Grounding Out

There’s a lot of satisfaction in being a maverick if you own a boat. Minor hull repairs left until the end of the season may become bigger headaches. Having the boat hauled at a yard is costly in these situations, and bound to someone else’s busy schedule. The resourceful boat owner may not wait around to pay for the service, and opt instead for the time-tested practice of “grounding out”: letting the tide settle the vessel onto a beach. The primary tools required are knowledge of local tides and shorelines, patience, preparation, and some blocking (or maybe a temporary cradle). The reverse is also true—a boat can be launched on a flood tide, again cutting out the middleman between the skipper and the ocean. Either way, the only limitation is the time pinch imposed by natural rhythms—as the proverb says, “Time and tide wait for no one.”

Maynard admires such mavericks, and is one himself, so it stands to reason that he captured instances of grounding out when he ran across them, and occasionally grounded out (or tide launched) his own boats.

Note that this selection of images includes some from Maynard’s newly digitized Kodachrome slides, the first of his color photographs to be published here.