Mercury 35HP outboard motor cooling

I have an older model 35HP Mercury Outboard motor. Did not use it all year due to health problems. Started it today, 9/27/15, to get it ready for winter season. No problem starting, but noticed it was not spitting water. Used wire to run in the spitter hole, little debris came out. Started thee motor again, only steam coming out now Built up the RPMS a little and the water started coming out. Put back in idle, water stopped. Engine did not seem to be getting hot. Put hand on rear and side with no problem. Tried running it in a trash can and ears. Seams like when I used to run the motor the stream was much harder and started as soon as the motor started. Is this normal or should I be concerned ? Email is BILL

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