Category Archives: Animals

The last trip

Oh, the day finally has come. Today in the morning John and Nia from the SY Zeitgeist cast off our mooring lines and we left the beautiful anchorage in Brisbane centre. The timing was important because we wanted to catch the outgoing tide to sail down the 12nm to the river mouth and also because we wanted to arrive in Redcliffe during daylight.

Chillin' in the parkThe botanical garden - our garden for three weeks.Bruno at the playgroundViola in action

So we left at 10:45 with the high tide being at 11:20h. We sailed down through Brisbane in a beautiful, sunny but slightly cold day, took some fuel at the Rivergate Marina on the way out to the bay and started sailing just after noon. The weather was perfect: sunny and a steady 25-30 knots from WSW. We just flew up the bay and when initially we thought we would barely make it in daylight we actually arrived at 3:40h in the afternoon. Most of the time doing 7 to 7.5 knots with double reefed jib. Heh. Cool last sailing trip !

An Iguana in the middle of the cityNot afraid at all (both Gui and the Iguana)Shopping crazyness at Woolworth'sKangaroo meat (nice !)

In the marina (the second we entered in two years) it wasn’t too easy. We got a berth that was at the very end and in a small corner and maneuvering the 15t Suvarov into place took a few helping hands and long mooring lines over winches. But we made it !

Going to town with my beautiful ladySkyscrapers in BrisbaneIn the public libraryLast day at the moorings in the city

Now the Suvarov has reached her final destination, we’re in Scarborough Marina on jetty E1 and here she will stay until her next owner will take her out for a ride. Hopefully soon. And the los locos are emotionally a bit shaken and tired from packing and organizing all our stuff. But everything is in bags and suitcases and ready to go. Tomorrow we’ll clean the boat one last time and on wednesday at 2pm we take the plane to Bankok, then to Istanbul, then Munich. Yay !

Fast sailing in the Moreton Bayleaving Brisbane behindReally nice, really fast sailingRedcliffe, the final destination of the Suvarov

Posted in Animals, Freedom, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 9 Comments

From Vanuatu to Australia – the pictures

And here come the missing pictures… have fun !

We leave Tanna and wave good-bye to our friends on the SY Kira...past that beautiful beach we've been hanging out a few times...And around the corner where the wind picks upSailing on the wind for many days...

The first sunrise out on sea - and one of the last ones for us.And again: beating against the windUntil everything is encrusted in a layer of salt.The capitana on the wheel during a gust

The cirrus uncius clouds predict more wind !And the wind comes......with frequent squalls...But the kids still have a lot of fun. Heh.

Storm petrels are the other species out here having fun with 40knots of wind.I watch them for hours gliding 30cm above the waves.Finally we aproach the entrance to Brisbane.For the first time since the North Sea (!!) we're wearing the foul weather gear.

Right in the harbour entrance a big freighter wants to overtake.Wow ! A real harbour !...and a real city !!A lot of industry down at the river entrance

But we continue up the river towards the city.Entering Brisbane at nightfallIMPRESSIVE  - especially after two years spent only on tropical islands.A different view in the morning (from the kitchen window)

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A few more pics from Tanna / Vanuatu

A few more pictures that I couldn’t upload when we still were in Tanna. One of my favorites is Viola with the parrot. Enjoy !

Unser Ankerplatz in Port Resolution - 250 Jahre nach James CookDer 'Yacht Club'Zwei Holz-Statuen am Eingang zum DorfEin Teil des kleinen Dorfes

Ein neues Haus wird gebaut...100% Naturmaterialien, 100% recycling-faehigKosten: 0$ (alles waechst in der Umgebung), Dauer bis Fertigstellung: ca. 1 WocheFussball am Fusse des Vulkans

Riesiger Bayan Tree - wer versteckt sich da ?Haensel und Gretel ?Die Dorfschule wurde beschenkt mit zwei grossen Tueten Material aus dem Bauch der SuvarovClaus, Bruno und eine Backpackerin - unterwegs Richtung Yasur

