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

Another Beautiful Beach

16 January 2010 | Andaman Islands
Dave and Judy
Judy awoke with the two step this morning... That little restaurant on the beach yesterday.....Hmm.... We sailed three hours to Henry Lawrence Island today. Watched the anchor hit the sand bottom 20 feet down. Very calm here. Headed out for a little snorkeling (nice fan coral) then to the beach. Judy grazed for shells while Dave sat under a tree and read Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol". We were the only boat here until a couple of hours ago. Now we have two neighbors. Just finished the perfect meal of a cheeseburger off the barbi, potato chips and a beer. Judy's feeling better now . Night has fallen...the stars are popping out between a few clouds.....Light trade wind breeze cooling things off.......zzzzz

Asia's most beautiful beach

15 January 2010 | Andaman Islands
Dave and Judy
No adventure today: We are anchored off Havlock Island next to Asia's most beautiful beach and the 6th most beautiful beach in the world. (Time Mag 2007) White sand, jungle backdrop, beautiful trees with exotic birds fluttering around. It's now dark and we can hear the surf crashing on the beach. The swell has come up. Earlier we spent the afternoon swimming and reading on the beach....Had lunch in a little beach cafe of sorts. Glad we returned from the beach before the surf got too big to make it back. This morning I worked on the motors. Port engine had a fuel leak...Starboard engine had a restricted cooling water intake. It's something everyday. The temperature has dropped.... a little, it's cool at night. (70s)

What a day

12 January 2010 | Andaman Islands
Dave and Judy
What a day! We sailed to a small island this morning. The hook went down and I jumped in the water to check the anchor.....Yep!....I finally did it! I jumped in the water with my new $7000.00 hearing aids stuck in my ears. I was about 20 feet down when I heard a squak. Shit! I shot to the surface and swam frantically to the swim step...charging into the galley dripping wet, I dropped them into a glass of fresh water and shook them up. The batteries were removed and I sprayed/flushed them with electronic contact cleaner. After a small prayer they were laid in the sun to heal/dry. Meanwhile we had some of the best snorkeling we've seen in years. There was even a turtle to round it all out. After a couple of hours in the water we were hungry. Judy served lunch and the hearing aids seem to have been miraculously cured. They are working fine as I write this. We were just kicking back for an after lunch rest when there was a loud knocking on the boat. We jumped up to find an official looking bloke yelling at us. It didn't take my hearing aids to tell he was pretty upset. He says: "You have broken the law. I must come aboard and file a report. You are anchored in a restricted area and you must go to court....Rp$25, won't be leaving here soon" ... (you get the idea) Whoa bucko! We must be able to find a compromise....How bout a nice donation to the local village? ...:NO I must file a report. You must call your friends on that other boat and tell them to stop.... I am coming to see them after I'm finished with you" (Southern Cross was trying to escape and upping anchor) I call them with the good news while he looks on..... After considerable loud verbal sparring we agree that a donation to the village of Rp$15000 will get us off the hook. I open my wallet....there's only 8,000 in there.... I put it in his hand and say for both boats.... He agrees and finally leaves yelling the whole time for us to leave NOW! Okay, Okay! I start the motor we up anchor and head down the channel. Nice hospitality! We later find out that many islands are off limits...Oops! (nice snorkeling though) Upon arrival at the next anchorage I discover that the fishing line is still out..... Wrapped around the prop........There is a beautiful sunset..the water is like a mill pond...the air is warm and soft.....The perfect end to an

Hopping around the Andamans

11 January 2010 | Underway
Dave and Judy
We finally got out of Port Blair yesterday, hoorrraaaayyyyy ! We met up with our friends on the catamaran "The Southern Cross" at a beautiful anchorage. After an afternoon of snorkeling and a nap we had a sumptuous dinner & great visiting on their boat. It was a peaceful night with many stars. Slept like a rock. Listened to the Indian Ocean Net this morning. We may sail through pirate ally with a small convoy of cruisers that are meeting in Oman February 18th or.... take the March convoy??? Our next stop this morning was a beautiful beach with manta rays. We are now underway to an anchorage on the west side of Rutland Island. We have a fishing line out but no bites yet........


