January 3, 2013

Clean-up Scotland Bay - Trinidad

Report by Meret
More pictures here!

2012-12-27_tobago-pirates-bay-l.jpgOn the 24th Salina and I arrived in Tobago. We were welcomed on a beautifully decorated Pachamama. Sabine, NoƩ and Andri had made wonderful stars and Christmas trees and put up lots of fairy lights. We celebrated Christmas the next evening as it was already late and we were exhausted. 2012-12-25_tobago-pirates-bay_christmas3-l.jpg
Sabine and Dario had already started with some repairs to get the boat ready for the Pacific. 2012-12-22_tobago-pirates-bay_sabine-sail-repairs_l.jpgTo make sure we got to Trinidad in time for the haul out we left Pirates Bay- Tobago on the 27th and made our way to Scotland Bay- Trinidad. The passage went fine and we arrived early the next morning. I didn't get sea sick which is a relief as it means I can take on further passages.
In Scotland Bay we were surprised to see rubbish lying around everywhere after Pirates Bay had been so clean. 2012-12-30_trinidad-scotland-bay_rubbish-l.jpgTherefore on the 29th we organised a clean-up with some people from the other SY staying there. To make it a little more exciting for the kids we decided to make it a competition: adults (the bulldozers) vs. kids + teenagers (the poisonous spiders). The team that filled the most rubbish bags in 25 min would win a prize.2012-12-30_trinidad-scotland-bay_clean-up_kids-l.jpg So the race began everyone collecting as much plastic waste as possible- from nappies to fishing lines. In the end the score was 33 to 21 for the poisonous spiders. The kids/teenagers had managed to collect more than one bag a minute! So they all got homemade Christmas biscuits. 2012-12-30_trinidad-scotland-bay_clean-up-helpers-l.jpgWe had planned a second contest to make art out of some of the rubbish but due to rain it was postponed. Hopefully the authorities will come and pick up all the rubbish bags and dispose of them properly.
At the moment we are just outside Peake Yacht Services installing things and getting the boat ready for haul out tomorrow. Hopefully all will go well and we will be able to leave as soon as possible.

And of course a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

Last note: Thanks to Juerg Zahnd and Max from SY VOLO we can now wash our dishes with warm water. Also thanks to Annemarie we have a new stove and can finally bake our Christmas cookies. So the Pachamama kitchen has been upgraded to a 5 star kitchen.

Posted by dario at 2:38 AM

January 4, 2013

Picking up the 60 rubbish bags with Coast Guards

See more pictures here!

In the last report the clean-up was mentioned and how we had collected a lot of bags but were not able to dispose of them in any sensible way. Again many thanks to the crew of SY Byamee, SY Volo, SY Baltic Sun and other sailors and locals participating in the clean up event (see last report).
So Dario contacted the Michele Khan, the Consulate General of Switzerland. Without any hesitation he contacted the Minister of National Security, the Hon. Jack Warner who immediately contacted the Chief of Defence Staff, Commander Kenrick Maharaj. Commander Kenrick Maharaj organised that the Commander of the Coast Guards contacted us directly, so we could decide on the further plan of action.
On the 2nd of Jan 2013 we were picked up from Peake Yacht Services and taken to the army base nearby. There an officer welcomed us and told us the boats would be ready in a short while.
After all of us had put on life jackets we were ready to set off. Even though the life jackets were far too big for the kids they were extremely happy because the boat was really fast boat- it had two motors! 2013-01-02_trinidad_coast-guard-boat.JPG
Within no time we arrived in Scotland Bay and all jumped off the boat eager to show the coast guards the large pile of rubbish bags. 2013-01-02_trinidad_coast-guard-clean-up-dario.JPG
Everyone lent a hand to get all the 54 bags on the empty boat accompanying us. In the end the extra boat was quite full and the piled had diminished to a few leaves.
On the way back we also got to meet Lieutenant Commander Jean-Baptiste Kirk (Public Relations Officer) who was very positive about the whole project.
We are very thankful to all that helped and cooperated with us in order to make this whole clean-up such a success. It was great to get such good support from the local authorities and we hope the local people will follow this example and look after their wonderful country a little more by not littering so much in the future.

The haul out went well and we have started working on all the things that need to be done. We would like to thanks Peake Yacht Services for sponsoring the haul out and assisting us so well with all the work. 2013-01-02_trinidad-pys_pachamama-on-land.JPG
Their support is very valuable to us, seeing as Peake Yacht Services will be so to say our base camp for this first figure of eight circumference of the Americas. Their assistance will be a large help to accomplish this world record.

Posted by dario at 4:55 PM

January 21, 2013

TOPtoTOP Award Expedition 2013

Enter the TOPtoTOP Award now!
See the TOPtoTOP Award Expedition 2010 and see how you can participate.

Climate solutions? Environmental actions? Inspiring sustainable projects and examples in your region? If you have your story to share, join the TOPtoTOP Climate Solution Contest now! Students with the best ideas will be invited to the Award Expedition in Switzerland taking place in autumn 2013.

The video above shows the TOPtoTOP Award Expedition 2010. The invited students from all over the world explored the positive climate solutions Switzerland has put into action and witnessed the devastating effect of climate change in the region.

How it works
Now it's time for you to participate as well!
Send your video or PDF showcasing either: Your own environmental action, a climate solution you created, a good environmental example in your region to dario (at) toptotop.org

TOPtoTOP is a non-profit organisation that takes action focussed at the chances and risks of climate change. The TOPtoTOP objective is to connect people to nature and sport through the TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition that is based on sustainability.
myclimate and Switzerland. are the main partners of TOPtoTOP, Victorinox and SGS the main sponsors.

Posted by dario at 5:01 PM