November 1, 2012

Brazil - French Guiana


More pictures here...

We had to say goodbye to all our friends in Fernando de Norohna, our last destination in Brazil. Unfortunately Thomas had to go back urgently to work. - Thanks again for updating the website and staying with us. Always welcome back! -

On the 10 days passage to French Guiana we had perfect sailing condition and a strong current going the same direction. On the 25th of October Andri got 6 years old. 3 days before Pachamama crossed the equator the 4th time in its journey and we baptised Christina. - She is now Mrs. Manta! -
We anchored in Ile de Salute and had in no time some friends. - Read the book "papillon" and you know all about the island and its prisoners! - The french military stocked us up with food and we got invited to see the space center in Kourou (Ariane). We were able to stay at Christophe Escorihuela's house. He is an air controller and very friendly. At the moment we just get a lift to the zoo.
We also met Patrick Deixonne (Ocean Scientific Logistic). He is one of the great French explorer and was rowing in 44 days over the Atlantic. His next project is the "7 Continent" project, where he asked TOPtoTOPs support in the Northern Pacific. The plan is to collect sientific data about the plastic waste supported by satellite observations (NASA, CNES). Therefore we will have to drag for one hour a day transponders and a special drag to capture micro plastic waste behind Pachamama.

-Congratulation to David Hocking (Jacqui's brother) about his research success on Leopard Seals! Read more....

-Congratulation to Mengia Mathis (Dario's relative) for getting the Swiss Solar Price! May a best practise example we can study at the next TOPtoTOP Climate Solution Award Expedition? Read more........2012-09-24_exped-report_ch_solarpreis-mengia-mathis.jpg

-New TOPtoTOP member "Ina Hug" born on the 21st of October 2012! Congratulation!

-The latest news (15th October 2012) from Gadi - "TOPtoTOP Mauritius": Clean up in Mangarai, Coimbatore, India:

I am in India and was recently at the Airya Vaidya Pharmacy and Hospital in Mangarai for 21 days. The hospital is located on the slope of a mountain in a forest, 1h30 mins away from the city centre.
It was amazing to hear wild elephants from afar, to see wild peacocks, and bulls. It seems wild elephants roam around, but I did not see one. However I walked around the forest as much as I could and it is difficult to describe the sense of beauty I experienced when walking amongst butterflies, coloured birds and tall, really old trees.
Alas, even in this beautiful remote place, plastic garbage of all sorts were littering the landscape: bottles, sweet wraps, plastic bags, etc...I could not leave without trying a cleanup. I shared the Toptotop vision with the Officer in charge of the hospital and he willingly accepted the idea of clean up: today, 15th October, in between the rains (it rained whole week), with a small group of volunteers (staff of hospital), we cleaned up the surroundings of the hospital during half an hour and we gathered 5 huge bins of plastic garbage. It is an astounding number for such a short period of time.
We were all very happy to see restored cleanliness to this beautiful slope. This moment will be one of my cherished moments. Wherever we are, we can make a difference. If each one of us seizes opportunities to touch other people's minds and hearts and reach out for the best in them, we will be pleasantly surprised. I am leaving this place tomorrow for the city centre, but I step away from the forest with beautiful memories.
I have a strong thought for the members of Toptotop Mauritius who would have loved this place and you were all in my mind during this clean up- was remembering your enthusiasm, commitment and our passion when cleaning up mountains in Mauritius.

Posted by dario at 1:06 PM

November 6, 2012

Idea for Xmas donation

Please help support the TOPtoTOP Loiborsoit project? Please watch the latest film from Jacqui here!

Note: If you do a donation please use the donation button and add "water for loiborsoit".

Posted by dario at 12:54 PM

November 13, 2012

Ariane5 and Suriname

We just arrived in Suriname after we have seen the start of an ARIANE 5 Rocket launch in French Guiana. More pictures here.

2012-11-14_suriname-domberg_school-2.JPGHigh School in Domberg:

Suriname is an example for United Nations. The population is from India, China, Indonesia, Europe etc. and all live in peace and harmony together. TOPtoTOP made a presentation and a clean up at the High School in Domberg.

2012-11-12_suriname_plastic-bottle-island.jpgPlastic Island - a great example in Suriname:

After 200 nm we went up the Suriname River for about 60 km and met Sofia and Ed in Domberg. Sofia and Ed sailed here 6 years ago and found the shore full of plastic bottles.
They decided to clean up the place and use the bottles to build an island. On the island they planted trees and vegetables and build their cabin.
We just arrived in time to meet them. Tomorrow they sail off again to the Corrantijn River to do another plastic recycling project. They teach the ladies how to turn plastic bags into art and useful bags. More pictures here.

Sofia and Ed are a great example what somebody can do with passion and a big heart for the environment and other people. Sofia's philosophy is that small actions change the world. They don't like to be missionarys. They like just to live their lifes in harmony with mother Earth. Even their boat "Argo" is about 40% receicled material. By this they show, how you can use any waste in a recycled or upcycled way. It is stupid to throw away things you still can use again. If only one person starts to act, it is already a success for them. Contact: ed_sofia(at)
Congratulation to Sofia and Ed. See more here. Some press in Dutch.

More information from Ingrid Newman's facebook page:
"Ed and Sophia, a Dutch couple, living in Suriname, "have built a floating island, using great creativity and energy, callling attention to the masses of plastic that are discarded in our oceans.
"The Domburg Bottle Project," begun in November 2006, used approximately 150,000 discarded plastic bottles, sewn into five large pockets of old fishnet.
The final island is approximately 10 by 7 meters, and 1.5 meters thick. On that, they deposited large amounts of topsoil, and have planted trees, flowers, grass and vegetables. Frequent rain keeps the island green, augmented when necessary by water from the river." ...and more from Rob and Natalie's blog.

Posted by dario at 5:03 PM