Category Archives: Pics

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.

Posted in Argentina, LosLocos, Pics, Sailing, Suvarov | Comments Off

(Deutsch) Ein paar Antworten und die Rueckkehr der Sonne

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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

Squallkiting

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

Garry

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.

Posted in LosLocos, Pics, Press, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | Comments Off

(Deutsch) Mit der SY Pukuri nach Taravao

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

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 !

Posted in Pics, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | Comments Off

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

The last night on the Rancho

The last night. Wow. I didn’t think that this would happen. Happen at all and happen so fast. Tomorrow I’ll sleep on the Suvarov. Hopefully the weather will be better or all my packed things will get wet.

It’s a very sad moment. Using the stove a last time, brushing my teeth in the little bathroom a last time… But hey: Tomorrow I’ll be all the more happy. Especially as this weird, fast movement will have an end. The swell is still increasing and we’ll get a whopping 3.8m tomorrow. I’ll rather sleep on a ship with a mast by then.

Well. More tomorrow…

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

New neighbor

Today in the morning the SY Suvarov arrived and was parked right next to the Rancho Relaxo ! I can see my future home from where I’m sitting – yeeeee !!!

Tomorrow in the evening Bruno (the owner of the Suvarov) will fly to Europe and I will start moving our stuff over ! I can’t wait….. Ouuu yeah !!

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

(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

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