August 5, 2009

1st day in school for Salina

2009-07_au_darwin 110.jpg Batchelor Primary School

2009-07_au_darwin 128.jpg climate solution contest

2009-07_au_darwin 121.jpg solar workshop

=> Note (1): Latest media article:

=> Note (2): We are in Cullen Bay Marina now ... and that is our address when you like to ship us something:

Swiss Sailboat Pachamama in Transit
c/o Cullen Bay Marina
GPO Box 143
Darwin, NT 0801

2009-07_au_darwin 087.jpg

After a week in the city of Darwin, trying to find out where Sabine can give birth and get an appointment with a doctor, it was time for the TOPtoTOP team to see what the outback communities had to offer! Batchelor was the destination, and it was quite a journey to get there for anyone not used to the long stretches of red dusty roads, even though it was only 100k's south of Darwin.

2009-07_au_darwin 013.jpg Litcherfield National Park

Batchelor is a small township south of the Capitol, which was originally formed as a mining town when uranium was discovered prior to 1950. But it was during World War II that the town developed, as Batchelor became an important large allied air force base. Today it has a population around 358, and thrives from tourism as a gateway into Litcherfield National Park. It is also the home for volunteer-Jacquis Auntie and family, who generously invited the TOPtoTOP family to stay for the weekend and visit the local school, where "Auntie" Sue teaches. It was a great experience to stay at the outback house, and the kids loved her horses Alice, Amando and Dazzle!

2009-07_au_darwin 088.jpg

Sue and "Uncle" JB also invited their Swiss neighbors over to visit to celebrate their son's birthday with Salina and Andri. Sue even cooked a crocodile cake!

The Swiss family told Dario about their new house under construction from a shipping container, and happily invited both Dario and Sabine for a tour. Everything was very environmentally friendly, with good ventilation and insulation to allow for natural air conditioning and climate control. The toilette was very impressive, as it wasted no water, an important aspect to any home living in remote communities with low rainfall in the dry season.

2009-07_au_darwin 101.jpg

The next day was a chance for the family to venture into Litcherfield National Park. The first stop on the way was at the King Termite Mounds. These amazing anthill constructions are all over the Northern Territory. The termites build these colossal towers of red dirt to form insulation from boiling sun. Inside the dirt would be thousands of the insects, including a queen termite and her batch of eggs, the "workers" which construct the tower and gather food, and the warrior ants which protect the colony. The termite mounds also provide a safe and insulated haven for other wildlife like birds and lizards.

The magnetic termite mounds, unlike the incredible cathedral mound pictured above are much more common, and can be seen along the road side all through the Northern Territory.

2009-07_au_darwin 096.jpg

Litcherfield park was stunning, especially Buely Rock Holes and Florence Falls, where we stopped for a swim. There was plenty of wildlife, and we were even lucky enough to see a rock wallaby on the banks of the cliff on the steps down to the base of the Falls. Sabine also had a close encounter with some wildlife, when she nearly stepped on an aggressive snake in the path!! Dario and the kids were already far in front, so Sabine had to walk all the way back around the meet Dario at the car park and share her story!!

The next day Sue took the family in to Bathelor Area School to do a presentation. It was a wonderful experience for Sabine and Dario to meet some local aboriginal children, who were happy to share some knowledge about their culture. The presentation was well received and the other teachers were very impressed with Sabine having achieved so much while being pregnant!

2009-07_au_darwin 107.jpg

Sues class was happy to invite Andri and Salina to join in for the rest of the day, while Dario was invited to have a look at another class's work; building Solar Powered Cookers!
They were very outstanding, and the enthusiasm radiated from both the teacher and students, all very proud of their achievements!

2009-07_au_darwin 122.jpg

Meanwhile, Sue and her class was proudly showing Sabine, Salina and Andri what they have been up to; building a life-size baby giraffe!!!

Joining in for the whole school day was just great and a memorable experience for everyone!

