March 2012


We are a cruising couple with plans to spend the next few years cruising the Great Loop and the Bahamas. After that, who knows!

Our home while cruising will be a 34′ PDQ power catamaran, which we purchased in Stuart, Florida. Because we hail from Vancouver B.C., ‘His Idea’ will be Canadian flagged, and may one day come home to cruise the Pacific Northwest.

For 2012 we plan to head north along the U.S. Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to New York, then up the Hudson River to the inland canals, rivers and lakes that will take us to the St. Lawrence River near Sorel, Quebec. Summer will be spent cruising east to the Saguenay fiord region of Quebec – a place for great whale watching we’re told – and then returning upriver to Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa. A fall sojurn along the Rideau Canal will take us from Ottawa to Kingston, located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, where ‘His Idea’ will spend the winter.

Here is a map which shows the Great Loop, courtesy of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association.

We’ve created this cruising blog for family and friends to follow our (mis)adventures. Every visitor is welcome and encouraged to participate if so inspired. Hopefully we’ll have many interesting stories to tell and pictures to show of the people and places we see along our journey.


John Evans (Captain) and Ria Zapf (Admiral)

Special thanks to Dominic Linder for his technical expertise and the use of his server to host this site.


Having been born in Vancouver I spent my early summers in the English Bay area. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, wondering from the shore about the mystery of the many freighters in the harbour and the journeys the crew have travelled.  Years later, together with husband John, our son Ryan, and daughter Vanessa, our family explored the Straights of Georgia and Juan de Fuca, as well as Puget Sound.  We cruised on 28′ and 32′ power boats, using them as our family vacation home throughout the spectacular waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Now I’ll be experiencing Atlantic waters and the inland passages of the east coast.  We are sharing our thoughts and welcome you to join in with your comments and questions.

Ria survived her New Year's Day dip at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim



  1. John and Ria, So excited for you two. Can not wait to read about your travels. Congratulations on living your dream. Kay

  2. Ria and John, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I am so happy for you both and your new home is a beauty. I look forward to hearing about your adventures and wish you both the very best. Brenda

    1. It’s great to hear from you Brenda! We’re really pleased that Kay let you know of our plans, and that you’ll be following along. We’ll try and keep it interesting! All the best…John & Ria

  3. Hi John and Ria, so great to see you live this dream. Steve and I love your ship. Can’t wait to see more pics of your journey and the tales that will go along with it. Happy travels, Patricia & Steve.

  4. John and Ria,

    Thanks for the update – the boat is beautiful and we both laughed at how you came up with such a great name. We look forward to seeing more pictures as your continue on your journey and tales about your trip.

    All the best for safe travel….

    Elizabeth and Bruce

  5. Hi John & Ria:

    Great boat. Love the comments and pictures – it feels like we’re part of the crew.. Hope you continue to have fabulous adventures. PS. Thanks for the birthday wishes. – I’m amazed that you remembered! All the very best, Vern & Debbie Oster

  6. Charlotte and Doug Kerr here, owners of PDQ 34 Abbotsford III. We met you in Stuart at the rendezvous, and again at Dick and Carol’s house as we headed north. Currently lying in our community marina at Sherwood Forest, near Annapolis MD. If you stop in our area, give us a call (home 410-849-2242, Charlotte cell 410-703-4766, Doug cell 419-703-4191). No empty slips in our marina but anchorage in front of our house, and we can provide laundry and rides to grocery, hardware, West Marina etc. Downside is that we are about four miles up the Severn River and not closeby if you want to visit the historic sites of Annapolis. Phone if you have a minute and we will assist you anyway possible. Safe travels.

  7. John and Ria – Enjoying following your adventures. We have completed the section of the Great Loop between Georgian Bay and Mobile, AL. We are looking at an American documented PDQ andf being Canadian and wanting to register or licence the boat in Canada. Beth S. suggested we contact you for information as you have already completed this process. Looking forward to hearing from you, F and C

  8. Hello Cousin John and Ria,
    Susan graciously sent me your cruising website and asked that I send it along to my brother and your fellow cousin, Collin. Yesterday at Auntie Rose’s memorial service she told us a little about your adventures. It all sounded fascinating to Collin and me. Now we will have the pleasure of experiencing your adventures via this link. Wishing you safe travels, calm waters, friendly harbours and grand adventures.
    Cheers, Corol

    1. Hi John and Ria,

      Just checking in on you guys. Great pictures and narrative throughout. Sounds like the dream come true. Keep it going!

      Scott M.

        1. Hi John and Ria,

          Thanks for your email reminding me of the link. Again, your trips are inspiring! Heike and I retired earlier this spring so we could do those things that full time employment make impossible. Getting lots of cycling in, and I’ll send you our Florida blog. All the best, and lets get some golf in when you finish up your summer cruise!

  9. Hello,

    Canadian geographic is looking for image of wildlife taken in Merrickville. We were wondering of you had any images of the city of Merrickville or the animals that resign the the area that you would like to submit for possible publication. If so please submit these in a low res version with full metadata for layout purposes and if we decided to use the image we will be in contact about receiving the high res image.
    Please submit only summer images

    Canadian Geographic

    Photography Intern:
    Kayla Hannaford


    Phone: (613)-745-4629 ex: 114

    Please contact me by phone: Tuesdays-Thursdays (10-5)
    Or Anytime by email

    Thank you

    1. Hi John. Spent more time than I originally anticipated viewing your travel pics. I found your blog really captivating. WOW! What a trip[s]
      I do have one, minor shortcomimng to share: not enough pictures of the Peterborough Canoe Museum.

  10. Thanks so much for creating a wonderful blog. I’m thinking about doing something similar. If you could answer one question I would really appreciate. When you returned to Canada with your Canadian flagged vessel did you have to pay customs tax or tariff? How did customs determine the value of your PDQ after you had sailed it for a few years?

    Thank you


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