Monthly Archives: Saturday May 31st, 2014

Letzter Tag in Tanna

Die Zeit verging mal wieder wie im Fluge. Wir hatten viel erlebt, viel Kava getrunken, viel gesehen hier in Tanna. Wir haben Unmengen von Obst an Bord – dank Gui, die unser Schiff durchsortiert hat und so haben wir Taschenweise Medikamente, Schulzeug und T-Shirts an Land gebracht. Als Gegenzug gabt’s 30kg Bananen und Grapefruits, so viel man tragen kann.
Und auch wenn wir gerne noch viel laenger bleiben wuerden, aber uns draengt die Zeit. Unsere letzte Segelreise wartet auf uns: knappe 1000 Meilen nach Brisbane und in ein paar Stunden geht’s los.

Unterwegs sind wir wie immer mittels Kurzwelle erreichbar (Kommentare bekommen wir zugestellt). Und unser Satphone ist morgens an, also ca. 2100-0000h UTC.

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Volcanic activity

Yesterday the time has finally come and at noon we started to walk towards the volcanoe. The ‘road’ leads through thick, lush jungle and a few villages and after about 2-3 hours, we arrived at the entrance to the volcano national park. Our lucky kids got a ride up the volcanoe while Gui and me walked up. All the time with loud rumbling noises and while the floor starts to shake. The earth underneath us is alive !

After two hours of fast walking, we arrive at the entrnce to the volcano national parkThe last few hundered meters up the volcano, the kids hitch a rideThe end of the 'road' - at the slope of Mt. Yasurbeautiful little houses at the slope

The volcano was at the lowers activity level (1) but still – the show was breathtaking ! The noise and the lava that was thrown through the air, the smell, the whole scenery. Quite awesome. ’nuff said, enjoy the pics:

On the rim of the craterA first look into the craterFascinatedThe crater of Mt. Yasur

Everyone getting ready as the sun is settingGui on the edgeAs it gets darker, the activity becomes more visibleA 'blob' of basalt on the ground

Lavaimpressive show after darkExplosions and lava flying through the airA highlight of our long journey

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Tanna ! Wow !!

Crazy, crazy. It seems like an island out of a dream. Unreal. Too beautiful, too exotic. I don’t know where to start… we’ve only been here for a little more than a day. I’m still overwhelmed. And we haven’t even seen the volcano yet ! So… what happened ?

Mont Yusur, while sailing past the coast of TannaClosing in on Port Resolution, Mont Yusur as seen from the eastThe SY Kira and the SY Suvarov meeting for the first time (Tanna, Port ResolutionTraditional outrigger canoe at the beach

Well, our friends from the SY Elhaz said hello and goodbye and left for Port Vila – which made us quite sad. But next morning the SY Kira arrived and we had a good, long breakfast together that continued into a mid-day feast, followed by a walk through the village and a swim on one of the most gorgeous beaches we’ve seen so far. When the sun started to set behind the volcanoe, we brought Gui and the kids to the boat. The men were invited to drink kava with the villagers. People in Tanna are strict followers of the ‘Kastom’ and thus: no women allowed.

Traditional outrigger canoe at the beachThe bay is popular and the villagers have established a restaurant. Heh.local housingHey, SY Thor: Is that really necessary ? ;-)

Der Strand auf der Sued-Ost SeiteWhat a beach ! What colors !!mit Claus am StrandThe ladies going for a walk

All the grown up males gather on a little place in the village and start to prepare the kava by chewing the roots, spitting it in banana leaves , rinsing it with water and finally pouring the brown/greyish liquid in a little coconut shell. The kava here is a lot stronger than in Fiji as it is made from fresh roots and the traditional way. We enjoyed the ritual and the quietness that falls over the village after the first round of cava bowls went around. The sounds are from the waves and the wind to our back and endless zykades in the front, the sound of small, red glowing fires all around and a lot of loud slurping and spitting. The sky is full of stars, no bright lights disturbing our vision. We are welcome in the village and together with our friend Claus with whom we started the voyage three years ago. What a dream !

