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Cruising with Osprey
The Highs and Lows of Cruising
09/30/2009, 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.

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10/01/2009 | Dad
Dear Vicky I am to the doctors for a routine blood test, in view of your latest news I think I will ask for Prozac.
Fingers crossed
Love Dad XXX
10/01/2009 | Sophie
oh no - I am sorry for you guys - chin up, sure grandma's luck will shine on you now.
xxx
All dressed up and nowhere to go
09/27/2009

After running around like headless chickens all week we are ready to go..... but the weather Gods have other ideas. There are strong South / South West winds forecast for the next two days and as we need to head in that direction we are now planning on leaving on Wednesday when we should have West winds. We are very frustrated after all the hard work of the last few weeks but we know from experience that patience will pay off. Also, I had to order a new computer last Friday as our current Laptop seems to be dying a slow death and we don't want to end up without a functional computer. With any luck the new one should arrive tomorrow so we should have it in hand by the time we leave. Yesterday we drove up to Maine and back ( in a rental van), carting Tom's tools up to a new storage area we have rented in anticipation of being in Maine next Summer. We were lucky to have a beautiful day for the 11 hour round trip drive but we were startled to see the leaves changing colours - definitely time to head South!

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09/29/2009 | Chris & Bob Kozak
Stay calm....when it is the right time to leave you will know. Why spend your time fighting the weather when, with a little patience, you will have a much easier time of it.

Know that we will be following along and if we can help anywhere along the way you just need to be in touch. Anything, anytime.

Safe trip friends.

Chris & Bob


Boys and their Toys
09/23/2009

Apparently, when Tom was a little boy he loved to take things apart to find out how they worked. Often, after doing so , the thing would then be broken. Imagine my horror when I found Tom dismantling our brand new engine to check the valve clearances. This was part of the first 50 hour service. Thankfully my clever Captain was able to accomplish this mission without mishap. He then proceeded to change the oil, oil filter and transmission fluid. So now the engine is officially "broken in" and ready to go.

We are hoping to get out for a shakedown sail tomorrow and if that goes OK we should be on track for departure on Monday - although, looking at the long range forecast I suspect Tuesday may be a better day.

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09/24/2009 | Dad
You really ought to appreciate your engineer expert more. I think you are lucky he knows what a valve clearance is let alone check it !!
Really looking forward to you "getting off."
Love Dad.

Tell Tom I know I owe him an Email and will write to him when I have a quiet time.
09/25/2009 | Tim
Woooo all ready to set sail then? Excellent. So whats it to be? A blast down the coast for 48 hours non stop, or tinkering about making your way down slowly? Looking forward to reading all about it on here. Keep up the good work!
09/27/2009 | Jim & Ginny
The "big day" is finally here. Have a great time and we will follow your journey.
Jerk to inflate
09/21/2009, Norton's!




We bought our inflatable lifejackets some years ago - in fact we are not exctly sure when. I though it best to rearm them with new CO2 cylinders. This was a good chance to test the inflating process. It is just as the instructions say - "jerk to inflate" and presto our jackets fully inflated very quickly. I was suprised by several things - the speed at which it happened, the fact that the jacket became very cold from the compressd gas and at how tightly the inflated vest fit (which it is supposed to). We feel that this was a very useful excercise and now know what to expect if we ever have to jerk the tab in anger.

We had some bad things happen today - we discovered the washdown pump is dead so we had to order a new one. This is quite distressing as the pump is only 2 years old and they are very expensive. Unfortunately, this pump did not get winterised (i.e. it was forgotten) so we have no recourse for warranty. Then we suffered a blockage in our holding tank vent hose and suffered is the correct word! I wont go into the gory details but suffice to say I'm glad this happened in our home port and not once we were on our way.

To counteract the bad - the good news is that we sold the car! We now have no wheels and so we will have to leave soon.

Actually, the planned departure date is one week today so all fingers must be crossed.

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09/21/2009 | Tim
Soooo many comments...must resist...must resist
09/22/2009 | jennifer
very reassuring to see how these work, hope i never need to use mine but i have often wondered if mine would execute properly if i did need it. see you along the way
09/22/2009 | Nichola Wright
Hey Osprey, good idea on the life jackets. I though as cruisers there was an unspoken rule not to mention the joy of marine heads...... ;-)
As for the water meter, yes we have one but it is cheap/flaky and no longer made, so was interested in which one you got. (do u know the model?)
fair winds, we are a week away from finishing our cruise!
slainte emerald
09/22/2009 | Chris Kozak
Come on Tim...go for it!
09/25/2009 | Tim
So having had a few days struggling not to comment on this, I fail........
That photo of Tom ? Is he in 'mid jerk' there, or does he have a defective life jacket? if thats the case, strange how yours seemed to function perfectly Vicky. Mind you, the Captain is supposed to go down with the ship...Admirals are much too important for that.
Or does he just have some weird swelling coming out of his ear?
10/01/2009 | OSPREY
No swelling or defective equipment but captured in mid-jerk!

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