Parka on the Loop

1986 Niagara 35 Encore

27 January 2017 | Bimini Brown's Marina
24 January 2017 | Bimini
23 January 2017 | Brown's Marina
22 January 2017 | Bimini
20 January 2017 | North Bimini Bahamas Leopard Ray swimming beside our boat
18 January 2017 | Faro Blanco, Marathon
14 January 2017 | Marathon Florida
08 January 2017 | Marathon Florida
01 January 2017 | Marathon Florida
29 December 2016 | Marathon
23 December 2016 | Marathon Florida
20 December 2016 | Key West
20 December 2016 | Marathon Florida
15 December 2016 | Marathon Florida
15 December 2016 | Marathon Florida
11 December 2016 | Marathon Florida
09 December 2016 | Faro Blanco, Marathon
09 December 2016 | Marathon
06 December 2016 | Everglades
03 December 2016 | Everglades

Weathered in

04 January 2018 | Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas
We were planning to possibly leave today or tomorrow but the wind is in excess of 20 knots and seas are 7'-10'. We have no desire to fight the sea!
We took a walk this morning to the grocery store only to find that it is completely blown apart with no walls just the counters and freezers remaining. There was a very sad looking dog sitting out front who appeared to be waiting for someone to return.
We continued to the Catholic Church that is clearly visible from sea. It has a great view of the harbour.

Happy New Year!

03 January 2018 | Clarence Town Long Island
Boxing Day we left Palm Cay with sunny skies and calm seas. We took a path between the Yellow and White banks and avoided the coral heads that we had to dodge last year. We anchored at Highbourne Cay in crystal clear water with about 12 other boats. The sunset was fantastic.
December 27th we left Highbourne Cay at first light on our way to Warderick Wells. There were a few clouds around and a fresh breeze making for a very relaxing sail. We were watching a few clouds that appeared to be filling in and sure enough a squall hit with 20 knot winds on the nose. We dropped the sails but the squad was over almost as quickly as it began.
We arrived at the Warderick Wells North mooring field and took our assigned #11 mooring ball. This place is a must see as the mooring balls follow a line of deeper water with shallow waters on either side.

We took a hike to Boo Boo Hill.
The story of Boo Boo Hill is that a schooner sunk off the island many years ago and all souls onboard were lost. No bodies were recovered and it is told that when there is a full moon their ghosts gather on the hill and sing hymns. There are also blow holes in the rocks and when there is a strong wind and large waves the sound coming from the holes sounds like ‘BOO!”
We stayed at Warderick Wells two nights then left for Blackpoint Settlement. We anchored in the large bay then took the dinghy to Ida’s. This woman is amazing! She runs a first rate laundromat, store for snacks, boat supplies and souvenir tee shirts, plus she makes awesome conch fritters and cuts hair while your laundry is being done!
I went ashore for fritters while David cruised around in the dinghy. What he didn’t know was a shark was following him at every turn! The barely visible black spot behind the dinghy is the the shark.

When we left Blackpoint Settlement the tide was ebbing. We were moving from the Exuma Banks side of the Islands to the Atlantic Oceann side where the water is thousands of feet deep. As the tide ebbs going through the Cut was a real ride. We were motoring at about 5 knots and just as the cut narrows the tide increased and shot us like a slingshot out into steep 5’ waves. This is where the outgoing tide was meeting the ocean swells. It was a bit of a wild ride lasting about 10 minutes. Good thing all the hatches were closed because we had a very wet ride!
Once out of the cut we had nice gentle swells and a light air motor sail to Leaf Cay. We anchored closer to sundown and took a quick dinghy ride to see the Pink Iguanas.

Dec 31 we left Leaf Cay and motored to Emerald Bay Marina and took a slip for New Years Eve. It was so quiet we had lights out at 10 and only heard some mild cheering at midnight.
We left New Years Day and crossed over to Cape Santa Maria on Long Island. Another exceptional bay, white sand beach, lush vegetation and a monument to Columbus just around the corner.
We moved on for a long day down to Clarence Town Long Island. We had planned to go to Rum Cay but there are reports the marina is closed from damaged. We couldn’t confirm so went to Clarence Town Instead.

