Merry christmas

                                            Another year over,  another year gone...

I can't believe that another year is over. This last year was probably the most intensive one in my whole  life. I have seen a lot of beautiful places who are now my favorites, I met so many wonderful people, I laughed and cried, was healthy and sick, learned a lot about cultures, especially the polynesian and New Zealand one, and travelled over 10.000 nm (over 18520 km) on sea in a beautiful and safe sailboat. There were times when I thought this trip is never going to end and now I can't believe it's almost over for me for a while.  I will be leaving Marcus and Alita in a good 2 weeks for about half a year.  Just the thought of not being here anymore feels really weird and sad.

God has been very kind and protected us well from any bad storms or bad weather. Overall the sailing this year has been excellent with good winds (and the perfect decisions from Marcus on when to sail according to weather forecasts) and no (dangerous) traffic of other boats. Additionally, almost every time I visited places at land the weather was favorable for taking wonderful pictures and enjoy the nature. This year we have been in the coldest place of this whole trip (Tierra del Fuego and Chilenan Patagonia), which however was not as cold, as I expected, and we have been to the hottest place: Samoa. Also, we had our longest passage ever this year, from Isla Juan Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe) to Easter Island.

Most of our travel time this year we had wonderful guests on board. We share different, unique memories with every single one. The same counts for all the friends we made and spent such precious time with. These memories can be anything from a special food, over fish / animals that we saw, unique places, weather, events...Just anything. That is something very special we carry in our heart and that's what we travel for.

The last 4 days I have been teaching kids from other sailboats in Ballet technique and made a Jazz Dance choreography with them to christmas music. My best christmas gift this year is to have seen how these girls in the age between 6 and 14 grew in this short time. They were all non dancers (only one 13 yr old had danced Ballett 3 yrs ago) but in the end they were able to do a choreography on their own, smiling and enjoying it. Not perfect, but very good considering where they came from. One girl was frustrated the first day and wanted to give up, I helped her sustain and succeed - she was the happiest girl ever after. All of them worked hard and and did better than I every thought. What better gift could there be for me? It was really heart touching for me today. Thanks girls! That's part of sailing as well ;-)

Those of you, who followed the blog, know, that I tried to share as much of my experiences with you as I could to let you escape from the "regular world" into a different place, where the main focus is survival, getting to know cultures and places and helping each other. Marcus did the same in the german blog. I would like to thank you for "traveling" with us and hope you come back again next year. Even though I take a break I will keep you updated with news from Alita and her travel plans.

Now you can do me a favour. I have no idea, how many people really follow the blog, cause the counter counts some strange access to the blog as well. If you enjoyed reading the blog and are looking forward to more stories and pictures in the future, could you please tick "Like" on the bottom of this blog post? Just to know, you're there with us. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

And don't forget to order your calendar now. There is a good chance you receive it before the end of the year!


Travelling the South Island of NZ

On tuesday, dec. 10th, I left Marcus and Alita to fly down to the South Island for a week. After all the wonderful South Sea and warm waters I really needed to see grass, mountains and glaciers again. So I took the 4hr bus from Opua to Auckland, took the bus to the Airport, flew down to Christchurch, got picked-up from the Rental Car company, rented the car and drove to my pre-booked Backpackers. Wow, after 10 hrs trip I jumped right into their Jacuzzi, that was great. The Hostel "High Country House" was very nice, real old country houses in a nice garden setting, all rooms with high ceilings. But, I have to say, all the Backpackers I stayed in to far were beautiful. Last night I even had a 6-Bedroom for myself, with private bathroom, for 24NZD (about 13EUR). Nothing to complain about. Big, well equipped kitchens, most of them have Jacuzzis (Whirlpool), WIFI, etc. And, the best, you meet lots of nice and fun people, travellers of all ages from all over the world. Mostly of course young people, but even some around 60. Everybody has a great story.
Right now I am at Glacier Franz Joseph, named after Sissi's Husband, the emperor of Austria-Hungary.  I walked up there today with a french girl and a french-canadian guy, whom I picked up at the street. It was nice, but I am afraid that after Patagonia I am just spoiled. New Zealand is really beautiful, in many ways like home and in most parts like little Patagonia. What is very unique here and I guess only at this time of the year, are the millions of Lupinia flowers onthe sides of the streets and everywhere. You'll see in the pictures. Not only the view, but also the smell was amazing. This itself was worth the trip to here!
Here are some pictures of the last days. Enjoy.

Christchurch - not much is left here, the earthquake in 2009 destroyed most of it
 A christian college
 Love this sign

 Lake Tekapo

 The famous historical church of Lake Tekapo. Many use it for their weddings

 Merry christmas!
 And here are these amazing flowers!

