Sailing Rebels Leave Cancer Astern

wonderful sea and waves (www.segelrebellen.com)
wonderful sea and waves (www.segelrebellen.com)

After a successful cancer therapy the true challenge for many is to properly re-start their life again. Goal of the Sailing Rebels is to recharge batteries, build up mental strength and increase self-confidence for young adults with or post cancer. Their straightforward motto: f*ck cancer, go sailing.

Marc Naumann has been through it twice, his brain tumor is now hopefully gone for good. Despite chemotherapy having knocked him about heavily he finished his law studies – and is currently working as a skipper. He has set up an organization called Segelrebellen (Sailing Rebels), and this is their concept. Continue reading “Sailing Rebels Leave Cancer Astern”

Barcelona World Race 2015 Finished

Finally, my chance to get some proper sleep again: The 2015 edition of the Barcelona World Race has come to an end. With the winners having crossed the finish line on 25. March already, the last boat has now also returned to Barcelona.

Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat (c Thierry Martinez)
Barcelona World Race – Cheminées Poujoulat (c Thierry Martinez)

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam made it a quick one: It took them only 84 days to race around the world on their Open 60 Cheminées Poujoulat. Five days later Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill, José Munoz) arrived in second place, joined two days later by GAES Centros Auditivos (Anna Corbella, Gerard Marín).

Continue reading “Barcelona World Race 2015 Finished”

Crashtest Dehler 31

Is fiberglass (or glass-reinforced plastic, GRP) really suited for cruising yachts? What about those submerged obstacles potentially damaging the boat beyond repair while under way? Quite a few years ago a Dehler 31 had deliberately been put in major agony, needing to cope with all sorts of floating menaces.

This video I have watched so many times already. I am still excited about the Dehler 31’s behaviour and how she handled everything thrown at her. For a brief overview, here are the film’s main characters, in order of appearance:
– Dehler 31 (protagonist, getting in trouble with all the other film characters)
– steel barrel, 200 l (1x)
– trunk (1x)
– steel platform, 1,5 t (4x)
– stone mole (yes – mole! 3x; starting at minute 4:03)
– speed: 6,5 knots.

Continue reading “Crashtest Dehler 31”

sunshine4kids – Fleet Of Hope

To quite a few kids life has shown its merciless, dark side already. An organization called “sunshine4kids” aims to bring a bit of hope (and sunshine) back into their lifes.

sunshine4kids - dancing on the beachOne or both parents dead, themselves or their siblings fatally ill, abused in the past, parents drug addicts, the list could go on. Some kids have experienced and lived through extremely negative events during their first years on this planet. The effect this might have had on their personality I can only try to imagine.

sunshine4kids wants to bring back to those young ones self-confidence, hope and smiles. They try to distract them from their day-to-day environment, team them up with kids with a similar background. Also, engage them in a slightly challenging outdoor activity. This is the main plan and idea behind an organization called sunshine4kids.

Continue reading “sunshine4kids – Fleet Of Hope”

I Am The Ocean

Once you start looking at a certain topic, you can see related information everywhere. This is also the case with my recent posts about plastic pollution in oceans.

Last week I stumbled upon this fantastic little video, Harrison Ford being the speaker of “The Ocean”. It is part of a small series of videos with well known celebrities lending their voices to some really great shots and film sequences, and it all touches pressing environmental topics: mother nature, ocean, rainforest, soil, water, redwood, coral reef, flower. Julia Roberts, Penélope Cruz and Robert Redford are also amongst the speakers – great stuff indeed. Continue reading “I Am The Ocean”

Plastic Pollution In Oceans – Potential Solution(s)

After decades of ignoring plastic debris in our oceans and its effect on water, wildlife and humans, the situation seems to be getting out of control. What is there for us to do? The not so good news: There is no single solution to the plastic waste problem. Some slightly better news: Various possibilities exist or are about to be called into existence. Let’s have a look at some of those solutions.

bird's cadaver showing not digested plasticIn a previous post I have had a look at the so-called “problem domain” regarding the plastic pollution in our oceans.

What can we do to minimize, if not eradicate the long term impact to our complex planet Earth?

The main steps for a solution, at least as of today, seem to be:

1. do not use (and produce) plastic at all, or at least reduce consumption
2. clean up plastic wherever it can be found
3. stop plastic being spewed into oceans
4. clean up the oceans.

Continue reading “Plastic Pollution In Oceans – Potential Solution(s)”

Today’s Partial Solar Eclipse

How unprepared can one be when wanting to watch and take photos of a solar eclipse happening in the backyard? I should have lookep up the exact time, and it would also have helped to check the battery status of the camera before the event.

solar eclipse 2015 Hamburg cAndreasSchmidtUp until today I had never shown any major interest in watching solar eclipses. What is so exciting about it getting dark for a couple of minutes? It does, in normal circumstances, happen every night.

Ok, it is a rare event when the moon fully or partially blocks the sunlight reaching planet Earth. This happens only something like two to five times per year all over this world. And today, with it all taking place right here in my garden, I might just as well watch it.

