Eight Bells…in honor of our friend Jerry

Marathon FL
Posted by Bill

“The sounding of ship’s bell is well rooted in the history and tradition of the maritime industry. The bell marked time onboard and divided the day into shifts or “watches” for the crew. At the end of the last shift, the end of the last watch, eight bells rang out – Eight Bells and All is Well. A sailor’s time for rest.” – Source: Boat US web site.

We learned today that our good friend and fellow sailor, Jerry Griffith, passed away on Thursday. We met them several years ago at our marina on Lake Erie. He and his wife Brenda had just purchased a really nice Island Packet boat that was in incredible condition, moved it to a dock about 10 slips down from us, and were going to take it cruising. Having so much in common, we quickly became friends. Shortly after buying their boat, Jerry found out that he had cancer and was going through treatments up to, and beyond our departure. We kept in touch regularly and he was an avid blog follower. We had hoped to make it to Key West by New Years so we could see them while they were there vacationing, but we weren’t able to do it. We never knew how serious it was for him. When we talked, we always asked how he was doing, but never dwelled on his condition unless he wanted to talk in more detail, usually shifting to talk of family, sailing and cruising. He never complained about being ill, and if you didn’t know about it, you wouldn’t have figured it out based on his attitude. He and Brenda both were strong, brave and positive…a true example to all. We always hoped we would someday see them along the ICW or Bahamas, Jerry in full recovery. This is truly a sad day for us, and our hearts go out to Brenda and the family.

Tonight we drink a toast to our friend Jerry. We feel honored to have known him and to be able to call him a friend, and we will miss him.

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