September 3, 2011

Singapore to Cocos Keeling


Posted by dario at 2:43 PM

September 12, 2011

Please do not forget to donate for the TOPtoTOP Maasai Project!

Short description of project: Catching water from the roofs of Loiborsoit primary school in tanks. Distribution of water through pipes. Water will be mainly used for washing and cooking in the school kitchen. No such intallation exists up to now for the about 650 pupils. CHF 11'000.- are needed to build a sustinable system. For donations please contact Markus Heeb ( Please download costs (Excel).
TOPtoTOP already did a recycling workshop and clean up and donated 4000 text books to the school.

Posted by toptotop at 6:00 PM

September 14, 2011

Cocos Keeling visit and trip to Rodrigues Island

We arrived in Cocos Keeling on the afternoon of August 30th and anchored off the Direction Island, at the north of the atoll with a half-dozen other boats. A very nice Australian customs official had us fill out mountains of paperwork and then sped off on his jet ski to the next boat. We then put the dingy in the water and paddled into the beach to wander, play in the sand and swim. It is very beautiful here!!!

School Visit:

Shortly after breakfast, Dario and Michael headed over to “Home Island” with Vigar and Lizbeth who were kind enough to shuttle us over there in their dingy. Most places were closed given the EID holiday, but fortunately the iCafé and the school were open. Michael went to the iCafé for expedition reports and Dario, Vigar and Lizbeth went to the Cocos Island District High School to address the students.

Dario had a great session with the students. This school has actually won awards on their environment work focused on rising sea-levels and the impact it is having on the islands. See their report in next post.

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Beach Clean-up:

At 4 PM – we gathered on the beach with other boaters and collected plastic garbage from the ocean side of the island and then wrote “No Plastics” with the garbage. 4 teams of 3-4 players – judged on how quickly they could fill a large garbage bag full of plastic – sadly, this took less than 5 minutes – then on their artistic expression in saying “no plastics” with the garbage that they’d collected.

The winning design with NO Plastic written out in 4 different languages! Following the competition we collect all our combined garbage, dug a big hole and buried the plastic deep under the sand.

Collecting the garbageThe winning designBurying the garbage

This clean up connected over 20 people in a group effort where we all took part in taking care of our planet and leaving the place we were in in a better state than we had found it. Many of the participants were children and adolescents and all were actively engaged. The event has left its mark and is something that all will carry forward with them into the future.

Cocos Keeling to Rodrigues:

I think this picture says it all:


For 9 of the 12 days we were “wing and wing” with 20-30 knots wind and following seas. The sun was shining; porpoises came by to greet us as did a few sea-birds.

On the 9th of September, TOPtoTOP hit a major milestone of 40’000 nautical miles! That’s 3 times around the world!!

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But the good weather didn’t last and for the final days it got quite rough with winds gusting to 55 knots:


It was great to arrive in Rodrigues where we will spend the next day and Dario will meet with local students at the College of Port Mathurin and then continue to Mauritius tomorrow, arriving in 3-4 days.

Posted by dario at 4:15 PM

Cocos Islands District High School - Environmental Presentation

See the excellent presentation created by the Cocos Islands District High School here. Climate Change Powerpoint Cocos Keeling Island year 3-4.pdf

Posted by dario at 7:35 PM

TOPtoTOP visits to Cocos Keeling, Australia, August 31, 2011

Video: TOPtoTOP visits to Cocos Keeling, Australia on August 31, 2011

Posted by dario at 8:17 PM

September 17, 2011

Rodrigues Island

We arrived in Rodrigues early in the morning of September 13th and departed early on the 15th.  It was a short but very eventful visit. 

Dario was able to give a presentation  to the students of “Rodrigues College” on the 14th; a brilliant group of students full of questions about how they can also help improve and protect the environment.  Rodrigues is a very special place with an unspoiled beauty that is rare.

