Monthly Archives: Sunday April 28th, 2013

Finished. And off to Berlin ! Yay !

Yeee, in only three days I’ll be back from where we started. Somehow crazy. We spent two years trying to get here to the other end of the world and on Monday I’ll hop into a plane and 46 hours later I am in Berlin. But the decision to go on really short notice also meant a little work. As we’re still not finished with the boat(s) we spent the week in Tahiti. The Suvarov moored to a buoy close to the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas, we exchanged anchors and chains. Now our trusty bow anchor is back with us and the slightly older chain with the ‘Brake’ anchor is on the Rancho. Both items we might sell next week. The old Liferaft is underway to Raiatea where it will be given to it’s new owner, the wind generator now powers a french boat that’s underway towards New Caledonia. The remains of our rig went on shore where Jerry will later transform it into an arch (?) for the Pukuri.

The evenings I spent on the internet looking for spare parts and stuff we need, organizing the trip and trying to get in touch with friends. Oh I hope, somehow I could manage to see them all. So anyway, my schedule is Berlin for the first days, then to my family in Austria. The third week of May I should be back in Berlin from where I leave on the 21st towards our home in French Polynesia.

Posted in Berlin, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov, Travel, Work | 5 Comments

Viola’s birthday – more photos

Sunday we were celebrating Viola’s fifth birthday. There were all our friends from the anchorage/beach as well as Jean Claude and his daughters, friends from school and more.

The party started right in the morning with the setting up of the slack line, some weird rope game, putting baloons in the trees and while the kids were preparing these things, the skip sneaked out and buried a treasure deep under a coconut palm.

The gang had a lot of fun, searching the park for the hidden hints towards the treasure while the grown ups tried their balance on the slack line. But there was one thing that stole away the attention from the celebration: The puppies !

Somebody left seven little puppies under a tree in the park and they all found food and love with the kids that cuddled and carried them. When we left on monday all but two of the little dogs already had found a new home.

Next day we had to leave towards Tahiti. As usual, there’s not much wind and we were running under engine. Back in Tahiti, we dismounted and sold the windgenerator, the VHF and the fridge. Finally things get moving…

Oh ! And I nearly forgot to mention: I’m gonna fly to Europe !!!! Yessss !!! The Ackerman Foundation sponsored the flight to get Gui’s label Coquito started. So I’ll be in Berlin and Austria the first three weeks of may, starting a business and getting parts for the Suvarov. And of course visiting all my friends and my family – oh, I’m so happy. It’s been two years. I really am excited about that trip. Yay !!

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Viola’s 5th birthday

Yesterday Viola was celebrating her 5th birthday. Later I still have to sort through ~400 photos and find the good ones for you. But now we leave for Tahiti to do some work on the Rancho (again…). Here’s a little preview:

Yes, the Pentax K-5 still has some battery left. It arrived with ‘one bar’ of battery and after one month of use it still works – about 600 photographs later. That’s an amazing battery !

Posted in Animals, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Suvarov | 5 Comments

Construction works in the aft cabin

The bathroom in the aft cabin was used as a storage space for all that stuff we didn’t find a place for yet. But as the ‘junk room’ got emptier and emptier over the last weeks, we thought it would be time to get rid of the walls and extend our living space. I started fixing the broken kitchen window and as Gui is of no help here, she took the power drill and started tearing down walls.

Again there is some difference to the Rancho Relaxo: On our old boat all the interior was done professionaly and uwing the same wood and brass screws. The Suvarov on the other hand is amateur built and the interior is a wild mix of different types of wood, screws, paints and taste (or lack thereof). In our current case most of the wood is glued together with additional screws that are hidden under filler and paint. That makes things a lot more difficult. But after one day of hard labor, the bathroom is gone and we can think of what to do with the new space and how to integrate the steering cables that run through the middle of the room.

Next day I take the old wood panels and fabricate a mock-up of the new interior. I think that’s a good test to see whether our idea would work. Now we’re gonna sleep one or two times over that and see if we can come up with a better idea. Otherwise we’ll buy wood and start the work.

Posted in Kids, Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Suvarov, Work | 1 Comment

Dolphins and Circus

At 06:20h in the morning the alarm goes off. Just as the sun jumps over the mountain ridge and bathes the bay in a beautiful golden light. We eat breakfast on deck because a big school of dolphins entered the bay and is playing in between the neighbor boats. When we paddle ashore a little later, we go riht through the middle of a group of 20-30 dolphins that are now going down the channel and back into the bay. At shore a local fisherman gives us a few fish and he follows us to our car. – Yeah, for the first time in two years we got a car ! A very friendly family who’s son goes to the kindergarden with Viola borrowed it to us. The catch is that it has a dead battery, so me and our fisher-friend push the car to start it.