And although we’re anchored in one of the most historic places (James Cook went ashore in this bay, approx. 230 years ago) we’ve found internet: connected via bluetooth and mobile phone. Slow but steady…

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Anchored in Tanna, Port Resolution

After 28 hours of sailing against the wind we find ourselves 141nm further southeast of Port Vila on the island of Tanna. Under way we talked to SY Drifter as she sailed by and met three other boats, all heading donwind towards where we came from, using the moderate wind with a pleasent 20 knots from behind. – The way we normally tend to sail.
But sometimes you got to fo against. Which means: you don’t feel 15 kn from behind but 25 knots in the face. And it comes with a lot of spray and waves splashing the foredeck. And after a few hours, the whole boat is encrusted in salt (and sometimes in vomit). The movement is not a gentle rocking to the sides but like riding a wild horse up and down the waves. And it doesn’t stop. It never stops. Like the trip from Bora Bora to Moorea, but then we had more wind… No. Nobody really likes doing that – except the Suvarov. Hard on the wind she’s a swell to navigate and once out of the harbour, we set the wind steering and she pretty much does the rest.
During the night we sailed in lee of the island Erromango which made it possible to find some sleep. Behind the island we were protected from the sweel for a few hours but weh had to pay for it during the day when we encountered crossing sea and increased wind as we had to tack in between the islands. In the afternoon we saw him: Mt. Yasur ! As we sailed past it, down the east coast, the kids leaned at the sides of the boat with their mouthes open when the volcano was breathing its clouds into the sky.
Now that the night has fallen, every now and then a cloud north of us starts to glow orange.
During the night, the SY Kira should arrive and tomorrow we’ll have a good, long breakfast and then a look ashore. The only contact to land so far was in form of Tom: a local who rowed over in an all natural outrigger canoe to say hello and ask whether we had some DVDs to lend, heh. More to follow…

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Off to the volcano !

After we’ve been waiting for one week not seems to be the time: For two days the wind will shift to the east and also go down a little in force. In an hour or so we’ll set out towards the south-east, towards Tanna. There we’ll meet the SY Kira, hopefully the SY Elhaz and definately the Mont Yasur: the active (!) volcano of the island.

Also this post marks the end of internet: in the next days and weeks on our final travel to Brisbane, Australia we will only be connected with shortwave radio. So no pictures in the upcoming days. – Sorry…

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Flowers at the market

The colors, the odors, the beauty. Come with me to the market of Port Vila:

Nelumbo nucifera: the wonderful lotus flowerThe lotus 'fruits'Different arrangementUnreal... but that's how they grow !

The flower lady and some customersBeauty in the shadowjust beautifulThese flowers we often found in the jungle

More flowersThe market... I love these woven basketsMy beautiful girlin the market

Bruno found his favourite petyellow eyesViola is also too happy......but the crying, because she can't keep the lizard.

…oooh yeah. And I miss my good Pentax camera ! The photos could be so much better with decent equipment. Well, well…

Posted in Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Plants, Sailing, Suvarov | 1 Comment

The Cabo Verde islands in the south pacific

We’ve only been here in Vanuatu for a few days and we have not seen anything beside Port Vila, the capital: for sure not the nicest part of the islands. BUT we’re absolutely amazed ! These islands are awesome ! We’re absolute fans of Vanuatu !! It’s soo much more relaxed than Fiji, it’s cheap, the weather is wonderful, the place is perfect. The people are cool, the men wear beards and hats and everybody tries to decorate himself with a touch of green/yellow/red for some rastafari look. It feels like being in Cabo Verde or Barbados. Really cool. I can’t wait to see more of this country…. It seems on saturday the wind will calm down a little and turn to the east, that should give us a good window to sail down to Tanna which is in the south-east, approx. 130nm from here.

Gui findet einen zahmen Iguana in Port VilaEin ganz zahmerViola beim Haarewaschenlittle punky princess

In the meantime Gui managed to get her visa for Australia – in record time ! I filled all necessary papers and sent them so we’re ready to leave – legally. And also we had first contacts with people – mostly from France – who are interested in buying the Suvarov. Everything seems to be going in a good direction.

The anchorage towards the northPort Vila - seen from the mastSoon, we'll be sitting in one of those again...Historische Motorboot-Schoenheit

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From Fiji to Vanuatu

So that now was our second to last trip with the Suvarov, ey ? It was a nice one, I have to admit. For the first time in a year we had pleasant, nearly perfect wind on that journey. And although the swell made the ride a bit bumpy in the beginning, we did quite well. We logged 131, 126, 122 and 127 nautical miles daily and the whole trip of 545nm took us just a bit more than 100 hours.

Ein letzter Blick zurueck auf die Inseln von FijiWir suchen uns eine Oeffnung und verlassen die LaguneKraeftiger Schwell sorgt fuer Kreuzsee, aber auch fuer traumhafte Wellen im Surfer-Paradies Fiji.Bruno and Viola planen ihr zukuenftiges Zimmer in Berlin

We also were quite lucky: we arrived in Port Vila at night but with good weather. The next day it started to rain heavily (we topped up the water tank in less than one hour !) and we had wind quite above 30 knots. Good timing !