Ein Arbeiter kommt uns aus dem Wald entgegenUnd hat einen bunten, zahmen Papagei mit dabeiDer fluestert Viola irgendwas charmantes ins OhrDie kleine Piratenbraut macht ganz auf lieb

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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

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

A few more pics from Yanuca Island

Die Suvarov unter Segel (Danke an die SY Time Lord fuer die Fotos !!)Und endlich mal wieder ein Bild der kompletten LosLocosVor Anker im Westen der Insel Yanuca Ein kleines, verlassenes Resort im Hintergrund

Die Haengematten blieben zum Glueck erhalten !Die Kinder klettern Stundenlang ueber die Steine am UferFuer Stunden nicht gesehen......kehren sie zurueck...

...mit einer Schuessel voll......Einsiedlerkrebsen !'Unser' StrandSelfie der Fotografin

Badespass fuer viele Stunden...und die Kinder hauen alle zusammen mit dem Kajak ab.Und wir hauen ab in den Westen Fiji's, eine Nachtfahrt weiter.Ein schmutziger Frachter in der Riffpassage

Doch schoen wirkt er, mit dem Tagesstern im HintergrundDie Kinder traeumen noch vom Strand, waehrend wir schon in die Lagune von Malolo einfahrenOekologische Aktivitaeten fuer unsere wertvollen Touristen.Wertvolle Aktivitaeten fuer unsere oekologischen Touristen.

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Via Namena, Makongai, Leluvia and Nasilai River towards Suva

Two days ago we arrived in Lami, a little village west of Suva. Here in the little bay, we finally met some more cruising families which is extremely welcome. The kids have endless fun and are messing up a different boat each day. ;-) In the meantime, the captain crisscrossed through Suva to get all papers, copies, photographs together and verified  by the german consul. Now a pack of paper is underway towards Canberra where the (nearest) austrian embassy will hopefully issue me an emergency passport.

Namena aus der Vogelperspektive. (Dank an Julia fuer's Foto !)Am Strand im Osten NamenasDer Klassiker - auf der PalmeHoch hinaus

Suva being the largest city in the tropical south Pacific is home to 50% of all escalators – namely: two ! There is also three or four traffic lights and a cinema. And today I will wander off to see ‘Rio 2′ with the kids.  Heh. After stocking up a little, we’ll probably be out on sea in a few days, visiting the island of Benga and finally arriving in Malolo Leilei where we plan to celebrate easter and (even more) Viola’s sixth birthday.

Also we made a huge decision and have changed our long term plans but more on that in an upcoming blog post.

Endloser Spass beim Spiel in den WellenUnd der Strand ist wirklich einer der schoenstenZusammen mit der crew der SY Elhaz in MakongaiWunderschoen bunte Krabbe

Viola mit Echo, dem Bordhund der SY ElhazSonnenuntergang im Mund des Nasilai RiverAbendliches Malen und BastelnUnd angekommen in Suva, ihres Zeichens groesste Stadt im Suedpazifik.

 

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Back from Namena with a bunch of pics

Together with my two visitors we did a snorkel/diving trip to Namena. And today we’re back again with the usual set of underwater pictures.

Before leaving from the Costeau Resort, I had to go diving because the night before I accidentally dropped part of our barbequeue. My first attempts of freediving down to 18m were unsuccessful – so I went down again with proper diving gear and actually could find that little thing lying on the ocean floor. Second thing to do: to replace the lower shrouds that got damaged months ago in a storm when sailing towards Tonga. My brother brought the needed replacement parts with him from Europe.

Den Grillrost wieder den Tiefen des Meeres entrissenNeue Unterwanten werden installiertSpannendUnterwegs nach Namena (ca. 25nm)

Then – finally ready to go, we set sail and have a beautiful cruise towards Namena. The breeze is light but enough to let us glide along with five knots and we reach our destination an hour before sunset.

