“Earth porn”

What is “Earth Porn”?
Well, what is your first association when you hear it?
Think about it for a second.

Wikipedia:
“Pornography is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal.”

Lets rephrase that:
Earth porn is (the explicit portrayal of) epic natural subject matter (for the purpose of) causing instant aesthetic arousal.

It seems to me, that my whole journey has been earth porn.
Seeing the cool stuff you normally find on the Internet.
The cool stuff i myself am now contributing.
To know what i am talking about scroll down and look at the pictures 😉

This will be my last ocean entry for a while as we have arrived in New Zealand. So all you friends of the sea read with great caution.

In Port Villa i spent some time with the local muslim youth.
I made some interviews (i will soon upload a compilation of some of my video material as soon as i get super fast internet), drank Kava, made some good friends, got 2 dreadlocks, flirted with the local ladies, went big time shopping on the local fruit market and had a lot of fun.


We left Port Villa in a pirate manner, almost ramming a high voltage power line on our way to refueling, luckily nothing happened.
Due to the blockage to the fueling dock, we had to wait for the big dock to be free and got in line with a 1000 people cruising ship and a huge sea cable boat.
Oh how happy the people of Port Villa are that they also will have high speed internet soon…
We spend the time waiting in a Jam session aboard.
Finally we made music again… it was about time.

A day later we arrived in Tanna, world famous for it super active volcano Mt Yasur.
We anchored right next to the hot springs, in which i gladly indulged myself. At low tide it is a very twosome place 😉
We went to the volcano as soon as we could, we already saw the ash clouds from the boat.
BUt pictures can say more than words on that one…i can just say: The lava was flying very high, and very close to us. I was looking at the crater the whole night, it did not get boring at all…earth porn for sure. No wonder they asked for money.

And just in time for the first of Advent a group of 40 guys came aboard to make music with us… so much fun!
(excuse me but i am a little tired writing this 😉 )

And so we left for Auckland…
Out of Paradise into the glass and concrete world of western civilization.
We actually started catching fish again, it seems the Chinese fishing boats have not made it this far south yet, (or New Zealand just has more money for the coastal law enforcement.)
When the NZ coastline appeared it felt like we were in Lord of the rings 😀
After 6 month living on a boat i finally made it to New Zealand.
Took me some time one could say.
We cleaned the whole boat of any organic plant material or insect residue which we might have stowed from somewhere (that really took us some time)
And then in the light of the 16th of December we saw the skyline of Auckland.
It felt like arriving on another planet.
but i will address culture shock and a review of the whole journey in the next blog entry as i have the feeling this one is getting quite long.

I hope you had fun following my blog until now.
Please give me some feedback how you like the format, the content etc.
What would you like to hear more about? what do you think is unnecessary blabbering?
Australia is coming up!

So long Ole
p.s. i am flying to Australia on the 24th of January

Advertisements

A bestialic beauty: Vanuatu

For everybody who does not understand the title, Vanuatu is beautiful, like a rough untempered diamond.
It is incredible.
I feel like i have been transported to jurassic park or lord of the rings. The rough beauty of this place is breath taking!
We arrived in Espiritu Santo on the 4. of november and visisted the Blue Hole, a lagoon in midst of the mangroves. The ride through the forest, i am afraid my vocabulary of complete awe is limited, was incredible. It looks so untouched, you expect dinosaurs to appear around the corner. At the blue hole, we had loads of fun with a rope swing that was connected to one of the trees from Avatar.
From E. Santo we went to see pentecost, where we anchored next to some dugongs, beautiful creatures. We had a long walk through a paradisical island, little villages, crystal clear streams, coconut trees (i just love them 🙂 ) and lava rocks. (please forgive me, i just list this stuff as if it was nothing, but its just so many cool things that happen here) We picked up some hermit crabs which we raced in the evening.
After that we had a short crossing to the next island, Ambrym with two active volcanos.
We climbed one of them.
The trip that was expected t take 8h took us 12 instead…11h of straight walking. I voluteered to carry the camaera eqippment of our filmmaker…lets just say it was quite a workout 🙂 but the view was unique, we saw plants which should be extinct and a vulcano, sadly it was very foggy while we were up there, so no lava, instead we had “lord of the rings”- atmosphere… but we could see the glow of the boiling rocks from our boat.
We also went to see the Custom Kastom dancing, which turned out to be a tourist trap, but who cares the dancing itself was quite cool. The dancers stomped so heavy the floor was vibrating.
Yesterday we had a short stop in a bay with fantastic coral, the most alive we have seen in a while.
It is quite scary to see all this coral dying everywhere. The whole aquatic ecosystem is based on them. Without corals there are no breeding grounds for fish, without fish there is major trouble.
It is 12o’clock, we now suffer the effects of the global warming made in the 60ies, the worst is still to come. (excuse my pessimistic worldview, i can’t help it)

But enough darkness, i got some colors for you:

The Passage

First off, i am sorry, that you didn’t hear anything from me for such a long time.
The main reason is not that i didn’t have anything to tell you, but that i was on sea for more than 2 weeks and did not have any internet.
Also we have a videographer on board which makes me a very lazy photographer. Why make a picture if there is somebody with a huge camera setup who makes delicious crisp videos.
The downside of this is however, that it will take ages until the videos are all edited and uploaded.

