Monthly Archives: Monday April 25th, 2011

The search for an ideal party location

Just 32 more days and still no idea, where and how we’ll say goodbye to our friends. But we’ll just use this easter monday to inspect some of the old wastelands along the river Spree. These locations have had us a lot of times – a few years back. Nowadays Kiki Blofeld, Bar25, etc. are mostly gone. Here they’re trying to build ‘lofts‘ and ‘premium class city appartments‘ for all those media companies that still thrive in Berlin Mitte.

So we mostly end up in front of barricades and wire fences but – hey ! There is one place still going: The Yaam ! And this locations seems nearly too perfect: wonderful relaxed atmosphere, african Music, playground for the kids, cocktails and drinks for the grown-ups, sandy ‘beach’ – and it’s located at the waterfront ! We ask one of the people working here and he sees no problem with our plans. Just sent an email to the one managing all the events and now we’re waiting and hoping. But the date is still set: 28th of May 2011. Mark it red in your calendar !

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So – what are we doing ?

Huh ! Only 36 days left and time is running fast. I think that’s time for a little update on what’s happening with the preparations. But where to begin ? Too many things are going on and it’s hard to stay focused.

The appartment is rented and we’ll have to move out in about 30 days. Next week I’ll be doing my last four days in the office. It’s gonna be hard to give up what we’ve been creating over the last eight years but in the end the company is in very good hands – and – finally I’ll have time to concentrate on all the work to be done on the ship. And there is a LOT of work ! From 2. to 3. of May I’ll be working on the electrics and doing most of the cabeling of the engine and the different power supplies anew and next to follow will probably be a new head, new water pumps and hoses and integrating all the new and additional navigational aids and other electronic gadgets.

In the meantime I’m reading an immense amount of books of all kinds (medicine, food, provisioning, electronics) but also stories of sailors (Cook, John C. Voss, the Shinas family…). When there is a quiet hour I’m learning for the amateur radio exam which will be at the end of May. And every other week we’re seeing the doctor to get all our vaccinations needed for a long time trip through the tropics (Yellow fewer, Hepatitis, Typhus, Rabies…) – and Gui was loosing her wisdom teeth (yeah, all four of them !).

In the mean time we’re selling most of our remaining belongings. Other stuff, we cannot give away gets packed into boxes and is moved to my famlily in Austria. But there are many more loose ends: We still didn’t find a suitable place for our farewell party – which will be on the 28ht of May. Yes, at least the date is set ! Hehehe.

I’ll post updates as soon as some of those projects are worth more documentation. But right now there’s not enough time to document all what’s happening. But that should change soon (I hope).

Happy Easter !!

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo | 3 Comments

Viola writes ‘Viola’

Yesterday our little princess wrote her name – all by herself – for the first time !! And this only two days before her third birthday which will be on the 21st. That definately deserves a little attention and it’s own blog post.

Here is a pic of her work:

And although I know there are too many blogs out there only posting pics of the cute kids, but I can’t resist and have to show you two more beautiful photos of our little angel.

Posted in Kids, LosLocos, Pics | 1 Comment

Our new board PC

One of the better parts in preparing for a long journey is that you get to buy all kinds of new gadgets. Some are more boatish gadgets (chartplotter, GPS, radios) and others seem more common.

Our new gadget is a tiny little PC from Asus. The Asus EEE PC 1015PEM. And of course the first thing to do is to get rid of all that stupid ‘Intel Inside’ and ‘designed for M$ blah’ stickers. – I don’t get it why PC manufacturers still put them. But hey. Then I boot it up once to verify that everything works (yes it does, I hear some Windows start sound and can see the loging screen). That means: now it’s time to disassemble and upgrade that thing. Of course I ordered a memory upgrade and also a SSD-harddisk to replace the oldschool 250GB disk that’s inside. And the best part: when replacing the harddisk, I also get rid of Win7 automatically. Hehehe.

Here some pics I took from the upgrade procedure. I would not like to do that too often since most of the casing is held in place by little plastic clips – and they don’t seem to be too stable. Well somewhere there has to be a difference between a €300 laptop and the €1300 MacBook with metal casing… Today in the evening, I’ll install Ubuntu Linux and all the programs we’ll use later on (OpenCPN, Sailmail, zyGrib, fldigi, Faxviewer, etc.).  Enjoy your weekend !

Posted in Hardware, Linux, Pics | Comments Off

Some minor updates to our website

As the time draws near that we are without our DSL-connection, I’m starting to rearrange and update our website:

We’ve added a new page: FAQs – where you’ll find all those questions everyone keeps asking us…

We’ve eliminated the ‘books’ page. There’s not enough room in the menu bar and I’m doing book reviews in normal blog posts from now on. And that’s where you’ll find them: Just select the category ‘books’ in the menue to the right. Or click here.

Update 20110413:
And finally I’ve managed to translate the description of our ship, the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas. Also the Pictures section was cleaned up (but still requires registration for access).

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The Windvinder

Sometimes you have to do discoveries twice, I guess.

A couple of weeks ago, Micha mentioned a quite crazy project called ‘Windvinder’ on the Ironlady blog. I scanned the page, confirmed the crazyness and forgot about it. Well, yesterday while browsing the TO-Forums, I ran across a witty posting and somehow the user ‘Wipke’ sounded familiar. That’s how I ran into that website the second time. And this time, I stayed and klicked pretty much through all the content there is.

This is really one amazing project. And the website, the style, the pics are first grade. – As is the Windvinder itself. What an unbelievable beautiful vessel ! I hope the followup expedition to catch the Windvinder will be a success. It’s gonna be a good journey anyways (-> Crew wanted !).

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Back in her element again

After an unusually cold Winter on the outside and having survived the catastrophic fire in the shipyard, today the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas got back into her element ! Yay !!

The process was quite unspectacular despite bringing the crane to its limits – our ship is actually a little too heavy for that 10t crane but it got into the water without problems. Also we replaced the old rusty anchor chain with a new, whopping 70 meters of 10mm chain. That thing actually weights 170 kilos ! On one pic you can see the nice antifoulding job we did, together with the new sacrificial anodes and the shiny prop. (After brushing it for approx. 1 hour.)

A (quite boring) video of the craning will follow…

Posted in Berlin, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | Comments Off