07 January 2010 | Port Blair, Andaman Islands
Dave and Judy
We started the check in process this morning. The harbor radio called and said that the Immigration officials were ready to be picked up ashore. Of course Dave hears that differently. He hears that Customs is ready to be picked up on the big fishing charter boat anchored near us. Great! nice short dinghy run.... of course the dinghy motor decides that this is the time to be nasty. After 10 minutes of voodoo it starts running normally. Cautiously, I head for the pick up point. They are not quite finished with the fishing boat so the skipper invites me aboard for a beer. After a half hour we are on our way with our precious cargo of 3 customs agents to Freebird. They all come aboard and start the process.... many stamps and official documents later and we are just about finished. The leader of the pack asks "How much spirits do you have aboard?" I honestly don't know so I make up an number.... "40 bottles"....His eyes go kaleidoscopic...."I must see this" ...Dave says, " It's all over the boat, you sure you need to see it? ...."YES" Okay... into the bilge we go. I open the hatch and show him some bottles of Jack Daniels mixed in with the Best Foods mayonnaise. He pulls out 3 and says.... "Gift for customs agents" I disagree...."No!"..I try and shame him by saying ...."We were told that Andaman/Indian officials were honest....bla bla bla.. without any attitude change. So I raise my voice and say "NO!" ....Now you have to understand that these guys hold all the aces. They can make life miserable for you if they want. He returned to his seat with a little pout. I thought...."now I've done it.... We'll never leave this harbor". So I coughed up one bottle and everybody was happy. (except me) Meanwhile Judy is having a nice conversation with the other two who are trying to hit on her. After an awkward moment of silence.... I herd them off to the dinghy for delivery to the next unsuspecting crew. The thing is, we weren't supposed to pick them up in the first place ....I miss heard the radio directions.... I was supposed to pick up the immigration officials on shore... not the Customs officials on the fishing boat... Oh well it worked. Well, during the whole time that Dave has gone missing in the poorly running dinghy, the Port Captain is radioing judy on Freebird asking her to pick up the Immigration officials. She is calling another cruising boat to go & see if Dave is sitting in the middle of the bay somewhere dead in the water. (They couldn't help at that moment as they were loading fuel...) Another boat hears me & volunteers to go look for him. Another boat hears that coversation & calls & tells me he can see him on the fishing boat... I call the port captain back & tell him that he is instead picking up the Custom agents...... Just another fun day aboard DumbBird Things just settled down when Dave noticed that the immigration officials were on the fishing boat....Hmm.... I should go back & have another beer with my new Thai friends on the fishing boat and pick up the immigration officials..... Turns out they were pretty unhappy with me.... They waited 2 hours on the shore for me to pick them up! After some fast talking and a beer I managed to talk them into a quick ride to Freebird to check us in.... Nice guys..very professional .... Maybe a few too many beers but never the less...professional. Finally at 4:00, the coast guard arrives... 4 men in boots come aboard and ask all kinds of questions, stamp a lot of papers and welcome us to their country..... The sun is now setting. Day one Port Blair... . Tomorrow AM we head into town to check in with the Harbor Master. Oh boy

Arrived ~ almost 60 hours, just 1 shy

06 January 2010 | Port Blair, Andaman Islands
Dave and Judy
Here we are sitting waiting for Customs and Immigration. It's 3:30 local time. One and a half hours different than Thailand. Yep, you heard and a half hours. We just got a call that they have all gone home for the day. We have heard that it can take two -three days to check in here. In the meantime this is a nice quiet anchorage to lick our wounds. We motored the ENTIRE WAY! We are on fumes and the only way to get fuel is to carry it in Gerri cans in the dinghy to a taxi to the gas station and back. Oh well what else would Dave be doing anyway? Fixing the wind instrument or the wind generator maybe? No fun there! As for judy, she's looking for trouble where ever she can find it!!! Cheerio mates, j&D

Wikipedia link for the Andaman's, click here:
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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