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Departure from Chile

During our stay in Chile there were more than 5000 young people participating our presentations, work shops and clean ups. Now we are ready to leave for our next destination: Remote islands in the Pacific. These islanders fight against the hazard of sea level raising, – another cause of global warming.

young Chilenian participaiting
What happened since:
After our activities in Patagonia we came back to Valdivia to prepare for the long crossing to remote schools in Polynesia: Salina was coordinating our work or flirting with locals, Sabine made a sun protection and our neighbor Juergen and I were solving an electrical problem. By the way: Our neighbors Ingrid and Juergen on SY Josi have a very efficient and environmental friendly solution on their boat: a prop shaft generator, which delivers electricity during sailing as soon as the prop is turning.

farmer family Guebler
Just now we do the last minute preparations. We need food for at least 3 months. The family and farmers Guebler from Freire, where we have done a presentation in October 2005, came with organic food directly from their farm.
Thanks to Frederico and our new crew Elise and Jonathan, we are able to share the work. Elise and Jonathan joined us already from Panama to Ecuador. They are from France and will join us now for the crossing and will help us with their perfect French in schools in French Polynesia.

Pachamama with new “power arc” and the new SPADE anchor
Pachamama got a very useful equipment: 2 solar panels from Megasol. Thanks to the Swiss embassy we got the panels in time. Alwoplast and Navtec made a very solid arc for us, where we were able to place the Megasol panels and the Superwind generators. Today we have done a test: There was enough electricity to run all systems optimized by WAECO and Raymarine products, incl. the low energy water maker from Katadyn.
The crossing towards Polynesia starts tomorrow. In about 4 days we will get to Robinson Crouse Island to visit the school and hopefully find the missing treasure :-). – Thanks to the islanders Otto Jost Schnyder who will coordinate our activities.
Then we need about 6 weeks to cross the Pacific to the Gambier Island, the fist islands in French Polynesia. Until October we will visit remote schools in the Southern Pacific between Tahiti and Australia. During the hurricane season in the Southern hemisphere, which starts end of October until end of April, we think to do our activities in Australia and climb Mt. Kosciusko, the highest TOP on our 4th continent. We will use the hurricane season also to work and earn some money, – and may to do some fundraising in Europe so that we are able to continue our expedition after the hurricans…
Here the Chilenian article in the Diario Austral from the 28th of March 2006 about our departure and our example what can be done with renewable energies on a sailboat.

Activities in Chiloe island

Sailing North to Valdivia there was Annemarie, Sabine, Salina and Dario on Pachamama. The weather was not so good. The wind was shifting to the North and often there was no wind. We often have had to wait for better sailing conditions and so we have had enough time to concentrate on our activities on land:

On the way we found another environmental friendly solution: In Tictoc Manuel showed us his zero-energy-consuming pump.
In Quinched on the island of Chiloe William Banister offered us a free buoy in his Marina, where his sun Jan runs an eco-tourism company.
Together with his wife Valeska we organized our TOPtoTOP activities:

There was a clean up on the beach on a windy day with a great result and Annemarie showed them what is organic and what we can recycled. …and like always there was our presentation and the TOPtoTOP drawing contest with great solutions for the environment.
Another stop was in Quemchi. Our anchor was not working very well, so thanks to the Armada de Chile. They offered us a free buoy. Together with Victor and Carlos we organized our activities and a presentation in the town hall.
We arrived safely in Valdivia and just right for the noche Valdiviana with fireworks, boat parade and fire falls.
Sad was only, that Annemarie has to leave to organize her daughters wedding, – but we hope she has a wonderful party! We are looking forward to see her back on Pachamama in Polynesia … we are already missing her company and her big working experience with children.
Also Salina and Sabine made some important steps: Salina got her first shoes and Sabine got 30:
– The kitchen team preparing birthday dinner
– Birthday barbeque: the meat was a present from the farmer-family Meynet
– Birthday breakfast and our babysitters Pilar and Jose.
At the moment we are preparing for the next events with children on Robinson Crusoe Island. If somebody is interested on the 2-month crossing to Polynesia

