Zurueck in Deutschland

Hallo alle zusammen.

Ich bin nun seit Anfang August mit den Kindern in Wulmstorf bei meiner Familie. Ich bin weder schwanger noch haben wir uns getrennt. Fuer mich war unsere schoene Reise zuEnde. Mir hat es gereicht und ich wollte nach Hause. Zu der kurzfristigen Rueckkehr haben wir uns letztendlich entschlossen, damit die Jungs zum Schulanfang in Deutschland sind.

Dies beinhaltet leider dass mein lieber Kapi noch auf der Lotte hockt und repariert und auf Teile wartet. Einsam und allein und auch noch an Land, da wir besclossen haben, dass das Boot so besser aufgehoben ist als im Wasser.

Die Kinder und ich wurden hier herzlich in Empfang genommen, wohnen zzt bei Opa Ulli / Holi und Ann20150829_141525a. In ca 2 Wochen ziehen wir auf die andere Strassenseite zu Lisa, die Wohnungen vermietet. Wir leben uns so Stueck fuer Stueck ein. Also seid mir nicht boese, wenn ich mich noch nicht gemeldet habe. Ist ganz schoen viel. Ausserdem kommen wir ja aus der slow motion und wollen uns zumindest Teile davon bewahren.

Unser erster Gang war ins Schuhgeschaeft, da wir ja keine bis Flippflopps hatten. Hanna liess sich beim einkaufen fahren dazu ueberreden immerhin einen Schluepfer zu tragen. Mittlerweile zieht sie auch immer oefter Tshirts an. Klamotten gabs auch ein paar, sodass die Jungs fuer die Schule geruestet sind. Sogar die Schulranzen von eBay hat der Postbote schon vor die Tuer gespuckt. Alles weitere wird sich ergeben.

Vielen Dank an alle unsere blog Mitreisenden, die uns mit Interesse und Komentaren begleitet haben. Ausserdem vielen Dank fuer die Hilfe bei Post Erledigung , Komunikation auf See und und und an meine Schwester Judi. Und aktuell ein grosses Danke an meinen Buder Holi und Anna, deren Haushalt wir in eine Kita verwandelt haben. Anton teilt seine Sandkiste bereitwillig mit den 4 Feeder cousin/chen’s.

Meist gestellte Frage: Wo wars am schoensten?    Fuer mich war’s im Wasser am schoensten in den SanBlasInseln vor Panama. Land und Leute in Atuona, HivaOa auf den Marquesas.

Viele liebe Gruesse und ich freu mich auf ein Wiedersehn

Almut

A sad rainy day in Tahiti

It’s now two months I didn’t write anything on the blog, and I received many mails asking to be reassured, that everything was fine.
Be reassured; no shipwrecking, no accident or health issues…
It was just mutiny! .. or at least I perceived it as such, when my crew told me that two years of island beaches and coloured fishes was enough and that they wanted to end the voyage and take an airplane back home, to family and friends.
I needed quite a lot of time to digest and really understand that our once in a lifetime voyage is now over and we  are heading back into a life defined by work, work, work… and a place which I had left nearly twenty years ago chasing for some kind of adventure. So back to square zero, but now as a family man.
I was too dishearted to report anything about our stay in Raiatea, Moorea or Tahiti. Focus was on trying to sell the boat, buying airline tickets and likewise enthusiasmating things.
Today I restart blogging, as Almut and the kids took the airplane to Hamburg and I am now sitting alone on the boat; now I’m blogging to get the gray off my mind. The weather is as gray as myself, it is raining all day long.

I am staying here to clean up the boat, repair the latest broken items and get her out of the water on the dry, so that she is safe and does not deterriorate if the sale takes longer than I would like.

The boat is listed at Raiatea-Yacht-Services and at Apolloduck, but there is not much interest yet.
Everybody perceives a sailing voyage to the south seas as “buy-and-equip-a-boat-and-sail-it-there”, only few realize that this can be a trying and tyring exploit and many voyages end once the dream islands are reached. So now “Flotte Lotte” waits for somebody who wants to continue the voyage, starting freshly directly on the dream islands.

In the coming days I will bring the boat from Marina Taina to Port Phaeton (both on Tahiti), to lift it out.

Huahine – behind the Motu Murimahora – Chez Paul

The Society Islands take the best of the two French Polynesian archipelagoes, we visited before, and combine it:
From the Marquesas they take the high mountains covered by tropical forrest and the abundance of fruit.
From the Tuamotus they take the fringing coral reef, protecting the inside from the long Pacific swell, the clear water and the fish.

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Here the fringing reef enlaces the mountain island, leaving a band of water of a few hundered meters width inbetween, which gives a multitude of calm anchorages. The main difficulty for finding a good anchorage here is to find sufficiently shallow water, as the lagoon often is up to 50 meters deep.

