SailBlogs
Bookmark and Share
Cruising with Osprey
Back in New England
05/26/2008

Time for a quick update. I am back in Nashua, NH, working. It seems weird to be back here when Tom and Osprey are so far away - I miss them both..... and the sun and the palm trees. What is it about palm trees? The sight of a lovely palm tree evokes such feelings of joy - to be in such a place, where they grow in the sun and where the sea is so clear and beautiful.

I have been able to speak to Tom most days.... Skype is such a wonderful thing and Tom has the GSM unlocked phone at his end (we really need another computer I think). Apparently, there has been some stormy weather, high winds and rain, since I left so I am not missing anything. He has been busy on Osprey doing some varnishing. Also, we have finally got an AIS unit (I had it delivered to me here in NH), so Tom has been putting in the wiring for that so we can just plug it in when I get back. Tom had also ordered a new fuel pump through the Marsh Harbor Boat Yard. That was supposed to come in last week, which would have been great so he could get it installed before I got back. Sadly, the pump did not come in when it should have so we are hoping it will arrive sometime this week. Tom thinks the pump on the engine has a leaky diaphragm and may fail soon. So, the new pump is a preventative measure. I have also ordered a unit to receive satellite weather. This will hook up to our chartplotter and is a means of getting weather information without internet access. As we hope to do some longer offshore legs up the East Coast the AIS and satellite weather receiver will add to our safety.

We still haven't really come up with a plan for the summer yet. We may go as far as the Chesapeake and cruise there for the summer. The downside of that is that it gets very hot and there is not much wind there in July and August. So, we may push on to RI and regroup in our old stomping grounds there. One thing that has happened is that I have accepted a six month Locum post in Maine for next winter! We were thinking of looking for some long term work to replenish the cruising kitty and this opportunity kind of fell into my lap. Of course this means that we will not get to the Bahamas next year which makes us sad but we do know it will all be there the year after. Our thinking right now is that this will set us up nicely for cruising Maine for the summer of '09 and hopefully getting up to Nova Scotia which will be a great new cruising ground for us. It is great to have such amazing choices - what a life!

| | More
05/30/2008 | Bruce
Never saw palm trees in New Hampshire,
albeit plastic, like the flamingos. tacky
for sure.
Stay in touch, weather here has been great
for sailers, quite windy.
All the power boats have, what else is new,
become summer homes aka cocktail lounges.
D dock has a few new of the party types, many adult bevrages, don't ya know.
Stay in touch, hope you can stop here on the
way to Maine, if that is the long distance plan.
Your blogging has been very informative and
the pictures were fantastic, as previously
mentioned you should consider a travel guide,
it would be teriffic.......
05/31/2008 | J R
Is Tom disappointed he missed another INDY 500?

The Blog is One Year Old Today!
05/19/2008, Hope Town

It is exactly one year since I posted the first blog entry. A lot of water has passed under our keel since then. It seems a lot longer than a year ago since all this started. What is great though is that we have enjoyed every single moment, have no regrets and would do it all again in a heartbeat. Our time in the Bahamas is coming to a close and we are sad at the thought of leaving. We would love to stay here all summer - but it will be too hot and there is the threat of the dreaded "H" word as well. So leave we must, I regret to say. But first, I have a quick jaunt back to New Hampshire for a long week of work. Once that is done I will fly back here, rejoin Tom and Osprey and head back to the good old US. As the season has progressed here, the weather has got more benign and we are hoping to get a good window so that we can make a 2 or 3 day trip up the coast and eat up some miles.

In the meantime we have been keeping busy here. We left Hope Town yesterday and sailed out into the Sea of Abaco. We wanted to get out of the harbor to where the water is a little cleaner so we could check out Osprey's bottom after our grounding experience. We had our sights set on a new anchorage on the eastern shore of Great Abaco. We are getting a persistent westerly wind which means that all our favorite anchorages at the eastern cays have no protection from the wind and the waves. The first thing that happened was that we got hit by a squall! Fortunately, we saw it coming and shortened sail just in time before it hit. We got a thorough soaking in the rain and Osprey got laid fairly flat despite the reduced sail. It only lasted about 3 minutes but was quite exciting! We arrived at the anchorage without further event - and we had a wonderful sail. We dropped anchor but could not get it to set. When Tom dove down he could see that there was no sand, just hard rock so there was nothing for the anchor to dig into. Still it was fine as a day anchorage, we let out enough chain that the weight of it, plus the anchor, held us in place. The good news is that there was absolutely no damage to the keel at all. The only sign of our mishap was the fact that the bottom paint was scraped off the underside edge of the keel. Once again, this just confirms to us the great choice we made in sailing away on a Shannon. Once that was checked out we decided to head back to Hope Town for the night. We had to wait till 6.30pm for the tide to come in enough for us to get back in so we had a nice relaxing afternoon reading our books. Then we hoisted sail and had a nice leisurely sail back to Hope Town. We arrived back in the harbor to find the power out (a fairly frequent occurrence we are finding). This meant we could not shower at the marina - no power to the water pump. "OK", we thought, "no problem, we will have a cockpit shower on Osprey". We get back to Osprey to discover that our solar shower has disappeared! We know it was there this morning and we can only assume it rolled off when the squall hit! Normally we tie it down so it lies in the sun on the foredeck, but obviously it got loose somehow. So a new shower bag is on our shopping list. Ah, the joys of cruising!

