March 5, 2009

Base Camp Lenk

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Thanks to Annemarie we were able to stay in Lenk im Simmental.

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In front of all 200 school children we presented our project TOPtoTOP and were amazed about their relation to sport and the environment.

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Matteo Micheli joined us for presentations at the SuisseNautik boat show and arrived with a Genaker for Pachamama!

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While one of us was busy at the boat show, the other half went skiing, ice-skating, sledging or building a snow man with our kids. In Lenk was also the Synchro Ski World Cup!
Matthias Kurt from the Lenker mountain railways organized us a public presentation and sponosred us ski tickets. Result: 3 year old Salina skis in all terains like a rocket and it is hard to keep up with her and 2 year old Andri skis already alone in easy slopes.

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Thanks to our parents, who went skiing with our kids. We both were able to work together with Marc Zollinger on the book and Dario also as a mountain guide.

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On the last weekend we climbed together with the TOPtoTOP board over the glacier to the Summit of Mount Pizol. Sabine climed to the mixed top already in the 5th month of her pregnancy.

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Today is Sabine's birthday and tomorrow we are on the way to Pachamama.

... and finally we were able to test our kite material for Antarctica thanks to Dominik and Sylke.

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Next weekend we are back at the Gold Coast City Marina in Brisbane to paint the deck of Pachamama and prepare for the SGS venue at the 18th of March.


Posted by dario at 11:31 PM

March 11, 2009

Cyclone and updated timetable

Check latest article in Italy.

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We are just South of Cyclone Hamish with hips of rain!

COMMUNITIES in north and central Queensland are bracing for Category 5 Cyclone Hamish which could be more destructive than Cyclone Larry.

UP to 1000 campers are being evacuated from Fraser Island as category five cyclone Hamish heads south towards the central Queensland coast.

Lady Elliot Island and Heron Island, both west of Gladstone, were also evacuated on Sunday morning as a precaution to the cyclone, which had recorded winds of up to 280km/h on Saturday night.

Hamish, upgraded to a potentially deadly Category 4 storm yesterday, had winds gusting up to 230km/h last night but early today was upgraded to a more lethal Category 5 storm, The Sunday Mail reports.

The bureau's warning said Hamish "poses a very significant threat to coastal and island communities between Bowen and Bundaberg".

"The cyclone is expected to maintain a southeast track parallel to the coast during the next 24 to 48 hours."

Yesterday, Emergency Management Queensland coordinator-general Frank Pagano said the menacing storm, lurking off Townsville last night, could hit even harder than Larry, which devastated Innisfail in March 2006.

"This cyclone will generate winds at the centre of between 225km/h and 280km/h," he said.

Whitsundays Disaster Management Group coordinator Senior Sergeant Steve O'Connell says emergency services have prepared as well as they can in the event the cyclone does come towards the islands.

He says the next 12 hours are critical.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Mike Brunker says there are strong winds in the area but no reported damage yet.

Hamish is estimated to be 155km northeast of Hayman Island and 305km east of Townsville, moving southeast at 18km/h.

Premier Anna Bligh yesterday invoked powers allowing emergency personnel to order residents to evacuate towns under threat.

She warned that several major centres -- Innisfail, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Maryborough -- were in the firing line.

"It is imperative we ensure everyone is out of the path of this extremely serious cyclone," she said.

In the Whitsundays, tourists and non-essential staff were evacuated from the smaller island resorts to the mainland and shelters on larger islands were being prepared.

Hamish will be the most severe storm to hit the region since Cyclone Ada, which devastated island resorts and left 14 people dead in January 1970.

Hamilton Island chief executive Glen Bourke said yesterday the 3000 tourists and workers were being upgraded to warning level yellow: cyclone imminent.

"We want people prepared before nightfall. We will move guests and staff to the Reef View Hotel, which has the best cyclone rating on the island," he said.

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Here our updated timetable:

SHORT TERM:

Till 18th of March: school visits Gold Coast, Australia
18th of March: TOPtoTOP event in Brisbane organized by SGS
20th/21st of March: TOPtoTOP at Swiss Festival Melbourne, represented by member Jacqui
19th of March to 17th of April: TOPtoTOP in New Zealand: school visits and 2 cycling trips with students in South Island
18th to 26th of April: TOPtoTOP in outback of Queensland: school visits; organized by Peter Chandler SGS
27th to 30th of April: TOPtoTOP at Sunshine Coast: school visits
1st to 3rd of May: TOPtoTOP at Dream Festival

LONG TERM:

