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About Admiral Judd



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Thanks for visiting Freighter Bum.  My name is Judd Spittler, the webmaster of, and of the Freighter Bum website.  It is my sincere hope that you have found this site both educational and entertaining.  For some of you, reading about my adventures aboard the Katrin S. may be enough.  For others, perhaps, it will inspire a freighter adventure of its own.  In either case, you are welcome back "aboard" any time.

Judd Spittler: admiral, webmaster, freighter bum.

My interest in freighters began a year or two before my trip.  It grew out of research I was doing to prepare for a four-person voyage from Florida to the Bahamas on WaveRunners (also known as Jet Skis or Sea-Doos).  That trip was a follow-on to a 1700 mile WaveRunner adventure I participated in from Omaha, NE to New Orleans, LA via the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

We called the WaveRunner trips the “Clueless and Lark” adventures as a word play on the names of explorers Lewis and Clark.  We used the adventures as a fund raising opportunity for the “Make-A-Wish Foundation”, an organization that grants wishes for seriously ill children.  Money was raised through sponsorships by corporate and individual donors.

That brings us to the “Admiral” title I use for myself on this site.  Governor Ben Nelson of the State of Nebraska bestowed the honorary title of “Admiral of the Nebraska Navy” upon myself and the other participants of the two major Clueless and Lark adventures.  This title is analogous to the "Kentucky Colonel" rank bestowed upon Harlan Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame by the governor of Kentucky.  I am proud to say that I am no less an admiral than Colonel Sanders is a colonel.

One of the original reasons for creating this site was to give me something to do aboard ship, in case I got bored.  I trudged off to the Katrin S. armed with a digital camera I borrowed from my dad, and an old laptop computer borrowed from a friend.  My ambitious plan was to take the pictures, write the copy, produce all the HTML code, and have the site ready to publish as soon as I got back home.  That didn’t happen.

First, I didn’t find myself being bored that often (at least not bored and motivated at the same time).  Second, the more I thought about ideas for the site, the more ambitious the site became.  Fortunately I did at least get a lot of pictures.

OK, the bottom line.  This web site wasn’t ready to publish until over 3 years after the trip was completed.

It would be great to hear from you.  Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.  Sextant (section-end indicator)

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