Students from Rodrigues College visit Pachamama

Students from Rodrigues College visit Pachamama









Later that that day the Schoewer family visited the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise & Cave Reserve located in the south-west of the island in Anse Quitor. The reserve is an excellent example of environmental protection and awareness building with an 19-hectare nature reserve with endemic flora and fauna of the Island and over 1100 giant Aldabra tortoises including 150 new-born tortoises which is ensuring the longevity of the species and this location.   The center provides researchers and students access to these unique creatures as well as historical documentation and materials dating back many years as well as a wonderful visiting experience for multiple generations.

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Posted by dario at 1:52 PM

Video Of Rodrigues College Students

Students from Rodrigues College in Port Mathurin, Rodrigues visit the Pachamama Video

Posted by dario at 5:34 PM

September 21, 2011

Port Louis Toastmasters Club at Le Bocage International School

The Port Louis Toastmasters Club and Le Bocage International School welcome TOPtoTOP to speak on the environment. Michael Thatcher was the guest of honor at this special event at La Moka in Port Louis, Maritius where he presented to students from Le Bocage International School and the Port Louis Toastmasters Club.
PLTM Agenda 20 September 2011.pdf20110920_portlouis_toastmasters

Posted by dario at 1:56 PM

September 22, 2011

Avoiding pirates - going S!

Latest news

MR Location.JPG

IFC received report from IMB that there was a piracy attack on a Cyprus flagged Bulk Carrier 'MEKONG RIVER' off Mayotte at 12:46.6S 046 18.5E on 21.09.2011 AT 0643 UTC.

The details are as follows :
Two skiffs were passing the vessel at a distance of approx 1.5 Nm. In each skiff three of four people with dark dress.
After they have passed they turned around and increased their speed up to 18 Knots and split up to each side of the vessel.
Vessel start to increase her speed and makes maneuvering courses. After about 25 minutes the skiffs stopped the attack and followed the vessel. No shot were fired.

At the moment the master if fully aware of the situation and will keep full speed and a continuous sharp look out.

At 0851Z, in UKMTO reports that MEKONG RIVER, is safe, skiffs no longer sighted.

Flag: Norway
IMO: 9378931
Type: Container Ship
Year Of Build: 2007
Service Speed: 19.6kts

This incident is out of IFC's AOI, however, it is shared with the French ILO, as the French is monitoring this area.

Commander Jean-Michel KERGOAT, FR/ILO/IFC were in busy contact with us in the last months and did an excellent job! Here the decision Dario made to day:
The TOPtoTOP expedition always prays to the students in our presentations that we have to respect nature. In that sense the situation is clear: The TOPtoTOP Global Cllimate Expedition will sail South!

Like this we avoid the risk of pirate atacks. TOPtoTOP sees nature and the sea as its partner. Harsh see conditions you can manage; crazy pirates you can not.

In the name of the TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition I like to thank all involved in this difficult risk management assesment.

Our plan is now to do our project in Mauritius school a little bit longer till sea conditions improve and like to sail end of September to La Reunion to do the project there and wait for a good weather window.

Here the info from Jean-Michel:
(use google to translate)
"Vous trouverez ci dessous un avis d'ALINDIEN sur la situation securitaire dans la zone devant etre traversee par le PACHAMAMA. Personnellement, je souscrit totalement a ses informations qui sont corroborees par la derniere attaque menee par des pirates sur un cargo "l'Ocean Express" secouru par les Italiens de "l'Andrea Doria". Ce bateau est actuellement en feu, son equipage a ete recueilli par les Italiens. Cette attaque tend a confirmer le glissement des actes de piraterie des cotes Somaliennes vers le Kenya. La zone d'insecurite s'etend maintenant tres nettement jusqu'au canal du Mozambique.
Concernant le canal du Mozambique, l'avis du CC Hugon (COMSUP La Reunion), sera sans doute le plus a meme d'apporter l'eclairage autorise sur l'evolution inquietante de cette zone et sur les risques encourrus par l'expedition "Top to top".
Dario, le Skipper du Pachamama devra ensuite decider de la route a suivre et nous en informer afin que nous puissions continuer a le suivre.
Je remercie nos collegues Suisses pour l'excellente cooperation et les echanges d'informations qui se poursuivent entre nous tant au sujet du "TURANOR Planet Solar Explorer" arrive hier a Singapour que tu "Pachamama" dont la suite du voyage reste a definir.Vous trouverez en PJ l'analyse OTAN de la situation..."
Bonne journee a toutes et a tous. CC JM KERGOAT, FR/ILO/IFC, Singapour"

