Safety On Board 732 mini doc

The Classe Mini has done a lot to improve safety on board their minis. Sailing and racing on the Atlantic has become less lethal by the year. The list of safety measures on board a mini is quite extensive. Have a look!

732 mini doc - aerial view - safety measures - c blondsign by Eike Schurr
732 mini doc – aerial view – safety measures – c blondsign by Eike Schurr

Ever since the first boats of Classe Mini have started sailing, quite a few sailors have lost their life. Especially in the early Classe Mini days. No big surprise, really. They are tiny boats racing on and across the Atlantic, only 6,5m long. Over the last years, Classe Mini has introduced many safety measures to make sailing a Mini much safer. Fatal incidents hardly ever occur nowadays.

Good news indeed, not only for Lina Rixgens. Lina has put together an overview of the various safety items on her Mini 732 mini doc. I find it quite amazing how much stuff fits on such a small boat – and I am not even talking about those seven plus sails used for sailing. Continue reading “Safety On Board 732 mini doc”

My Organisational Challenge With walk1000miles

1.000 miles – 1.609 kilometres. That’s the distance I want to walk or run in 2017. However, one or the other restriction is supposed to make it a bit more difficult, hence my organisational challenge. It is not supposed to be too easy to accomplish, this is a charity event (or project) and my supporters want to have some fun for their money (meaning: see me struggling).

walk1000miles - brief break in the woods

Ok, it is not that bad. Not really. Five months into my walk1000miles challenge I can already say that physically it is not a problem at all (walking, that is; running is indeed a problem). The organisational challenge, which I had anticipated, has now arrived. Bad news. And good news at the same time.

What is the biggest (self-inflicted) restriction?

Well, if every single step were to count, I would probably be very close to 1.000 miles already. But that would have been way too easy. The only steps, metres and miles that count towards the walk1000miles total are the ones I specifically walk or run with my donation project in mind. This means, for example: Continue reading “My Organisational Challenge With walk1000miles”

Basics On Microplastics In Oceans

Whenever I have read up on the topic of waste in oceans recently, I usually found a reference to microplastics in oceans as well. I kind of knew what it was all about. At the same time, I always felt I had no idea. Here are answers to some basic question regarding microplastics in oceans.

plastic pollution Kathmandu c Dieter Schütz at pixelio.de
plastic pollution Kathmandu c Dieter Schütz at pixelio.de

Have you ever wondered what microplastics really are? Where they can be found? And why we should worry about them? Have a look at the questions and answers below. And if you have more information and additional resources, please let me know.

More plastic than fish in oceans – a shocking thought

A report issued in January 2016 by the World Economic Forum contains the startling claim that, by 2050, the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish. The possible effects on food chains and ecosystems mean this is a problem for everyone. And not just for those who value and enjoy the ocean for the leisure pursuits, or relaxation.

“Plastic” does not only include the larger pieces that can easily be identified. Microplastics seem to be the more dangerous ones. But what really are they? Continue reading “Basics On Microplastics In Oceans”

Andreas Deubel’s Mini Transat Campaign

Andreas Deubel will complete his Mini Transat campaign in 2017.
Oh no, not another brief portrait of a Classe Mini sailor… I can assure you: it is not. I have briefly talked to Andreas and we have exchanged lengthy emails. Why am I writing about him? Because his background and especially his challenges are just so very close to my very own.

joys of sailing a mini (c andreasdeubel.com)
joys of sailing a mini (c andreasdeubel.com)

Just to clarify this upfront: “close to my own challenges” does not mean I intend to sail the Mini Transat. Or any other adventure like this one. As of today, that is.

No, I was rather referring to time juggling all sorts of activities. Sailing, training, work and – most importantly – family. How Andreas Deubel has done that in the past is something I wanted to know. So here we go, the result of our chats and emails.

Continue reading “Andreas Deubel’s Mini Transat Campaign”

Lina Wins Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth Award

Last week, the German Offshore Youth Award has been handed over. Lina Rixgens had received an invitation for that very official looking ceremony – and won.

Lina Rixgens - winner of the Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth AwardLina has sailed my boat, mini doc, all of last year to qualify for the Mini Transat. She took part in various regattas, sailed in winds up to 8 Bft. and in addition to that she also continued with her medical studies. This year she will have a break from her studies and concentrate on sailing in Classe Mini regattas. She is keen to start training with her training group in La Rochelle – and I am keen to finally go sailing with her.

