April 6, 2011


On the way from Langkawi to mainland Malaysia we discovered that water was coming through the floor-boards. Apparently the bilge alarm was not working! This happened at a tricky moment as we were navigating under the bridge in Penang.

We lifted the floor-boards and saw where the water entering. Michel used the manual bilge pump on deck that we had installed for the Sydney Hobart Regatta back in 2008 and together with the electrical bilge pump we managed to clear the water to stabilize the situation.

At first we thought to sail as fast as possible to the next travel lift so as to lift the bloat, but this was 85 nm away, so we anchored instead and made an improvised solution to stop the leak and then proceeded back into the port of Penang for 24 h where we improved on this improvised solution. We then cleaned all items stored in the bilge and all equipment that had been soaked with sea water. We rinsed with fresh water and finally dried everything as best we could.

The cause: Hitting a big log entering Kuah on Langkawi the stuffing box came loose. To make it to the peer we needed maximum RPMs from our auxiliary motor. In retrospect this was too much and an O-ring separating the fresh - from the salt water broke. As a result the engine got salt water in the system because the high pressure opened the valve.

Soon after we proceeded and sailed through the night. Luckily we did quite well in spite very low wind thanks to the current pushing us South.

We are now sitting in Pangkor Marina Malaysia (www.pangkormarina.com) near Lumut where we are very lucky to have great helping hands from two wonderful people: James Khoo, the operation director and Muthu an Engineer.

We hope that we can proceed to Singapore tomorrow with a better and stronger solution.

Posted by dario at 5:28 AM

April 18, 2011

Warm welcome in Singapore

2011-04_langkawi-singapore (15).JPGSalina got 6 on the 11th of April

Copy of 2011-04-14_singapore_swissnex_ntu_0003.JPGWe just made it in time for the presentation and panel discussion at the NTU University Singapore.

Together with our two additional crew members Michael and Dominique we finally made it safe to Singapore, Raffles Marina.Thanks to Raffles Marina we have a place for the expedition boat and can do our activities in Singapur efficently!

As soon as we were cleared in we had a warm welcome and a birthday party for Salina organized by the family Preisig and Steiner. Our present for Salina was to pull her up to the top of the mast...

2011-04_langkawi-singapore (184).JPGThanks to Chris Ngoi, the TOPtoTOP Ambassador to Singapore, swissnex, SwissPro and GSTS for organizing the event at the NTU. Many thanks go also to Prof. Bertil Andersson, NTU President-Designate and Swiss Ambassador Joerg Al. Reding for the introduction, as well as to the panel discussion participants Marco Preisig (SwissPro), Christophe Inglin (Managing Director-Phoenix Solar Pte Ltd), Subodh Mhaisalkar (Executive Director-Energy Research Institute @ NTU), Joachim Luther (CEO-Solar Energy Research Institute Singapore) and Andreas Schaffer (Sustainability Director - Earth Observatory of Singapore).

Good News from Hanna Law regarding the pencil project in Nepal:
„Hi Dario! Hope all goes well! I've just been successful in getting a grant to send the coloured pencils to Nepal... what's more, Rotary Foundation is going to give us extra funds to expand the project, so we will send colouring in books along with the pencils and sharpeners! At long last!! :-)"

„Hi Dario, received an email today from The Rotary Foundation. They are giving us the extra funding we have requested. Cheque should arrive in about 10 days (after Easter), so we should be ready to ship in about 2 weeks time. I have found a carrier (Baggage Masters), who have reasonable rates, so it's all good. Hope all is well with you and the family! :-)"

craterman-samoa_toptotop.jpegSmall world!
Michael Hammarer (our book publisher) sent us this picture from his friend Rafael. He is on a journey around the world and saw our TOPtoTOP board in Samoa....

Posted by dario at 1:15 PM

April 21, 2011

Event at NTU University Singapore

Please make 2 promises today:
1. Do not use plastic bags anymore when you go shopping!
2. Please convince your friend to do the same and ask him to convince also somebody to do so.

Watch the movie send by our member Ester Hörnlimann about the life of a plastic bag and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!

Watch also the movie of the impact of plastic to the giant Pacific Albatross send by our member Michael Thatcher!

Here some more pictures from the great event at NTU University:

2011-04-14_singapore_swissnex_ntu_0001.JPGArrival of the Swiss Ambassador Juerg Reding and Prof. Bertil Andersson, NTU President-Designate

Thumbnail image for 2011-04-14_singapore_swissnex_ntu_0003.JPGWelcome from Suzanne Hraba Renevey, swissnex

Presentation from Dario Schwoerer, TOPtoTOP

2011-04-14_singapore_swissnex_ntu_0007.JPGPanel discussion

Posted by dario at 5:23 AM