Ankunft am Ankerplatz in NamenaErster von vielen klassich/kitschig/schoenen SonnenuntergaengenErste Tauchgaenge am Riff in der AnchorageGelbe Lederkoralle

Next day we hop into the water and again we’re all amazed by the pure beauty of the reef here in Namena. The number of different animals seems to be without end – as is the form and color of the different hard and soft coral.  During every single dive we run into some sharks (small white- and blacktip reef sharks) which is quite common. Usually the sharks come around for a short look and a few seconds later they disappear into the endless blue.

Hallo, Hai !Der Skipper wirft einen aeusserst kritischebn Blick auf den Strand an der WestseiteZugegeben: Sooo schlecht ist der Strand gar nicht.Ein 'Orange-Ringel-Anemonenfisch'

Quite different on the second day: a pair of little white-tip sharks start circling us and instead of being afraid, they come closer and closer while still circling us. I try to scare them off and actually put my fins in their face but they still continue to circle and their movements get more rapid and intense all the time. Needless to say: we don’t like that and although these sharks are usually completely harmless we jump out of the water and into the dinghy. Here we still can see the sharks circling us – sometimes close enough to touch them. Weird.

Weihnachtsbaum-Roehrenwuermer aka 'Schnippies'Wunderschoene Fische im flachen Wasser ueber den Korallen(noch) unbestimmter FischLederkoralle

But it’s not all scary down there: We also run into some turtles with I follow with the camera for nearly a minute. Same thing: Usually the turtles are easily scared but this time I was quiet enough to be able to follow them and get really close.

Wunderschoene KorallenlandschaftenDer Traum zum SchnorchelnMoerdermuschelDetail einer Kronenkoralle

Of course we see tons of little clown fish, huge giant clams in all colors, groupers, sweet lips, snapper and other species too numerous to count. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story…

Geweih-Koralle mit FischleinKorallendetailsJulia und Oliver beim TauchenKorallenfarben

Hallo, Hai !Licht und SchattenspieleEine Art von 'Garibaldi' ?Edel-Haarstern

Floetenfisch knapp unter der WasseroberflaecheTrompetenfischUnd wieder ein Hai, der uns etwas bedraengt...Start zur naechsten Schnorchelrunde - direkt vom Schiff aus

Eine KarettschildkroeteUnterwegs zur Ostseite der InselAuch hier: der Strand gar nicht so uebel !Der Ausblick vom Strand am Ankerplatz

Posted in Animals, diving, Learning for life, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 2 Comments

Visitors in Fiji

It’s been a long time since the last update. Way too long. And much has happened – as always. But the important thing right now is that my brother Oliver and his girlfriend Julia are here in Fiji and staying on the Suvarov fot the next twelve days.

Approaching Fiji by planeFirst sundowner at the ResortAt the 'split rock'Little beauties

They arrived yesterday, coming from Singapore and we immediately left Savusavu and dropped anchor in front of the Costeau Resort to go snorkeling. Their first impression is – well – quite good. Or rather: both were pretty speechless when they first dipped their heads under water.

Our favouriteAnd the clownfish - the 'sunset' pic of snorkelingLittle black opes in a white coralAnd blue ones in a yellow soft coral

And that’s just the beginning. Tomorrow we’ll continue to explore the local reef and it’s little fish and plentiful corals. If the weather holds up as promised, we’ll be sailing to Namena on Saturday. There the two will be shown the true, untouched beauty of tropical sealife. Expect some nice pics on our return !

Posted in Animals, diving, Pics, Travel | 2 Comments

Namena – Part 2

After spending the first hours snorkeling around the anchorage, on the second day we sailed towards the outer reef where the ‘proper’ dive spots are to be found. We take Jason’s Yacht and tow two dingies in the back. Not far from the northern entrance to the reef we put the SY Bodhran on a mooring and use the dinghies to explore the reef.

A turtle in the anchorageBertel, me and Melaniea little GrouperUnicornfish

The sea is calm and the visibility under water quite good. Sitting in the dinghy we can make out the dive spots and decide to go for a quick one at ‘Grand Central’ while Jason and Melanie are snorkeling with the incoming tide and drift over the reef back towards the yacht.