2009-07_au_darwin 053.jpg

However, the time came for the kids to go home, and the TOPtoTOP team to say goodbye. But we must say how thankful we are to everyone at the Batchelor Area school, and we hope to see all the children's fantastic ideas develop into potential solutions for our future! Also, a huge thank you to Sue, who made the visit such a wonderful success!

2009-07_au_darwin 132.jpg

But all the excitement didn't end there! At the school, we met a Swiss teacher who invited the family back to visit her home in Berry Springs. She had some fascinating pets she thought that the TOPtoTOP team might be interested in looking at! Her Australian husband is a passionate reptile breeder, and their children were more than happy to show Andri and Salina their collection of snakes, turtles, lizards, birds, fresh water crocs, and even a big Salt water crocodile!!! It was unbelievable!!!

2009-07_au_darwin 136.jpg

Jacqui was most impressed with their endangered pig-nose turtle, while Dario nearly stood on a mighty python!

The weekend down to Batchelor was a great introduction to the Northern Territory.
Back in Darwin we got an email that the health insurance CSS quite Sabine's insurance by end of July! That was again a chock for all of us. Still not knowing where we give birth and concerned about the kidneys of the newborn that was not the email you need.

2009-07_au_darwin 063.jpg

It was just great that we got in contact with midwife Mo Davy. In the situation we are, she came on board of Pachamama to check if it will be possible to have the baby on board.

Today we got an email of our friend Urs Wälterlin, the Swiss foreign correspondent in Australia. He heard about our troubles we have with our insurance and asked them for more information. He got an email back that they made a mistake and today we got an email from the insurance where they apologize for the troubles they made.

2009-07_au_darwin 061.jpg

On the 30th of July it was the first school day of Salina. She goes in Larrakeyah School about 1 km from the boat and she is now fan about her teacher Loretta Woolley. - Today Andri was able to join Salina for "Preschool in the Park".

Thanks to the Swiss honorary consular Peter Bendel and his wife Marlise, we got invited to the Swiss national day party at the 1st of August and celebrated Switzerland's 718th birthday with traditional Swiss games:

2009-07_au_darwin 073.jpg

On the party I met Marc, a kite surfer. He invited me the next day to fly the kites we have on board to use for Antarctica. It was a lot of fun and Geoff James from FUN SUPPLY sponsored me the missing safety leach:

2009-07_au_darwin 075.jpg

On the 4th of August our friends Anne, Uwe and Kara on SY Magnum left the Cullen Bay Marina for Indonesia. It was especially heart breaking for Salina to say goodbye to her best friend Kara. We are travelling together since Mooloolaba. We promised to Salina to set full sails to catch up with them as soon as the baby is born.

2009-07_au_darwin 076.jpg

Where is TOPtoTOP next:
4th of August: national Aboriginal and Islander children's day
7th of August: Nightcliff Middle School
12th of August: Essington School
13th of August: Kormilda College

2009-07_au_darwin 010.jpg Salina climing at the Darwin Festival

Posted by dario at 11:07 AM

August 17, 2009

Noé Reto Vital


(Deutsche Version weiter unten!)



Contact Sabine on 04 23 45 02 55 or from outside Australia +61 4 23 45 02 55

On 15 August 2009 around 20.00h the miracle occurred!

"Noé Reto Vital" weighed 3825g and is 53 cm long.

The name "Noé" comes from Noah, who had faith that God would keep him safe from harm on the sea.
Noé had already sailed 4466 nautical miles before his birth, from the south of Australia up to the extreme north! He is also the youngest ever participant in the legendary Sydney Hobart Yacht Race! :) His brother Andri also carries this name, after he experienced the entire Pacific Ocean from the belly!
?The name "Reto" means "He who comes from the mountain". "Reto" continues to show the close connection to his father and grandfather, who both also share this name.
The name "Vital" describes his temperament and character as we have experienced it up to now. He was already in the belly very lively and active!(and was at the Saltos make constant... thereby it for his birth something crumbled itself!)

