S.V. Gratitude

Brewer 44, hull number 284

18 March 2019 | Cumberland Island, GA
08 February 2019
08 February 2019 | George Town, Exumas
01 February 2019 | Great Harbor Cay
31 December 2018 | Stuart, FL
21 December 2018 | Stuart Florida
21 December 2018
17 December 2018 | Stuart, FL
14 December 2018 | St. Augustine, FL
13 December 2018 | Sister’s Creek
12 December 2018 | Atlantic Ocean
11 December 2018 | Windmill Harbour
01 March 2017 | Exumas
26 February 2017 | Jumentos Cays & Ragged Islands
09 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Jumentos Islands, Bahamas
27 January 2017 | En Route to Nassau
23 January 2017 | Sister Creek, Marathon, FL
06 January 2017 | Cayo Costa State Park
17 March 2016
14 March 2016

Georgetown Still

07 March 2011 | Georgetown
March 5, 2011: Georgetown
We have not written or posted any blogs for some time because we have no internet access (short of trundling the laptop into town, and that is one wet and bumpy ride with the winds we have been having). We do have a good signal from The Harbor Wi-Fi, with our special antenna, but we cannot log in because… well, we do not know why. We have asked other boaters and they too are not able to access that system or another right near here, so we assume it is something to do with Batelco, the telephone company. Isn’t it always the telephone company’s fault?
Dan and Sheri departed from Georgetown on Tuesday, March 1. We had a nice visit and it was good to have them aboard. Dan was content to sit and watch the boats, wind on the water, and goings on. We did arrange a water taxi ride into town on Monday (the dinghy cannot handle the four of us and it is a long ride over from the anchorage, not to mention a wet ride back into the wind. At anchor, it is hard to imagine the size of the waves in the open harbor.) We explored the shops and had a great lunch at Peace and Plenty (if one does not count the flies who descended on those of us dining outside), and enjoyed a leisurely afternoon back on the boat. Sheri is not a camper/boater (this was her first time on a boat, and she did not like camping as a kid), so this was quite an experience for her. Boats do not carry a lot of water, Gratitude does not have any practical showers (we do have showers, but they are small, not so easy to use, and waste a lot of water), and the heads (toilets) are typical -- recalcitrant at best, so she had a lot to put up with. We presented her the “Good Sport” award.
Georgetown does not have any major shops or places to wander that are similar to what one would expect stateside. But, there are small stores, a well-stocked (if small) grocery store, and the basics one needs to get along. And, that is part of the reason we are here; it is very different from stateside, the local folks could not be friendlier or more helpful, and it is fun to poke around and see how other folks live. (It certainly is not the natives who are buying green beans for $9.00 per pound.) One has to make do and that is part of the challenge and excitement for us.
All four of us went to Beach Church. Lauren has decided to join the choir here, so we go early for rehearsals. This week, there was a young man up in the tree with a bird’s eye view – kind of like an open air balcony that seated one. On the day of their departure, we all shared a delicious conch salad, made right on the beach. While Johnny was preparing that, he gave scraps of conch to the kids hanging around and they waded into the shallows to feed a ray (who obviously knows what is going on).
After saying goodbye on Gratitude, Dan and Sheri rode the water taxi to town, but Lauren and Van rode the dinghy over to get water to replenish the tanks. (There really is not a functioning marina here, so all of the boats ferry jerry cans of water on a daily every other day basis.) Fortunately, even though we had said our good-byes, we did make the crossing because Dan and Sheri were sharing a taxi to the airport, and it was waiting at the dinghy dock for the other passengers. Van rode over in the dinghy to alert the taxi, but Elvis (the water taxi provider) called over on his cell-phone and the taxi arrived at about the time Van returned. We waved good bye and proceeded about the task of replenishing water tanks, the larder, etc.
A special treat (sort of like the one in Long Island where we met Monty and Sarah Lewis, the publishers of the Explorer Charts of the Bahamas – everyone’s cruising bible in these waters) was the fact that Chris Parker, weather guru, was leading a week long session of weather classes. We caught the last one and it was very worthwhile. Chris broadcasts out of his home in Florida (one listens to him on Single Side Band radio at 6:30 AM) and he uses a software called GRIB Explorer to assist in his review of the weather data. We have been downloading GRIB files using a rudimentary display, but this was a revelation. So, we acquired a copy and worked with Chris to install it. What a wealth of data magnificently displayed! Now, while we listen to Chris in the morning, we can look at the same screens he is viewing and gain a better understanding of what he is discussing.
As one of the boaters put it the next day, “when Chris left, he turned on the fans”. We have had winds of 20-25 knots with some sustained 30 knots and gusts to 35. (Gratitude is anchored in the lee of a knobby outcrop, so while our wind gage (at the mast head) registers the wind, we are not experiencing the full force.) Along with that came a couple of squalls with torrential rains – one of them deposited 1 1/2 “. Actually, we welcomed it because the boat was very salty and had not had a good bath for weeks. A number of boaters got on deck and mopped, swabbed, and chamoised while it poured.
The winds have started to subside and today was the annual Cruisers Regatta Big Boat (in-harbor) Race. We had a front row seat as the races (four different sets or classes of boats) sailed by. Some were really moving and it was fun to watch them heeled well over close hauled or on a broad reach as they worked their way up and down the harbor (and in some instances, through the anchorage). We especially cheered for another ketch – which finished second in class – and secretly wished we had joined, but knew better than to do so. Next week is the ‘Round Stocking Island Race and in April, the traditional Bahamian boats will race, but we will be long gone by then.
Today, and for the next several days, we have projects to do to get ready for Kea, Sean, Ethan, and Hunter, who arrive Tuesday. (We hope to sail with them to Conception Island, but, like all things, that is weather dependent. If we do not get there, we have plenty to do here in Georgetown to keep everyone busy.) Taking a break from our projects, we went on a different hike today and crossed Stocking Island to the ocean side. The surf was up! The trail was circuitous and posted with markers identifying different vegetation, their features, and their uses. Along the way, we saw an “active” termite hill, but no termites. Compared to the hills we have seen in Ghana, these termites are laggards.
Time to go; it is almost sundown and Van has to blow his conch horn to signal the close of another day.
Vessel Name: Gratitude
Vessel Make/Model: Brewer 44 Ketch
Hailing Port: Brandon, VT
Crew: Van and Lauren
About: It is hard to believe, but this is our 7th season aboard Gratitude. It will be a short season and close to FL, but we hope to relax, enjoy the time, being on the water, and each other. Come along.
Extra: Live it while you can.
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Gratitude's Photos -

2015 Cruise

Who: Van and Lauren
Port: Brandon, VT