Merry Christmas

25 December 2017 | Palm Cay
Merry Christmas to all! We spent a very relaxing Christmas Eve docked at Palm Cay Marina.
Our adventure started back in November when Parka was launched after the eye of hurricane Irma passed within 30 miles of the Boatyard. We were very lucky as the only minor damage was a scuff on our dinghy. We had never experienced hurricane season before so we listened to the Marathon Boatyard team and removed or tied down anything that could possibly move. We built a wooden cradle for our dinghy and tied it down with 100' of line. It is actually the cradle that saved our dinghy. As it started to float away the cradle caught on a post .
When Irma hit there were reports of 150-180 mph winds and a sea surge of several feet. The water came over the Overseas highway and flooded the boatyard. Not all boats were as lucky as us and their stands were washed out from under them and the boats tipped over. Our launch was delayed by 2 weeks while the mess was sorted out, insurance adjusters came etc.
As soon as I was allowed to transit the Keys I came down to see Parka. I could not believe the devastation. Trailer parks completely obliterated, roofs torn apart and homes collapsed. Miles and miles of debris piled at the roadside awaiting pick up.
In just a few short weeks most of the debris is gone.
We said our goodbyes and left MBY December 19 on what was supposed to be a perfect crossing. We left at noon with a light North east breeze that was supposed to turn east. Unfortunately soon after dark we had NE wind at 19 knots right on the nose. The north component of the wind was fighting with the Gulf Stream giving us steep 3-5' waves. What was supposed to be 21 hours took us 26. We arrived at Biminiin good light and hot temperatures in the high 20's. Bimini was as remembered. Super friendly people and very clean.
We didn't stay this time as we are trying to get further south. We left Bimini at first light and sailed to Nassau.
We called in to Harbour Control at Nassau and were given permission to anchor in the Harbour. It was almost sundown so we set the anchor and enjoyed the view and activity of the Harbour.
The next morning we motored around the south east tip of the island and checked in with Palm Cay Marina. We are going to be here until tomorrow then we will move on to the Exumas.
Merry Christmas!

Home overnight!

27 April 2017
We have been spending our days prepping for hurricane season by removing and securing everything onboard.
Dizzy is looking a bit frail so we decided not to fly him home. We thought the stress would be too much for him. So I flew home two days ago, picked up the truck and I am driving back to Florida now. I will be back tomorrow so Dizzy can ride home in the truck.

Marathon Boatyard

19 April 2017
We had an awesome sail on the west side of the Cays down to Seven Mile Bridge then motored to Marathon Boatyard, Parka's home until December.
We will start preparing for hurricane season and put Parka on the hard in two weeks.

Jewfish Hole

18 April 2017
We had a terrific sail down the Hawk Channel. We stopped at Indian Harbour but the wind was blowing on the anchorage so we knew it would be an uncomfortable night. We continued on to Jewfish Hole. The anchorage is on the west side of Long Cay. There were several other boats already settled when we arrived just at sunset.
Vessel Name: Parka
Vessel Make/Model: Niagara 35 Encore
Hailing Port: Pell Island Georgian Bay; Registered Midland, Ontario Canada
Crew: Joanne and David
About: David is a retired OPG Stationary Engineer. Joanne is a Registered Nurse retiring July 2016. We have been upgrading Parka in preparation for the Great Loop commencing August 2016 from Georgian Bay.
Parka's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 4 April 2017
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Created 24 March 2017
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Created 27 January 2017
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Created 21 January 2017
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Created 8 January 2017
The Manatees swim into the marina looking for fresh water.
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Created 1 January 2017
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Created 17 November 2016
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Created 15 October 2016
Super busy port. These photos were on the weekend!
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Created 10 October 2016
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Created 3 October 2016
84'Drop on our way to the Gulf
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Created 2 October 2016
These are only. Seen for about a mile but really beautiful.
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Created 2 October 2016
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Created 22 September 2016
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Created 17 September 2016
Photos taken down the Illinois River
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Created 29 August 2016
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Created 26 August 2016
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Created 22 August 2016
Crossing into Usa
12 Photos
Created 21 August 2016
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Created 19 August 2016
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Created 19 August 2016
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Created 18 August 2016
We took Parka out for a cruise down the Waubano Channel. Beam reach 7 knots!
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Created 16 August 2016
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Created 4 August 2016
Old wiring out and new in! Forced air furnace installed.
7 Photos
Created 26 July 2016
David duplicated the grab rails over the winter so time to install.
12 Photos
Created 12 July 2016
Some of the things we are changing or improving.
12 Photos
Created 12 July 2016