October 3, 2011

TopToTop announces creation of ToptoTop Mauritius

ToptoTop held a press conference at 14h30, on Wednesday 28th September 2011 at the Labourdonnais Hotel, Port Louis, to announce the creation of TopToTop Mauritius.
Dario Schworer presented the Global Climate Change Expedition to the members of the media. Jounalists from the daily newspapers Le Matinal, Le Mauricien, Radio One, Radio Plus, the newspaper The Independent and the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation.
The promoter of the Global Rainbow Initiative(GRI), Mr Armoogum Parsuramen, announced the objectives of the GRI also confirmed the support of GRI to TopToTop in Mauritius and at global level.
Gadi Chetty, President of ToptoTop Mauritius, presented the objectives of the organisation to the public. She highlighted the creative input of youth in finding smart and practical ways to protect the planet. Out of 30 founder members, 25 are students from Secondary and Tertiary level.
The first activity of the TopToTop Mauritius will be to ascend the Pouce Mountain on 6th November 2011, and do a clean up of the Mountain when descending.
Members of the audience included members of ToptoTop Mauritius and members of the media.
The Labourdonnais Hotel graciously sponsored the event.


Posted by dario at 5:15 PM

Piton de la petite Riviére Noire

Top to top organised again a great trip in Mauritius. This time we headed to the highest peak on the island, Piton de la petite Riviére Noire. We were 25 people leaving the harbour early in the morning.


The general manager for White Sand Tours Asraf Khodabux orginased a bus for us. Our driver Niraj Gungoo took us throw the beautiful National Park where we started our hike. The group was a great mix of different ages and nationalities. The youngest was only 4 months old! Half of the group was from Mauritius and the other half was sailers from Canada, Estonia, France, Australia and Sweden.
The hike up was beautiful and the ones that did not fear the last steep part of the hike got to enjoy the amazing view from the top. About 828 meters over sealevel. Niraj Gungoo told us about what we could see from the top and some intresting history about Mauritius.


After many photos and some food we returned down picking about 8 bags of rubbish on the hike down.
After a nice mountain our driver took us to a beautiful beach in Riviére Noire. The children were swimming and luckely there was one place open for some food and snacks even that it was a Sunday.
Late in the afternoon this mixed group of people that now knew eachother a little bit better returned to Port Louise. Tired and happy!

Thank you everyone that organised this day. A big thank you to Dario and Sabine and also to Asref and Niraj. I also want to give a thank you to the mauritian people that were our local guides and showed us their beautiful country!

Posted by dario at 5:18 PM

October 4, 2011

Mauritius–Island Beauty & Beach Clean-up

After painting the deck of PACHAMAMA yesterday (see video), today a group of 15 of us including two single-handers, our Mauritian friends and the TOPtoTOP crew left Port Louis at 7AM for a clean-up on the southern beach of Riambel near Souillac with Khurseed Mahomed, our excellent guide and Chandradeo Niraj Gungoo our great driver (also from Sunday); both courtesy of White Sand Tours

Driving south we passed the Mauritius Commercial Bank:

2011-09_singapore-cocos-mauritius (365)

a unique structure designed and built under BREEAM principles and environmentally self-sustaining.  This is a great example of how big and small efforts make a difference in the world.  This building, is an icon for the island’s commercial sector and sets a high standard in environmental consciousness.

We arrived at Riambel Beach and split into two teams one going east and the other west and each person with an empty garbage bag, which we filled and then brought  back to dispose of properly.  What was great about this clean-up was that, contrary to many locations, we really had to look for the garbage, meaning that the beach was actually quite clean! 

2011-09_singapore-cocos-mauritius (368)

At the beach we met and interviewed a local official who spoke to us of the environmental efforts they were making in the southern district of the island as well as confirmed what we’ve been hearing around the world regarding the rise in sea temperature.  A highlight of their efforts is the reduction in the use of chemicals in sugar cane farming as well as educational efforts with the fishing community to help preserve the reef.  See interview video


Driving through this beautiful country one passes through kilometer after kilometer of sugar cane; a crop which used to be the primary source of revenue for the country.  Given over a 50% drop in the price of sugar, negative health impacts due to the pollen (very high asthma and other respiratory problems are prevalent in children), soil depletion, pollution of the reef due to chemical run-off and unemployment, the need to diversify has become painfully apparent.  Along with the conservation and protection efforts of the reef and its ecosystem, Mauritius is beginning to make changes in agriculture and moving away from the mono-culture of sugar cane.  We strongly applaud these efforts to diversify with other crops that are sustainable for the island and reconstructive in nature. It is wonderful to see that this country is aware of ecological and climatic problems and acting on it.

We’d like to extend a special thanks to Asraf Khodabux and White Sand Tours for their friendship and help in providing guides and transport for the clean-ups we have completed over the past few days!

Posted by dario at 5:41 PM

October 5, 2011

Honorary Consul General of Switzerland visits Pachamama

This afternoon we had the pleasure of receiving Mr. Andrian Wehrli, Honorary Consul General of Switzerland onboard the PACHAMAMA, with another Swiss couple also here on their boat, the Kopernik from Bale at  La Marina in Port Louis, Mauritius.


Posted by dario at 6:07 PM

October 6, 2011

New Tracking system installed!

We’ve installed a new ship-tracking system, thanks to Oumesh Tewary, Technical Manager of Satellite Air Time Ltd (Mauritius) & GlobeInfos which will allow you to follow the PACHAMAMA’s movements across the Indian Ocean and beyond! 

IMPORTANT: GlobeInfos cannot work until Google Earth plugin © Google Inc. is installed. If you don’t have Google Earth’s browser API installed please do so first from here.