| | More
05/21/2008 | Dad
Good news about the keel, bad news about the shower! When you say Osprey was laid nearly flat how flat is flat?. We are looking forward to the trip North just to see how you can eat up the miles.
We had a lovely time with you both and we also think Osprey Shannon is a really nice boat.
I wonder where we all be next year!
Love
Dad XXX
05/26/2008 | Tim
Theres been a lot of water under the keel in the last year. Well done for living the dream, perseverence and determination have got you where you wanted to be. Long may it continue.
Whats the long term plan now? Where are you heading once you leave the turquoise shores? I hear tales of a 3 day blast 'north', aiming for...?
Got to say , Im dissapointed in your total lack of fish catching, I feel let down! :o)
Snake Cay bites back!
05/17/2008

We have had some adventures since the last post. We left Hope Town on Wednesday and had a brilliant sail down to Tilloo Cay. We had to leave in the afternoon because of the tides and so arrived at the anchorage fairly late. But we were pleased to find only one other boat there. We were joined by Charisma and Bold Endeavor (who are Kiwi's and friends of Steven and Denise). We had cocktails in Osprey's cockpit until well after dark - it was late suppers for everyone that night. We slept soundly and with a shift in wind direction decided to head 3 miles south to anchor off the Tilloo Bank. We sailed Osprey off the anchor and had a lovely gentle sail to the next anchorage. We were joined again by Charisma whilst Bold Endeavor radioed to say they were too "tired" to come and join us - we were not sure what to make of that! We had a lovely day swimming on the bank and shelling on the beach. The Atlantic was "raging" and we went to look at it - very impressive, the swells were crashing about 10 feet high. That's the beauty of the Abacos - we were completely in the lee of the Cay and it was flat calm in the anchorage. We had chili for supper on Charisma and another lovely evening. We have been trying to raise Legacy on the radio but cannot reach them. Last we heard they were headed to Guana Cay so they may be beyond the range of our radio. On Friday we knew the winds were shifting to the West so we had to find a new anchorage with protection from that direction. After some discussion we decided to head to Snake Cay to check it out. Osprey has been before and we have always liked it there. This time though we made for the more southerly end of the anchorage (with winds coming from the SW). And then disaster struck. We were approaching the shore when suddenly we hit the bottom hard! According to the chart we should have been in at least 9 feet of water and so I have to say we were not being very diligent checking depths as we approached - it just shouldn't have been an issue (we draw 5' 2"). A quick scan around us revealed that we seemed to have got stuck on a small shoal - we could see that the water all around was quite deep. Unfortunately, we were stuck quite hard and could not back off. Of course the tide was falling but was almost at low which in the end was a good thing. We were able to get a kedging anchor rigged quite quickly and Tom took it out in the dinghy and we tried to winch ourselves off - to no avail. By this time Charisma had arrived and took a line off the stern and tried pulling but again with no success. At this point we resigned ourselves to sitting and waiting for the tide to come in and lift us off. I have to say that was probably one of the longest 3 hours of our lives. It was horrible to just sit there whilst poor Osprey bounced around grinding her keel on the bottom. But we knew she is built like a tank and wasn't going to come to any great harm - we thanked our lucky stars that we have such a sturdy boat and were glad that we have a full keel and that the rudder was well protected. Thankfully, the tide stops for no man, eventually the water rose and after a few shivers we were able to fire up the engine and back off. Much to our relief all seemed well, and all systems were functional - Phew! Charisma had patiently stood by and waited with us - we were very grateful for that. Once Osprey was off, we all made a bee-line for Hope Town where Steven had reserved moorings for us. We knew that would be a secure, familiar place for us to go and nurse our wounded pride. We actually had a wonderful sail back to Hope Town and Osprey really seemed none the worse for the ordeal. Once securely tied up to our neighboring moorings we had large cocktails all round and went out for dinner!

Having had enough excitement for a while we have stayed here today. As you can see from the photo the lighthouse is being painted. The guy painting is rappelling down the side with a large roller and pot of paint - it is amazing to watch. I suppose it would have been easier if the stripes went up and down instead of around!

| | More
05/18/2008 | Bruce
All is well that ends well, and as we all
are aware, a collision at sea can ruin
your day, for sure.
Happy sailing , stay safe.................
ps Lovely pic's
Hope Town Lighthouse
05/13/2008

We have decided to stay here another day to regroup after Mum and Dad's departure. After getting our chores done we went over to the Lighthouse and climbed to the top - the views were spectacular. As we got there some workmen were unloading equipment and they told us that the lighthouse will be closed to visitors from tomorrow as they are painting it!

We will be heading out cruising for another week starting tomorrow. Then I fly back to NH for 10 days of work before returning to Osprey. By then it will be the beginning of June and time to head back to the USA. At this point we have no set plans for the summer, other than the fact that we will have to do some work to replenish the cruising kitty. One thing we do know is that we want to continue this great adventure and carry on cruising with Osprey. We definitely want to come back to the Bahamas - hopefully next year.....

| | More
05/18/2008 | Dad
Very good photograph.

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]

 

 
Powered by SailBlogs