May / June: East Coast of Queensland up to Cairns
July / August: Northern Territories (birth on 16th of August most likely in Darwin)

September: see "OPEN"

October/November:

22nd/23rd of October: TOPtoTOP as guest speaker on UNEP Climate Conference in Johannesburg (invitation from UNEP)
4th of November: TOPtoTOP as guest speaker Final Event EU Atmospheric Composition Change in Brussels (invitation from EU ASCENT, Eva Sch├╝pbach)
5th to 15th of November: TOPtoTOP presentation for new book in Switzerland
15th of November: "Vernissage" of TOPtoTOP book on book exhibition in Basel, Switzerland

December: see "Open"

May 2010: Claen up Everest
August 2010: World Exhibition Shanghai

OPEN:

- Access to Everest via India-Nepal or China depending if we find marina in Calcutta. Alternative: China-Japan, with Option Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on 26th of December 2009 and Melbourne-Osaka Yacht Race soon after.
- Climate Solution Winners Camp in Switzerland: Depending on terms of students; most likely October 09.
- 3rd to 11th of October 09 International Boat Show in Genoa - Italy (invitation from Matteo Micheli, TOPtoTOP member and world record holder over Atlantic Ocean)

Posted by dario at 9:13 PM

March 13, 2009

Oil spill because of Hamish!

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Cyclone Hamish was just north of us. We experienced a lot of wind and rain. At our beach near Sufersparadise huge waves were braking.

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We were stacked in the boat for days till Salina came up with a new innovation: "the anti-cyclone-device"! So once time to prepare the boat, play with the kids and prepare for the next school presentations.

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Today we made a presentation at Helensvale State high School in front of 450 students. Peter Chandler from SGS made it possible.

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Just in front our door an ecological disaster happened because of cyclone Hamish:
THOUSANDS of liters of fuel oil from the container boat Pacific Adventurer are washing ashore on the eastern side of Moreton Island, north of the Gold Coast, causing severe ecological damage to the fragile island.

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The Pacific Adventurer lost about 20 tones of heavy fuel oil on Wednesday when it was damaged as 31 containers full of ammonia nitrate were washed overboard in huge seas caused by Tropical Cyclone Hamish.
Maritime authorities originally said they did not expect the fuel leak to have a significant effect, but this morning locals found beaches on the ocean side of the island black with the oil.

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Let's go clean the beach!

Posted by dario at 9:59 AM

March 27, 2009

Arrived in NZ - Earth Hour!

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We are in New Zealnd! Our contact phone is +64 (0) 210 39 89 61.

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Our presentation in Brisbane was a great success thanks to the perfect organization of Peter Chandler, SGS. Here a feedback from a participant:

"Dear Sabine and Dario, it was lovely to meet you the other night at the presentation at the Colmslie Hotel. We all thought your story was fascinating and we are totally in awe of your children. My son Tom, (in the wheelchair) was, at first, so shocked when Andre crawled all over him, but by the end he said he loved it. I don't think he has ever been so openly accepted by anyone of any age. And as for my other two children, they said they were thinking of them all the next day, so they must have made a big impression!
Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed meeting you all and if you are looking for accommodation when you are next in Brisbane, we have plenty of room. Or even if you two just want to go out for the night, I don't think we'd have any shortage of babysitters! I hope you have a wonderful time in New Zealand and hopefully meet you again when you return.
Regards, Susan Hamilton"

Soon after we left our Base Camp, the Gold Coast City Marina for New Zealand. The 139 students of the Lyttelton Main School in a wonderful bay near Christchurch were the first Kiwis inviting us to their school.

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After explaining all the good examples to protect the climate they started to put their solution on paper and made wonderful posters to campaign EARTH HOUR at 20.30 h, 28th of March TODAY/TOMORROW (NZ/Europe)!
Note to all out there: Please switch off all lights at 20.30 h!

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Soon after we have been at the Governors Bay School and 10 year old Beatrice wrote:"I really think that you will make the environment better and save the planet."

Good news:

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Andri started to join Salina to use the toilette and both are big helpers to find all the parts for the bikes.

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Now, we have to pack and off we go.

Posted by dario at 10:19 PM

Cycling expedition

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We are cycling at the moment together with students from the St. Andrew's Cathedral School trough the South Island of New Zealand.

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The glaciers in the Southern Alps are also retreating very much. So we went indoor ice climbing:

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At night we camp and cook. Thank you to our escort team Rick and Ian from all of us:

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... and thank you to all students that you accepted us as a family with little children:

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Posted by dario at 10:51 PM