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We entered Huahine from the east by the Farerea pass and turned left into the chanel between the motu (island) Murimahora and the big island Huahini Iti. Screenshot_2015-06-02-20-44-121.5 miles from the pass an anchorage in just four meters on fine sand was indicated jn our navigation guide, and we could well see this sand and our anchor which dropped into it.Screenshot_2015-06-02-20-50-23

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We jumped into the water and swam to the coral garden just 30 meters away, where we saw our first clown fish, hiding in their anemones, like in the movie Nemo. It’s an open sky aquarium!

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And along came in his canoe; Paul, who lives on the motu. He brought coconuts and bread fruit to welcome us and showed us proudly his visiting yacht guest book, in which we found comon friends, who visited him in 2014: Funambule, Lares and Pegase, we met in the Marquesas, but most surprisingly “Ui”, which we met in 2011 in Portugal and who are now in New Zealand. What nice memories…

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Communication with Paul was rather difficult, as he is deef and can’t speak, but gesticulating with hands and feet we understood us surprisingly well. The kids soon set off to visit him on his island and later Paul invited us on a tour up the hill just opposite of our anchorage, from where we could take nice photos.

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We also had a walk down the road to the village of Parea on the south corner of the island.
On this walk we saw a small plantation of vanilla

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and an ancient “marea” burrial place, here built from big plates of coral

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Parea village has a shop, so we were able to get some much needed refreshments

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On the return trip everybody was well tired and we were very glad, when a friendly woman picked us up with her car, to deliver us to our dinghy.

“Lotte” at Sea – Adieu Tuamotus

Tikehau & adieu Tuamotus

On the 23rd of may we took up the hook in the first light of the day and
sailed out through the easter pass of Rangiroa towards the last of the
Tuamotu atolls on our route: TikehauScreenshot_2015-06-02-20-46-24
We arrived at 17:00 and anchored just next to the pass, where corals
promised some protection from the waves raised by the easterly wind inside
the lagoon, in front of a nice beach and an abandoned fisher village.Screenshot_2015-06-02-20-46-50
The next day we spent at the beach and in the turquoise waters.PICT0164
Unfortunately the wind blew strongly in the following night, making our
anchorage uncomfortable. Even in this relatively small atoll the wind has
more than 10 miles fetch, to build up some waves.

We decided it was time to leave the Tuamotus and head for the Society
Island group, where we landed on the 26th of May safely at Huahine.

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Rangiroa

We motored out of Toau in very low wind during the morning of the 17th of May and only stopped the engine by noon, when a little wind from the north allowed us to progress under sails alone. By evening we had pased the islands of Apataki and Arutua in our north and Kaukura in our south. The islands are always just visible as a line of palmtrees narrowly above the horizon. In the case of Arutua the palm trees were on the opposite side of the atoll and the reefs on our side were fully immerged. We could hear the waves breaking on them and still could not se more than the waves build up a little higher then elsewhere. Here you can easily imagine why the Tuamotus were called the “Dangerous Islands” before the advent of GPS navigation.
Our night sail was very calm with a beautifull stary sky, as once again we were out sailing at new moon, when only the stars light the sky and the sea below.
At daybreak we were in frint of Rangiroas main pass at Tiputa, but we sailed on a few miles to the west to the smaller pass at Avatoru, as the current in this, pass is said to be lower and anyhow we had two hours to spend until low water, when the  urrent should change to ingoing. Screenshot_2015-06-02-20-45-56Arrived in front of Avatoru we still saw a strong mascaret, so we decided to wait for the current to turn. Two hours after low water there was still no sign of lower current, so we gave it a try, motorsailing under genoa and engine. At the entry we kept fine out of the strongest mascaret, but coming to the inner corner there was no way to avoid the strong current, which temporarily slowed us down to just ine knot, while blasting away at 2.500 rpm and Genoa through the water… The current here must have been around 6 knots. In the coming days we couldn’t beleive our eyes, but the curent was all the time outgoing, just slowed down, when the ingoing tide should have been strongest. The locals told us this was the result of the long swell rolling in from the south, pumping water over the roughly 30 miles of submerged reefs Rangiroa has on it’s 45 mile south coast.

We sailed back to Tiputa, where we could anchor in a corner of the reef, protected from the prevailing easterly winds. The anchorage is in front of a hotel complex with small wooden bungalows build into the lagoon. PICT0109The signs were clear: Rangiroa is not only the biggest, but also the most touristic Atoll of the Tuamotus.
Anyhow for us it was good, as we were able to rent bikes on two days and the kids were racing down the road between the two villages/passes.

Bikers Paul & Felix

Bikers Paul & Felix

We also visited a pearl farm where we came by.

