An Interview with Captain Keith Grivois
of Knotty Veteran charters
Keith felt the isolation intimately. Not attending family outings, cancelling Veterans Affairs doctor's appointments and not leaving the house—for anything. He was spiraling down so fast that suicide seemed like the only way out. After going from having a purpose in life to suddenly losing that purpose and camaraderie, he felt like there was nothing exciting left in life.
It was at one of his worst moments that the Wounded Warrior project called. He was invited to go on a fishing trip with Dave Marciano of Wicked Tuna. This was an injection of life. A good portion of Keith’s time was spent at home, sedentary, watching TV series like Wicked Tuna.
The day out on the water changed his outlook and showed him that the world does keep turning and people can keep living, perhaps differently than before. He relaxed and finally found a sense of peace that he hadn’t felt since leaving the army.
From that point forward, the thought lingered that he might one day feel good enough and have enough internal motivation to earn his captain's license to pay forward what those captains did for him—saved his life.
Disabled veterans fishing trip out of Gloucester with Captain Dave Marciano from Wicked Tuna on his boat Hard Merchandise
Free Disabled veterans fishing trip out of Plymouth with Captain Mark Petit with Fire Escape Charters and a full day cod and haddock trip originating in Maine.
Journey to Captain and Giving Back
His wife Marina started Knotty Veteran Charters, LLC because she knew that it would give Keith the push he needed to earn his captain's license. Recently, nightmares have plagued his nights resulting in 2-4 hours of sleep per night, taking a toll and draining Keith’s will to go on. Marina knew the push to earn his license and the purpose of helping other veterans would inspire Keith.
Keith earned his USCG Master Captain’s license with a 25 ton near coastal designation (Up to 200miles offshore) and now looks forward to the future. He is the consummate outdoorsman and his passion is teaching people to respect nature and find their own love of the outdoors. His mission is to share that passion with disabled veterans to show them that a relaxing day out on the water can be a way to find enjoyment in life at a time when they feel like there is no life left to live.
His goal is at least 20 disabled veterans trips in 2020. It’s important to him that veterans don’t feel overwhelmed with too many people on the boat so when necessary, he’ll limit the trips to four veterans. The trips will have a medic on board (when necessary) and the boat is equipped with heavy duty high and low range fishing equipment and trolling gear to make it a rewarding experience for disabled veterans.
Said Keith about being a captain: “Just being on my boat and seeing the smiles on everyone’s face as they reel in fish makes every trip so memorable for me. If it’s a paid charter or a vet trip and we get them on the fish (they can run and hide but I always find them), they light up and the morale spikes. This boost that I see in them gives me such a feeling of accomplishment.”