Hello, Nemo !Top-side of the rock at 'Arkansas'A little white-tip shark at the 'Four Sisters'Oh the beauty. Just imagine: that's all alive and moving. It's just unbelievable !!

The second stop is at ‘Arkansas’ – a lonely coral column extending from -25m up to about -4m. While Bertel and Jason dive circles in the deep I’m free diving and again amazed by the sheer beauty of this site. The soft coral on the top looks like wheat fields (hence the name: Arkansas) and the rock is surrounded by colorful soft & hard coral, lots of ‘unicorn fish’ and numerous other species. We stay for quite some time and are all happy we made the decision to visit Namena.

More little fishes - still at 'Kansas'Flashes of color and form. Tropical coral fish.At the drop-off.Blue in blue.

During the next days we also explore the southern reef and the dive sites called ‘Chimneys’ and ‘Mushrooms’ as well as the ‘Four Sisters’. All of them breathtaking beautiful. Timing is important tough: the sites on the northern side should be visited shortly after high tide, while the ones at the southern side are best visited at low tide. The difference between slack water and out- or incoming tide is huge and the currents can get quite strong. If one got the timing wrong, it’s definately worth waiting in the dinghy for the current to change.

And more little fishMe, freediving.Again at the drop-off.Diving at the 'Mushrooms'

During the final dive at the mushrooms I dropped our camera which neatly sank into a depth of about 25m – which I guess it could survive – but despite wasting a full bottle of air on it, I still couldn’t find it again. So for the time being those will be the last underwater shots. Damn ! The Nikon AW110 was an awesome all-round camera and I’ll definately miss it a lot.

Back at the reef in the anchorageOne of the more beautiful fish. Unfortunately I forgot the name.The circles show the sites we've visited.Weather is changing. Time to go back 'home'.

But good news for everyone who plans to visit Namena during the next months: When we arrived there was only one mooring at the anchorage and one about 0.5nm ESE from the northern channel. There are plans to put as much as five moorings near the island and numerous at the dive sites. That will make visiting those spots a lot easier for cruisers.

Thanks to Jason for many of those awesome photos. Please visit his blog to see more !

Posted in Animals, diving, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 4 Comments

Namena – Part 1

Even though the island of Namena lies only 25 miles from Savusavu it seems to be rarely visited by sailing vessels. I guess this is because there is not a lot information available about the island and (mostly) because there is no protected anchorage available. That means: ideally one should visit Namena in light easterly or with no wind at all.

The Suvarov finally sailing again.What a nice anchorage we have...Crystal clear water and lots of healthy coralThe snorkeling at the anchorage is already quite amazing.

We waited for some days and used the diminishing easterly to sail down to Namena, while during our stay we lie mostly becalmed and quite comfortable. ‘We’ that is the SY Suvarov, SY Odin and the SY Bodhran. Jason from Bodhran takes the mooring and we drop the anchor and 75m of chain in 23m of crystal clear water.

On the first day we payed our visit to the little ressort on the island and payed 30 Fiji Dollar for a permit to dive in the marine reserve  – which is good for one whole year.

Diving into the real beauty of Fiji: underwaterFishyAnother beautyStunning jellyfish

Even on the anchorage the coral are already quite impressive and the amount of fish is unbelievable. There are turtles, sharks, barracudas, groupers and endless little colorful tropical fishes around. During the first minutes I’m quite overwhelmed and don’t really know where too look… During the next days we will take the SY Bodhran and tow two dinghies towards the outer reef where the ‘real’ divespots can be found. Expect a lot more and even nicer pictures in the next posting.

Taking a picture of a clownfish is considered the sunset of underwater photograpy. ;-)Oh - speaking of.... Here you are.The skipper snorkeling...A coral peephole.

