Category Archives: Rancho Relaxo

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

Green steel ketch. Twice

This is weird, I thought: That boat there looks exactly like the one we’re waiting for. But shouldn’t it have a german flag ? And isn’t there too many kids on board ? (You never can be sure – it’s been two years since we last met.) So anyway to fulfill my duties as harbourmaster of Opunohu, I row over to say hello. The swedish family is very sympathetic and of course they know which boat we’re looking for: “Oh – you mean the Supermolli ? Well they should arrive any day now.”

Bruno didn’t mind – he was just too happy to have kids around that talk english that’s already quite something. So only minutes later they set out with the sailing dinghy and weren’t seen until late in the afternoon.

Yesterday, we’re installing the new membrane for the watermaker as I see yet another green steel ketch enter the bay. This time it’s no drill. It IS the Supermolli !! Bruno and Viola stand on the foredeck and start chanting while I make a few pictures. As soon as the anchor hits the ground we’re in the dinghy and on our way. Last time we saw each other was in Germany, two years ago. And that also was quite a coincidence – as is the whole story of our boats: It was us who actually wanted to buy the Supermolli in 2009 ! But then things developed differently and we started our voyage with the Rancho Relaxo.

Well now we can stop reading and commenting each others blog posts for a few weeks, I guess.

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

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

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Posted in Animals, Coquito, Kids, LosLocos, Pics, Rancho Relaxo, Suvarov, Travel | 1 Comment

Finished. And off to Berlin ! Yay !

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

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

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

(Deutsch) LosLocos in der aktuellen Nido

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

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

(Deutsch) Ein paar Antworten und die Rueckkehr der Sonne

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

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

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

An new home for the LosLocos

Two days ago I took my toothbrush and moved over to our new ship, the Suvarov. Despite me being quite lonely here it feels great ! The ship is so much bigger than the Rancho Relaxo and no more banging the head a hundered times a day. The windgen (a D-400) works way better than the Silentwind we had on the Rancho, the fridge doesn’t empty the batteries and we also got a new external WLAN antenna. No more sitting in the cockpit with the laptop !

Unfortunately I’m not getting much done these days. The weather is quite nasty. It’s raining a lot the last days and the wind is quite strong. This makes the dinghy rides between the boats a really wet exercise. But I got the most important things and the rest I will move as soon as the weather is improving (which will not be soon as it seems). In the meantime I’m trying to figure out all the switches, buttons, cables and hoses and make lists of things todo and to improve and to move… Uff. Enough work for months… But what else would I do ?

Posted in Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Suvarov, Work | 4 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

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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

(Deutsch) Kleiner Schadensbericht

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Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing | 3 Comments

Underwater damage, a movie

A few days after our accident, I tried to capture the damages on film. You can’t see much unless you pause the movie a lot of times, I guess. But anyway, here it is.

Posted in LosLocos, Rancho Relaxo, Sailing, Video | 5 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