February 2, 2004

super projects on Barbados

Brigetown, Barbados, day 434

Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13'400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 182 days, 3000 km, 105'951 altimeters.
Sailing total: 209 days, 6203 nm

The last view days we spend to visit good projects and to wash our cloths.
Judi introduced us with Colin Hudson. Together with his wife they founded Treading Lightly and created a "Web of Hope": The Web of Hope communicates accounts of successful, inspiring, sustainability-based projects to a large and diverse audience all over the world. The organic toillete is one of several proves that shows their efforts to reduce their ecological footprints.

Colin invited us for a hike the next day. Every Sunday he does it two times, to share his environmental values with the people of Barbados. When we arrived at the meeting point yesterday at 6 o'clock in the morning!, we were impressed about the number of people joining us. Along the 3-hours trip Colin stopped several times to explain nature and environmental issues. During the trip we have had also the possibility to introduce TOPtoTOP to all the hikers. At the end we sold same T-shirts and postcards to fund this wonderful idea of "Treading Lightly".

In the afternoon we met relatives (pictures: 4927) who lives here in Barbados already 30 years. They explained that temperatures rises about 2 to 3 degrees in the last years and that they are worried about the future.

When we headed their concerns we understood the importance of Judi's work with "Adapting to Climate Change in the Caribbean (ACCC) Project. Regional studies indicate that climate change for the Caribbean region means:

- sea level rise and costal flooding
- salt water seeping into ground wells and therefore less fresh water available
- stronger hurricanes
- larger sea swells
- warmer temperatures
- less rainfalls and therefore less fresh water available
- mangroves and reefs will be affected by changes in sea level and temperature

The people here are very friendly:

- Anne Springer and Anthony Haynes from the Internet Cafe in Bridgetown help with free internet access
- Gunter Hasch from the Swiss consular agency got us a warm welcome yesterday

Here a same pictures:

- our new animal swimming around Pachamama
- on the hike
- View imageMahogony trees

Posted by dario at 9:23 PM

February 6, 2004

good news and a little schok

Brigetown, Barbados, day 438

Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13'400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 186 days, 3040 km, 106'500 altimeters.
Sailing total: 209 days, 6203 nm
good news first:

110 students from the West Terrace Primary School enjoyed our TOPtoTOP-presentation on Tuesday. One teacher wrote in our expedition book: "Thank you very much. Your presentation fitted in perfectly with our study of the earth...Thanks for reinforcing our message that the earth is ours to protect. This message is even more vital for a small island like Barbados..."! The students were well educated over environmental issues and were keen to learn more about global warming. At the end all students contributed to find new solutions. They produced amazing drawings, how we can protect nature and our climate in particularly: good ideas, excellent drawings and fun.
The TV-team of Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and two journalist of the two Barbadian newspapers "The Barbados Advocate" and "Nation" joined the presentation. So TOPtoTOP was again in the News and on the front-page (article)! When we left the students at the West Terrace Primary School I told Sabine: "You share one morning with this children and you know for sure, that our planet will have a future!"
This school visit got us so much energy! Thanks a lot to the students and teachers, to Judi Clarke and Donna King helping us to get in touch with this wonderful school; - and finally: many thanks to Peter Storm for organizing a beamer before our crossing towards the Caribbean. It is an essential tool for our presentation in developing countries.

The following days we have had an other journalist from the "Nation News" on board of Pachamama. Thanks to Gunter Hasch from the Swiss consular agency. He organized a TV-team (CBC) and they filmed the TOPtoTOP-expedition yesterday.

Before the filming Andrew from Canada, Rainer from Germany, a developer of biogas and waste-to-energy projects (see more under `solutions`) and Yolande from Barbados swam to our boat. We have had a nice conversation about nature and global warming with these environmentalists. So they invited us for a hike at 6 o'clock this morning on the E-cost of Barbados. From here to the African cost it is the biggest distance on earth without land between. So it builds up huge waves and that's why this place is called as the best place to do surfing.
We enjoyed the hike very much and Yolanda was our perfect guide: we learned a lot about nature on this islands and collect some bananas. Finally we are looking forward to see Yolande soon sailing with us and Andrew, who joins us on climbing Cotopaxi, Ecuador in June.