Birth: ?On Friday, 14 August 2009 Sabine and I had been watching the film "Australia" onboard Pachamama, after the children had gone to bed. It was as always very hot for Sabine, and we were only able to bear the dense heat thanks to the Air Van given to us by Clive. Afterwards we went to sleep.

I slept in Salina and Andris bunk, so that Sabine had a room for herself alone, so that the heat would not become worse.
But not long after, I heard sabine yell; "Get me towel! My Water has broken!!!" I was already off in a dream, and at first I thought she meant that the boat was leaking! By the time I had snapped out of it and realised what was happening, sabine was already over the toilette! I quickly grabbed the phone, and called "Mo", our Midwife.

I jumped ashore and ran over to our neighboring yacht, "the Spirit of Assey" (who had leant us the DVD of Australia!) We had already arranged that they would look after the children in this situation, and Beatrice was awake and ready in a flash!!

Meanwhile back onboard, Sabine called Beat Erismann, the chief cameraman for "The Robinson island" TV show, working with Swiss Television. He lives about 5 minutes from the marina, in a beautiful house at Cullen bay. Mo introduced us to him, and suggested that if we wanted a home birth, we should do so at his house, as Pachamama would be too small and inadequate to give birth onboard.

So it was at Midnight that we packed out bags with all the "essentials" like chocolate, toys, bed covers and cameras, and left to meet Beat. When we got there, Mo the midwife had already arrived, and we set up the "birthing pool" in Beats room. Salina and Andri filled it up with the hose and I tried to make sure that they didn't flood beats lovely house!

Because the contractions hadn't properly began we decided to lie down for a while so that we would be well rested and have enough energy for what lay ahead!

By 8 O'clock the contractions were still inconsistent and not as strong as they should have been, however exhausting is was for Sabine! Sabine had a minor infection, so Mo gave her some antibiotics to make sure that we would avoid the child contracting anything. Mo then told us; "If the contractions don't start properly by 10 O'clock, I'm afraid we will need to go to the hospital!"

So the whole family went on a long march to the playground, and climbed some stairs in hope that some regular contractions would kick in! Alas to no avail!
?At 10pm, Beat drove us into the Darwin hospital. After a long night we hoped that it would now be over quickly, but the same events happened in the hospital: The contractions weren't stable.

Sabine was extremely exhausted after so many hours and I had to decide whether we should use some pain killers. I knew that there may be some risks for the mother and child by using such drugs, and that it wont help to speed up the process, so I suggested to Sabine not to take them. I told her that as a team, we would get through this together!

The first main contractions began at 7pm in the afternoon.
I was standing with Sabine in the hospital shower, giving her a gentle massage with the water pressure as best I could! Andri and Salina were feeding mummy some energy bars, when suddenly the first major contraction hit!

But even so, Noé was still tucked up deep inside, and simply didn't want to come out!! Sabine was sure that something wasn't right, and was glad not to have taken any medication. Although, it was becoming extremely painful for her.
She had almost gone through 20 hours of fear that the baby simply would not come out! I told her that approximately 100, 000 children are born every day world wide... and then with the next contractions, Sabine could feel the babys head with her fingers, and soon after Salina and Andri saw the first view of their little brothers hair!

We rushed to the bedside, but it was too quick, Sabine couldn't lie down any longer! Standing up, Sabine gave birth to her baby boy, "Noé" surrounded by Salina, Andri and Mo.
Mo made sure that the baby didn't fall to the ground! And I captured the moment on camera! It was the most beautiful photo that I have ever seen!

Sabine and I decided however not to publish it; obviously it is much too personal for us. Later I took the honour to cut the umbilical cord with our Victorinox Knife for the third time!