So it seems we’re stuck in Port Vila for a few days since our next trip to Tanna is against the wind and I don’t want to head out into rough seas…

Die Kinder verwandeln den Salon in einen Spielplatz......und machen riesen Chaos. - Als ob bei dem Seegang nicht schon genur in der Gegend rumfliegt !Die Windsteuerung hab ich auch mittlerweile gut im Griff und sie steuert nahezu perfekt.Und das neu lackierte Deck ist mir eine echte Freude !

But right now I’m still waiting for the quarantine officer to come on board. It seems he’s busy with the cruise ship that entered that morning and keeps us waiting. Gui and the kids are on land, visiting the immigration office and later the Australian Embassy fur Gui’s visa.

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Landfall in Vanuatu

Just an hour after sunset we took the leading lights into Port Vila. Now we’re anchored close to the quarantine buoy, near the town centre and wait for the officials to clear us in. Of course they will not come before tomorrow morning so we enjoy a beer on deck and imagine what the waterfront will look like in daylight.

More tomorrow…

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Schiff ahoi !

‘Keine besonderen Vorkommnisse’ sollte eigentlich der Titel sein, doch dann fiel mir ein, dass es ja doch eine kleine Aufregung gab: Heute haben wir zwei (ja: ZWEI) Schiffe gesichtet. Wenn man also alle Passagen, die wir im Pazifik gesegelt haben, zusammen zaehlt, haben wir 28% allerSchiffe am heutigen Tag gesehen ! Und um noch mehr Abwechslung zu bieten, hatten wir einen Frachter tagsueber und einen in der Nacht gesichtet. Toll. Wobei: eigentlich war’s der Radarwarner, der uns auf den Nachbarn hinwies, muss ich jetzt mal gestehen…
Ansonsten war wie gesagt nichts los. Die See beruhigt sich weiter und mittlerweile schaukelt’s kaum noch. Der Wind ist weiterhin stabil, hat leicht auf Sued gedreht und blaest uns genau Richtung Port Vila. Uebermorgen sollten wir ankommen, was auch gutes Timing ist, denn ab Freitag soll’s dann mit 7-8 Beaufort richtig blasen. Dann werden wir aber vermutlich schon vor Anker liegen und beim australischen Konsulat wegen Gui’s Visum vorsprechen…


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Day 2 towards Vanuatu

On the second day not much happened. As usual, the capitana is seasick and she’s lying around mostly. The kids on the other side have endless energy and once again they use the waves to be pushed around the ship. New materials are tested as slides: big books wrapped in shopping bags work well on the saloon floor. But the best are two cockpit cushions on top of each other: slippery as wet ice. They both laugh their asses off and swirl around in the boat.
The grownups don’d have that much fun with the sea state. There still is swell from the southwest mixing in with the windwaves and every few seconds the boat is heeled over violently. But slowly it get’s better (or we’re getting used to it) – I dunno. Anyway: we’re making good progress, the wind has been quite steady these last 24 hours and the GPS sais we’re almost half way there. Great !

LATITUDE: 18-15.07S, LONGITUDE: 173-20.87E, COURSE: 253T, SPEED: 5.2, WIND: E4, DISTANCE TO TARGET: 289nm

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Endlich wieder auf See

In gut sechs Wochen sitzen wir im Flugzeug zurueck nach Europa. Ich mache mir Gedanken, was ich wohl am meisten vermissen werde, wenn wir die Wasser- gegen die Betonwueste eingetauscht haben. Sonnenaufgaenge auf hoher See zaehlen sicher zu den schoensten Momenten. Ein jeder einzelne ist magisch. Nicht nur das Licht und die Reflexionen in den Wellen sondern auch das Gefuehl das mitschwingt: Wieder eine dunkle Nacht ueberstanden, dem Ziel einen Tag naehergekommen. Die Sonne nimmt dem Meer das bedrohliche und taucht alles um uns herum wieder in das tiefste Blau, das man sich vorstellen kann. Nicht, dass ich nicht die Naechte auch geniessen wuerde. Die unglaublichen Sternenhimmel, die vielen Sternschnuppen. Doch gibt es auch die Naechte mit etwas zu viel Wind, mit Squalls, die einen ganz schoen auf Trab halten, unglaubliche Muedigkeit, weil man wie immer die erste Nacht auf See nicht schlaet, sondern nur etwas dahindoest. Aber die ruhigen, lauen Naechte im Suedpazifik – nein, es

gibt nicht vieles das schoener waere.

