July 3, 2007


We arrived safe in Apia harbour on Samoa. Unfortunately we could not land on Suwarrow Island because the swell was too big for the dangerous pass into this atoll. The wind on the passage was mostly between 20 and 30 nm and up to 40 nm in the squalls. So we have had a fast passage and once we made 188 nm in 24 h.

In Apia We arrived on Saturday morning and had to wait till Monday to do the clearance to get the permission to go on shore. Like this we have had a lot of time to paint, to wash our cloths and to clean the bilge after a disaster with the toilette. But do not worry: Our small inspector just told us that everything is all right again!

During the working days we are busy to do our school presentations and to collect good examples.
At the Leifiifi College we saw a very good example, the plastics recycling project. The students are collecting plastic bottels. The bottles are than recycled to produce tables and chairs for the students.

At the Stevenson Memorial Reserve the park ranger Afele Faiilagi Saili explained us the erosion of the coast caused by sea level rising, caused by global warming.

Today we have been at the Apia Primary School. Annemarie has done a recycling workshop, Dario a presentation on global warming and Sabine was presenting our country Switzerland.

A funny story from our TOPtoTOP member Federico from Chile:

"Estimados Sabine, Dario y chicos. Hoy tuvimos una gran sorpresa. A la hora del café, estaba mirando un programa de la RAI sobre las islas de la Polinesia. Despues de mostrar los paisajes de diferentes islas mostraron los bailes típicos., Luego comenzaron a mostrar a los niños y tambien los colegios y de súbito aparece Dario dando su charla. A el lo mostraron mas de un minuto.Por un segundo aparece tambien Andri. Esperabamos ver a Sabine y Salina pero no tuvimos suerte. En todo caso fué una tremenda casualidad porque estuve a punto de cambiar de programa y no lo hice."

Our two pirates decided to go to Savai Island and Wallis next Wednesday.

Posted by dario at 1:21 AM

July 5, 2007

2 TVs and one newspaper in a day!

Thanks to Computer Services Ltd. in Apia who makes this report possible.

The Swiss Samoan couple Ines and Marco Kappenbeger organized us the media. So I needed to buy a proper local dress!

We have been in the news of the biggest private TV, Apia broadcasting TV3 and in the news of the national TV 1 of Samoa. They also organized for us an interview with the biggest newspaper, the Samoa Observer and with the climate change observatory.

At this moment there is a lot of construction going on in Samoa for the South Pacific Games in August 2007 with help from outside. But nobody knows how this small country will maintain these huge stadiums after the games?
There is a huge contrast between tradition and modernity! Sabine is just buying food on the market in Apia so that we can sail to the remote island of Savaii:

In Savaii we hope to meet environmentalist Miss Moleagi Jackson, climb the highest TOP, mount Silisili with over 1800 m and visit a lot of remote schools.

Posted by dario at 12:55 AM

July 15, 2007

New memers from Bern and Samoa

This report is possible thanks to Fofoga & Andi Kreutz from Fagamalo on Savaii Island, Samoa (akreutz01@yahoo.de); - the best place when you need a transportation or any information about this wonderful island!

-> From our members Fritzi and Stephan we got the following 2 emails:
"Ahoi Pachamama!

Falls Euch die Neuigkeit noch nicht auf anderem Weg erreicht hat: Wir sind nun ebenfalls zu viert: Am 14. Juni ist Theda Odilia zur Welt gekommen. Mit 4.14 kg und 52 cm ein stattliches Mädel! Alles ist optimal verlaufen, die Geburt ging sehr schnell, Emilia war derweil in der Krippe und hatte abends plötzlich ein kleines Schwesterlein… (und ein neues Dreirad). Wir sind sehr glücklich und gegenwärtig daran, uns an das Leben zu viert zu gewöhnen… Emilia ist sehr lieb mit Theda und eine stolze grosse Schwester.

Natürlich haben wir auch wiederum das offizielle ToptoTop-Stillbild geschossen. Wo sollen wir das hinschicken, damit wir Euch nicht den Satelliten verstopfen?

Wir hoffen, es geht Euch gut und Ihr seid mit guten Winden unterwegs. Tolle MatrosInnen habt Ihr ja auf jeden Fall!

Liebe Grüsse in die Südsee

s.&the girls"

"Ihr Lieben,

mit dem offiziellen TOPtoTOP Stillbild bitten wir um Aufnahme Thedas als TTT-Mitglied …

Ferner folgt ein Bild von Theda mit ihrer unglaublich fürsorglichen und stolzen Schwester … sowie ein Rätsel für lange Überfahrten: warum will Theda sobald wie möglich aufs Finsteraahorn?