Afterwards we went to a meeting with Handel Callender and Julian Dautremont-Smith at the "Future Center", - an exhibition about renewable energy. They are working on bio-diesel (read more at the end and under climate-solutions). Behind this center "Earth Mother Botanicals Limited" is producing in an environmentally friendly manner natural beauty products.

Back at the beach - a different world: Loud music and thousands of tourists lying in the sun, drinking beer. They arrived with Queen Marry 2, the biggest luxury liner. - I dreamed that it would be great to do once a presentation on a luxury liner to this kind of people or to bring them to the Future Center..."live your dreams"! - We will try.


On the Atlantic we recognized a crack in a cable at the mast. We were forced to climb up and to fix it as best as we could. It looks like that the storm in September produced more damage then we have recognized.
We asked 4 experienced skippers about their advice the last days since we arrived on Barbados. Result: We are now afraid to sail with this damage in the rig. With the good connections of Gunter Hasch from the Swiss consular agency, I was able to email pictures of the damage to a world-class riger. I hope that he can come to Pachamama tomorrow and that we can fix it as soon as possible.

Posted by dario at 5:21 PM

February 15, 2004

arrived in Grenada

Prickly Bay, Grenada, day 447

Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13'400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 186 days, 3040 km, 106'500 altimeters.
Sailing total: 218 days, 6350 nm

Version auf Deutsch vgl. am Schluss.

Rigger Clint Brooks explained: "It is easy to lose the mast with this rigging, so nevertheless you have had good luck on the crossing!"
After this shock we did not know who goes to pay the new rigging. We decided better to start cleaning dishes in a restaurant at the beach. By this occasion Sabine learned to cook local fish meals.
Last week it was the first time the used the scalpel, because Dario's hiking shoes are a little bit to small. But the biggest concern was the rigging.

Again we have had great support from all sides: TOPtoTOP head coordinator Fiona Tutty got in touch with SOROMAP, the company where the broken fittings come from. Result: SOROMAL seems to take the costs to change the rigging. They used bad stainless fittings with too much carbon in it in 1999 and 2000.
Thanks also to Murette Assurance and all our friends: White Princess, Baloo 1, Star Cruiser, Jean Braure, Laura Bruce ... for the advises and investigations about how and where we are able to change the rigging.
A special thank to G√ľnter Hasch without him we do not know if we were able to manage all. His friend Irwin sponsored a 24V - wind generator and Margrit sponsored us with Swiss bred from her bakery!

Barbados was a high light since the start of TOPtoTOP; even with the broken rigging in mind. People here were familiar with the TOPtoTOP global climate message, because of the good media exposure, - well organised by TOPtoTOP coordinator for the Caribbean Judi Clarke. She has done a great job and we hope that she is able to join the expedition soon.

Before we crossed to the SOROMAP agent in Grenada on Thursday, we were very busy fixing the mast. We used 180 m of rope, one chain and all our climbing equipment. - Thanks to Andi from Canada and Rainer from Germany for their help; two new TOPtoTOP-members who will join us on Cotopaxi in June. -
Denise and Natasha on Frodo from the Netherlands escorted us to Grenada. It was a pity that we were forced to prevent too much stress on the rigging and could not sail. Not enough: the stuffing box got very hot and so we arrived with blank nerves after 20 hours ... but the mast still on deck.
These 147 miles felt much longer than the Atlantic crossing! It was a big release when we set anchor in Prickley Bay. It is really not a good felling when you are out there with such a rigging, - even when you tried to fix it with all ropes you have on board.
Richard from Spice Islands Marine Service (SOROMAP agent) was on board of Pachamama after we have done immigration. We discussed the next steps and already 20 minutes later his employ Roger starts changing cables!

Zur Deutsche Version:
Danke Beat Kalberer fuer Dein Comment und einen besonderen Dank auf diesem Weg fuer die Videokamera, die Du uns gesponsort hast. Die Kinder in den Schulen werden sich ueber bewegte Bilder bestimmt freuen! Ich vermute Hanspeter Good wird sie am 22. Maerz mitnehmen.