Also besser geniessen, diese letzten Sonnenauf- und untergaenge und bloss nicht meckern, weil die Segel mal wieder schlagen, wenn die Front durchgezogen ist…

Und wie geht’s sonst so ? Na die Crew schlaeft tief und fest, die Suvarov ist mit ihrem neuen Antifouling recht flott unterwegs mit meist um die sechs Knoten. Wir segeln nur mit Genua, kreuzen vor dem Wind, der mit ca. 20 Knoten aus Ost blaest. Anfangs sind wir noch motort, haben das Riff etwa fuenf Meilen westlich von Malolo durchquert und den unglaublichen Schwell bewundert, der die letzten Tage duzende Surfer raus auf den ‘Cloud Break’ gelockt hat. Danach hatten wir Wind aus: WSW, SSE, N, NW, SE und schliesslich aus E. Die Wellen kommen natuerlich auch aus allen Richtungen und der lange Schwell aus Suedwest ueberlagert das ganze. Es schaukelt also ganz ordentlich. Werd’ mal Fruehstueck machen – meine Akrobatikuebung fuer diesen Morgen…

LATITUDE: 17-50.45S, LONGITUDE: 175-39.00E, COURSE: 266T, SPEED: 6.3, WIND: E4-5, DISTANCE TO TARGET: 420nm

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Finished painting and ready to go

After our hardcore antifouling session I was unable to stop: I got rid of some rust spots and Harald welded some holes – not from rust, but from gear that was mounted on deck before. After that I put a few coats of primer but didn’t want to leave the job half finished. And as we’re waiting for the wind to pick up – I again started painting and during three days I could paint the whole deck. Now it’s nice, shiny and white. And on the inside the boat is a lot cooler.

Eine Schicht Farbe auf Steuerbord.Knifflig - immer einen Weg freilassen: sonst komme ich nicht mehr von Bord.Das Vordeck erstrahlt in Weiss ! Und kuehl ist es nun an Bord !Na sieht doch besser aus, als vorher, oder ?

Maybe later on I’ll add some anti-slip paint but for now that will have to wait. Actually we’ll see on the coming voyage if that’s necessary at all. Speaking of: Yes, we’re ready to go out to sea ! Tomorrow, on sunday we’ll start the trip to Vanuatu. The destination is Port Vila where we will try to arrange our visas for Australia. After that we hopefully meet the SV Kira on the island of Tanna to climb the volcano together.

So tomorrow we’ll be out on sea again and probably do some posts via SSB.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Projects, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 2 Comments

Haul out and splash in less than one week

After our short break in Malolo Lailai (aka ‘Musket Cove’) our friends from the Time Lord had to leave. They wanted to haul out at Vuda Marina to check the hull for defects. We stayed for one more night but were too bored without the lovely norwegian family and decided to follow. First we made a little stop in front of Denarau where we dropped the anchor in 3m water in front of the Hilton Hotel. Next day we drove via Nadi to the Airport where I finally could get DHL to pick up my passport in Australia and deliver it to Fiji. Next day we left already to sail towards the Vuda Marina just a few miles to the north.

The gang: Viola, Jack, Ivi, Bruno. Ech one more lovely than the other.The Suvarov getting out of the waterBruno entertaining the workers while the skipper removes the windgenerator (that is in the way)Our home for 6 days. The Suvarov on the dry.

So finally we found ourselves in a marina – for the first time in … two years ! And man is that crowded here !! No space to breathe ! But as there also were ‘the french’ from the SV Elhaz in the marina and all the kids had so much fun together, we decided to stay for a few days. But on the hard: there is more room between the boats :-) and of course because we wanted to paint fresh antifouling. So we ended up in the travel lift and found ourselves again right next to the SV Time Lord.

Our poor friends found they had a lot to do on their boat: Huge parts of the hull had to be cut out. The previous owners never took care of the rust and so it developed to a point where the only solution is to just cut out and weld new pieces in. But a few weeks of grinding, welding and a sand blast later and the ship should be in good shape again.

Painting, painting, painting. The whole family at work (Viola doing the pics)The Skipper and the paint can: best friends.Bruno in extreme concentrationThe capitana happy to be nearly finished for today

In the mean time we cleaned our hull, grinded the old antifouling away, put two new layers of primer and new antifouling. I used a pressure washer to remove all that loose paint our previous owner put on deck, then took care of some rust and finally put three coats of primer on top. But sadly my immigration permit expires on the 7th of May (yes, today) and so we have to leave Fiji….  More infos to follow in a few days.

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