We found out the reason for having such a difficult birth; Noé had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. (Ofcourse for being too playful and active inside Sabines Belly!)
Therefore he didn't slip down the birth canal too soon, but instead waited until the very last moment, because he knew that he must come out as quickly as possible!
What a clever little bub! :)

One must simply wait and let nature take control, and with trust in God, everything will work out alright in the end! What a huge relief! He is truly a little miracle, our Noé Reto vital! :)

Now we just hope that everything with the kidney is also healthy and sorted, which we will find out next thursday!

At the same time we got the new Sunware solar panels thanks to Fracht Australia!



Am 15. August 2009 um 20.00 h ist ein Wunder geschehen. Noé Reto Vital ist 3825g schwer und 53 cm lang.

Der Name „Noé" kommt von Noah, der auf dem Meer Gott vertraute. Noé hat vor der Geburt bereits 4466 Seemeilen zurücklegt, vom Süden Australiens bis zum äussersten Norden und ist der „jüngste" Teilnehmer am legendären Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Sein Bruder Andri trägt auch diesen Namen, nachdem er den gesamten Pazifik im Bauch und an Board miterlebte und ist so mit seinem Bruder auch namentlich eine Seilschaft.
Der Name „Reto" heisst, „der vom Berg kommt" und beschreibt gleichzeitig seineWurzeln, die Berge Rätiens. Weiter zeigt Reto die enge Verbindung zu seinem Vater und Grossvater, die auch diesen Namen haben.
Der Name „Vital" beschreibt seine Art, so wie wir ihn bis jetzt erlebten. Er war schon im Bauch sehr lebhaft und lebendig und war ständig am Saltos machen...damit hat er sich für seine Geburt etwas eingebrockt!