That was the plan. Plan B, to skip this one and watch it the next time my garden was the stage for it, would not really work too well: 66 years to go.
Continue reading “Today’s Partial Solar Eclipse”

Unplanned Morning Walk

hometown castle - Schloss Ahrensburg (no sun, no snow)
hometown castle – Schloss Ahrensburg (no sun, no snow)

Sometimes, unplanned stuff is pretty good. This is not something I have just learned today.

However, this morning, just before leaving for dropping off the little one at her kindergarten an idea crossed my mind. After waving her Good Bye I would go directly to the library. The time until it opens I could spend having a wake-up morning walk.

Time available: close to two hours.

Continue reading “Unplanned Morning Walk”

Cruising With Kids

Sailing around the world, kids on board, having the time of your life. Really? One who certainly knows is amazing Dini Martinez, s/v Happy Dancer. Enjoy her wonderful, inspiring and encouraging article.

cruising_with_kids_a_navigator_is_bornWe’ve been living aboard Happy Dancer, our Moody 425 centre cockpit sturdy sailing boat for over eight months now. We, that’s me, a 30 year old yogini from down under, a 34 year old Argentinean accountant aka Papa, and our 3.5 and 1.5 year old sons. The youngest one was a mere three months old when we sold all our belongings in Sydney and left Australia to sail through and from the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading “Cruising With Kids”

Plastic Pollution In Oceans – The Problem

Try this: Enter “plastic pollution oceans” into your search engine of choice, then click on pictures – still smiling? Thousands of tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. The effect on wildlife, economies and – ultimately – us cannot be denied and is immense.

marine debris on Hawaiian coast
marine debris on Hawaiian coast (Wikipedia)

Less than a hundred years ago plastic floating around in oceans, littering beaches and polluting birds, fish and other wildlife was unheard of. The waters were not clean back then either. But whatever the kind of pollution might have been in those days, at least it was something planet Earth and mankind could get rid of again, eventually. With plastic having turned up in our lives – and making it quite a bit easier on one end or the other – this has changed dramatically. Continue reading “Plastic Pollution In Oceans – The Problem”

Endangered Species: German Traditional Ships

“Not happy” is very likely the current state of many owners of traditional ships in Germany.  About a third of all traditional ships have stopped operating in the last couple of years. The overall situation could indeed be a lot better. What happened? And what is the way forward?

Ernestine (as seen on traditionsschiffe.info)
Ernestine (as seen on traditionsschiffe.info)

Getting the operating license for a traditional ship had been difficult before. And owners as well skippers struggled more and more since 2001. An increasingly demanding checklist needed to be adhered to to get the desired license. Also, a confirmation that the ship in question was indeed a “traditional ship” needed to be obtained. And that has proven to carry lots of potential for disagreement and misunderstanding between all parties involved. Continue reading “Endangered Species: German Traditional Ships”

Cameras Used So Far

Apart from all the text on this website quite a few pictures can be viewed in the various articles. Various folks have asked me repeatedly which cameras I have used. Also, what were the detailed settings, what about the lens, why have you not used a flash, etc. Here is a brief list that will hopefully answer the very basic question of which cameras I have used. As I am not a professional photographer, I do hope the disappointment regarding the below is not too big. Continue reading “Cameras Used So Far”

Mini Transat – Dream Or Nightmare?

Braveheart or Madman? I am very likely not the only one who gets odd looks when talking about the Mini Transat. Depending on whom you are talking to, reactions vary from verbal shoulder padding to secretly calling a mental home.

Classe Mini 6.50 boat (D2V2)
Classe Mini 6.50 boat (D2V2)

The boat is 6,50 metres long, the Atlantic a lot larger; waves are (not only) sometimes higher than the boat is long; in addition to that, the singlehanded sailors are short of sleep for the entire race. If one person did that once – ok, it would be a challenge and an adventure. But every other year close to a hundred sailors race across the Atlantic to compete in the Mini Transat. Why? And: why not?

Continue reading “Mini Transat – Dream Or Nightmare?”

Sailing Boat: Motor Or Not

After having read yet another great article by Viki Moore (Astrolabe Sailing) I could not stop thinking about a topic that had been at the back of my mind for quite a while: “motor or not” on a sailing yacht.

Lin & Larry Pardey have sailed around the world without one. Bastian Hauck on his folkboat Tadorna has completed his second half of the tour around the Baltic Sea without one. And the 12mR s/v Anita has sailed the seas for many years without one: a motor. I am sure there are many more examples of sailors solely relying on their sails, not only for day trips but also for cruising. What is it then with that motor-thing on board? Continue reading “Sailing Boat: Motor Or Not”

BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated

The budget nowhere near being covered. Showstoppers all over the place. Support and timeline on very shaky grounds. This just sounds like the ideal project for me! The topic is twofold: self-sufficient power supply on yachts (including e-motor), plus view of renewable energy projects along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.

How did I come up with the idea for such a project? It was the initial project a couple of years ago, “baltic sea. pure energy.” (website in German).

It is more than just appealing not needing to rely on external power sources on a yacht (including an e-motor). Also, I wanted to check out the status and progress of renewable energy projects all around the Baltic Sea. What has happened since then? Can it be applied to larger yachts for the ordinary yacht owner as well? How are the renewable energy projects doing five years later? Are new ones all over the place or has enthusiasm died off? Continue reading “BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated”