Federico Dünner became a member in 2004 and is one of our most faithful members. He passed away today.

At this moment we are with his wife Elena and his family and friends. We are very sad, but also thankful that we had the opportunity to share some time with such a wonderful person. Here some of many experiences we share with him and the coincidence that he was our angel at Andri’s birth and died on Andri’s birthday:

Federico was driving on the 25th of October 2006 pregnant Sabine to the Clinica Alleman in Valdivia Chile. Andri was nearly born in Federico’s car.

Since 2005 we were always in contact with Federico. Last time in spring over Skype when we sailed through the Northwest Passage to the US East Coast: https://vimeo.com/197730255.Then we lost track. We sailed to Bermuda to the Azores to Greenland and Iceland and tried to skype, email, call Federico without success. In the Azores, I was writing to the priest of the Lutheran Church in Valdivia, so that we can get in contact with Elena or one of his children. But we never got an answer.

Yesterday we had a strange feeling and decided to try again to find out about our friend’s silence. Today we got an email from Erico Kutchartt while we were celebrating Andri’s birthday. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that member Erico Kutchartt would have been able to lead us to Federico’s relatives.

Federico became for me a father and both, Elena & Federico, were the Chilenian grandparents to the whole family. Already when Salina was born on the 11th of April 2005 in Valdivia, Federico & Elena opened us their house. I remember: When Andri was born on the 25th of October, Salina did not let us go to the hospital. We all became nervous when Sabine entered into hard labor. Finally Elena had a great idea: She was putting Sabine’s cloth on and was lying next to Salina in bed. Salina was calm in a moment and we could go to the hospital. Federico was driving as fast as he could and thanks to him, we just managed to be in the hospital in time.

Federico was very much engaged in the TOPtoTOP expedition. I remember the day when the Swiss Ambassador André Regli came to see our expedition sailboat in Valdivia at Alwoplast. Federico was coordinating and organising the whole event and everything worked “tip top” like a Swiss clock! Read the blog from the 4th of December 2012: https://toptotop.org/2005/12/04/visitation_of_the_swiss_ambassador/

Another example of his great help and skills as a problem solver: In Vanuatu, our radar got damaged in a thunderstorm. It was again Federico with his brilliant ideas to sent us the right parts and a manual to fix our radar.

We will carry Federico always in our hearts. We promised him to sail back to Valdivia one day. We are said that we can not see him when we are back. But may it might be possible to carry a souvenir of Federico with us on our continuous journey to save our planet and people in need?

We just got our 6th child “Vital” at the Arctic Circle in Akureyri Iceland (see below). Birth and death are sometimes close and part of life. We are very thankful that we had this pressures time together with Federico. We miss him since we left Valdivia, but know that we meet Federico again in Heaven.

Love and a lot of strength from all of us, Dario & Sabine with Salina, Andri, Noe, Alegra, Mia and Vital