5 Questions: Fred Osborn

By Brian PJ Cronin

On May 21, Fred and Annie Osborn of Garrison moved aboard their sloop Aythya, which they plan to sail around the world.

Annie and Fred Osborn aboard the Aythya in Rhode Island ( Photo provided)

How long have you two been sailing?
All our lives, probably before either of us could walk. We did a trip across the Atlantic in 1985 with our children when they were 7, 10 and 12 years old. We wanted to continue around the world, but they wanted a Labrador Retriever and a station wagon and soccer games and all the things we were trying to escape. We got as far as Gibraltar.

How big is the Aythya?
It’s 41 feet. It’s a Bristol 41.1 with a center cockpit, two heads, three cabins for guests and a nice galley. Aythya is the genus of sea ducks. Our dinghy is named Lucky Ducky.

How long will you be gone?
We want to take our time, so I’m imagining two to three years. It will depend on how well we do, how well the boat suits us, where we can do some serious passage-making with just the two of us or if we need crew. We have 10 grandchildren, so we have a lot of crew on hand. We don’t have a careful itinerary.

What do you most look forward to?
I love the feel of the waves, the wind taking you somewhere, the stars at night, the sunsets, the sunrises, and the total immersion in the weather. You can’t count on the weather, and you can’t escape it. You have to adjust.

Will you stay in touch?
We have cell phones, internet and radios. Friends have asked us to do a blog. We’ll be in touch, but I say that with a bit of sorrow, because the idea is to not be in touch, to not listen to the news, to be away from everything.

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