October 17, 2007

TOPtoTOP-Victorinox team 1st in Port Villa

Contact TOPtoTOP with Skype out, use the number 00687 85 79 14! The people from Vanuatu are really the happiest people so far. The capital of Vanuatu, Port Villa is the cleanest harbour of in the world. Investors from outside like to build a big fish factory here, Linda, the tourism director of Vanuatu, informed us in an interview. Let's hope that the prime minister stops it! In Port Villa Andrea Roner from St. Moritz joined the expedition with a lot of presents from back home. Thank you all! In this beautiful harbour we also med our old friend and captain Jean-Claude from Huahine. The TOPtoTOP-Victorinox Team won on Friday the 5.10.2007 the Port Villa rally, a race trough the city. Our first runner was Andrea, followed by Jeremy from NZ, than Sabine, than James from Australia and our last runner was Dario. The family of Samuel invited us last weekend to a ceremony in his village. We never have seen so many presents and so much food. On Monday the tourist office of Vanuatu showed us good examples to protect the climate and the beauty of the country. The UNELCO company has a wind generator project and the Mele village runs a sustainable tourism project ad the Mele Cascades. Our clean up on Efate took place ad a long sandy beach in the North East corner of the island. Yesterday we have been at the teachers collage. After our presentation we have had an interesting discussion with the teachers. The main problem is that the school system is private and the big part of the population can not afford to pay the school, because there is no money. Another problem is that big investors are buying their land. On Efate already 80 % of the land is in the hand of people from outside Vanuatu. Today we have been in the hospital with Salina to check if she has Malaria, because she has had fever at night. Result: negative. Last night Annemarie invited us for dinner to party her departure. Annemarie has been nearly 5 month with us. Thanks so much for all! Annemarie is going to help her daughter in Tasmania who has a baby soon. - Good luck Karin! - Annemarie may be back for the leg from Numea to Sydney. Tonight we will leave for Erromango - and Tanna Island, before we sail to New Caledonia. We just arrived in Noumea and got the message from our members Corina and Stefan that a new member is born: Seraina, 3.10.07, 3140 g, 47 cm; CONGRATULATION! Thanks to Noumea Yacht Sevices et Noumea Yacht Charter this report is possible.
Posted by dario at 2:55 AM

October 26, 2007

New Caledonia

by Andrea: After we left Port Vila unfortunately due to wrong winds we could not reach the two Islands Erramango and Tanna belonging to Vanuatu. So we sailed straight towards Noumea in New Caledonia with a short stop at Mare, one of the Island before the main one Grande Terre. In Mare is an interesting project ongoing to use the waves to generate power. Some generator is already in commercial use in Portugal. Barbara Vlaemick from SRP is responsible for the project and explained us the interesting facts of this amazing renewable technology. More info: Download file. At the first day in Noumea we already went for a short hike. The erosion caused by the opencast mining technique to extract Nickel is obvious. However, legislation to minimise negative environmental impacts introduced in the 1970s has resulted in mining companies assuming more environmental responsibility. On the 16th of October was the birthday of Dario, and Sabine baked a wonderful chocolate cake. Noumea is quite westerly and stays in quite a contrast to other islands visited before. But was certainly did not change is the friendliness of the people. So we made a lot of good friends in the harbour "Port Moselle". Thanks to Emanuelle, Jean-Marie, Christel and Jean-Louis to support us in all matters. A welcome change was the visit of the reopened beautiful Aquarium of Noumea. It definitely shows what we have to preserve in the sea for the future. We had for sure also time for a culture day. We visited the TJIBAOU CULTURAL CENTRE with impressive modern architecture combined with traditional houses. Salina and Andri were more interested in climbing the wooden walls. On 24th October we could hold a presentation at the Circle Nautique Caledonien. A big thank you to the audience for the donations and to the club for the free mooring place in the marina and the media work. Also at the presentation was Mrs. Dunoyer consul of Switzerland who arranged TV and radio reportage and official contacts. The 25th of October the big day for our sweetheart ANDRI. The 1st birthday ! He definitely enjoyed it with presents, chocolate from godfather Vandy and a good sip of fresh water. Bravo Andri. During the day we visited the collage Mariotti. The kids played enthusiastically our TOPtoTOP game. And the winners have now the best knife in their Pocket, - a Victorinox and the seconds will wear a t-shirt from TOPtoTop. Again thank you to the principal of the school for the donation for our project. Thanks to Eric Babin, the minister of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, we were invited by Valerie Lamm from EEC/Suez to visit their windmills. The first one's were already in use since 1996. Another good example to reduce CO2 emissions! Another good example was Jeab-Lois d’Auzon (president association pour la sauvegarde de la nature neo-caledonienne), who fights for the environment already 37 years. Here his report in French: "LA NATURE, UN MILIEU DE VIE A PROTEGER La Nature en Nouvelle-Calédonie est un milieu exceptionnel qu’on ne peut qu’avoir envie de protéger quand on la découvre. Sa flore terrestre comprend 3250 espèces de plantes à fleurs, endémiques au Territoire à 76 %. Sa faune terrestre est très riche également : 4500 espèces d’invertébrés (60 à 100 % d’endémisme suivant les familles ; 76 % d’endémisme chez les reptiles (geckos, scinques). Chez les oiseaux 148 espèces ont été identifiées dont 23 endémiques au Territoire. Les fonds marins calédoniens, entourés par un récif-barrière de 1600 kms de long (2ème plus grand lagon au monde), renferment plus de 22000 espèces d’êtres vivants. On y trouve 4 espèces de tortues marines : verte, grosse tête ou caouanne, imbriquée ou bonne écaille et luth (rarement). Au 5ème rang mondial pour sa richesse biologique, la Nouvelle-Calédonie fait également partie des 12 lieux au monde les plus menacés pour leurs milieux naturels. L’Association pour la Sauvegarde de la Nature Néo-Calédonienne a porté principalement ses efforts sur : la protection des tortues marines (Récifs d’Entrecasteaux, Plage de la Roche Percée à Bourail), la lutte contre diverses pollutions, la publication de nombreux documents (dont une K7 Vidéo et un journal) etc… Son rôle consiste à obtenir une meilleure connaissance et une meilleure protection de la nature calédonienne, ainsi qu’une plus grande sensibilisation de la population depuis sa création le 6 mai 1971, afin que nos descendants puissent encore bénéficier de cette nature si belle."
Posted by dario at 9:01 AM

New member from Austria

Servus, Ich bin Viktor, wiege 3,5 kg, bin 51cm gross, ich bin am 9 October 2007 um 23:50h auf die Welt gekommen und bin in ausgezeichneter Form! ...ja, und ich bin die absolute Freude von Dorotea & Werner, meine Eltern!
Posted by dario at 10:14 AM