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Orion, the new year and a new chapter int the book ‘Engine Troubles’

Sorry. I’m really too lazy today to do the english translation. But I copied some pics from the german version of the blog entry:

Der Flughafen in SavusavuGui am check-inViola schaut mal, was die hier fuer schoene Sachen haben.Da kommt die Maschine !Pilot und Co-Pilotauf in's Flugzeugtraurige Gesichterein letzter BlickLuft im Wasserkreislauf ? Nein.Die elektrische TestpumpeDie vordere Haelfte des Pumpengehaeuses mit Bilgepumpe (ohne Impeller und 'kurzgeschlossen')Der hintere Teil des Pumpengehaeuses mit der WelleEin Wasserflugzeug landet und faehrt kurz danach quer durch den Ankerplatz zum Steg des Ressorts.Yanmar 3QM30H waterpump, side

Posted in Animals, Hardware, It's funny ! Laugh !, Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 16 Comments

Getting out of the Nakama Creek

Every now and then we excape the anchorage and get some fresh air out at the reef. Only four miles away there is the Cousteau Resort at the very end of the strip of land that encloses the Savusavu bay in the south. Out there, closer to the open sea the water is a lot nicer (although still far from clear), there is wind and the insects are less annoying.

Motorfahrt ueber spiegelglattes WasserSelbstportrait am BugWeihnachtliche Details im SchiffsinnerenDie Kinder gehen auf Landausflug

A little trip like that brightens the mood and once we hop into the water and have a look around in this big aquarium, the day is safed. The difference to the more eastern parts of the Pacific are big and the diveristy of fish and coral still amazes me. Especially as we’re not in a proper dive- or snorkelspot. For that one shoud go out to the smaller islands or visit the neighbouring Namena, only 25 miles from here. The diving there must be one of the best in the pacific and we will check it out sometime.

Viele Fische und Bruno und Silke (SY Tamora) im HintergrundEcht. Viele. Fische.Clownfische - die Kinder lieben sie.Mehr Fischlein

As you can see in one image, the Suvarov already got decorated and ready for Christmas. The kids had a lot of fun engarlanding the whole saloon, hanging stars, balls and little angels. Viola spent hours cutting colorful stars out of paper and decorating the cockpit dodger.  Otherewise there is not much reminding us of the year’s top consumption fesast. There are no huge masses running around on the streets, trying to get some last-minute gadgets, no decoration on houses or in shops and best of all: No stupid christmas songs !

Noch mehr FischliKleine Koralle mit noch kleinere FischleinWie im AquariumSieht aus wie Tiefsee, ist aber nur auf 6m unter einem kleinen Ueberhang.

To that effect, I want to wish all our readers and friends a verry happy christmas and a beautiful 2014 !

Posted in Animals, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 4 Comments

A few days in the past – The island Nuku in Tonga

Before leaving Tonga we spent a few more days at a little, lonely island called Nuku. We were already cleared out so we shouldn’t have stayed but it was just too hard to say good bye. See for yourself…. It’s crazy.

Nuku. Our own little island for three days.Not too bad - isn't it ?The perfect little beachBruno having endless fun in the crystal clear water

Haha.My beautiful little princess.A tropic bird.Splash !

The colors are just unbelievable.But still sometimes it's school timeViola concentrated at workFinally we lift up the anchor and set out towards Fiji...

Posted in Animals, Freedom, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 1 Comment

The island Kapa and the Swallows Cave

Our second stop in Vava’u was anchorage no. 7 in the west of the island Kapa. (Yes, the anchorages here are numbered so the local Mooring base can find it’s ships again.) The was anchorage even more quiet than the one before and the beach absolutely stunning ! We went snorkeling every day and were impressed that there is at least twice the amount of different corals compared to French Polynesia. That gets us even more excited to go further west where the coral is supposedly a lot more diverse than here.

Another beautiful beach of TongaA view of our backyardThe anchorage number seven with boats floating in mid air it seemsThe photographer at the mast head

We again stayed four days and enjoyed ourselfes (more on that in the next post). When leaving for Neiafu we made a stop after about 1.5 miles on the western extreme of the island. Located here is the Swallows Cave that can be accessed by dinghy. One has to stay on the sailboat though as the water is way too deep to anchor in front of the cave. Inside the cave the colors play with the water and as the name suggests, the ceiling is covered with swallow’s nests. A thing not to miss when visiting Tonga.

