The Highs and Lows of Cruising
30 September 2009 | You don't want to know!
This was the parting view of Norton's Marina as we left this morning. I'm sad to say that it didn't look much different when we returned about two hours later.... but I get ahead of myself.
The last few days have been a whirlwind as we ticked off the last jobs of the "to do list". We appeared to have a reasonable, though not ideal, weather window to get to Block Island today. So we were up at sparrow's fart this morning and watched a watery sun rise to the East. We cast off the docklines and called farewells to the few Norton's characters that were up and around that early. And off we went, it was a chilly morning but that couldn't cool off our excitement at being underway after all these weeks of hard work. As we steamed out of the cove Tom set the autopilot only to find out that it wasn't working!!!!! Our exhilaration plummeted along with the ambient temperature. We realized with sinking hearts that we had little choice but to head back to Norton's to try and get this fixed. Two years ago we had naively set off not sure whether the autopilot was working or not. Thankfully it worked reliably for 5,000 miles with never a waiver. We now realise how vital a piece of equipment this is and do not wish to be without it. This is especially the case as we are hoping to do some 2 or 3 days legs offshore and this will be very difficult if not downright tedious without a functional pilot. Once back in our slip we did a little trouble shooting, headed out for a sea trial but no joy. So back we came - very glum! Unfortunately, the local electronics guy is off on a fishing trip so we had to do some calling around. Someone is coming out tomorrow to do some trouble shooting. We both suspect that we are going to need a new unit - there goes our boat budget for the next four months!
So the crew of Osprey is very subdued this evening. We are not sure when we are going to be able to leave again - we suspect that it will be a week at least. The only consolation is that we are not missing a brilliant weather window and I am hoping that next week will bring more favorable winds for a smooth shot straight down to Norfolk, VA.