To access the boats position please follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on this link: http://www.globeinfos.fr/users/default.aspx and log in with the following user name and password (case sensitive):
    • Username: TopToTop
    • Password: Darioreto
  2. The first screen you should see will look like this:


3. Click on TopToTop 1 in the top right-hand corner of the screen to spin the globe to the PACHAMAMA’S position and then zoom-in (also top-right of “globe screen” as much as desired to see something like this:


That’s it – Enjoy!

NB.: If still get Google Earth plugin error, please follow the instructions from the web page or reinstall from here. For a video of how to install, (in French) try this link.

Posted by dario at 8:47 AM

October 13, 2011

TOP of the Indian Ocean

2011-10_la-reunion (17)r.jpgTOP of the Indian Ocean, Piton de Neige, 3070 m

2011-10_la-reunion (10)r.jpgMichael and Dario on the TOP, on the 12th of October @ 4 a.m.

2011-09_singapore-cocos-mauritius (778)r.jpgSalina on Pachamama, leaving Port Louis

Leaving Mauritius on Saturday the 8th of October we had a heavy swell from the South and our autopilot did not work properly. The next day, on the height of La Reunion Island we made the decision to go into Port Ouest of Pointes des Galets, La Reunion. In port we got the message that a monster wave killed 3 fisher men that night!
The problem of the autopilot was a mobile loud speaker that was too close to the flexgate Raymarine compass! We normaly need it for our school presentations. Our attempt to calibrate the compass in the port basin early Monday morning failed. The weather forcast was not good anymore and so we cleared in and had a warm welcome by Pierre from the very safe Marina in Pointes des Galets.

2011-10_la-reunion (8)r.jpgOn Tuesday we met Remy and got a lift to the mountain village Cilaos, where we did a wonderful hike to the "Rocher Merveilleuse".
2011-10_la-reunion (34)r.jpgWe stayed at Bernard and Marie Payet's small guest house "Case Bleue" for 2 nights (0692 65 74 96). At midnight Michael and Dario climbed Piton de Neiges. It is with 3070m the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean. They riched the summit at 4.30 a.m.. It was cold but no wind and they were rewarded with a great view. Finding trash, on the 1800 m down to the village, was not easy; - only two small bags of plastics; - congratulation to all people here on La Reunion Island who care for the environment!

Back from the mountain at 8 a.m. Dario joined the family for another 1000 m climb to "La Chapelle". The beauty of nature you can not discribe in words. Nature itself is one of the best schools and the kids learned a lot. - Here some pictures:
2011-10_la-reunion (28)r.jpgthe gorge of "La Chapelle"

2011-10_la-reunion (29)r.jpgWe found golden water!

2011-10_la-reunion (30)r.jpgSabine, Salina, Andri, Noe, Alegra infront of "La Chapelle"

Note: As soon as we see a weather window we depart for Richards Bay, South Africa. Probably on the 16th of October (Dario's birthday)...and hope to arrive 9 days later @ Andri's birthday on the 25th of October.

Posted by dario at 12:38 PM

October 18, 2011

TOP example in La Reunion

Check the latest video from La Chapelle, La Reunion!

2011-10_la-reunion (98)r.jpgRiviere des Galets

2011-10_la-reunion (94)r.jpgSchool at Grande Place, Mafate, La Reunion Island

On Dario's birthday we went to Mafate. It is a huge crater, with peaks and deep gorges. You can access this paradise only by your own legs. It took us 2 hours two the first settlement "Cayenne", where we stayed on the camp ground "Chez Jeff" (phone: 06 92 34 39 99) and celebrated Dario's birthday Sunday evening.

2011-10_la-reunion (82)r.jpgThe birthday cake which Michael and Dominique had secretly carried up the mountain earlier that day

In total there are 8 schools in Mafate. On Monday we visited "Ecole Leonard Thomas" on the Ilet de Grand Place. After our workshop we did a cleanup.
2011-10_la-reunion (92)r.jpgThe "lions" where the winners and collected the most plastic on the school yard.

2011-10_la-reunion (96)r.jpg
Maryse is a great teacher. Thanks to her the children learn how to cultivate their own vegetables and fruits in the garden of the school. Each student has his own garden.

2011-10_la-reunion (74)r.jpgThe people here really live in an unspoiled and peaceful environment. They are healthy people, producing their own food. The most important they are happy. They do not need more. Their life style stands for an example for all of us how we can live in harmony with nature and be happy! Congratulation Mafate, - a solution for the whole world to reduce CO2 emissions and become happier!

2011-10_la-reunion (70)r.jpgSalina and Andri playing in clean water

2011-10_la-reunion (71)r.jpgMatterhorn also in La Reunion

2011-10_la-reunion (100)r.JPGremote hiking paths

Thumbnail image for 20111016_reunion.jpg
Dominique and Michael met this man on their way up carrying bags of garbage down from the mountain - another great example of the strong feeling for protecting nature felt and acted on by the people here.

Thumbnail image for 20111017_reunion.jpg

They also did their own cleanup coming down the mountain.

Finally it was a great birthday! ...and specially Dario and Alegra happy and tired...

Posted by dario at 7:21 AM

October 24, 2011

Leaving La Reunion

Check the annual report 2011!

2011-10_la-reunion (91)r.jpgAndri gets 5 years on the 5th of October. We celebrated already yesterday on Pachamama, because we are leaving La Reunion and will be in the Southern Indian Ocean again sailing towards South Africa.

2011-10_la-reunion (84)r.jpgWe did a treasure hunt and encountered Pirate Rodriguez on sailboat Pylades! "Oma" and "Opa" from sailboat Second Wind saw the pirates and there was blood....

2011-10_la-reunion (78)r.jpgOne of Andri's best present was to fly with Felix in his ULM over Pachamama.

Posted by dario at 4:39 AM