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

Ready to go!

15 December 2011 | Cattle Dock Lock, El Jobbean, Myakka River
EVS: Celar and still
December 15, 2011

Finally, we are under way! This year was one for several upgrades to Gratitude: new, beefier batteries; solar panels to be less dependent on the diesel generator (not to mention “greener”); a second compressor for the refrigerator, dedicating the one installed last year to the freezer; and a new inverter/charger to replace the old one that went kaput last year and with more charging capacity when connected to shore current or on the generator. All that took time, not helped by the fact that the wiring diagrams were wrong! Just before departing, Lauren suggested we re-mark the anchor chain so we can tell better how much rode is out when we anchor. Good idea, especially because it revealed (in the yard, where we could deal with it) that the deck buttons to control the windlass were shot. As the days crept by, our frustration and concerns rose – and our Christmas spirits dropped. It just does not feel like Christmas when one is dusty, dirty, and in a bilge!

But, today was a new day – we started Gratitude’s big diesel and swung away from the dock to head out the canal system toward to lock and the outside world. The gang saw us off banging on the gong in the Hut. As we pulled away, we realized the depth meter was not registering. One more thing; and we felt as if we were flying blind. However, we stayed on the courses we have followed in the past and, after motoring about 2 hours (in fresh/brackish water, so it really helps clean out the systems when we return), we reached the lock and dropped the hook to catch the high tide tomorrow morning at 6:36. (The problem with the meter evidently was corrosion on the connections – we wish all our issues were so easily resolved.)

Because of all the work on board, EVERYTHING was not where it was supposed to be. We pecked away at putting things away, but we have more to do. We had a nice dinner (Brazilian black beans, rice, farofa, and squash) and a chance to catch our breaths. After dinner, while pumping up the fenders for the passage through the lock, Van noticed some movement in the water, so we shined the light and saw – alligators looking back. Actually, probably only one and pretty small, but (a) the first we have seen in the canals (despite being told they are here) and (b) kind of makes us not want to go for a swim (not that we really were planning to do so).

Tomorrow, we will head out on the tide and make our way to Cayo Costa, a state park on a barrier island just south of Boca Grande. There, we will finish organizing and get ready to go out into the Gulf and head south to the Keys. As in the past, we will try to update this blog periodically, but it undoubtedly will not be a daily occurrence. We hope all who read this are informed, entertained, and well.

Van and Lauren
Comments
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