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


07 March 2010 | Convoy...
Dave and Judy
Just a quick one to say we are ok. Very tired ....Little sleep....Slow progress... boats being towed because of breakdowns. These stressful times bring out the best and worst in people. Some of these folks are pretty disappointing....not team players... hope we don't get any pirates .... Fortunately, there are a few standouts that are carrying the whole fleet. I guess that's how it is in life... We have wind but can't really sail because we can only go as fast as the slowest boats .. pretty frustrating sometimes..

Running Silent

06 March 2010 | Convoy...
Dave and Judy
We've had a few scares that really became drills for how we will react if attacked. Can't go into detail here or I'd have to kill ya. I'm sitting here in the dark watching the other yachts on the radar. Twenty little dots ... Freebird is motoring on a cloudless, windless, moonless night. We have four groups of boats , each with a leader. Just so happens that all the boats in our group are American. We had one Kiwi boat but they quickly moved to another group ... Just too rowdy for them guess. The other groups are a mix of European, Kiwi, etc. We are pretty exhausted. It requires our full attention just to keep track of the other boats. On top of that we must keep the boat running....constant oil checks, engine speed control, navigation, cooking , etc. We must maintain our position in relation to the other boats. ......Just went out to check our visual position and I'm back now... It's 24/7 , One of us must be awake at all times. It can be difficult in the wee hours. Coffee! We are using low level running lights and low power radio We just want to slip through unnoticed. The radio is alive with ships reporting to the "Coalition Force" of suspicious activity. We listen and plot the locations on our chart....hoping that it is far away. Freebird's feeling pretty pent up. We can only travel as fast as the slowest boats. It feels like we are sailing in molasses. It' will take us an additional 2 days longer than normal .......

Day 1

04 March 2010 | Convoy...
Dave and Judy
5 days is just not enough time to see a country ~ especially a whole country. We enjoyed our visit there very much & would have liked to have gotten up into the mountains & to the capital... next time... 5 days was waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy to long in the port. The facility was first class & the officials ok. It was those huge double dump trucks hauling loose rock up & down the unpaved road day & night, 24 hours of dusty dirty day. Freebird got the last spot on the "wall". Well no wonder, duh.... it was in the very back corner next to the road. There wasn't a single spot on her not caked with grime. We'd hose her off every morning morning but that almost made it worse as then the next load landed on the wet surface making mud. We were Dirty Birds for sure. Our convoy consists of 20 boats in 4 groups of 5 fitted into a diamond shape. Each group has a team leader heading the point & then the other 4 on both sides: A,B,C,D. We are "Delta 2" or the 2nd to last boat in the formation. We left 1 hr & 15 min after the first groupe left. Before we were underway a boat in "Bravo" group had engine trouble & was already being towed. Guess their fuel got mixed up & evidentially they went back from the 1st way point to sort out their problem & refuel. They got back to the convoy about 4AM this morning. Just as we were getting underway a very unusual bird flew by (no free bird ride for that one)! It was black & white striped with a pointy red- orange kingfisher type beak. Striking Later on in the day we had a small pod of pilot whales & a few dolphins. They were fishing though & not very playful. Staying in formation in the night was s super challenge when each skipper had their own interpretation of how close to get & how to do it. If only you could hear the radio chatter. These folks aren't used to team sailing.... A real independent bunch... A Coalition Forces helicopter flew over first thing this morning when we were having our breakfast. It was Australian. He came on the radio and asked where the Ausie boats were. Dave came on and said "Sorry mate.....No blokes here..... Reassuring!!! BFN
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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