SV Osprey

Saint John VI



We attempted to make a change in our lifestyle, a major change; actually life is a series of course corrections.  We have put the house up for sale and moved aboard our new house. Our new house is a floating house, it is a 1984 Young Sun 43’ Pilot House, cutter rigged sail boat. To quote the master, Jimmy Buffet, “a change in latitude and attitude”, we will do more with less and hopefully live a more fulfilling life. For sure our carbon footprint would be less.


We still have dreams of living in Switzerland; however, we may not be able to afford to do it realistically since housing is more expensive than we can afford.  Here comes a revision to the master plan; we sail over to the Mediterranean anchor somewhere off the coast of Italy and take the train to our beloved valley, Lauterbrunnen, and spend several months and then sail away returning when we feel the need to reconnect with the “Motherland”.


Currently the Osprey is lying in Saint Thomas in Cowpet Bay.   As we move about the Caribbean we will update the page with photos of the places we have been and the things we have seen.

We will have a SSB radio and will be in contact with both HAM Radio stations and other sailboats on the Net. Next fall and winter once we have Osprey to our liking we are thinking the first cruise should be to Guatemala and the Rio Dulce (Sweet River) then we will start back for the Chesapeake and Maryland Marina on the Middle River for the spring and summer of 2009.


Unfortunately our plan did not go as we hoped. You can read about it in the log pages below.   We have headed back home and will be returning to the 18 wheeler, this time driving for SRT hauling refrigerated freight in all 48 states and Canada.  Not what we really wanted to do, but it will allow us to replenish our reserves.  Follow our adventures at SRT.


Some pictures of our time in the Virgin Islands





Our friends Duane, Shelly, John, Jo saw us off,   Osprey under sail in Cowpet Bay, Tiger at the airport not a good day for him yet.   Our packages at the motel, notice the tape from the homeland security they had to take a look see. I feel really violated and not the least bit more secure. We stayed at a motel near the airport as we arrived late in the day.




Bonnie is waiting for the room to be ready; once it was ready the view was fantastic.   We watched the sun go down and headed to the bar for a sundowner. Coconut rum of course.




We went to Cousins for dinner.  It was most excellent. I looked down the street and could almost see the pirates of the Caribbean walking down the street; of course they did not have subway back then.  Look at the buildings you can almost see them strolling down the streets intoxicated with a wench on each arm.



Tiger is lounging in the galley watching over our beer and rum supply in the refrigerator.  Now he is lounging in the Saloon. All he does is lounge.  He likes the many places that he can hide on the boat.  We have the boat on a Mediterranean type mooring at the marina.   Cecilia told us about a nice walk of 3 miles to around the island that allowed you to see the Atlantic side as well as the Caribbean side.  It was a steep climb but well worth the effort.   We saw some Bananas growing.   All over the island are banana trees and coconut trees.  




Bonnie at the top of one of the hills we climbed.  The water in the background is the Caribbean.  The next picture is a protected cove on the Atlantic side of the island.  The airport runway at Beef Island with Trellis Bay in the background; note all the boats anchored there.  It is a popular anchorage that fills quickly.  On the way down we saw some cows, we did not take pictures of the goats and the numerous chickens that wander free on the island.



Osprey viewed from the road, as Bonnie and I were on our way to have dinner ashore.  Bonnie is happy waiting for our dinner at Fat Bob’s.  Bonnie and our waitress posed for a picture.  Uh Oh! We forgot to leave a light on for Tiger.  He will not be happy with us.



Our friend Frank from Tobacco II and Bonnie, Jim (the marina owner) and Egbert one of his technicians and Cecilia and Bonnie posed for the camera. Frank lives aboard his boat at the marina he was a delight to meet and he had much valuable information for us.   Jim and Cecilia the owners made us feel like family, it was difficult to leave.  We will definitely come back to their marina.   All marinas have the same things, theirs has the addition of a genuine caring attitude.  They can be reached at Pro Valor Charters.


Read the log below to see what happened and how we wound up changing our plan.



