Monthly Archives: Thursday November 29th, 2012

(Deutsch) Alleine in Papeete

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Posted in Argentina, Coquito, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Suvarov, Travel | 8 Comments

The sailing vessel SUVAROV

Gui, Bruno and Viola are preparing their bags to leave for Argentina. They will visit the grandparents and Gui will work on the new collections for Coquito. I will stay in Polynesia and will soon start to move all our stuff to our new home: The SY Suvarov !

YES ! We found our new ship. It’s a Caroff Sterven MKII from 1995. 12.3m long and 4.3m wide, built in steel of course. She has a LOT more room than the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas. She’s not a sleek looking ship but she’s big enough for me to walk around without constantly banging my head – which I’m looking very forward to.

You’ve seen the list of work on the Rancho Relaxo and although it’s really hard to let go, the decision to rather invest into a new boat is a good one. The comments on the last post were pretty much spot on: We can’t spend a year on a shipyard in Polynesia. That’s not the life we want to live. Especially not with the kids. So I’m gonna spend the next months moving all our fancy gear from the old to the new boat and prepare everything to set sail when the new season starts in April 2012. YEEEEEEAAAAH !!!!


Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov | 20 Comments

(Deutsch) Kleiner Schadensbericht

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 3 Comments

Underwater damage, a movie

A few days after our accident, I tried to capture the damages on film. You can’t see much unless you pause the movie a lot of times, I guess. But anyway, here it is.

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Video | 5 Comments

A fresh breeze brings fresh thoughts

To escape the depressing life on a shipwreck and the endless ToDo-lists, we had a visit to the blowhole on the east side of Tahiti some days ago. Here’s a short clip. Enjoy.

Posted in It's funny ! Laugh !, Kids, LosLocos, Travel, Video | 1 Comment

A visit to our saviors

It’s been nearly four weeks. I’m still having problems sorting my thoughts. Ship-wise we did a big step forward but it’s still to early to write anything here. But we’re 100% positive: The journey will continue !! We’re lucky to have so many friends and active blog readers who write to give us new ideas and send positive vibes. It’s truly wonderful to open the computer in the evening to find thoughtful and positive emails from Germany, England, Panama and other places on this planet !

After our rescue, the pilots of the helicopter spent half a day finding help to salvage our ship. Now they took a day off to invite us to the Navy base, have a BBQ together and show the kids all the equipment on the base ! Absolutely amazing !! For us it’s a very welcome distraction from our depressing bord life but for the children it’s very important to see the pilots and the chopper without the stress of a rescue. Bruno and Viola could climb through the helicopter, inspect the airplanes and play with the winch that lifted us off the reef.

The heat on the landing strip was like hellfire but the kids didn’t even realize. They were fully absorbed by all that fancy machinery, the interesting helicopter with all it’s screens and buttons. For hours they asked questions without end and of course had an amazing day. – Who wouldn’t ?

We also are extremely happy to have had that opportunity as we think it’s really important for the kids to associate some positive feelings with the helicopter and the people involved in the rescue operation. Yeah, and guess what Bruno want’s to become when he’s grown up ?

Sorry I’ve not been posting too much during the last weeks but I hop that will change soon. Today I’ve also started to answer all those nice emails we got and finally the inbox looks a little less chaotic. Oh – spaeking of writing. Together with the Yachtrevue an article is coming into existence. It should be published in the december issue.

Posted in Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 4 Comments

A weekend in Moorea and … everything changes

To get some distance to what happened and because it’s Loana’s 12th birthday, we decided to take the ferry to the neighbor island of Moorea. Jean Claude, whom we helped evacuate his yacht two weeks earlier, invited us to spend a weekend with his family.

The trip with the speed ferry only takes a little more than half an hour and we get picked up by car. The ride along the coastline has some magnificent views and we soon enter cook bay and continue towards the center of the island. Here we pick up the birthday girl and her sister Heilani who spent the day at a horse ranch. The energy of the soon to be 12 year old seems to be endless as we first drop her off at the jazz dance class before we finally get to their beautiful little house. The garden is typical for the area and has mangos, papayas, bananas and of course cocos and underneath all that green we see chicken and rabbits enjoying themselves. The weekend on the ‘countryside’ is a perfect change for us as we finally stop thinking about the Rancho Relaxo but have endless talks or (try) to repair an old motorcycle.

The time passes rapidly and sunday in the evening we’re back in Tahiti. Monday morning we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by the amazing number of TWO austrian ships: The ‘Chi’ arrived from the Tuamotus and the ‘Optimist’ came back from Moorea to do some last minute repairs before finally leaving for Fiji.

