Freya’s Voyage Home to Virginia

Webmaster Note (John Tobin): I am updating this page as accurately as possible via correspondences with John Bonner and other sources as information becomes available. John Bonner will verify and fill-in details when possible. His friend and crewmember, Donnie Pressley has also been posting regular updates on his Facebook page, which you may find interesting.

Trip Log . . .

May 15, 2017 – The crane opportunity to drop the mast in failed. So, we gathered six folk, the crew and Danny over at the new neighbor in the marina, hoisted the mast on our shoulders, and walked it to the boat. She hung out eight feet over the ends of the boat. We may have been characterized as a military vessel at this point. Donnie, Rob and Captain Benji Whitcomb gathered their gear together, and we provisioned for two days. Bob Bonner, aboard his “Teeber” escorted us to the Bridge of Lions as the sunset. We worked our way carefully through the St. Augustine Inlet and started up the Intracoastal Waterway crossing the St. John River at 11 AM. The waterway narrowed, it became rather windy, and we fought the flood tide coming from St. Marys Inlet arrived at Fernandina Beach, FL at 3 PM.

Freya Sailboat Underway

Thanks for the amazing work by the Bob Bonner Construction Crew (Bob, Donnie and Robbie), and Captain Whitcomb. We would never have made it without their tremendous effort!

May 16, 2017 – Inserted mast at Fernandino Beach. There was a several-day waiting list for the boatyard crane in Fernandino. John and crew spotted another crane on the skyline, so they cruised over to inquire about inserting the mast. The operator asked “How much is it worth to you?”, and John replied “A lot!”. John reached for his wallet after the job was done, and the operator responded, “No charge!”. It’s amazing how gracious people can be!

Freya Sailboat

May 17, 2017 – The first day of the journey home was a really great day! The mast is up, and boom on main is set. We traveled 70 miles up the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in 20 hours. Our crew is working hard as always …tomorrow, cruising on the Atlantic Ocean.

May 18, 2017 – With the mast installed, we set Freya’s sails and pointed her east to the Atlantic Ocean via St. Mary’s Inlet then steered north toward Charleston, SC (a 170 mile voyage). We soon encountered ESE 15-20 knot winds hitting strong and hard abeam, which lasted through the night. Even with the deck awash in heavy seas, Freya truly proved herself seaworthy and cruised at an amazing speed of 8+ knots. Remember, this is a steel sailboat built nearly 65 years ago! Truly awesome!

A video update by Donnie Pressley about heavy seas and heading to Charleston . . .


May 19, 2017 – Resting in Charleston

May 20, 2017 – Departed Charleston for Morehead City, NC in pleasurable seas. Things changed.

Sunset on the Atlantic Ocean
The Freya sails north as the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean.

May 21, 2017 – The Freya is resting in Southport, NC (Cape Fear River) after bucking headwinds …seas got a bit rough. Plans were to continue sailing overnight to Morehead City, but due to wind direction and sea conditions, northerly progress was slow, so a stop here was necessary.

A video update by Donnie Pressley while in “Southport“, NC. Have you ever experienced several days at sea aboard a small boat?


May 22, 2017 – Departed Southport for Morehead City, NC in some wind and chop. They later encountered “lots of crazy weather and wind”, which delayed their arrival in Morehead City. Most of the crew has been operating with little sleep and food. All is wet inside and out, but Freya is reported to be performing well in rough sea conditions.

Sailing the Atlantic

Freya Sailboat in Rough Seas
On numerous occasions, Freya encountered rough seas between Florida and Morehead City, NC.

May 23, 2017 – Arrived Morehead City at 4:00 AM. We resupplied Freya and brought videographer David Powers aboard. Departing before noon, the Freya is now on inside waters and heading north. They are encountering lots of rain and southerly winds around 20 knots. Upon last report, Freya’s sails were set wing-to-wing and cruising along at 8+ knots.

A video update from Donnie Pressley


May 24, 2017 – Traveling the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina and enjoying sporadic sunshine. Water is calm, but progress is slow due to light winds. Freya anchored at Goose Creek (Pamlico River). John Bonner reported 195 miles to Gwynn’s Island.

Freya Sailboat Crew

See John Bonner’s trip report.

May 25, 2017 – Departed north via Pungo River and the Intracoastal Waterway (on Alligator River). Moored at Alligator River Marina.

May 26, 2017 – The Freya is in Virginia! She moored overnight at Pungo Ferry on the North Landing River. John Bonner reported, “Another great sailing day in the bag. I can’t believe our good fortune. Covered another 50 nautical miles today…”

North Landing River Sunset

May 27, 2017 – Departed Pungo Ferry and continued on North Landing River. Brought Bob and Wesley Bonner aboard for a short ride. Passing Norfolk about 3:00 PM. Moored at Salt Ponds (near Hampton).

Sunrise at Pungo Ferry

A couple video updates by Donnie Pressley . . .



May 28, 2017 – Freya departed Salt Ponds and completed the final leg of her voyage. She arrived at Gwynn’s Island at 2:00 PM and is currently moored at the public dock on Edwards Creek.

The Freya Crew
Only a short distance off Gwynn’s Island, the Freya crew celebrates during the final moments of a great journey. Photo © John Tobin/

May 29, 2017 – Moved Freya to Ginney Point Marina on Cobbs Creek (off the Piankatank River).


Freya Trip Log Summary – Spring 2017
Date Summary
5/15 Departed St. Augustine in route to Fernandino Beach
5/16 Inserted mast at Fernandino Beach
5/17 Departed Fernandino Beach in route to Charleston, SC via Atlantic Ocean …very rough seas!
5/18 On the Atlantic all night. Arrived in Charleston at 10 PM
5/19 Resting in Charleston …Benji Whitcomb returned home
5/20 Departed for Morehead City, NC via Atlantic Ocean
5/21 Moored at Southport, NC …an unplanned stop forced by heavy headwinds and sea conditions
5/22 Scheduled to arrive at Morehead City, but still at sea in rough weather
5/23 Arrived in Morehead City at 4:00 AM. Resupplied and brought videographer aboard. Departed north on inside waters
5/24 Traveling the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina. Anchored in Pamlico River vicinity
5/25 Departed north via Pungo River. Anchored at Alligator River Marina, NC
5/26 Now in Virginia! Crossed the VA state line at sunset and moored at Pungo Ferry on the North Landing River
5/27 Departed Pungo Ferry and moored at Salt Ponds (near Hampton)
5/28 Freya arrived at Gwynn’s Island. She moored at the public dock on Edwards Creek at 2:00 PM.

Northern Route Chart – Intracoastal Waterway

Freya Chart | Intracoastal Waterway | 2017

Southern Route Chart – The Atlantic

Freya Chart | Atlanic Ocean | 2017

Trip updates can also be found on the following Facebook pages . . .

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