Blue wales and jellyfish

Download the interesting blue wales report in German from our member Annemarie Buechler, who joined TOPtoTOP in Patagonia: Blauwale in Patagonia (pdf, 230 kb)
… and here the report from our TOPtoTOP members Dawn and Mike Dorsett on White Princess about the jellyfish on the other side of the Pacific:
“Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the wonders of the natural world, and the largest organic structure ever built, is dying!
There were major coral bleaching events in coral reefs all round the world in 1998, and then again in 2002, which of themselves are too close together to allow corals to recover; but now, for two years running, Australia has had a one degree PER YEAR rise in sea surface temperatures. This is too severe for the corals to cope with and Australians are seriously worried at the extent of the bleaching.
In addition, a tropical jellyfish that normally lives in very warm waters has been steadily moving south into areas it has never been seen in before, as a result of the much warmer conditions.”

Activities in Puerto Cisnes

We announced our activities in the regional radio station Radio Nueva Genial. Young and old joined the presentation. During the TOPtoTOP presentation, Annemarie made a funny waste-game. Here the people learnt to seperate organic – from anorganic waste. Teacher Diego will coordinate the TOPtoTOP drawing contest and will send the solutions of his school children to us.
Diego is great! Between the activities we were able to eat at his place so that we did not have to row back to Pachmamama. He showed us also a beautiful lagoon and the Rodeo. The Rodeo is only twice a year and the most important event of Puerto Cisnes. The playstations are a little bit different from a city.
The Rodeo was the reason why we did not have a lot of volunteers for the clean up on the beach on Sunday. But the participants were very busy and we found even a battery!
Puerto Cisnes was a success! Thanks to the port captain Claudio Oviedo Cartes from the Armada de Chile for offering his buoy; also thanks to the mayor Auseno Saldes for the invitation to his village and again many thanks to our great local coordinator Diego.
On the 14th of February at 4 a.m. we set sail and left Cisnes. It was worth to go so far … for this great people and the beauty of nature. In this landscape with mountains and forests devided by this amazing labyrint of endless channels and islands the weather and light are changing permanently and drop all in a very special atmosphere. Further North in the Golfo of Corcovado we saw blue wales and their food, too. The organisation Ballena Azul tries to create here a protected habitat for this biggest living species of the world.
Unfortunately the sailing in the Patagonian channels without using a motor seems to be possible only form South to North. Most of the time there are southerlies or no winds. That means, we we have to sail from the Atlantic side or from NZ to Antarctica and climb the TOP of Mount Vinson.
The biggest event for us was once more Salina. During the navigation in the Golfo de Corcovado she stood up alone and did not fall even when we were tacking … and soon after she started to walk without stopping. Now we are in Tic Toc Bay heading for Chiloe.
Note: The Superwind generators and Sunware solar panels on Pachamama are working great.

ice core and largest earthquake

ice core from volcano osorno:
Begin of November we climbed volcano Osorno with a lot of equipment, 2665 m over sea level. The volcano has big crevasses: since 1970 57 persons disappeared and/or died.
Together with the team of the CECS, under the leadership of Gino Casasa, we have had the following objectives:
– to measure the ice cover on the top
– to drill 10 m deep into the ice on the top to get ice cores for analyzing climate change
– to get more data so that researcher Shiro Kohshima from Japan can improve his methods
– and also to climb and to ski 🙂
Largest earthquake:
We also went with Salina on a canoe trip with researchers from the CECS. We paddled the whole day till late at night down the river to Valdiva.
Salina enjoyed this trip very much and explained us all their experiences in baby language… but this beautiful landscape from today has a very sad history:
There are still many signs of the earthquake from 1960. A lot of the land is now deeper than sea level. Here some figures of the Largest Earthquake in the World:
Chile, 1960 May 22 19:11:14 UTC, Magnitude 9.5, more than 2,000 killed, 3,000 injured, 2,000,000 homeless, and $550 million damage in southern Chile; tsunami caused 61 deaths, $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast of the United States.
Today our friend and doctor Patricio Hermosilla donated us medicine for the trip to Antarctica.
Program with Swiss Ambassador:
17./18.11.2005 – Villarica
clean up on volcano Villarica
19.11.2005 – Valdivia
10 – 12 h CECS invites Swiss Ambassador
12.30 – 13.30 h cocktail in Alwoplast
15 – 18 h school visit on island Mansera
19 h – 22 h dinner on Pachamama