Here the analysis from ALINDIEN:

Bonjour Commandant,
Pour la situation sécuritaire pour le PACHAMAMA, nous recommandons vivement de passer par la partie Est de Madagascar. Si cette option présente des conditions de navigation plus dures, cela permet d'éviter le canal du Mozambique. Nous déconseillons fortement les Comores, car les chiffres des mois passés démontrent la réalité du danger dans cette zone, outre les pêcheurs espagnols qui ont été attaqués ou approchés dans cette zone, il y a eu plusieurs attaques entre les Comores et le continent, sur des commerces, dont un a été pris. Le risque pour les voiliers n'est pas nul (pour mémoire: le Choizil), si le canal du Mozambique voit à présent une présence militaire (un seul bâtiment de combat) cela est encore insuffisant pour le considérer comme sûr en comparaison avec l'étendue de la superficie à couvrir. Enfin, différents éléments (Météo, "informations", et historique) présagent une reprise d'activité pirate imminente dans tout le secteur concerné!
De notre côté, nous conseillons à tous les navigateurs voulant prendre la route Sud de passer côté Est de Madagascar, effectivement une escale au NE de Madagascar est faisable, sans écarter le risque de crises politiques et le risque sanitaire, comme le fait remarquer monsieur Monat, que je rejoins sur son avis vis à vis de l'escale à Mayotte. Pour ce qui est des cyclones, les autres navigateurs devant emprunter cette route attendent fin octobre pour s'y engager. Si la route Sud comporte des dangers, elle reste nettement préférable à la route passant dans la partie Nord et le golfe d'Aden, où dernièrement, nous avons pu constater l'activité pirate et la violence de ces attaques (un mort sur le Tribalkat)..."

Posted by dario at 3:35 PM

September 26, 2011

clean up le pouce


Hello, my name is Gillen. I live on a catamaran called Chaotic Harmony and we are sailing around the world for now. I come from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.
We first met the family of Dario, Sabine, Salina, Andri and Noe from Top to Top at Langkawi in Malaysia in November 2010 but since then they have a new baby girl called Alegra. They were visiting schools to tell the dangers of plastic in the water and how it affects the turtles and sea life and collecting the beach rubbish. The kids like to come to my boat to watch DVD's and play games.
We met up with ìTop to Topî again at Rodriguez Island in the Indian Ocean and again a few days later at Mauritius where we currently are berthed in a marina together at Port Louis.
Dario asked our family if we wanted to climb a mountain with him and his family on Mauritius and Celesta from Sogno Díazul and on Thursday the 22nd September 2011 I climbed my first mountain all the way to the sumit. The mountain is called Mount Le Pouce which means "The Thumb". My family stayed on our boat and did some jobs that needed to be done like the dishes.
Most of the mountain is just walking until we got near the summit where we had to start climbing. The paths are very wide until about half way when they got narrower and became one person only so we had to walk in line. We saw a very important message on the way up!
On the way back down we took out garbage bags and collected as much rubbish as we could. Plastic water bottles, chip packets, paper and tissues were the main bits of rubbish. We got about 5 bags of rubbish from the one trail down.
When we got to a clearing at about the third the way up we went down a different path which took us on a winding trail of thick, dense jungle and eventually led to a place that looks like the Australian bush with eucalyptus and acacia trees.
We walked about 4 kilometers down and through the foothills until we reached the edge of the city and then we got a taxi cab back to the boats at the marina. Selina and Andri fell asleep as we were all very tired from walking and picking up other peoples rubbish.
It was a great day and even the taxi driver that took us to the start of the trail climbed with us all the way. We ate lunch at the summit and even saw about 8 monkeys but they did not get my apple core. I shared my chocolate with Selina and Andri and the taxi driver.
When I got home my feet were white from being wet from the wet grass and I have two big blisters but it was still good fun but tiring so today I am resting.
I think the Top to Top expedition is great and people should not litter our world.
This is Gillen signing off. Over and Out.