German Offshore Award

Anyway, in January Lina received an invitation to join the celebrations for the German Offshore Award. This award has been around for ten years now. Its intention is to honour the achievements during offshore regattas by German owned boats. It has been initiated by the German Offshore Owners Association, and the Senate of Hamburg is hosting the award ceremony – in the venerable surroundings of the Hamburg Town Hall. Continue reading “Lina Wins Wehring & Wolfes Offshore Youth Award”

Winter Hiking For walk1000miles

Had you told me five years ago that I would happily be doing some winter hiking – “no chance” would have been the answer. Now here I am, clocking up miles. In winter. And (mostly) great fun it is.

Tough winter hiking?

walk1000miles - in freshly fallen snow

Ok, easy stuff, the winter has been really kind so far. No heavy snow storms, no snowbanks, rain and mud not too bad either. It could have been a lot worse the first couple of weeks this year. And that is already the summary for “winter hiking made easy”. Now that I am writing this, I guess one depression after the other will be blown my direction…

Something to celebrate

Now, seriously, the first minor milestone of my walk1000miles challenge has been reached. Yes, total mileage is now in the three-digit area. The “100” on my walk1000miles challenge is history (here you can find the tracker). Last week I have passed that first milestone, and I am ready to tackle the remaining miles.

Big party then, or at least a small celebration?

Continue reading “Winter Hiking For walk1000miles”

crazy4sailing – What About You?

crazy4sailing is not something I have made up (although I clearly am crazy for it). It is a wonderful combination of a couple of words. It is a state of mind. It is the problem of many spouses. And it is a pretty cool brand.

beautiful sunset at anchorage in Sejerø

Quite a while ago I have published a post on “Why do you like sailing“? This article has created lots of amazing responses, be it in the comments, emails sent directly to me as well as feedback on Google+ and Facebook. The range of thoughts was vast, mainly going in the direction of
– freedom
– peace of mind
– be focused (nothing else matters).

Are you a sailor?

Then you might recognise one of the following situations: Continue reading “crazy4sailing – What About You?”

walk1000miles For Charity

Lots of other participants use their walk1000miles challenge to collect and donate for a specific charity. All the funds coming in for my miles walked in 2017 I will donate to the children’s cancer ward at the UKE in Hamburg.

walk1000miles for kinder-uke.de (c Kinder UKE)
walk1000miles for kinder-uke.de (c Kinder UKE)

In 2017 I aim to walk (or run) a total of at least 1000 miles. Some background information on this walk1000miles challenge and my reasons for doing it I have talked about in a previous post. This post here is my info-page on donations and how you can participate and help.

Walk for charity – of course!

Having signed up to this challenge beginning of January, the first couple of days were fun simply being outside. Get fresh air, exercise, clock up miles.

But then – doubts started creeping in… Was I to do it just for myself? Simply to stay fit? I don’t need it to get over a major crisis or problem, don’t need it to feel good. So, what has inspired me in the first place to sign up? It was David and his post on Potty Adventures about the walk1000miles for charity. Continue reading “walk1000miles For Charity”

walk1000miles – My 2017 Challenge

#walk1000miles - 2017 poster
#walk1000miles – 2017 poster

On 03. January I signed up for the 2017-edition of the walk1000miles challenge. A post on the great family hiking site Potty Adventures was so inspiring I simply had to. What is the walk1000miles all about? And will you join as well?

What is the aim of the walk1000miles challenge? Go outside. Walk. Enjoy fresh air. Get closer to nature again. Talk to people instead of messaging.

All you need to do is walk (and record the details of your walk). Be it during lunch-breaks, with the dog, to the pub, to work, for a one-day or a longer hike. As long as you are active outside and are walking, it all counts towards your total mileage covered. Continue reading “walk1000miles – My 2017 Challenge”

Kids Research Microplastics In Mussels

Is it true that microplastics in mussels will harm humans? To answer this and a few other question, a small team of very young researchers entered a nationwide contest. Their topic won them a five day research trip on ALDEBARAN, a professional research sailing yacht.

checking out microplastics in mussels (c meereswettbewerb.de)
checking out microplastics in mussels (c meereswettbewerb.de)

In summer 2017, my eldest daughter will move from primary school to grammar school. She very well knows which grammar school she wants to attend (and, luckily, we agree). I was quite surprised to find out that some kids from her school-to-be took part in a contest organised by “Deutsche Meeresstiftung” (German Sea Foundation). Their topic: research the concentration of microplastics in the North Sea. In addition, do microplastics in mussels change the mussels’ ability to filter sea water? And how many pieces of microplastics can actually be found in mussels? Continue reading “Kids Research Microplastics In Mussels”

Lina Needs To Wait A Little Longer

The (first) wait is over. Today was the day lots of sailors had so eagerly expected. The first version of the Mini Transat 2017 starters’ line-up has been published.

