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Plastic clean up record

During our school event in the Hrafnagilsskóli school we cleaned the Eyjafjarðará river.

IMG_5824 2The students made a new record on the TOPtoTOP Expedition: It was the biggest plastic piece ever since the start of the expedition 18 years ago. It was a huge plastic tube.

IMG_4423But there were also big plastic tarpaulins. Probably they come from the haybills, which are also wrapped up here in plastic like almost everywhere.

The last hole is closed!

Last week the hole in the Pachamama closed! The last aluminum panel was welded on, thanks to our welders Hordur, Skuli, Adam, and Johann. – Thank you very much!

It was a mistake to keep the kitchen in the boat. It was a nightmare for the welders, a nightmare to clean, to put insulation and plumbing.

Sabine, Mirjam with the kids spent days to get steal screws, bolts, tools out of the bilge behind the kitchen that would cause corrosion in the future.

Jürg Zahnd was with us for almost 3 weeks and did an amazing job. – Thank you very much!

Even Hans Bärtsch from the newspaper “Sarganserläner” came for a visit together with Romy and our friend and fisherman Sverrir. Hans gave us two books from Jules Verne as a gift, which we will read to our kids. He just published his article about our situation last Tuesday in the “Saganserländer” newspaper. Read here and here.

Our Grandmother “Ottavia” visited us for the first time on the expedition and guarded Mia and Vital, cleaned and cooked, so that Sabine could also work full power.

We kept working long after shipyard workers went home and often came back to work after dinner. Our children actively helped a lot learning new skills in removing rust from devices that were flooded by seawater, cut insulation mats, etc … We worked on Ascent, Pentecost and on all weekends and this weekend again…

IMG_3417On June 5, we had to move from the Old House, our temporary home, as it is being converted into a residential building. We tried to find a new home. Unfortunately without success. Throughout Akureyri there is no apartment for our extended family to rent. The feeling to be shipwrecked and homeless again was too much for us and we were in tears.

 

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Luckily a generous family gave us a temporary shelter and we could laugh again: We are now in the basement of the family until the weekend, but next week their parents come.

We have decided to make the most of the misery: We go camping and clean-up the beaches cycling there! Like this, we hope to get our energy back and do something meaningful.

In Akureyri, we can not be, because we have nothing to live in and during the school holidays there are so many tourists willing to pay any price for a hotel room.

The hardest part for us was that we were left in faith, that we could definitely be back on Pachamama in March, then it was promised that the repairs would be completed in April and then certainly at the end of May … so we could never plan – only hope. After 7 months we need a break to go back to our core mission to explore, inspire and clean up, – but also to have time to reflect what will be the next step and what we do best to overcome this challenge… We expect sailing again end of June!

Thanks of family and friends we hade despite the hard work and worries many beautiful times last month: Alegras’s 7th birthday; the visit of grandmother “Ottavia”; the women’s run of Akureyri, where Noe and Alegra became 1st; last ski tour of the season with Stefan & Astis family; invitation of Arngrimur and visit of Meret; Andri who become 1st in a swimming contest in Akreness, where Salina even got selected for the national championship; our friends Jürg, Erlingur, Kevan, Hordur and Roland helping us out…

… and only two shocking moments: Once Mia disappeared. She sneaked out and went jogging by herself. Thanks to the police of Akureyri we found her. – In a Yudo turnament, Andri was hurt and had to be transported by ambulance 1.5 hours to the hospital in Akureyri. The CT showed that luckily nothing was broken and he was out of pain after a week.

Please help that we overcome our challenge with a donation, here.

Super Troll – Mother’s Day


People ask us, “Where does the energy come from, not to give up and to not lose patience because of the long repairs?” Friends like Sverrir and Finnur are the answer. They once enabled us to come out of Akureyri and participate in the International Troll Ski Race in Siglufjördur.

IMG_8285Noe as 8-year-old got the sensational second place together with Dario. Alegra was the youngest runner at the age of 6 and was competing with Sabine.


On Mother’s Day, we got a lot of energy in the paradise over the fjord of Olafsfjördur. Please: “Take care of moms and Pachamama!”

Another motivation was the visit of Dieter’s family with Tabea, Till, and Sophie. They helped us a lot last week with the repairs and the school events.

…and on Sunday evening Jürg Zahnd arrived also to support us on the boat!

We are urgently looking for somebody to babysit Mia and Vital, so that Sabine is able to support us on the boat repairing? Please contact us.

17 years – schools – repairs – winners

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Yesterday at Ascension, 17 years ago, on the 10501 was our wedding anniversary. It was the first time on our wedding day where we worked hard the whole day.

The day before we were at Delamerkur School, North of Akureyri. We were impressed by the student’s motivation to help our planet.

On the 1st of May 5 km run in Akureyri the TOPtoTOP team did well: Salina was winning in the category of the 13th and 14th years old. 6-year-old Alegra became 2nd in the category “girls 12 years and younger” and Noe by the boys 3rd place and Andri 4th place.

Sports – Best Medicine!

Outdoor sports: Best medicine not only for castaways!

As you know, we became shipwrecked and homeless in a storm in Akureyri Harbor Iceland on the 6th of November 2017. See what happened at the end of this film.

Our kids cope with this shock in the dark Icelandic winter thanks to outdoor sports. Good coaches were central. – Many thanks to all of you! – They were glad that our children appeared in all weather and cold and on the other hand, our children could hardly wait until the next training.

Outdoor sports is really the best medicine for the youth. But I believe it is also the best medicine for our planet because it creates a relationship with “mother earth”, which leads to more devotion to nature.

A great example and event was the 2018 Donald Duck ski competition on 18th – 21st of April:

The Donald Duck Ski Competition has been hosted in Mt. Hlidarfjallin Akureyri at the end of April every year since 1976. It is the biggest ski event in Iceland and is intended for kids at the age of 6-15.  Every year about 900 kids from all over Iceland get together to have fun and compete on Mount Hlidarfjall, in Iceland’s beautiful nature.

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Noe was 1st in the slalom and was almost 5 seconds faster than the 2nd. All of our kids were competing with ski touring skis (Fritschi bindings and Stöckli skis). That was kind of exotic: A dad asked if this weird ski binding made you faster. I replied, “Yes if the ski lift does not work, you’re much faster on TOP of the mountain.”

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Salina was 2nd in the giant slalom in the first run. A mother said after the performance of Salina, she had never seen this ski boot brand and liked to know if you get it only in Switzerland? We told her that these are Sabine’s first ski touring boots, which she bought more than 20 years ago with her first salary as a nurse and the brand does probably not exist anymore.

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6-year-old “Alegra” was second in the giant slalom and Andri with many very good skiers in his category sensational sixth place.

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Repairs on Pachamama finally started, see the film:

https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js

Luckily the local people of Akureyri are very hospital and outstanding in their efforts to find accommodation for us.

Since the beginning of February, the boat is out of the water at the local shipyard. But unfortunately, there was not much progress because there were too many big ships that had to be fixed and came first. But now they finally started cutting and welding on Pachamama. THE OPERATION is on the way!

 

We hope the boat will be operational ASAP to continue our mission and planned actions. Your support is needed and very much welcomed!

Meanwhile, we are visiting schools in this huge northern fjord and keep repairing.

Here our last media coverage in Iceland.

 

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