The school is closed for easter holidays but Bruno and Viola go to the Circus-school. There they do acrobatics, play clown and generally have a lot of fun. As it’s the last day, we come early for the pick-up and the group does a presentation for us. Viola’s friend Manoa comes back with us to the Suvarov. There’s a little front approaching and the dinghy ride with five people is not as relaxing as it was during the morning. The three wild ones do a pirate fight across the deck and through the interior of our boat. When the rain starts drumming on the roof, Bruno and Viola get active collecting rainwater.

Uh, and I have some bad news: I was quite looking forward to the return of our DSLR but unfortunately the charger for our good camera stayed in South America. So I continued using the compact camera. And this rather poor replacement did a little dive in Viola’s rucksack. Although the skipper ignored the sore foot and immediately jumped overboard for a rescue mission, it still got a few drops of water. Not more than during a snapshot in the rain but enough for it to wreck the battery. So now we have two compact cameras and a Pentax K5 without charger. The last cameras still in operation are the GoPro and my trusty old mobile phone which from now on will be the primary source of pictures for this blog. Uaaah !

Posted in Animals, Kids, Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Suvarov | 2 Comments

Going for a little hike up the hill

Poor Guillermina again has an ear infection and thus the noisy three leave the boat for a little excursion. There is a nice hill just behind the beach and we want to check it out. So we grab a drink, a few apples and some bread into our rucksack and set out in search for an entry to the path that’s supposedly following the ridge up the hill.

After half an hour walk along the road we really find an entrance to the forest and start fighting our way through the bushes and over crumbly earth and loose rocks. It’s not really a nice walk but the view from up here is absolutely amazing. Once we reach the little ‘summit’ we have our lunch and watch the boats down in the anchorage. We can see the surfers at the pass taking the waves, the speedboats zooming past the beach in full speed, etc.

We’re back down at sea level early in the afternoon and enjoy the ‘fresh’ 30 degree Pacific to wash off all the dirt from our trip. It was great – even more so as it was the first proper movement for me after having had a swollen, nearly unusable foot for a couple of weeks now. Well, my ankle is ok but now it’s Gui who’s fighting another infection. *rrr*

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Horses instead of kindergarden

It’s easter and that means, the school is closed. Instead of taking the tour towards the kindergarden with dinghy and bus – Viola and Gui hitch-hike up the valley towards the horse ranch. Viola is doing a four day horseriding holiday and you can’t imagine how happy she is. Every afternoon she returns all dirty and tired but still has enough energy to jump around in the water for an hour or two. Then all the horse smell is gone and she falls asleep while eating dinner. Heh.

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A little diving tour

Trying to catch up with my blog posts, I wanted to share a few pictures Lorenz took, when we were diving with the Rays a little further down to the NW-tip of Moorea. There’s not much to say, so I’ll stop writing and you can enjoy the pics:

Posted in Animals, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Travel | 2 Comments

(Deutsch) LosLocos in der aktuellen Nido

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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Two years ago

Two years ago from today I was spending my last days in the office, most of my thoughts revolving around the still endless todo-list. The evenings and weekends were spent doing planning and preparation. It was a magic time. Images of lonely islands and adventures out on the sea in our heads. Mostly those pictures came from the many stories, blogs and books we read during that time. And although we read a lot – we still didn’t really know what it’s gonna be like. Two sailing-greenhorns on the oceans of the world ? Back then, when someone asked us about our destination, we meekly pointed towards the west.

Although the conception of our trip was not completely wrong, it still came a lot different than we thought. One and a half oceans later we wrecked our beloved Rancho Relaxo and are still in the process of settling in on the Suvarov. The paperwork is done and the austrian flag again decorates the back of the boat. Most of the work on the new boat is now finished.

The main problem right now is the Rancho. She’s still rusting away on a mooring in Taina Marina and costs money every month. Now that work on the coquito webshop is finished, we finally have time to put all the remaining stuff online for sale. And although we don’t try to have any illusions we still hope that we can find someone who wants to live on board the Rancho. Maybe even repair her and sail again… There’s still time. Gui’s visa will expire on the 30th of May and thus the date of our departure is set. A fact that I’m actually glad about because it’s really time we get away from here.

Not that I wouldn’t love these paradise-like islands and the wonderful polynesian people. But as everywhere there are also some downsides. Right now it’s the never healing wounds that drive me crazy. Even the smallest cut will get infected, swell up and take forever to heal. My ankle is showing a nice purple/black/red cut that has been there for a month now. Antibiotics and daily cleaning doesn’t seem to help much – it’s still swollen and hurts. This seems to be a general problem as most of the other sailors have had the same issues and the bodies of the lokal people also show remains of those cuts and bruises. The other thing I’m looking forward to is to finally visit some english speaking islands again and have better contact to the local people. An issue that is completely alien to our kids. Although they ‘only’ speak german, spanish and english, they have absolutely no problem communicating with the local kids. A fact that is best demonstrated by Viola who joined the local kindergarden a few days ago. She doesn’t mind at all that she has to get up before sunrise or that the other kids speak only tahitian and french. The only thing that counts is the many new friends she has and the new games she plays with them.

Posted in Kids, Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 6 Comments