Lina Rixgens has kicked off her Mini Transat CampaignLina Rixgens has successfully passed all qualification requirements for the Mini Transat 2017. She has enrolled on the very first day the list opened, and since then it has been a waiting game. And the wait needs to continue, unfortunately.

Today the organisers of the Mini Transat 2017 published the first version of the official starting line-up. Lina is on position 5 of the waiting list – not ideal and, of course, it would have been better to be a confirmed starter today already. But at least she is on the list at all. Continue reading “Lina Needs To Wait A Little Longer”

Two Short Hikes Near Bad Staffelstein

What do you do when your family does not want to go for longer hikes? Yes, plan and organise short hikes. In late autumn, we went for two colourful short hikes near Bad Staffelstein.

colourful autumn near Bad StaffelsteinThe last week of this year’s autumn school holidays offered a great opportunity: our kids wanted to stay alone at my parents’ place. This may sound “normal” to lots of folks, for us it isn’t. My parents live something like 550km away.

Less than an hour’s drive from my parents place is Bad Staffelstein, a cute little town in Franconia. The “Bad” in the city name means quite the opposite from the English “bad”, it stands for “spa town”. So, hotel booked, kids taken care of, and off we went.

Continue reading “Two Short Hikes Near Bad Staffelstein”

Seehamster Started It All For OEOO

It does not always have to be the cleaning of plastic in oceans that gets attention from the public. Seehamster (Sea Hamster) has made some swimmers in Southern Bavaria really happy (and Bavaria is a long way from the sea).

Seehamster on a lake (c One Earth One Ocean)
Seehamster on a lake (c One Earth One Ocean)

One Earth – One Ocean (OEOO), an association aiming to free the oceans from plastic waste, has built some very interesting clean-up boats. I have already posted some lines on their catamaran Seekuh, starting its clean-up mission in Hong Kong beginning of 2017.

The one having started it all for OEOO, however, is a tiny boat called Seehamster. Its looks might be, well, “harmless”. But it is efficient in getting quite a lot of unnecessary stuff out of the water. Continue reading “Seehamster Started It All For OEOO”

All You Need To Know About Celestial Navigation

When thinking about celestial navigation, the very first thing coming to my mind is a sextant. There is, however, a whole lot more to it than just that. Viki Moore has put together an awesome series of articles on everything related to celestial navigation.

sextant with explanations and details (c sextantbook.com)
sextant with explanations and details (c sextantbook.com)

Viki wants to sail around the world. If there is one sailor qualified to do so, then it is her. She has more nautical miles in her sailing books than most sailors I know. Right now, she is studying for her RYA Ocean Yachtmaster exam – and for her, one way to learn all the stuff required is to write it down neatly. Plus, share it with lots of other folks worldwide.

This she has done also for celestial navigation. Continue reading “All You Need To Know About Celestial Navigation”

Can Football Save The Oceans?

Save the oceans? Football? You will very likely think that I have gone completely bonkers. But… Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have joined the mission to clean up the oceans.

Xabi Alonso, Bayern Munich, for the oceans (c adidas)
Xabi Alonso, Bayern Munich, for the oceans (c adidas)

It was two days ago when I heard that FC Bayern Munich will play this week’s Bundesliga match against TSG Hoffenheim in shirts made of ocean plastic. As I was absolutely surprised by this I wanted more background information and powered up my laptop. What did I find? Not only Bayern Munich was going to wear those adidas x Parley shirts, but also Real Madrid in one of their upcoming matches.

Little (ok, nothing!) did I know of all that. So, what’s the background and aim of that one-off ocean plastics kit hype? What has made those clubs support the quest to save the oceans? Continue reading “Can Football Save The Oceans?”