocean inlet with the tide early tomorrow afternoon.


Feb 17/06 - Feb 19/06 Heading out for the overnight run to Little Bahama Bank, arriving at the Outer Bank around 6am. At about 10am we reached the shallower Inner Bank and our next "adventure"... We were just entering the Northern Bahama Bank when our engine broke down... I thought it was a fire, but it was steam billowing out of the pilot house as the engine's cooling system blew out. Turns out that the housing on the engine that contains the thermostat is made of aluminium... it was so badly pitted on the inside (I can't imagine why) that a hole opened up with a huge blast of steam as the system emptied out. Fortunately it was daylight with sunny skys and calm seas... but not all that great for sailing. So we launched our dinghy and with our 15hp outboard were able to push Meriah at up to 5 knots for the last 30 miles to Great Sale Cay! Two other sailboats changed course from further south to stand by just in case, and we all arrived just after sunset to enjoy a beautiful starlit night quietly at anchor in a sheltered cove. Next day we took the engine apart and managed to repair the thermostat housing to "like new" condition using a burnishing tool and epoxy putty. Turns out that we will also have to replace our heat exchanger and possibly the engine's head gasket (from overheating). Though everything works for now, we decided to give Nicky and Victoria a treat and stay at the marina in Green Turtle Cay when we get there. I'll pick up new parts when I fly to BC in March and we can do more exploring around the Abacos when I get back.

Feb 20/06 Depart Great Sale in company of our friends Earl & Debbie aboard "Painkiller". Anchor overnight at Hawksbill Cay.

Feb 21/06 Continued on to Green Turtle Cay where we clear Customs & Immigration then make our way to anchor for the night in White Sound. Tomorrow we go to the Green Turtle Club Marina where we stay until the end of March.

April 1/06 Well, another month gone by and our engine definitely has big problems. When we removed the head it was clear that its surface was pitted between #2 and #3 cylinders... probably the primary cause of all our other engine issues. Fortunately there was a good machine shop in Marsh Harbour, so we took the ferry to Treasure Cay on Great Abaco, rented a car and had a bit of a Treasure Cay to Marsh Harbour land adventure while the head was being re-surfaced. Also had to have eight washers for the fuel injection system sent to us from Seattle... we received them the next day with UPS! The washers were worth $10.00 and the cost of shipping $100.00!! Anyhow, the engine was finally back together by April 22nd and was working better than the day we first installed it in Meriah some ten years ago. Through all the time we were here, and in spite of the engine problems, we had an absolutely wonderful time at the Green Turtle Club... one of the best marinas around with lots of other kids, beaches and a pool for Victoria ... a great dining room at the nearby Bluff House where Victoria also enjoyed a fun Easter Egg Hunt... the charming little community of New Plymouth with its grocery store, shops, our favourite Bahamian restaurant (Harvey's) and the school fair where Victoria had lots of fun with the local kids.

April 25/06 At last we're on our way again from Green Turtle only a short day's run to Marsh Harbour where we will hang out for awhile visiting sailing friends and our cousin, Sid, who owns the Lofty Fig Villas here.


Click Here for Bahamas Movie

Excuse the loading delay... it can take a minute or two

Click here to download QuickTime Player for PC.


June/06: Presently in the Chesapeake... Update coming soon.

Guess what! We've had a new baby, so our cruising itinerary is on hold for a bit.

A new adventure begins!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

After three weeks sailing south down the Intracoastal Waterway from Town Creek on the Chesapeake we began our crossing to the Bahamas. Departed our Vero Beach mooring early in the morning and exited the Fort Pierce Inlet at about 11:45 am with the tide. We arrived at the edge of the Little Bahamas Bank at about 6:45 am Tuesday morning.

Here is our description of what became the trip through hell:

We've been recovering from "The Trip Through Hell"... Our wonderful Thursday weather window's noon departure allowed us to get 2/3 across from Ft. Pierce to the Bahamas when all hell broke loose. Winds rather quickly increased up to E to SE 30 knots or more with gusts along with rather square confused seas of up to 15 feet... Meriah was often virtually airborne and slamming into the troughs, more like a submarine. Our 12 hour crossing became 18 hours and from Vero I had been at the helm for 20 hours without a break. Nicky had to physically peel me off the wheel when we finally reached the lee in the Little Bahamas Bank... every muscle in my body had stiffened up and it was only adrenalin that was keeping me going. Now a lot of Nicky's anxiety about wind and seas have been put back into perspective and 20 knots is is now simply 20 knots for her!

Anyhow, we kept on going through the day, past Great Sale heading for our anchorage at Fox Town (Hawksbill). Couldn't enter safely when we got there, with the wind now strong NW, so had to continue through to midnight all the way to Green Turtle Cay where we are now at the Green Turtle Club Marina as our base for the duration of our Bahamas stay. We will be exploring the other Abaco islands from here.

When on our way to Fox Town while cleaning up the topsides I found a broken plank on deck and remarked that some other vessel must have been damaged or "shipwrecked" during the storm (there were a number of others out there, we discovered... all having big problems). When we arrived at Green Turtle I found that most of the protective gumwood around our waterline from the stem to amidships on the starboard side had been torn off and that our trailboards (with gold leaf scrolls fwd) were on their way off as well. So that piece of "shipwreck" was ours!

We've found a good supply of teak at Man-O-War Cay to replace the missing gumwood and will be grounding out Meriah alongside one of the marina docks here in White Sound for repairs. In the meantime everyone is having a good time and Victoria is finding lots of friends.

All the best for the New Year,

Larry, Nicky, Victoria & Serena

Click Camera for Photos of Our Fall of 2007 Trip South Down the ICW from the Chesapeake.

Click Camera for Photos of Our Winter of 2008 in the Bahamas.

Tues, April 18 2008

Heading back north from the Bahamas!

Larry and Marsh Harbour resident, Bill Haddad sail Meriah offshore to Port Canaveral, Florida and on to Titusville. Nicky, Victoria & Serena will then fly from Marsh Harbour to Melbourne, Florida where Larry will pick them up with a rental car. We will then continue sailing north to the Chesapeake where Meriah will spend another summer at her Town Creek dock near Solomons.


See Charts Below...



Click Buttons for Detailed Charts

The Chesapeake Showing Patuxant River & Meriah at Town Creek

Meriah at Town Creek

Google-Earth View of Town Creek



Chesapeake - Bahamas Sailing Routes from 2003
Click Buttons for Detailed Charts

Return to Top of Page