Sailing Freebird

The Sailing Journal of Freebird

05 May 2022 | Portimao, Portugal
24 April 2022 | Caiscas, Portugal
19 April 2022 | A Corunia, Spain
18 April 2022 | Bay of Biscay - just off the coast of Northwest Spain
28 February 2022 | La Rochelle
01 February 2022
27 January 2022 | La Rochelle
22 January 2022
18 January 2022
06 December 2021
05 December 2021
14 November 2021

Portimao, Portugal

05 May 2022 | Portimao, Portugal
Steven Cowart
We sailed out of Caiscas on May 2nd, and sailed South to Sines arriving late in the day to a beautiful small anchorage. The town was not really large enough to go into so we had dinner on the boat and prepared to leave the next morning.

We got a early start on the morning of the 3rd, and sailed South again. We rounded the southwest point of Portugal late in the day to dramatic cliffs with HUGE waves breaking against them. The picture makes them look much smaller than they are.

We breafly encountered winds as high as 28 knots as we rounded, and we temporarily reduced our sail area to keep things under control. I am feeling more and more comfortable dealing with different conditions while sailing. The boat handles it all wonderfully, and having a fully enclosed helm in these conditions is great.

We sailed into Portimão just as the sun was setting and are sitting in a wonderful marina with perfect weather. Finally some warm days with highs in the 70's.

Arrival in Portugal

24 April 2022 | Caiscas, Portugal
Steven Cowart
Another long 2-night sail down the coast of Portugal and arrived in Cascais, Portugal. This is the wealthiest area of Portugal and the area shows it. We are just outside of Lisbon and have had some beautiful weather. There are numerous fantastic restaurants right by the marina within a 5 minute walk. Although the marina is somewhat expensive, the food is surprisingly inexpensive.
Far better meals and seafood than we found in France.

After staying 5 nights in the marina, we anchored in the bay close by for two days and nights to get used to anchoring and using the dingy to get to town. Very simple and easy I am really getting things working the way I like it.

I still have a few minor projects going inside the boat, so some tools spread out. I hope to finish up and get some things put away so I can take some pictures of the interior.

We also have used the new exterior electric grill a few times and it was fantastic.

A Corunia, Spain

19 April 2022 | A Corunia, Spain
Steven Cowart
After a 3 day 2 night sail, we arrived in A Corunia, Spain. Beautiful town with fantastic food. Very short stay and we depart on the 22nd of April to head towards Lisbon, Portugal.

The boat did great, even though we had some big swells coming across the Atlantic. At some points they were 3 to 4 meters but spread apart very far so not a problem. Hopefully heading into some warmer weather!

Finally on the move!

18 April 2022 | Bay of Biscay - just off the coast of Northwest Spain
Steven Cowart | Cloudy and cool
After a very long wait for all of the equipment and parts Freebird is finally ready to go.

There are still a few finishing touches but they will be completed in the coming weeks. I have been working non-stop for the last month to get things finished up enough to depart and start the journey south towards the Med. I did not want to post any pictures of the unfinished interior, but now will get some up. We have had a lot of requests to see the inside of Freebird.

As I post this Freebird is finishing up a 2 1/2 day sail from La Rochelle, France to A Corona, Spain. We are about 5 hours from reaching Port and finally have internet.

Absolutely beautiful weather for the first half of the trip, and somewhat windy and blustery for the second half. Overall Freebird did great.

Finally a Beautiful day to Sail!

28 February 2022 | La Rochelle
Steven Cowart
After weeks of cold wet weather and spending days buried deep in the boat running wires and working, we finally had some warmer pleasant weather. With high temps in the 50's and the sun shining we set sail. Cheryl & Joel are here in France as well as Garrett Lucas and the 5 of us set out just before lunch. With light winds and abundant sunshine it was fantastic. With the enclosed helm and cockpit it was warm and pleasant aboard. We were able to test all of the sails and systems and just had a great relaxing afternoon. Docking in the huge marina was very easy and overall I ended up extremely pleased with how the boat handled and the entire setup.

We still have a fair amount of work to do, but we are still hoping to be prepared to depart for the Med by the end of March. I have not been posting much as the progress has been slow and boring, but things are starting to get wrapped up and Spring is in the air. We hope to be going out much more as the weather allows and we will try to get more posts and pictures up. As always we appreciate the thoughtful comments and appreciate everyone. We love and miss you all!

The Tides of La Rochelle.

01 February 2022
Steven Cowart
I have spent the majority of my life going offshore from Port Arthur Texas where the tides average about 1 to 2 feet. Here in the Marina at La Rochelle they average about 16+ feet!!!

The marina in La Rochelle is the largest single marina in Europe with almost 5000 boats. The entire marina is a floating facility to allow the boats and docks to rise and lower with the extreme tides. It's really strange to come and go from the marina and see the drastic differences in the height of everything that floats.

The entire city is a meca for marine services with everything you can imagine to do with boats. I am still trying to learn where to get things, and in some cases there are just an overwhelming number of choices. It's a great place to find everything you need when your trying to outfit a new boat.

I know a lot of people seem surprised that I have a lot of work to do on a brand new boat. I am adding a lot of things that I want added in my own way, and I want to make sure I understand everything intimately as I am the person who will need to repair things if they are not working right. I am adding solar panels, lithium batteries, air conditioning and heating, water maker, a much nicer and larger helm seat along with a fully electric kitchen as well as removing the existing propane equipment. I am also adding a washer and dryer. I hope to be done by March when the weather starts to warm and become more predictable.

Our final walk thru and test sail is tomorrow and then the boat is officially in my hands. I have not been able to actually do any work on the boat until this happens. Needless to say I am very anxious to get past this point. In the mean time, I have had to file for US registration with the US Coast Guard, get a personal radio operators license, a ships radio operators license, all in order to be assigned a call sign and rescue signal (MMSI) number in order to use my rescue beacon. There are so many steps to be able to even get insurance before you can take delivery. I think I FINALLY have everything in order and now we can move ahead.

We will take some pictures of the handover and put a post together to describe how things went.

Thanks for all the comments and we're really glad you all appreciate the updates.
Vessel Name: Freebird
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 42
Hailing Port: Austin, Texas
Crew: Angela & Steve Cowart
Our vessel is a 2022 Lagoon 42. It is 42 feet long and 25 feet wide. It has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in the Port Hull and the entire Starboard hull is the owners cabin. Walk in shower, Bed is somewhere between a Queen and a King. It has 2 - 57 hp diesel engines, one in each hull. We will also [...]
Home Page:
Freebird's Photos - Main
Finally a Great day to Sail. Steve, Angela, Cheryl, Joel & Garrett
14 Photos
Created 28 February 2022
Launch Day in La Rochelle
6 Photos
Created 27 January 2022
Taking Delivery of SV Freebird
5 Photos
Created 14 November 2021