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

There is always something!

31 December 2018 | Stuart, FL
EVS: Sunny
Living on a boat is not all grapes and reclining in the sun with fans to keep you cool. In fact, we experience very little of that! It is almost always the case that something needs to be checked, tightened, fixed, or replaced. And that seems to be the case most often when a boat just sits.

When in operation, all systems are exercised and keep up their functionality — until they don’t. But, when a boat is not used, things tend to get creaky and stiff. (Sound familiar?) Because Gratitude had not been used for over a year and a half before this trip, we had a list of deferred maintenance items that needed tending. Our stop in Stuart, FL has provided a good opportunity to play catch up.

We arrived here December 17 and flew to LI, NY on the 22d to celebrate Christmas with our daughter, Kea, and her sons, Ethan and Hunter. We had a grand time with them, and even had the privilege of helping the boys (both teenagers) literally shovel out their room, which is set up like a dormitory, only messier. The good news is that they had no hesitation throwing away stuff (old pens and pencils, puzzles missing pieces, broken computer parts, etc.) and clothing that was too small was bagged for the thrift store. The bad news is we all had to spend the better part of a day on the project. However, once done, all agreed it was well worth the effort!

Returning to Stuart on the 27th, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out with Nancy and Burger Zapf, sailing friends who have graciously loaned us a car for the myriad of errands over great distances while we are here. We have replenished the LP, done laundry, done some grocery shopping, been to the hardware store and West Marine for necessary parts, etc. We have washed the boat, checked the oil, tightened “fan” belts, bought and stored more oil for future changes, checked various fittings (only to find three hose clamps broken and in need of replacement; fortunately, they were backed up by others), tightened the “dripless” shaft gland, found a broken bolt on a head pump so ordered a new one, and a host of other items too numerous and boring to name. Suffice to say, it has been a worthwhile few days.

One item we had to attend was to move the boat to another marina to have the head holding tanks pumped out. (The county pump out boat utterly failed to provide the necessary service, so it was a significant undertaking to get that done. For example, along the way, we had to pass three bridges in close succession — one a railroad bridge that is closed by the railroad, so one must pay attention to the unscheduled train crossings, and another a highway bridge that opens on demand, much to the consternation of the vehicle drivers.) We took the opportunity to fill up on diesel while there, so we will have plenty for our ultimate trip to the Bahamas.

Now, we await the “weather window” for a safe and comfortable crossing of the Gulf Stream (that flows northward, so winds from the north [heading south] can build some fierce waves, nicknamed “elephants” for their shape and size. We saw enough elephants in South Africa and have no need to ride any now). While we wait, we are amazed periodically by the size of the trains that rumble through here on an unscheduled basis. Yesterday, I counted one with four engines, with fuel tank cars between them, hauling a train that took 5 minutes to pass at about 10-15 MPH. Many of the cars were filled with sand, and who knows what was in the tank cars, box cars, and assorted others. It was an impressive sight, and one we see repeated daily or even more often here in Stuart.

At the moment, it looks like we may be able to move on Thursday, but that is open to debate. When we can go, we will go. We are in no hurry and we have this slip for a month, so no one is pushing us out. 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.

2015 Cruise

Who: Van and Lauren
Port: Brandon, VT