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

Wires Wires Wires

27 January 2013 | Spanish Wells, Eleuthera
EVS: Beautiful
We have arrived in Eleuthera, and presently are sitting on a mooring in Spanish Wells! From a first look, we really think we will like this place. The town obviously is a working community (this supposedly supplies the Bahamas with much of its lobster, conch, and fish) and the fishing boats are spotless. The houses are all shades of pink, blue, tourquois, yellow, and a variety of other pastels. Just lovely.

After spending 4 days in Nassau – longer than we had intended -- we were ready to leave. We do not much like sitting on a dock. Aside from the fact that it costs more (a charge of anywhere from $1.00 – low – to $4.00 – high – per foot, per night), it is noisier and more “jerky” than being on a mooring or anchor. The rodes on moorings, and even more so on anchors, are far more forgiving than a stationary dock. When one comes to the end of a line tied to a dock, the boat jerks back into position. It not only is uncomfortable and disconcerting, but in bad weather can be damaging and dangerous. So, why stay so long in Nassau you ask? Good question. We noticed at the end of last year that the batteries ran down even while the engine was running. It happened again as we traversed the Bahama Bank and headed to Nassau from Bimini. So, Van tried trouble shooting the alternator and regulator, not really knowing what he was doing. With the help of several different books, he checked various fittings and readings, but all was more confusing than clarifying. So, he decided it was time to call in some experts. He asked at the marina office and they recommended not calling in someone to come to the boat, but to remove the alternator and take it to the Bay Street Garage for a diagnostic and, if necessary, repair. They assured us it was far more cost-effective. So, that’s what he did. The walk there was a bit long with an alternator in hand, but manageable. The alternator was promised back the next day and, after several calls to check on progress, we were told to come get it. When we arrived, it was not quite ready, but they showed us the old parts (including burn marks on the windings) and were told it was “burned up”. When we asked what could cause that, they indicated bad batteries (but ours are just 1 year old and very good ones) or overloading the alternator. (We finally decided it likely was caused by a “closed” ignition switch while the engine was running, which resulted in the alternator experiencing a sudden surge in power and nowhere to put it.) The bill for labor and parts was very reasonable. After walking back to the dock, Van reinstalled the alternator and ran some diagnostics that were slightly at odds with the test results indicated for the regulator, so he emailed the manufacturer and we had dinner with friends. The next day, at Starbucks, we received a response that the numbers were fine. So, Van completed the installation and fired up the engine. We now have electricity from the engine while we are motoring (and not just from the generator or the solar panels).

This is good because we have wires everywhere – for iPods, iPads, computers, radios, spotlights, electric razors, you name it. It is amazing how much stuff comes aboard that is “portable” and “rechargeable”, which leads one to believe the items are self-sufficient and stand-alone. Beggar the thought! All those items need juice and lots of it, so we are dependent on electricity from one source or another, and having multiple sources is most helpful and satisfying.

From Nassau, we went to Rose Island to anchor for the night. Then, promptly at 7:00 on Saturday morning, we pulled up anchor and, with friends Steve and Mary Ann on Living Well, we headed to Royal Island, just a short distance from here. Departing Rose, and entering Hanover Sound, was quite the ride with huge swells coming in off of the deep water (well over 1000’) and “piling up” in the shallows. We then had a close hauled sail (with motor at slow speed to maintain heading) all the way to Royal Island. It is a lovely spot, but it slated for development. While slowed down by economic conditions, it will not remain wild for long, so we are glad to enjoy it now. This morning, Sunday, we motored the 5 miles to Spanish Wells.

We intend to stay here on the mooring for a couple of days, explore Spanish Wells, the shops, restaurants (sea food!), the beaches, and take a ferry to Harbor Island off of North Eleuthera, just to our south. We are scoping out the area for the arrival of our friends from Seattle, Doug and Kea and John and Carita. We spoke with them this morning as they began their cross-country drive to Miami to fly here. We think of them as a sort of couples Thelma and Louise, and we are sure to hear many “road trip” stories. In the meanwhile, we hope to learn much about this lovely area so they can share stories of their time in the Bahamas with others. We look forward to it!
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