Nun aber zur Sprache: Leider schaffen wir es zeitlich nicht unseren Report in Deutsch, Kroatisch, Italienisch, Franzoesich, Spanisch, Englisch etc. zu uebersetzen. Thomas, unser TOPtoTOP - Webdesigner hat aber jeweils am Seitenende ein Uebersetzungstool plaziert. Ich werde ihn anfragen, ob er auch eine "deutsche Flagge" anbringen kann.

Posted by dario at 9:17 PM

February 21, 2004

Pachamama on land

Spice Island Marine Service, Grenada, day 453

Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13'400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 186 days, 3040 km, 106'500 altimeters.
Sailing total: 224 days, 6352 nm

Pachamama is often like a kindergarden. Children from other boats likes drawing new solutions on Pachamama. One family invited us for environmental lessons on their sailboat.

Last Thursday we have had a presentation in the bar of the boatyard in Prickly Bay. There was a mixture of sailors and locals joining the presentation. At the end some people supported us by buying postcards. It was a pity that we did not have any TOPtoTOP-T-shirts left.
We got a very good feedback. All understood the TOPtoTOP message that everybody has to ACT NOW. In the following discussion we were able to give them some exemples how they can start giving something back to nature.

Mister Glyn Evans from Spice Island Marine Services sponsored the hauling of Pachamama and our stay in his boatyard. It is much easier for Richard and his team from Turbulence Sails to work on the rigging when the boat is not moving.

Les Nilsen from Budget Marine Grenada sponsored the antifouling paint and will give other material to improve Pachamama for a special price.

We hope to be in the water again next week, so that we can start sailing towards schools and projects in the Virgin Islands.

Posted by dario at 5:25 PM

February 23, 2004

Sabine in hospital!

Sabine verletzte sich vor einer Stunde am Fuss. Das vordere Glied des kleinen Zehen hing nur noch an etwas Haut und es blutete stark. Nachdem wir den Fuss eingebunden hatten, rannte ich los fuer ein Taxi; sie wurde jedoch in der Zwischenzeit von einem anderen Auto mitgenommen. Melde mich wieder, wenn ich mehr weiss...

Posted by dario at 6:29 PM

Sabine is back from hospital!

Sabine is back and can not move. She got two injections against her pain. She has to go to hospital tomorrow and the following days again. Let's pray that her little toe gets o.K. again!

We finished to clean the diesel tank and sealed the tank and windows over the weekend. This morning we started painting. We have done half of the underwater with yellow primer from Budget Marine when Sabine cut her toe. - It is always a bad time to cut a toe: - but now with all the work going on, it is really bad!

Posted by dario at 7:31 PM

February 27, 2004

Pachamama o.K. - sailing to Martinique

Spice Island Marine Service, Grenada, day 459

Biking total: 43 days, 1877 km, 13'400 altimeters.
Climbing total: 186 days, 3040 km, 106'500 altimeters.
Sailing total: 230 days, 6352 nm

This afternoon Pachamama will be back in the water. It tooks two weeks to change the rigging. In the meantime we managed to sand, prime and paint the bottom, to grease the propeller, to put new anodes, to seal the windows, to clean the tanks, to paint new marks on the anchor chain and to clean the valves, spedometer and the whole interior and deck and some other smaller jobs. So we were quite busy! Thanks again to Turbulance Rigging, Budget Marine and Spice Island Marine Service; - with their help we were able to manage all for less than US 500.-. With the new rigging we are very happy; a special thank you to Turbulance Ltd. (turbsail@caribsurf.com).

Fortunately Sabine's toe is not infected. But still her activity radius is only under deck. At the moment she is making bread. We will offer a Swiss fondue for the riggers from Turbulance tonight.

Tomorrow we will sail together with Mike and Dawn from the sailboat "White Princess" to Martinique. In Martinique we plan a short stop to check our new Nanni Diesel motor. There is an agent in Martin. May we have also the chance for a school visit?

After Martinique we will sail straightway to St. Thomas in the Virgin Island to meet TOPtoTOP member Jean Braure. Jean has already organized a lot up there! We plan to be with Jean till TOPtoTOP board member Hanspeter Good arrives.
Meanwhile Mike and Dawn from "White Princess" will check good dive spots. The plan is to do an underwater film which we can use for school visits. We hope to meet them end of March S of the Virgin Islands, just before we are heading to Venezuela, the ABC-Islands and Panama.

Posted by dario at 2:21 PM