The entrance to the swallows cave on the western point of the island KapaGui and Bruno setting out for adventureEntering the dark cave (not easy to balance the levels as you see)Holes on the top show part of the vegetation

The birds nesting in the cave give it it's nameAmazing colors made by the extremely clear water A swarm of litle fish hiding out in the caveBack towards the entrance

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

Four days in Tonga

And the only thing I remember is doing laundry, laundry and laundry. As we ‘wet’ the bed(s), we had to wash everything. Mattresses, covers, bed linens, cushions, clothes, towels and also some clothes. Well today I think, we dropped the last two bags off at the Coconut Cafe who do a great job getting all the salt out of our fabrics.

Local fishing vessel in Neiafu.Drying the mattresses and bed linenExploring the shoresideThe man in the sea. Or just a little blue starfish ? (Photo by Bruno)

Otherwise we’ve been strolling through the village, got fresh groceries from the fantastic little market down at the harbour, met maaaaany sailors we saw passing through in Moorea. Also we try to make a decision where to head next: Fiji or New Zealand ? Right now I’m looking for a taifun-safe mooring in Fiji. If we get one, we’ll be sailing west. Otherwise we will receive our guest in a few days, spend another few weeks in those magnificent little islands of Vava’u and it’s south to NZ. But we’ll see….
Tomorrow we’ll be leaving Neiafu to check out some of the fantastic anchorages here. Expect some jaw dropping pics of the most beautiful beaches of the south seas in a few days. (You’ve been warned !)

Oh, and that also means: No internet these next days….

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

The Rancho Relaxo of the Seas has a new owner !

Sunday Morning we start our voyage towards Tahiti, where we arrive at 16h and tie up at the city pier. Today it’s Sunday program: dinner at the Roulott’s in the harbour and afterwards we take the kids to a childrens’s movie at the cinema – who knows where we will find the next cinema ?

Monday is work day: Gui, me and the kids march towards Fare Ute, Gui continues to the customs where she will negotiate the ‘Papeetisation’: If a ship changes owners here in french Polynesia, 26% of the value of the vessel have to be paid as a tax. But the Rancho Relaxo couldn’t be sold and we will give her as a present. Thanks to the persuasion of Gui and a very helpful agent we can lower the Papeetisation to next to nothing. It would be totally in Moitessier’s sense: We were extremely lucky when we had our crash landing and thanks to the help of so many friends and our families we got a second chance. Now we help somebody else and give our old ship without anything in return.

In the meantime I walk in that order to: ACE hardware 1, ACE hardware 2, dive shop, tool shop, Nautisport, Yamaha dealer, Sing Tun Hing Marine. At noon we meet for lunch as most shops and offices are closed. Afterwards we again visit: ACE1, ACE2, Nautisport, Sing Tun Hing, steel shop, AS Systems, Ocean 2000 und fully packed we get back to the ship. That’s really something. Marching the whole day in tropical heat with two children through the town without the little ones complaining even once ! At the ship we unload everything, put the new shortwave antenna on deck and only minutes later we’re on our way south towards the Taina Marina.

Tuesday, early in the morning I bring Gui ashore where she continues her oddysee: Papeete again to deliver papers to the agent, later to pick up my new sunglasses then all the way down to Taravao in the south of Tahiti where she orders new mast steps for the Suvarov, then to pick up seeds and two seedlings of the ‘Magic Tree’. In the mean time Christoph the new owner of the Rancho arrives and we show him the Rancho and start working. We have to repair the bilge pumps, replace the leaking stuffing box, check the fuel, start the engine, repair the steering and the kerosene stove and bend the sprayhood back to it’s original shape. We install a spare anchor at the bow and clear the deck, etc. At 18h the Rancho is ready and we’re all wrecked. We meet ashore to have a shower and a beer and call it a day.