Allerliebste Grüsse in die Südsee
Eure 4 Steintiere"

-> From our new members Ines and Marco Kappenberger in Samoa:
"Lieber Dario und Familie,

herzlichsten Dank, dass ihr hier bei uns in Samoa seit. Wie gesagt, wir sind aus Savaii einfach an Telephon# 42014 oder 7510999 zu erreichen.

Danke, dass Maria Ines und ich Mitglieder sein dürfen, wir freuen uns, TopToTop aus Samoa aktiv zu unterstützen. Wenn Mitglieder nach Samoa kommen, würden wir sie gerne willkommenheissen."

CONGRATULATION to the new born and all new members from the crew on Pachamama!

We are at this moment at S13.26 W172.21 in Savaii, Samoa. The expedition report of this remote and wonderful island is coming soon.

Posted by dario at 6:07 AM

July 19, 2007


Our chart for the anchorage near Lelepa village was 1 nm wrong! That's the price when you start exploring remote places.

With 1700 km2, Savai'i is one of the largest island in Polynesia outside NZ and Hawai'i and as clean as Switzerland. There is a lot of sun with heavy rainfalls. There are about 40'000 people and you find not a single paper on the ground. It was the first time we were not able to organize a clean up with the students.

A key person for the environmental awareness on the island is Chief Vaasiliifiti Moelagi Jackson. She was on of the first activists against a big US logging company which destroyed 90 % of the native rain forest in the 70s. The cyclones which hit Savai'i in the 90s initiated a second environmental movement, she told us yesterday.

World Bank financed hospitals and a huge project to limit the erosion of the coastline cause of wave impacts from more frequent and violent cyclones and storms. Unfortunately the bulldozers building the dams brought a lot of soil to the reef and that means less fish for the fisherman.

Chief Lee Letiu from Upolu told us that her village is still waiting for help and showed us where the school has been: 'The place is now 100 m out on the sea!'

A very good example of a single-person doing something for the environment and global warming is the Craterman: Last week we climbed with our two children in the backpack from sea level to mount Matavanu. There he is living alone, 3 h from the next village, in a small house, called Fale. He is planting trees and remains the visitors on nicely painted boards to keep the crater land clean and record all his friends, who visit him.

Near our anchorage we became friends with the family of Fila Fyyen. Every time when we passed there house they invited us for dinner and provided us with 54 fresh fruits. They have very strict rules and in every family is a chief, like here Fila's mother, producing coconut mats to sleep on it:

They use natural products and old techniques which do not pollute the environment. We all can learn from them to live in harmony with nature. They do not need a plastic bag! In 3 minutes they made a bag out of a palm leaf:

For their houses, called Fale, they made wonderful roofs with the wood and leaves of the coconut tree; like here in the Vaipolli Collage.

In the first place Fila's Fanily opened for us tins, because they thought that is the food we like and although it costs them a fortune. But we told them that we enjoy the local food much more and they cooked it for us with proud.
Faatau, Fila's husband, has gout (Gicht) and Nurse Sabine found some medicine on Pachamama and was able to treat him:

Note: In the back of Faatau is his old house destroyed by a clyclone.

After our school presentations we are invited to have lunch with the principal. Every day the family from one student has to feed the teachers.
Thanks so much for all donations we got from you (Please get in contact with us, if you have more). The school material, like pencils, books, etc. was of big help to the schools here:

We would like to thank you to the Le Lagoto Beach Resort. We were able to use the phone to organize our school visits with the school review officer Manuta.
Thanks also to Pauline and Otto on SY Crimson Lady for the donation of school and fishing material. They have been our Dutch neighbours neighbours and became our friends.

When you like to help the family of Fila with her husband and the 4 children, you can send them school material to: Family Faatau & Fila Young Yen, Fagamalo Post Office, Avao, Matautu, Savai'i, Samoa

If you want to anchorage the Craterman in his work, please send him a postcard to: Craterman, Seu Api Utumapu, Mount Matavanu, Safotu Post Office, Savaii, Samoa

and at the end a picture for our family from the anchorage in front Avao village:

Posted by dario at 5:00 AM

Asau College

Yesterday, the 17th of July we sailed 20 nm to Asau on the most western place on earth. As soon as we are going to sail a little bit more to the West, we will loose one day!

This college is looking for sience teachers. If you are interested to work in Asau and you speak English, please get in contact with the principal Makereta Tufuga, Itu-Asau College, Asau, Savai'i, Samoa, phone 0011685 77 31 324.

here some more about our stay in Savai'i:

Posted by dario at 5:55 AM