Log of the S/V OSPREY


N 18° 18’ .967

W 064°50’ .600

16 Jan 2008 10:00.     We went to Saint Thomas Yacht Club and met with Todd Duff of BVI Yacht Sales and the owners, Terry Hudson and Jeanne, Terry’s wife.   Jeanne took Bonnie below to talk about some of the features of the inside of the boat while Terry and Todd ran through some of the features of the new autopilot that Terry had installed. 


16 Jan 2008 11:40.      Jeanne departed and we started the engine checked the things out below.   Todd pushed us off and we headed out.  Todd took the helm while Terry and I raised the main sail.


16 Jan 2008 11:50.      We were under sail. We soon after unfurled the foresail.   The boat assumed a nice gentle ride and hiked itself out to the rail making Bonnie happy.   We were making 7.5 knots. The new Raymarine autopilot was working away. Course corrections were entered and the helm responded.  This will take some getting used to.  


N 18° 19’ .487

W 064°51’ .136

16 Jan 2008 14:15.       We tied up at the American Yacht Harbor in Saint Thomas.   We need to locate a dinghy so the boat could be anchored out.


21 Jan 2008 13:00.       We cast off and headed to Christmas Cove where we would spend the night on the hook.  On the way out of the marina we had about 5.5 feet of water under us in some spots. We ran aground and the Captain of Aeolla II and Mistral tried but could not get us off the sand bar.   Along came an Island person with his boat and attached a line to the mast head he was able to tip us enough to clear the bar and we were unstuck.  We arrived at Christmas Cove where we met two of the previous owners’ friends and they introduced themselves.   We spent the night anchored out.  The beach was nice, without a dinghy we could not explore the beach.


22 Jan 2008 08:00.     We weighed anchor and set out for West End in the British Virgin Islands to check in with Customs.  We checked through customs and then headed up to Nanny Cay Marina where Todd had secured a dinghy and motor for us. We were having some engine issues, the warning alarm would sound any time we increased the rpm higher than idle. We called the marina and asked for a slip since we had mechanical problems. We pulled into the marina and were given a slip that normally was used by the leasing company for their catamaran fleet..

 N 18° 23’ .867

W 064°38’ .164

23 Jan 2008 08:00.     Todd arranged for Lincoln of Aquadoc to come and look into the problem in no time he and Edward his assistant found the problems to be clogged oil filters.   We went into Road Town and purchased some new filters. Once replaced the oil pressure returned to normal and the oil pressure gauge in the cockpit began to work.  We had some other issues so Lincoln looked into them for us.


25 Jan 2008 11:00.      Lincoln and his assistants looked at our head problem and after many attempts to rebuild the head we gave up and replaced the head with a new one.  The windlass problem was solved with some new wiring.  It was determined that the starting battery and 3 of the 4 house batteries were bad so they will be replaced.  The dinghy was assembled and the motor tested.  Dingy placed on davits.


31 Jan 2008 12:00.      We are still in Nanny Cay Marina sorting things out. We fix one issue and find another.  The gray water system is back feeding sea water into the boat.  We had to replace the macerator and that has been done.   Now we have water migrating into Osprey.   The gray water system is below the water line and there is not enough room to make a siphon break so there is a one way valve in the line.   This has seen better days so we replaced it and the vessel is no longer taking on water.  The batteries had to be replaced 4 of the six were not able to hold a charge so we replaced the four house batteries and the starting battery.  We were ready to head out when we noticed the refrigeration that the previous owner installed was not cooling.  It seems that the Freon leaked out of the connections he made to the plate in the refrigerator.  We had to remove the system and have a repair guy put the Freon back into it.   We then replaced the unit in the head sink cabinet.  We are ready to sail well almost, we tried to do a load of laundry but the door to the washing machine refuses to open.    It is being a bit bothersome as we need some clean garments.  We repaired the door, well we actually just greased the latch and now it works and cleans clothes for the crew. Tomorrow we are going to head to Trellis Bay on the east end come hell or high water.  


1 Feb 2008 15:00.        We took on water 400 Gallons and 100 gallons of diesel fuel.  We motored out of the marina and headed due east.  The wind was out of the east so we motored to Trellis Bay. 