We’ve talked to many people, asked for prices and looked at used masts but it seems to be a fact: The Rancho Relaxo can not be repaired by us. We have tried to be as objective as possible but in the end that’s really difficult. The Rancho Relaxo is not just an object but our home and we had many thrilling and beautiful moments together. Saying good bye will be incredibly hard but a repair would cost us more than we could expect to ever get back by later selling the boat. After all we try to see the positive side of this: The market for used boats is really bad right now and we’re what you could call at the end of the world. So it is right here that we have actually good chances to find a new yacht. This and the financing of this new boat is what we were focussing the last days. And in both areas there have been extremely positive developments !
It seems quite surreal but only two weeks ago we were on the reef and thought that we would loose everything. Now it seems as if we will continue our journey with a new boat in the next year. This is possible because we have the support of both our families and they not just approve of our lifestyle but encourage us to finish what we started. Many friends helped us and want us to continue our journey. And that is exactly what we will do, although it will not be with the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas – and it will mean more work for us in the future. But that should not take the fun out of it and we are extremely happy about these amazing developments of the last days !!

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Travel | 7 Comments

Up and down

Every day feels completely different. Sometimes we’re all down and frustrated, the next day it seems as if life embraces us with all force. Our thoughts are too confused to write down as we still cannot say anything concrete about how it will continue for the Rancho Relaxo and us. But I would like to thank all of you for your support !

It is absolutely amazing !!! We’re can’t believe how many friends reached into their pocket to support us. And even more surprising is the amount of (until now) anonymous blog readers that step into the light and support us financially or by writing a few nice lines to make us smile again. To all of you: Many, many thanks and a big hug from the whole family !!

As soon as we can think a little bit clearer, I’ll write more but right now I’d probably only spread confusion.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 2 Comments

Support for the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas

Many friends and readers of our blog have asked us how to help and whether they could possibly support us financially. To be honest, in the beginning I was absolutely scared of that thought for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s a thing of pride, I guess. But most of that I lost on that reef in Tetiaroa and as for the rest – I’ll just have to ignore it. Second thought: It was our decision to set out and search for adventure and a simpler life – which we mostly found. My navigation as a skipper was not safe and it was ME who fell asleep during the watch so why should someone else pay for my mistake ? Third: Although some financial aid would ease our situation at the moment and possibly even pay for part of the repairs, how would we move on ? We have to earn some money ! We’re considering writing for sailing magazines, possibly start writing an (E-) book, I could do some IT-work, Gui is planning to create a web shop for her children’s clothes label ‘Coquito’… any tipps and ideas are welcome !

What changed our mind in the end is that we would have no problem at all to accept hands-on help to work on the boat. But as we’re stuck here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this is not an option. So why would we refuse donations ?
We have created that little Paypal donate button on the side and right there you will also be able to find the details for our german bank account. The decision to write this really wasn’t easy. We are thankful for every cent that will help us to move on ! Thank you all for your support (monetary or otherwise) !

Posted in Coquito, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 13 Comments

Trying to think forward

We’d like to thank you all who sent us so many warmhearted emails, comments or called us on the phone (mostly in the middle of the night :-) Without your support it would be impossible to go through this difficult time. Be assured, we read ALL your messages but right now we don’t have the time to answer them – we are really sorry for that.

We would also like to officially thank our austrian friends Hannes and Christine who took us in on their catamaran ‘Optimist’ while the Rancho was still on the reef.

We are discussing different options to repair the boat and today we will go to Port Phaeton to look at a used mast that supposedly should be the right size for our ship. In the evening we had long discussions as to whether we should try to continue immediately or if it would be better to fly to Europe, get a job and earn money for one year. Either way there’s a lot of things to do and even more stuff to think about.

On the positive side: Yesterday we built a little roof to protect ourselves from the sun and the kids love it. I also tested the engine and it has no damage, going forward & backward works, as does the steering. So we now consider ourselves the owners of a heavily damaged an incredibly slow motor boat. Heh.

Oh and as some comments and emails go in that direction: We are NOT insured ! We’ll have to pay the salvaging of the boat and the repairs ourselves. Luckily the heroic helicopter rescue is free.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 8 Comments

Starting to clean up

To postpone the thinking a little more, today we concentrated on cleaning the deck. We got all the ropes in order and removed the radar and other small parts from the mast, I dismounted the rollerfurler and folded up the Genoa. The main sail was also removed from the two parts of the boom and the lower half of the mast. Boths sails are not in too bad condition and can be stiched up easily. We removed all spreaders and stays and repaired the handrail. All in the crazy hot south pacific summer and nonstop from breakfast ’til sunset.

Then we tried to get into the internet at the marina bar but because they have a party tonight, they turned off the hotspot. So we went back to the boat to eat and that was when I found out that I couldn’t stick my foot in between the saloon bench and the mast-support. We knew that because of the bent hull the saloon bench is 3cm higher but that couldn’t be it. No it was the mast support that is bent about 5cm !! This (nearly) let me loose my appetite. So it seems that the Rancho Relaxo has more damage than we thought ?

Tomorrow I will first try to build a sun protection above the cockpit. Then I will think about how and why the mast support was bent. Maybe I’ll also inspect the engine for any water damage (the exhaust was on the side where the waves kept running in). At least the propeller is turning and the rudder is working – which really amazes me.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Work | 8 Comments