Wednesday morning, Gui again travels to Papeete to finally pick up the fabrics for Coquito, while I get the Suvarov ready to leave and Christoph removes ten months worth of mussels and green stuff from the hull of the Rancho. At ten in the morning Gui arrives and we meet at the gas station where we get 120 liters of Diesel, Christoph brings the bottom part of Rancho’s old Mast on bord and we store about 50kg of fabrics. We set back out into the mooring field where we go alongside the Rancho and fill her tank with 20l Diesel and put the kayak on bord so Christoph has something that floats – just in case. At noon we’re ready and travel through the lagoon towards Papeete, followed by the Rancho. Christoph is at the steering and smiles like a child at christmas as we exit through the pass and find ourselves out on the Pacific again. For once the weather report was correct and indeed we have no wind and nearly no swell. We run under engine with five knots towards Moorea, the Rancho always 100m behind us. As we start dreaming of Tonga and Fiji and can’t think how it could get any better, a huge whale jumps out of the water just 200m in front of us ! Seconds later a younger whale follows and splashes back into the sea. We stand at the bow, shout ‘Uuuuh !!’ and ‘Aaaah !’, while we slowly pass the whales. What a crazy day ! Soon later two other whales follow us a bit towards the Cook’s Bay. At 16h we enter the Opunohu Bay and find ourselves surprised how much we think of this anchorage as our ‘home’ now. We throw the anchor while the Rancho is tied to the mooring that was prepard for her right in front of Christoph’s house.


The next months he will slowly restore the Rancho to her old beauty. And as both he and his wife are sailors the chances are quite good that soon the Rancho Relaxo of the Seas will set out for another amazing journey. Oh, wow. We’re sooo happy !!

Posted in Animals, Coquito, Freedom, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 3 Comments

Darrrr she blows !!

Yesterday when we came from shopping and sat down in the shadow of a tree to have a snack, I saw a whale blow just in front of us – outside the reef. Yeah. It’s ‘humpback season’. And to get our chance we filled the tank of Lorenz’ dinghy and mounted the big (40hp) engine. Today right after breakfast it was our chance: a mother whale and her calf came right to the entrance of the Opunohu bay.

Ten minutes later we were in the dinghy and zoomed out towards the pass. We hopped in the water and only seconds later those huge, magnificent mammals were coming right at us. I could feel my heartbeat soar up and had troubles holding the camera still but still managed to make some shots. The whales went out to sea again and followed the reef to the north, towards Cook bay. Again, we parked the dinghy in front and hopped into the water. This time we were even closer – Lorenz and me had to swim out of the way to not get ‘run over’ by the mother whale. Puuuh ! And although they seem to move in slow motion, they still do 5-6 knots. We followed them out into the open sea as far as we could but then lost them.

A memory for a lifetime. And a video to share with you:

Posted in Animals, Learning for life, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 8 Comments

Diving at the southern pass and on towards Raiatea

On the last day in Huahine we decided to make a little dinghy tour down to the pass in the south of the island. We ride in our dinghy through the crystal clear water of the lagoon and arrive about half an hour later. There are two reefs in between us and the pass. After the first one, the snorkeling gets more interesting and we find some beautiful clownfish.

I climb the second reef and enter the channel but the waves are too big and snorkeling is dangerous. But the surf waves are absolutely amazing. The swell enters the pass and the waves continue to run forever it seems. There are quite some surfers here and they are haveing a lot of fun. Next time we pack the board instead of the snorkel. But it was fun anyway…

Next day we leave to the neighbor island of Raiatea. We want to meet the SY Gobo and the SY Yasoo who both seem to be a little bit stuck here… ;-) The sail is beautiful and very fast with a nice wind of 17-20kn coming from the south. When we approach the peer in Oturoa, the crews of three boats fight to take our lines. After a chaotic maneuver we shut down the engine and have a beer in our cockpit. The crew of the SY Shambala is also here and just around the corner are the boats of our swedish friends.

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(Deutsch) Zurueck in der Zeitzone TAHT (UTC-10)

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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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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