Category Archives: Pics

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

Interview on Segelradio

Shortly before the arrival of my family, I did a long interview with Hinnerk Weiler of Segelradio. You can listen to it HERE. It’s in German. So not sure, why I’m writing about this on the english side of the blog…

Oh – and yes. We’re all happy together again. The first day after the LosLocos returned, we sailed back to Moorea again. And here we’re right now enjoying the beach, the palms and the beautiful water while being happy to be together again. Soon I’m gonna post some more pics and stories. – Yes, many things happened already….

Posted in Coquito, Kids, Links, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov | 6 Comments

Hoisting the colors

The stormy months didn’t pass unnoticed. The little french flag on our stern is nearly gone – only a piece of the blue stripe is left. Since it will take some more weeks until we can legally put the austrian flag again, I put a new french flag today. To confuse the other sailors a little, I also set our ‘crew’ flags on the port side of the mast: a little austrian flag for me and the kids and the argentinian one for Gui.

Why that ? Well, tomorrow I’ll finally go sailing again ! Yay ! I wonder if the anchor already transformed into one giant coral brick after being buried in the sand for months. Never before I spent such a long time in one spot. I’ve been here since the 22.12.2012. To stay put for that long time also means a lot of work before the ship is fit for sea again. I spent a whole day moving thingsa around and finding a safe place for all the stuff that was just lying around the last weeks. I was doing laundry, cleaned the dinghy, and got the deck in order. I also put the two additional anchors, including chain and rope back in the aft locker. And since I’m gonna need better propulsion with our little dinghy, I also repaired the oars, sanded them and gave them a nice varnish. Since the paint can was already open, I also gave the wood in the cockpit a new coat. It’s really impressive how the tropical sun literally burns the paint away.
And tomorrow in the morning, I’m gonna sail to Tahiti to pick up my family monday night. I hope, we’ll be back in a few days as I really want to enjoy my favorite anchorage together with my loved ones.

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(Deutsch) Ein paar Antworten und die Rueckkehr der Sonne

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Posted in Coquito, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov | 7 Comments


What do normal people do when a passing cyclone sends big waves while a squall is on the horizon ? Exactly: They get their surfboards out ! As I watch the neighbors secure the dinghy on the cabin roof, the kitesurfers zoom out towards the reef. Over and into, through and above the waves. Those guys really know how to get the best out of this crazy weather.

Posted in Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 1 Comment


In these last days all talk revolves around one thing: Garry. That’s the cyclone that developed in the vincinity of Samoa and is now on the way to pass us in the west. Right now it’s a category 3 and the forecast was not at all good. Locally we should have had 6.5m of swell and wind up to 40-50 knots. But right now it seems that the storm will not be that bad and it will pass with quite some distance.

But even then I still did some preparations: The main anchor is buried deep in the sand and we have 55m of chain out. That gives us a scope of 10:1 and should be quite safe. I also put a second anchor on the bow, ready to throw overboard. And we have another one on the stern – just in case. I also removed the big sunroof and removed all the loose stuff on deck. There’s enough food and water on board to last a few weeks so I’d say we’re prepared for bad weather.

Other than that I’ve been focussing on changing flags. I’ve sent emails to the insurance and to get an official measurement-paper for the boat. That is needed to apply for the austrian flag. It’s all complicated and being on the other side of the world doesn’t make it any easier. But I guess, we have that done in a few weeks.

What else has happened. Ah, yeah, there was the thing with my bank card. It arrived with my christmas parcel a week ago. The thing is: for it to work, the card first has to be activated at an ATM of the Berliner Volksbank. Pitty that those are 20000km away. Well, the bank will send another card that doesn’t need that activation. In the meantime I’ll just try to sell some unneeded equipment for cash. Heh.

Posted in Berlin, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 2 Comments

Late shift

The webshop for Coquito is advancing faster than I expected. That’s mostly thanks to the weather of course. One meter beside me there are 30 knots of wind and horizontal rain – I better stay inside. Because of the sound I can’t sleep and try to work on the computer again. Suddenly I hear  noise…. a sailboat drifts past the port window….

