Ajax

A Form of Cruising...

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An experienced osprey couple. The new couples often build scanty, shitty nests that get blown off the marks and platforms by storms. They lose their eggs or hatchlings and sometimes try again. By the second year, they usually get the hang of it and do better.

My spousal unit is an environmental biologist specializing in raptors and a primary focus in North American saw-whet owls but every year she also bands and examines osprey and she brings me along. I get to hold and help process these incredible animals.

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A while back, the Coast Guard started adding dedicated nesting platforms to some of the makers, to lure the birds away from obstructing the lights.  I haven't actually noticed them lately - will have to look and see if it's working.

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I hardly ever "cruise". A coule times a year I go meet other SSS'ers  at a marina nearby, but that's about the extent of it. My sailing weekends are 1.)Blast up to the City on Friday night after work.  2.) race all day Saturday   3.) Blast back to the marina on Sunday.

 

It would be nice to take a week and just fart around the Bay sometime.

 

Love osprey, BTW...just love those birds.

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^ Ah.  You must not have to clean up bloody duck parts off your deck every week.  

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Osprey landed on my wind indicator, bending it. Also left bones and bits. Also had messy visits from pelicans.

Didnt want to hurt the critters, so I installed a purple martin house on the end of the dock. 

Problem solved. Martins are possessive. And even after the martins left for the season, the other birds left my boat/dock alone. 

And the martins were also good against the dirt daubers. 

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14 hours ago, toddster said:

^ Ah.  You must not have to clean up bloody duck parts off your deck every week.  

Interesting. Although it's true that Osprey will sometimes eat other animals, their preferred diet is fish. We very rarely see them eating anything other than fish here on the Chesapeake. When I hold them, they absolutely reek of fish because they're so exclusive. This year is the first year that osprey have intruded upon my boat. A young couple attempted to build a nest on my radar and I found fish scales and guts dropped all over my sail cover.

There are artificial nesting platforms all over the Chesapeake Bay. This fellow, Greg Kearns has almost singlehandedly restored the breeding population of the Jug Bay wetlands sanctuary from almost total collapse to the largest breeding population in the US. https://www.chesapeakebay.net/news/blog/humans_of_the_chesapeake_greg_kearns

He is the fellow that my wife operates with when inspecting the osprey population in the sanctuary each year.  Osprey are "zygodactyl" meaning, 2 toes forward, 2 toes aft which aids their ability to snatch and hold fish out of the water.  As you can see, this girl wasn't havin' any of us.

NO.jpg

 

zygo.jpg

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 I have a love-hate relationship with Ospreys. I love to watch them fish. I *hate* the damn things on my boat. Whenever I leave my boat alone on my mooring up the river the damn things are all over making the biggest mess you can imagine :angry::angry:

if I ever leave my boat there now I string obstacles all over the place to keep them away.

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My wifes' family used to have a place on south Puget Sound, on the Case Inlet.  We'd go up maybe twice a year for a week, her folks would be there for most of the summer. Anyway, when we were there, we'd go out in the kayaks almost every day, the Mrs. *Loved* laid-back kayaking.  Anyway, once we were out about a mile from shore and *WHOMP*.*SPLASH*  an osprey took a fish from the surface about 8 feet from my kayak.

 

Coolest thing EVER.

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Dunno... when the ones down here by the beach catch a fish, they then have to immediately engage in an aerial dogfight with bald eagles, who try to take it away from them.  Maybe it's enough to drive a bird to duck.  Although I haven't seen that over by the marina, which is about five miles farther.  Also, osprey activity in the marina is more likely in the winter, when it's quieter.  

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6 minutes ago, toddster said:

Dunno... when the ones down here by the beach catch a fish, they then have to immediately engage in an aerial dogfight with bald eagles, who try to take it away from them.  Maybe it's enough to drive a bird to duck.  Although I haven't seen that over by the marina, which is about five miles farther.  Also, osprey activity in the marina is more likely in the winter, when it's quieter.  