Posted by dario at 7:12 PM

Video of La Pouce Clean-up

Check out the video of La Pouce clean-up

Posted by dario at 8:52 PM

September 27, 2011

Grand Bay Govt. School

Yesterday we went to the Grand Bay Govt. School and had a presentation.
The students were nine years old and knew already a lot about climate change. This is great!



We spent a nice time with Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen and his lovely family. He showed us the beauty of the island and the botanical garden.


Posted by dario at 9:21 AM

TOPTOTOP Mauritius

TopToTop Mauritius was created on Sunday 25th September 2011, on the Pachamama, at Caudan, Port Louis, Mauritius. The 30 founding members are of various groups, including a main body of students from the Loreto Convent of Port Louis of Mauritius (LCPL), university students from the University of Mauritius, and a small cluster of adults.


The Board was created as follows:
President - Maynagai Gadi Chetty - Communication consultant - self employed
Vice President - Axel Samuel - Teacher at Loreto Convent Port Louis(LCPL)
Board members:
Karine Desmarais (LCPL)
Steve Thandarayen - professional guide for trips in Forest
Arielle Louise (LCPL)
Priyanka Puryag (LCPL)
Jessy Cheung (LCPL)

Youngest junior members are aged 5 and 9 years old.

The creation of TopToTop Mauritius was preceded by an activity from 10h to 12h on same day, which consisted of cleaning of Caudan Waterfront by members present. At least 6 bags of waste plastic were collected onsite.


A press conference will be held tomorrow Wednesday 28th September 2011, at Labourdonnais hotel, Caudan, Port Louis, to announce the creation of TopToTop Mauritius, in the presence of Dario Schworer and members of TopToTop Mauritius. The Labourdonnais Hotel has graciously offered all facilities for press conference on a complimentary basis.
The recently launched Global Rainbow Initiative(GRI) headquartered in Mauritius but operating at a global level, has expressed its support to TopToTop and will also announce its partnership with us tomorrow at the press conference. GRI is developing projects on exclusive education, environment and human rights on a global level and is represented by Armoogum Parsuramen.


Posted by dario at 3:55 PM

September 29, 2011

Mountain Peter Both

At 5 o´clock in the morning a team of 6 persons left Port Louis. Steve was the taxi driver and one of the local guides and Maxwell (member of Top to Top Mauritius) was the other local guide. Two Norwegian sailors, Eivind and Bjørnar from the Norwegian yacht Empire and one Swedish sailor Johanna from the Norwegian yacht Go Beyond and last our mountain guide Dario from Top to Top Expedition. The summit to be climbed was the amazing looking mountain Peter Both. At the top of the mountain lays a huge rock that makes a special profile of the mountain.



All 6 of us climbed up on slippery rocks, pulling us up in grass and branches. About 100 meters before the summit we put on harnesses and roped in. At 8 o´clock, just in time for breakfast we stood at the top of the mountain and enjoyed the amazing view of Mauritius. What a great way to start the day!


Before lunch we were back down with 2 big bags of rubbish that we collected on the way down. Top to Top is doing a great thing around the world with their message to collect rubbish!
Thank you Dario for a great morning!

Posted by dario at 1:11 PM

Video from the top of Peter Both Mountain, Mauritius

Dario and a team of 6 TOPtoTOP climbers ascend Peter Both Mountain in Mauritius - Video from the Top of Mauritius

Posted by dario at 2:24 PM