Osprey has been berthed at the Catamaran club since my
departure on the 16th January. I have been back in the UK catching up
with family, house and work. Our good friend Alico has been working on the boat
and the cabin sole has been sanded back and re sealed and the pilot house has
been completely renovated. I will be returning on board on the 16th April
having had the usual trouble finding a seat on a BA flight and having delayed
the return so as to attend Lindsay Dove’s
birthday bash on the 7th. This will be a real nautical party
as it is being held on a Thames sailing barge.
We will be taking the barge with 40 on board from the Tower
of London, through the (hopefully
open) Tower Bridge
then down to the Thames mouth and back. An all
day exercise followed by drinks at the Little Ship
Club on our return. The following day Anita and I will be
experiencing the US Embassy to obtain our US visas. These are no longer
available on the waiver program for people entering the USA on yachts
so we will have to attend for our interview and confirm our good character!
Anita travelling on her maiden name has been and no doubt will be good for
further questions. Women using their maiden names does not seem to be either
common or in vogue in the US.
It will take me about a week to re-assemble the pilot house
on board after the renovations then I will be taking Osprey north through
Barbuda, The Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas and finally Fort
Lauderdale where we will be leaving her for the hurricane season. Charles, who
is currently working in the USA
will be joining me for part of the trip and perhaps Geoff Richardson will join
me for the final leg into Fort
Lauderdale and show me the way up the canal to our
berth. We have decided to leave the present main sail configuration until we
get to Florida
as there are more facilities there to do the work. I am still trying to
maintain the current format of behind the mast furling rather that going to
slab reefing which is less handy for two handed sailing. After a meeting with
the Profurl team in the UK the current plans are to swop out the current
system for the latest version from Profurl and open up the goose neck a little
further to give plenty of space for the foil. However we will look at
other alternatives in Florida.
If we can’t make the Profurl system work / strong enough we will probably
go for an in boom system as it will also drop the C of G a little.
At the time of writing I am at home in Woodlands and for the
first time in the 17 years we have been here we have 4 inches of snow. No
wonder I am looking forward to returning to Osprey.