1 Feb 2008 16:30.        Arrive at Trellis Bay Anchorage.  Very crowded but were able to find anchorage.   Set anchor and had sundowners.  Rum is $4.00 a bottle and it is excellent.  Curzan Coconut Rum is $7.00 a bottle.


2 Feb 2008 00:00.       Check anchor.  All secure. Retire to cabin.  Wind from East @ 23 knots with gust to 35 knots.


2 Feb 2008 06:10.        Check anchor and find we are dragging.  Weigh anchor and motor out of anchorage looking for a less crowded and more protected anchorage.  After crossing reef we discover that the autopilot is not functioning.  It was recently installed by the previous owner.  The helm still answers manually.  We decide to head back to Trellis Bay and pick up a mooring ball.  


2 Feb 2008 10:00.        Secured to a mooring ball, with winds increased to 30 knots with gusts at 35 knots, several squalls move through the area.  Refrigerator temperature has increased and continues to rise.  We discover that the compressor is not running. On investigating the DC voltage is less than 8 VDC, however the house batteries are at 13 VDC.  It is apparent the previous owner did not install the DC supply to the refrigerator correctly, instead of connecting to the house batteries it is connected to the engine starter battery.   We trace wire and remove it from starter battery and route it to house battery breaker panel.  Temperature begins slow descent to 40 degrees.


3 Feb 2008 14:00.         Lowered dinghy and motored into the beach. We stopped at the Cyber Café to log onto the Internet and to have dinner.  They have the best Jerk Chicken and I ordered that while Bonnie ordered Roti, which is curried chicken and potato in a thin flour wrap.  We should have shared one of these dishes as they were more than one person could eat.  The dinghy strained to get us back to the Osprey.


4 Feb 2008 11:00.        Dropped mooring ball and head towards Fat Hogs Bay and Provalor Charters, which is west of our present location in the next cove.  They have a dock space that comes with electric and water.  We will be able to sort out our remaining problems with the boat.  Seas are running about 8 to 10 feet and wind is ENE about 22 knots.   We are towing our dinghy with two lines, one attached to the transom as a safety line should the new line attached to the bow part.   Bonnie is at the helm and reports that the new bow line has parted.  We heave to and pull the dinghy along side and tie her off to the mid ship cleat.   We attempt to retrieve the dinghy and place it on the deck. While preparing to bring it on board the transom plate ripped off and the dinghy was now floating free upside down.  We made several attempts to recover the dingy but were not successful.  


4 Feb 2008 16:00.        We motored into the Fat Hogs Bay and promptly ran aground.   We were able to reverse our engines and free our selves.  We found the “T” dock and proceeded to tie up.   We secured the boat and went ashore to the market at the marina.   After purchasing some food items we returned to the boat.  We doubled the lines fore and aft that secured the boat to the dock.  I met Frank from Tobacco II, who is tied up across the pier from us.  He was returning from an ice run in his dinghy. It seems that the ice is less expensive at the gas station down the road and it is accessible by dinghy.


5 Feb 2008 18:10.         Frank joined us for sundowners along with marina owners Jim Gulczynski and Cecilia Donegan his wife.  Frank invited us over to his boat to watch a movie so we accepted and brought over our DVD of “Captain Ron”.  It was an enjoyable night.  


7 Feb 2008 09:00.        We are coming to the realization that we are running out of funds and the house is not selling.  Our plan is beginning to unravel. We talk to Jim and Cecilia about options we have.   We decide that we should head back to the states and seek employment while we still have the price of an airline ticket.  Provalor will monitor the boat while she is on a mooring ball.  They will start all systems and run the engines to charge the batteries.


13 Feb 2008 16:00.       We say good bye to Frank, Egbert, Jim and Cecilia, it is a sad day, we are headed back to the states to find work and get our selves back on solid financial footing.  We will come back and get Osprey and bring her to the Chesapeake Bay and put her in a slip at Maryland Marina.   We have failed at our goal of living green and inexpensively, we will try again when we are in a better position.








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