Freebirdie's Sailin' Blog

22 November 2011 | Seattle
01 August 2011 | Santa Maria di Leuca
03 July 2011 | Greece
15 June 2011 | Gulf of Corinth
05 June 2011 | Athens
28 May 2011 | Poros Greece
25 April 2011 | Symi Island
13 April 2011 | Naxos, Greece
20 February 2011 | Istanbul, Turkey
30 January 2011 | Ephesus
28 January 2011 | Marmaris
16 January 2011 | Selcuk, Turkey
31 December 2010 | Marmaris
24 October 2010 | Cappadocia, Turkey
16 September 2010 | Marmaris Turkey
26 August 2010 | Fethiye, Turkey
19 August 2010 | Marmaris
03 August 2010 | Larnaca Cyprus
01 August 2010 | Mediterranean Sea
30 July 2010 | Ashkelon Marina

Happy New Year from Marmaris

31 December 2010 | Marmaris
Dave and Judy

After our visitors have left we were alone once again. We continued to sail and explore the anchorages and islands around Southwest Turkey. Then one day we were under sail and the weather turned cold and rainy. We looked at each other and in silent communication nodded. It was time to head for the barn. We haven't sailed in cold weather for years. We hope to avoid all such foolishness.

As we mentioned earlier, we have committed to a stay here in the Marmaris Yacht Marina until spring. We are prepared for winter now. Our heating system came out of moth balls, the sweaters come out of deep storage.... we're ready! It's strange to always have the hatches and door closed. The marina is about 20 minutes by a little bus from the quaint little town of Marmaris. We have rented a car with our good buddies, Tim and Rose on Rendezvous Cay so we can escape the compound at will.

We have been working on projects. The list is long but getting shorter. Freebird came out of the water for a week for new antifouling paint, a new saildrive transmission and new rudder bearings. We stayed in a little apartment onsite during that time. (bathtub for Judy!)

We're back in the water now. Tied to a dock. This place is known for wind. We've had some too. We've seen 50 knots so far...hope that's the worst of it. Is's amaizing how loud things get when over 1000 masts are hit with high winds. It just screems! You can't carry on a normal conversation when walking down the dock. Last year a whole dock broke loose with all 20 boats attached and drifted away.....not good. The staff here are always checking lines. When we look out there, even in the middle of the stormiest, darkest nights, there they go, zipping around in their dinghy. We really appreciate them. For the most part though, the days are sunny and the winds calm to moderate. Today (Dec.31) it's about 55f/11C degrees with about 12 knots of wind and brilliant sunshine.....beautiful!

Out of all these boats here only a few are occupied. Most are owned by Europeans and just stored here for the winter. There are about 100 of us "liveaboards" here toughing it out. There is always something going on: walks, movies, bowling, Turkish lessons, ladies tea, sailboat racing, etc. Occasionally we take off on a tour for a few days. We'll write more about that later. Most mornings we start our day with either yoga or the gym. Our fitness center is pretty sad but we make it work. We're slowly but surly getting our flabby bodies back in shape. I am the only guy among the yogies but I don't mind. Hard to top being in a room with a bunch of athletic women. Most of them put me to shame but I keep coming back for more. Judy's in her element.

We celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and tonight, New Year's Eve with our dock buddies at various restaurants in town and here at the marina. It's not the family and it's definitely not home.... but it's the best we can do.

Well, I better go now. I hear the wind in the rigging... better go check the dock lines.

We wish you Peace and Love for the New Year

Vessel Name: Freebird
Vessel Make/Model: Grainger MC420 Catamaran
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Dave and Judy Howell
Dave started building Freebird in 1995 in a plastic shed on Camano Island, NW USA and launched her in April of 2001. He retired from the Fire Department in 1999 after 28 years of service. Judy Retired from dentistry in 1995 after 27 years. [...]
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