Felix accumulated mishap on mishap, but nothing could alter his good spirits: He crashed with the bike and got bruises on his elbow, he hit himself with his bowy-knife into the big toe, when cutting branches of a tree he climbed, he had his bikes tyre explode and he even got bitten into his finger by the snappers under the boat which he was feeding…

The accident biker alteady laughing again

The accident biker alteady laughing again

The kids loking at locals throwing spearsDSCF0047

at this tiny target up a a high poleDSCF0048

And as you can see some of the spears hit the mark, impressive.

 

Today we had a lazy day at the beach, studying the current in the pass and confirming that we will leave tomorrow at daybreak, when the current should be the lowest. This will also be ideal to give time for the short sail to Tikehau and entering the pass there.

Toau

On the 9th of May we stocked up with fresh eggs and potatoes in Rotoava, the main village of Fakarava, and sailed in the late morning out through the north channel towards the close atoll of Toau.
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We were accompanied by our friends of the catamaran Funambule.

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As the tide current was outgoing we didn’t think it to be a problem, but we encountered a strong “Mascaret” rip tide in the pass and our decks received a good washing by the overcoming waves. We had sent the kids below, and were wearing life jackets and harnesses connected to the boat, so that there was no risk of loosing anybody, but the boat was pushed impressively to the left side of the pass, so we were very glad to have chosen to enter the pass at its easter extremity. We hadnot at all anticipated this drift and an entry on the western edge of the channel could had ended close to the reefs.
The rest of the short journey to Toau was uneventful and we were able to enter the channel still against an ending ebb tide, by navigating close to the edge of the marked channel, outside of the Mascaret. Our early arival eased the eyeball navigation inside the lagoon, until an anchorage 1,5 miles south of the pass, in front of a nice beach.
The following week we had a great time with the Funambule family (Laurence, Franck with kids Marion and Quentin), Madeleine and Stan living in a hut on the beach, collecting copra,

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Stan eating his birthday cake

and the Jambon-Beurre crew (Marie-Noel and Olivier with their daughter Clothilde).
We had not less than four birthdays to celebrate

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Birthday couple with Olivier in the middle, who invited us on his 60 foot carbon fibre catamaran for the festivities

(Marion, Stan and ourselves) and spent much of our time fishing and eating culinary specialties:
– hunting lobsters and crabs on the outer reef during night (the lobsters coked and served with a handmade french mayonaise and the crabs cooked in delicious coconut milk)
– collecting the beautyful Benitier shells for the little flesh they have, but which was deliciously prepared raw with lemon and cooked with a cocos milk curry sauce
– “fishing” of the local “Varo” crab, which is sitting in sand holes in roughly half a meter of water and looking as directly escaped from one of the starwars films.

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The “fisher” is vading through the shallow water and looking for the holes of the varo, which the animal tries to hide by building a kind of sand roof above  itself in which it only leaves a hole big enough to look out for fish passing by to be grabbed with it’s claws armed with sharp needles. This can take hours…
Once the hole is found the fisher puts a stick with some fish attached to it over the hole and further tries to excite the varo by clapping with his hands on the water until the varo decides to grab the stick with one or two claws and the fisher grabs the claw from above, pulling the animal gently out of it’s hole.

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Proud fishermen

The varo is cooked in the pan with butter and garlic… better than lobsters.
– spear fishing in the passes or outside of the coral reef. Here fish abound and you just have to choose which to take. Unfortunately there is the ciguathera fish disease, of which only a few species are safe. We focused on parrot fish and different carrangues, which are both delicious and safe. The spear fishing would be much to easy if only the fish would abound; the sharks do too. They are mostly small reef sharks of one to two mwters length.
Whenever you have shot the first fish they will occur to check what is going on and try to steal you the fish from the spear. Often they are around ten animals  but if you pause a little bit most of them will swim away again. Now you have permanently to check the distances to the sharks between shooting again and as soon as you have a fish on the spear to bring it up to the surface very quickly. If you can hold the fish out of the water the sharks no longer feel them battling for their life and loose track of them. Unfortunately sometimes you don’t see a shark or are too optimistic about the time it takes to get the fish out of the water and he takes the fish from you, often in a big quarrel between several sharks. If they got too anoying or bigger species as the oceanic white tip appeared we moved on with the dinghy a few hundered meters and could restart.
The parrotfish were prepared as poisson-cru in coconut milk (raw) and the different carrangues made for nice sashimi or fried/grilled fish.
– line fishing: Oliver went out with Stan on his birthday and within anhour they caught two huge yellowfin thunas, by following the birds preying on smaller fish, which attracted the thuna below…
– birthday cake baking

The kids played on the beach and the girls chatted and wove palmleave objects. Madeleine showed e.g. how to make a ball from a palm leave or the woven palmtree shades used for building “walls” of the huts.