The small, red ketch from Switzerland stops right between the Suvarov and the Domani. The anchor finally took hold after a 100m downwind ride. Luckily there is enough room in between the boats to stay like this until the wind eases. After the situation calms down a bit, I place myself at the desk again to edit CSS und Smarty templates.

Posted in Coquito, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 1 Comment

Passing through

Although the work on the ship(s) – isn’t finished, I’m currently telecommuting. Hehehehe. Wow. That’s definately a word from the last century. I had to think about it because working over the internet is so common, discreet nowadays – nobody even thinks about it. But here in the South Pacific access to the rest of the world (whichever way) is quite expensive. As a result there are no open hotspots. So I used the precious bandwidth to download all my work and setup the software locally. Finally, the webshop for Coquito gets some attention.

In the afternoon the wind drops, it’s getting too hot in front of the computer and I hop in the water. I’m quite perplexed as I look around and see the front that’s moving closer and is sucking in all the wind. I hop into the dinghy and row to shore, meet a friend, get a baguette, some apples and 10 minutes later I’m back on bord.  The neighbors are also starting to move: Pascal is strapping his dinghy down on deck and Lawrence removes the sun roof.

A few minutes later, the wind hits, but the anchor is well set. We’re in 4m of water with 40m of chain out. That’s quite safe. I go inside, cook something and two hours later the front has passed. Those little squalls and fronts become more common in the last weeks. I guess the rainy season is now at it’s best. Or to say it differently: the watertank is – and stays – always full. Nice.

Posted in Observations, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 1 Comment

The christmas present arrived !

My christmas box was sent away on the 9th of December 2012. Yesterday it arrived ! About three weeks late for christmas, I finally got the cookies, my grandmother and my sister made for me. Altthough they were more than a month underway, the gingerbread is fantastic ! I also received the much needed bank card – the old one expired on 31.12.2012. It feels a bit unsafe to be here, alone in the south seas without the possibility of getting cash. Heh – not that we would have very much but still…

Also in the parcel: Our very first self written article in a printed magazine. The Austrian sailing monthly Yachtrevue printed it in Dezember 2012. Although I wasn’t 100% happy with a few of the minor edits, the final story is quite good. Here’s the article as PDF, sorry – german only.

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(Deutsch) Mit der SY Pukuri nach Taravao

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Posted in Pics, Sailing, Travel | Comments Off

It’s going forward

When starting to work on a new boat, everything moves extremely slow in the beginning. It quite frustrating to follow every single hose and cable to it’s end. The flooding of our bilges also didn’t improve my mood. But even when moving forward in tiny little steps, it’s still the right direction.

And this means that now I got all our stuff from the Rancho stored away, we have a seawater pump in the kitchen, the freshwater system is also working again, the water maker is installed and working and the solar panels are mounted. And finally I’m happy again. Lots of work done and now we have energy and fresh water again.

After a week of painful calm in which the heat on board was unbearable, a few hours ago the wind returned. This is another thing that makes the skipper smile. First, because the climate is a lot better and the windgenerator will produce power for me. And second because I have to get back to Tahiti and for that I need some wind. The lonesome Rancho Relaxo is still waiting for me in Faaa and I have to get the rest of our stuff and a few more things that I have to deinstall. It’s probably just gonna be a few days but I’m looking forward to the moment when I only have to takle care of one ship again.

Christmas and new year I spent with Jean Claude and his daughters. It was beautiful to spend those days together and this was also the main reason to come here. 2013 began quite amazing. I wish it stays that way !

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First sailing with the Suvarov

Ouuu, how great it felt ! Finally on the way again. Beautiful !! Unexpectedly everything went exactly as planned. I finished storing the stuff, I brought from the Rancho Relaxo, got the dinghy up and got ready to sail. At 1pm I left the anchorage and sailed through the southern pass towards the open sea.