 View over Lake Tekapo towards Mt. Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, and Mt. Tasman, the second highest. Of course with the clouds you see them.

 Back to the Lupinas

 I couldn't help but to "co-photograph" this wedding couple.

 And another wedding couple, at the Mt. Cook lookout. Only, that Mt. Cook decided to hide...

 Sorry for the wedding couples: the next day the weather was perfect, so I drove back from Twizel, where I stayed, to take these pictures.
 And here he is, Mt. Cook, the highest mountain of NZ

 A good part of southern NZ is desert. Better to say, all on the east of the alps. It's funny, how the landscape changes from desert to green as you go past the peak line of the mountains in western direction. All of a sudden today there were many trees. Now it's all green here on the west coast - and rainy

 View over Lake Wanaka, where I stayed yesterday. Almost the view from the Backpackers as well.
 Lake Wanaka

To see more pix, click on the following link:
Pictures of South Island NZ
I will continue to upload more as the days go by....

Just remember, have a look at the calendars in the photo gallery!!


Theme calendars ready to order!

For all those, who follow our trip and for all those, who love my pictures here are good news: I made calenders with different topics using some of my favourite pictures! Any order until dec 16th will be processed before christmas. Shipping worldwide, although timing can not be guaranteed then, depends on the mail service. By buying a calender you support our trip so that we can take many more pictures and write many more stories for you to enjoy. Please go to the photogallery page and follow the links for pre-views. They might take a time to open since the files are quite large.

Happy pre-christmas time,



Motorsailing against the wind for four hours once we came out of the
river leading to Whangarei we went to a beautiful anchorage here in
Kawhareva Bay near Tutukaka Harbour. New Zealand indeed is a sailor's
paradise and I start to understand, why there are so many sailors here.
Auckland is said to inhibit the largest amount of sailboats in the world
- probably followed by Sydney. I haven't seen it yet, but I will soon.
Just outside of the coast, in a distance of about 2 miles, there are
many little rock-islands and some bigger islands even. THe coast itself
(well, I only know the one of northern island til Whangarei) offers
wuite some shelters in beautiful bays.

This bay here is basically on the other side of the hill from Whangarei,
just about 20km (direct line) to the NE on the coast instead of at the
end of the river. But, to get here we had to travel about 60km, first
going about 28km SE to the exit of the river, then out to the coast line
and back up. So we had an 8hour trip for a distance that you can travel
by car in 20 min. That's a sailor's life.

In this bay here are many beautiful and quite expensive looking houses
here. At least anywhere elst in the civilized world you would pay a
fortune for these pieces of lot, overlooking a bay or being located
directly at the beach in the bay. If I had to choose a place to live, it
would be here indeed. This bay is full of rocks and rocks shore, hills
to climba and sandy beaches, just beautiful nature. Maybe i get to walk
and/or kajak around a bit tomorrow. We'll see what the wind does, if we
can go on tomorrow or not.


Opua to Whangarei

Our last trip with our crew, Anna and Tina, was from Opua to Whangarei. We sailed this trip in 2 days as we wanted to enjoy the beauty of the passage. In the Bay of Islands we found wonderful anchorages well protected from most winds where once Tina and I and once Anna and I wen up the hill to enjoy the most beautiful overview of the Bay. You'll see in the pictures.

Everything went well until we had to go against the wind in the river which carried us to Whangarei. Those 15 nm took us forever, about 4 hrs, with winds of up to 32knots against us. We had the current with us. In one way good, beacuse it kept us going, on the other hand not so good, because it produced steep waves which Alita was pounding in. The last challenge was the bridge right before coming to the Marina. We had to call the guy to open it. WIth the wind on the nose and no working Bow thruster we were not able to wait at the swimming dock but had to manouver in a very small area, which again, was very tricky because of the wind, current and missing bow thruster. But., we managed and finally arrived in the marina in the late afternoon on November 30th. So now, 5 days later, we are leaving here again after having shopped like crazy. Everything here is within walking distance from the harbour, which is nice. But now I can't see one more shop for a while...and I am really looking forward to going back to the calmer, beautiful Bay of Islands. Well, clam for a while. I heard that starting with christmas time this place gets crazy. Of course, it's a holiday paradise and summer vacation starts. Anyway, we'll go to the Marina there and the work on Alita starts. I will do some more touring around New Zealand, so you can hope for some more stories and pictures. What I can say for now: if you go to the Bay of Islands, lucky you, you'll enjoy it!!

Here are the pictures from the trip:

Here are some:

Photos with compliments from Tina:

  My pictutres from the trip

And here the "Vanillekipferl", that I made for our celebration of the 1. Advent (sunday, dec. 1st)