The opposite here.  Eagles stay back in the woods all summer.  Ospreys own the creek.  Eagles know when its time for the Ospreys to head south and fight's on.  In the spring?  Ospreys reclaim the creek and the eagles get chased off.  Fun to watch the battles each spring/fall.  The crows seem to fly along and heckle the fighters.  

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I'm down at my YC one day, and there was a general excitment:

Oh, look at the osprey!

Oh look, the osprey caught a fish!

Look, look, the osprey took the fish up to the top of that light pole!

Oh, yuck, the osprey is ripping the fish apart and eating it alive. 

 

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Osprey are always interesting to watch when they fish, especially when they catch a big one.

 

 

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BTW Ajax sounds like you all had a pleasant cruise, we just returned from a month long cruise up the inside passage.

Sheared a tail shaft about 14 miles north of Nanaimo, on the Atomic 4 tranny. Turned around to sail home to install an old tail shaft from another Atomic 4 we have at home. But stopped in Nanaimo, just in case there was a tailshaft available locally, which their wasn't.

So sailed south through Dodd Narrows on a flood tide and into the Gulf Islands down to Ganges Harbor. Woke up Sunday in Ganges Harbor and said, screw it - we'll just keep sailing north up the Strait of Georgia to Discovery Passage, on through Seymour Narrows, then on up the rest of Discovery Passage to Johnstone Strait to Port McNeil, a distance of only 301 nautical miles when one skirts the exclusion zone north of Nanaimo, which should take about five days at a casual pace - which is enough time for Moyer Marine to overnight the parts to Kenmore Air, and have Kenmore Air send the package on their regularly scheduled Saturday flight to Port McNeil, which saved a bundle shipping, only costing $25 for the 20lb package.

Had Moyer send a new reversing gear, with the tail shaft pressed in from Moyer, plus all the gaskets, and the Moyer Service and Overhaul Manual. Installed the new parts, and then realigned the engine/transmission to propeller to the required .006 tolerance on all four quadrants of the flanges. Don't think the engine had been aligned to those required tolerances, because after we finished the alignment and give her a test run, found the engine transmission was quite a bit smoother and vibration free.

 

Crossing the Straits of Juan de Fuca on the approach to Admiralty Inlet and on home to the North Puget Sound.

 

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Wow, sounds like an awesome trip!  Moyer Marine always comes through.

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With flying colors and much thanks to Kenmore Air for opening and checking the package to make sure all the parts were in one order and calling us to confirm.

Still have to make a video of our return trip, but have quite a bit of footage to still sort through. Once back down the inside, went over to Desolation Sound, then down to Powell River, then on to Bedwell Harbor. Considered going up Jarvis Inlet and up the Reaches to Princess Louisa Inlet, but we were getting short on time time for one of the crew catching his flight home. So did one long full dayer to Porlier Pass and into the Gulf Islands and Ganges Harbor again. Then on to the San Juans and Friday Harbor to check into customs, and then catch the last of the ebb tide to squirt us into the Strait of Juan de Fuce and the flood tide to carry us into and on up Admiralty Inlet, making it to the barn by 2200 hrs that evening. Total distance for the trip, sailed and motored, according to the GPS was 862 nautical miles.

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Damn, that's a good haul!  We only made around 230nm. Spent a lot of time loafing about. ;)

 

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We did too, everyone liked getting off the boat and spending time hiking about, seeing the sights and occasionally a sit down meal at a decent restaurant if available, but mostly cooked three meals aboard. The Sportsman Steak House in Port McNeil, just off the dock, conveniently had a prime rib special the Friday night we arrived for $20, with the prime rib so tender it could be cut with a fork - that's a hell good deal in the boondocks, let alone any city. We did sail day and night going up the Strait of Georgia for two and half days, to take advantage of making good time over that stretch of water, but mostly anchored at night going up the inside passage, other then using the free government docks one evening in Rock Bay and another evening in Port Neville.

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