The wind soon picked up and the Suvarov soon was gliding along with six knots with a steady breeze from NE. No chaos on the inside and everything fine on the outside. Despite constant rain, the sail was really lovely. At 17:30pm I arrived at the Opunohu Bay in Moorea and threw the anchor in turquoise water. 100 points, perfect !!

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | 10 Comments

Christmas holiday

I decided to use the christmas holidays for a little vacation. Where I’m going ? Moorea is the planned destination.

The Rancho is completely empty (except the front cabin) and all the gear I need to work on – solar panels, watermaker, SSB is on board the Suvarov. Our slightly degraded, deflatable dinghy is tied to Rancho Relaxo and Bruno’s Pinguin swimms in the back of the new boat. The mooring for the Rancho I paid for up until new year – I’m actually ready to go.
Weren’t it for the crates, bags and baskets of stuff in between those piles of clothes, tools, music instruments and books. Somebody has got to clean up that mess before we head out into the ocean tomorrow ! I have a feeling that I should get up early tomorrow if I plan to leave around noon.

Uh, and it’s gonna be the first sailing with the new boat. Also first time singlehanding – even more exciting ! Yay. But I’m soooo looking forward to that, I can’t tell you ! After having spent soo much troubling days and weeks here in this anchorage in Tahiti, I’m really ready for a change of landscape !
Also, I wanna see if the christmas present from home arrived yet …

Happy christmas everybody !!

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

Moving the household

Finally I’m getting something done ! Today was the first day in over a week that it didn’t rain. Not at all – it’s unbelievable. Right after breakfast I jumped into the dinghy and started filling crates and bags with stuff from the kitchen, bathroom, aft cabin and saloon. It’s still quite slow as I have to pack everything, get it into the dinghy without dropping something. Then wrestle it on board the Suvarov and find a new location for all the stuff.

But still- half of the Rancho is already empty. I also switched the toilets the other day. – One of the only things that will actually profit from the rain.
After a sundowner with my neighbor Chico, I emptied the last crates with things from the bathroom. Tomorrow I’m gonna get the rest. Yay !

I only have pictures of rain. Sorry.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Suvarov, Work | 3 Comments

Rainy days in the south pacific

Just as every day of the last week, today we’ve had several rain showers. Right now there are in between four and six low pressure systems creating a big mess in the South Pacific. Those systems formed in a line stretching from Polynesia to the north of Fiji – over a distance of 3000 miles ! Here where I am, the lows will get crushed in between two gigantic high pressure systems, while the ones on the western end will probably converge and create the first tropical depression of this year. Maybe they could even become a Typhoon.

Boring ? Well, in between yotties it’s not just smalltalk – it’s it’s pretty essential to discuss weather issues. It’s about whether the anchorage is safe or it becomes a trap. It’s about swell, wind and rain and the possibility to take the tender and get to (dry?) land. Or in my case if it’s possible to bring stuff from our old boat to the new. Every day in the morning there’s about 15cm of water in the dinghy. And as soon as it’s bucketed out, the next shower will fill it again, it seems. Not exactly helping if you have to transport clothes, food, spare parts and tools. So I’m trying to occupy myself reading instruction manuals for all the gadgets that are on the new ship. I’m discovering hoses for the engine ventilation and try to make sense of all the cables that disappear somewhere underneath floorboards or behind cabinets. Yesterday I was searching for about 30 minutes to discover a switch for the light in the engine compartment. I guess, it’s gonna take some time until I fully understand our new ship.

Next ToDos are the replacement of the leaking toilet (our old one was actually newer and nicer) and the preparation to install the water maker. But right now I should actually not think of things to do but rather get our stuff moved. It’s bad enough that I look over to the Rancho Relaxo a hundered times a day. I’d rather only have to take care of one boat. So hopefully we’ll get a little less rain the next days so I get something done.

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