We also made a dinghy tour to a little “motu” (island ) forming a part of the reef, where we had a picknick and did some snorkeling.

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On the 15th the other boats had to leave and we suffered some uncomfortably high waves which built in th lagoon, when a 30 knot depression passed over us, so we decided to leave as well and go to the Anse Amyot, a false pass, building a natural harbour in the coral reef, accessible only from the outside.

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In Anse Amyot Gaston and Valentine are having a small restaurant/bar, promising cold beer, according to the navigational guide. Unfortunately they were not present when we arrived and after two nights we left for Rangiroa.

Fakarava South

From Fakarava north we sailed the 30 miles to the south pass inside the lagoon on a buoyed chanel.
This was a nice downwind sail without any waves and Almut promised to write a much needed sailing guide of the sailing routes without waves for the seasick community.
When we arrived in the evening at Fakarava south pass we saw our friends from GEX and Buena Vista in the anchorage and Funambule was arriving from the open seaTheyach

 

 

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Our friends anchored behind the coral reefs we saw on the chart, but it was difficult to find a safe way in so up went Felix to look out for other coral heads, as it is propper lagoon sailing fashion.

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Now followed several nice days with group barbecues on the beach, where we consumed the lobsters and cocos crabs hunted on the reef and inside the small “motu” ie a small island being part of the atoll.

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The diving in the pass and ousife the reef was just great, with very clear water, loads of sharks and big Napoleon fishes. Spear fishing outside the reef was quite exciting due to the quantity of sharks eager to bite you the fish from the spear before you can bring it to the surface and into the dinghy. Luckily they are not at all interested in humans (except for hunting fish for them) and most of the time we were able to outsmart them and have our fish…

The kids had a fantastic playground on the beach, which was very shallow, so that even Lottie could bath at days length without danger. Here Quentin and Paul arrive with a load of wooden planks for the hut they built on the beach.

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Yesterday the wind turned to north and the anchorage got choppy, so we motorsailed back to Fakarava North which is well protected in this conditions. After some shopping we will jump over to the small atoll of Toau, which is just 15 miles away.

From Aratika to Fakarava

We weighed anchor at daybreak of the 30th of April and motored through the lagoon of Aratika towards the western pass. The plan this time was to sail the 36 miles to Fakarava north pass within a half tide cycle during daylight. This doesn’t seem too much of a feat, given the speed of our “Lotte”, but the only two daylight dead current phases were between low water and high water, which means the inflowing tide, which is normally about two hours shorter than the outflowing tide, as the atolls scope a lot of water over their windward reefs, which are often submerged, so more water needs to go out of the pass than coming in.
In order to manage this we went out roughly two hours before low water, which was quite a ride on a 5 knot current through the narrow pass, but at this pass there was no standing wave built by the current, so it wasn’t dangerous, just impressive. Then we had a 7 knots average sail and managed to get into the Fakarava north pass at exactly dead current, whilst our hands were sweating in anticipation that the current would swap even earlier, and the nautical notices spoke of currents going up to 10 knots on outgoing tides and 5 knots on ingoing tides….
Fakarava being one of the largest atolls with 30 miles length pumps huge volumes of water, even if the tide is just two feet, and the current needs to go through a pass wide like a mayor rivers estuary.

Luckily arrived in front of the atolls main village Rotoava, we had some difficulty to find some sand between the coralls in diveable depth, and the skipper jumped in the water about 5 times with his dive mask before the anchor was correctly settled. After this we were tired and went to bed early.

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Today we went in4o the village, just to find out it’s labour day, so “Jour Feriee” and everything is closed. The only activity ongoing are the Remora fish stuck on our hull, cleaning away. Wondering if this is a special form of Fakarava Yacht Services ;-?

Moving to another atoll – Aratika

After many nice days in Takaroa we hauled the anchor in the afternoon of the 27th for a 1,5 tide cycle sail to Kauehi. Dead tide current and daylight in the passes being a must. Unfortunately the wind was very weak amd we progressed only at 2-4 knots, so in the early morning we changed our heading towards Aratika, where we arrived perfectly timed in the west-pass and had our hook down in front of the village of Paparara by 12:45 on the 28th.Lotte Aratika
The village turned out to be nearly abandoned,

abandoned houses at Paparara

abandoned houses at Paparara

but the water is extremely clear and the snorkeling is great.Benitier & Demoiselles
The kids just get out of the water to eat.

Lottie auf Badeplattform

The atoll has a very own shape, what do you see?

Aratika_Atoll_-_EVS_Precision_Map_(1-115_000)

Looks like a sharks tooth, no?

And guess who has lost his first teeth here and is now nicknamed Sharky?

Tims erste Zahnluecke

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Received via SMS and transferred into the blog, Judith