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

Twilight Zone

15 December 2015 | Ft. Myers Beach, FL
EVS: Hot and Humid
When I was a youngster, the Twilight Zone was one of my favorite TV shows. It was a sort of “soft porn”, easy to digest science fiction. My favorite episodes involved various dimensions, particularly the time dimension (including planned or inadvertent time travel). Boating has many dimensions too, and some move and change, unlike similar dimensions on land.
Like on land, when an accident is about to happen (and fortunately the season has just started so we have not had any), time moves rapidly as the accident unfolds, despite the fact that one moves much slower in a boat than a car, for instance. But, just when the accident is fully engaged and about to happen, time suddenly seems to slow down and events occur in slow motion.
The three physical dimensions (up, down; fore, aft; left, right) are different on a boat. For instance, in a car, the wheels touch the ground and can go no further down but on a boat, the hull sits on the water’s surface, while the keel extends below and the earth beneath the water body undulates up and down with little hills and valleys (some of which can be quite hard, unfortunately) that can come in contact with the keel if there is not enough water to float the boat. As a result, one must be aware of objects to the left and right (like a dock or other boat), up (like a bridge over the water), and down (as in the bottom). Boats draw, i.e. require, different amounts of water to float and to avoid coming in contact with the bottom. That difference became very evident as we left the boatyard yesterday to begin this cruising season aboard Gratitude. We were behind two other boats – one that draws 5’11” and one that draws 5’6”. Gratitude draws 5’2”. We were moving comfortably along the canal when I noticed the boats ahead did not seem to be moving as quickly as they had been, so I pulled back on the throttle and watched. Sure enough, the first boat (5’11” draft) had run aground at a turn, but was able to get free from the soft mud. The second boat passed through without issue, and Gratitude was fine as well. The first boat then proceeded cautiously the remainder of the almost 2 hour run to the lock (to exit the canal system to the open water of Charlotte Harbor). Outside the lock, the water can be very shallow so boats typically wait for a high and rising tide to pass safely from the lock. There was a “shoulder high” of 1.1’ above mean tide, so we decided to take that opportunity to exit just before 6:00 PM. The second boat (5’6”) proceeded through the lock after we reported on depths outside. Both of us made it safely. The first boat (5’11”) had to wait for the 4:45 AM high tide (1.8’) to get to open water, but they ultimately made it through, so the “distance” dimension impacted their “time” dimension.
The time dimension has impacted us as well. We are beginning our eighth cruising season aboard Gratitude, which is hard to believe (especially since we initially thought we would do well if we enjoyed her for ten years). So long as we comfortably and safely can handle her, we intend to continue to sail Gratitude. At some point, we know we will have to give up this lifestyle (and maybe move to a smaller boat or a power boat), but we intend to enjoy it while we can, well into our twilight years. Stay tuned!
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