Am Freitag, den 14. August 2009 schauten Sabine und ich auf der Pachamama den Film „Australia" an, nachdem die Kinder im Bett waren. Es war wie immer sehr heiss und für Sabine, nur dank dem Lüfter von Claive, auszuhalten. Danach legten wir uns schlafen. Ich ging in die Koje zu Salina und Andri, so dass Sabine eine Koje für sich alleine hatte und es so, für sie nicht zu heiss wurde.
Kurze Zeit später ruft Sabine: „ Bring mir ein Tuch, das Wasser kommt!" Ich war schon im Traum und glaubte zuerst, wir hätten ein Leck. Als ich auf war, stürzte Sabine schon zur Toilette. Schnell nahm ich das Telefon und rufte Mo, unsere Hebamme an. Dann hüpfte ich an Land und rannte auf dem Steck zum Nachbarschiff „Spirit of Assy" , die uns die DVD „Australia" ausgelihen hatte. Beatrice war schnell wach geklopft und hat sich bereits zuvor bereit erklärt, auf die Kinder zu schauen, wenn es dann losging.
Inzwischen hat Sabine Beat Erismann telefoniert, der Chefkameramann für die „Robinson-Insel-Sendungen" des Schweizer Fernsehens war. Er wohnt nur ca. 5 Minuten vom Liegeplatz der Pachamama in einem schönen Haus. Mo hat uns mit ihm in Verbindung gebracht, da sie meinte, dass die Pachamama schon etwas eng ist für eine Geburt. Übrigens für die Anmeldung für die spezielle Geburtsabteilung im öffentlichen Spital waren wir infolge der Falschinformation unserer Krankenkasse, die Sabine irrtümlicherweise innerhalb dreier Tage auf Ende Juli kündigt hatte, nun leider zu spät dran. Beat hat sich aber sofort bereit erklärt, dass wir sein Haus nutzen dürfen.
Gegen Mitternacht packten wir wie die Ameisen Deckbetten, Spielsachen, Schockolade, Photoapparat, Videokamera etc. schnell in Rucksäcke und Taschen und verliessen wie eine grosse Karawane mit Kind und Kegel die Pachamama. Als wir bei Beat eintrafen, war Mo die Hebamme auch schon da und wir stellten den von ihr selbst entwickelten Gueburtspool mitten in Beats Stube. Salina und Andri füllten ihn mit dem Gartenschlauch und ich schaute, dass sie das Haus nicht unter Wasser setzten.
Da die Wehen noch nicht eintreten wollten, legten wir uns alle mal etwas hin, damit wir dann beim Endspurt alle gut ausgeruht und bei Kräften sind. Bis 8 Uhr morgens waren die Wehen immer noch nicht regelmässig und stark, doch gleichsam erschöpfend für Sabine. Mo gab ihr Antibiotika, da Sabine einen Infekt hatte und sie vermeiden wollte, dass das Kind infesziert wird. „Da die Fruchtblase seit einiger Zeit geplatzt sei, müssen wir notfallmässig ins Spital, falls die Wehen nicht bis 10 Uhr eintreten", meinte sie. So ging die ganze Familie auf einen langen Marsch zum Spielplatz und Treppen steigen in der Hoffnung, dass danach starkeWehen regelmässig eintreten. Leider ohne Erfolg...
Beat fuhr uns um 10 Uhr ins Spital. Nach einer langen Nacht hofften wir, dass es jetzt schnell geht, doch das gleiche Lied im Spital: Keine starken und regelmässigen Wehen. Sabine war nach Stunden sehr erschöpft und ich musste entscheiden, ob man ihr Schmerzmittel verabreichen soll. Nachdem ich erfuhr, dass es gewisse Risiken für Mutter und Kind gibt und der Verlauf dadurch nicht beschleunigt wird, habe ich Sabine geraten, es zu lassen und sagte ihr, dass wir es als Team gemeinsam ganz sicher schaffen werden.
Die Presswehen kamen erst um sieben Uhr abends. Ich stand mit Sabine in der engen Spitaldusche und versuchte, sie so gut es ging zu massieren. Andri und Salina fütterten Mami mit unzähligen Enegiestengeln und dann kamen nach einem Stossgebet die Presswehen. Doch Noé war immer noch oben und wollte einfach nicht herunterkommen. Sabine spührte, dass etwas nicht stimmte, da wir zum Glück keine Medis hatten. Es war sehr schmerzhaft für sie. Sie hatte nach bald 20 Stunden Angst, dass es einfach nicht heraus kommen will. Ich sagte ihr, dass weltweit ca. 100'000 Kinder täglich geboren werden und alle kommen zur Welt...und bei der nächsten Presswehe konnte Sabine mit den Fingern bereits das Köpfchen fühlen und bei der nächsten sahen Salina und Andri schon die Haare. Wir gingen zum Bett, doch es ging zu schnell; Sabine konnte sich nicht mehr hinlegen. Im Stehen gebar sie Noé, umringt von Salina und Andri und Mo. Sie schaute, dass Noé nicht zu Boden fiel. Ich habe diesen Moment mit meiner Kamera festgehalten. Es ist das schönste Photo, dass ich je gesehen habe. Sabine und ich haben aber entschieden, es nicht zu veröffentlichen; - es ist uns zu persöhnlich. Später hatte ich dann zum dritten Mal die Ehre mit dem Victorinox Messer die Nabelschnur zu durchschneiden.
Was war der Grund für die schwere Geburt: Noé hatte die Nabelschnur wohl vom vielen herumtollen in Sabine's Bauch um den Hals gewickelt. Deshalb ist er nicht in den Kanal heruntergerutscht und hat bis zum letzten Augenblick gewartet, weil er wusste, dass er schnell durch den Geburtskanal muss. Was für ein gescheites Kerlchen! Man muss die Natur nur walten lassen und mit einem bisschenGottvertrauen kommt alles gut, -so wie es muss.
Welche Erleichterung, welche Freude. Ein Wunder, Noé Reto Vital. Alles ist da und gesund und vital. Jetzt hoffen wir auf den nächsten Donnerstag und dass die Nieren auch in Ordnung sind...

Posted by dario at 6:59 AM