Lets start at the beginning!

Last time i wrote we just arrived in Chuuk the wreck diving place.
We toured in the huge lagoon and pirated some of the Japanese war ship wrecks, as we did not pay a guide.
I experienced a glimpse of island politics, as I met with the mayor and vice-governor of Chuuk concerning our environmental mission.
And although th US is slowly infiltrating their culture it was very nice to see that the Island culture is still existant.
Or as my friend (the first nephew of the micronesian premier minister) said: “It doesn’t matter how many Cheeseburger or Pizza
are in you, you are still a sea goer by blood”

One of our crewmembers got a very bad infection on her leg and she had to fly to the next island to go to hospital.
We took the best wind and followed her in a fast sail.

It took us only 2 days to reach Pohnpei, the home of one of the ancient pacific civilizations, comparable with the roman empire.
The ruins are made of vulcanic balast rock, wich grew in very handy “logs”…the whole complex is over 2km long and completly in between the mangroves.
So everything was build onto the watersurface.
The channels between the different island parcels still exist and give a good impression of how the life must have looked like a thousand years ago.

The next day we decided to spend a night ashore on the top of a mountain near an old Japanese gun station.
We hiked to the top where we had an amazing view over the bay and the tuna fleets unloading their scarce catch.

It is scary talking to the islanders, everybody is talking about the fish getting less and less, smaller and smaller.
Somehow it is a different feeling, reading that China is over “Peak-Fish” and talking to a village chief who tells you the big ships take all our fish.

On our way back from the viewpoint to the camp we found something special.
I thought it only existed in myths or stories but here it was, fluorescent mushrooms.
They made the forest twinkle. At first we only saw a few but after time your eyes could see that the whole forest was full of them.
Pohnpei was fluorescent all over. The bay that we anchored in was lit every time we drove the dinghy. Sadly one cannot make pictures of the algae, but when i swam in it it looked like i was on fire.
The scene in “Life of Pi” was nothing compared to it.

After pohnpei we had a 14 day passage to the next island.
We crossed the equator in our dinghy .
Our filmmaker was filming infinity in the middle of the ocean…videos are coming up some day 😀
Reading a lot, sails up, sails down…passage routine.


Then one day suddenly we arrived in Tikopia.

The island survived the strongest cyclone of the century basically without outside help and no deaths.
The reason, soft leaf roofs and tons of breadfruit.
The island was very idyllic and the huge volcanic lake in the middle just added to the charm. On the island we met a Norwegian family which made a children’s documentary about this little paradise.
They joined us for our Halloween party – the picture many of you have seen already.
But pictures say more than thousand words:

Now we are in Vanuatu.
And its pretty nice…but thats for another time…

So long
Ole

Atolls are picturesque

I know all of you are hungry for pictures, so i will give to you what you most desire… impressions from another world, a chance to flee the known 😀 ok enough self flattery
here you go

So long
Monkey Ole

Island Life

The last month i have been sailing through the little atolls of the pacific ocean.
Here a few thoughts of that time:
(pictures will follow later 😉 )

 

What is it that makes us think islands with palm trees and beaches are beautiful?
Is it their remoteness, their loneliness or just the same pristine untouched beauty that makes us think Mountain ranges, deserts and rain forests are beautiful, not considered, that they too are very remote and potentially lonely.
Infinity anchored in the Atoll of Sorol, and while everybody was diving, fishing or just enjoying the sun, I was enjoying the Island.
Its soft roughness, almost like a lure for the common traveler, caught me instantaneously.
Seeing the abundance of Coconut palm trees, the white beach, the unbelievable numbers of hermit crabs, from shrimp to fist size, and the crystal clear water was like looking at a Bacardi advertisement.
This is exactly what our society conditioned us to… flee the dull gray daily life of the western “civilized” world to a beach paradise. Nobody to demand or judge, just you, the jungle and the ocean.
If it wasn’t for the absence of a food source for more than just coconuts or meat, I would have bitten the lure.
One night on the island and you can already feel your body switching to survival mode.
An awareness that i would describe as almost instinctual.

The People who you find on these islands however are so welcoming and heartwarming as you can only imagine.
They give and give and you just automatically start giving too…it is a virtuous circle…opposed to all these vicious circles of the west.

I personally love the islands and their islanders.
You immediately become part of the family and everybody is super grateful.
The almost cliché image of us wearing flower lays on our heads and around our necks every day was very beautiful… and these lays actually work almost like a deodorant…You become a flower!

Opposed to the harmony we found on the islands, our colourful crew from 9 different nations had quite a difficult time of keeping the morale up. Cultural misunderstandings, wrong expectations and a lot of poison has ruined the trip for a few crew members, which made me really sad.
How come that we are in all these paradisaical places, yet still people are unhappy and only feel good if they can pull others down with them… for me that is just a waste of energy!
So here in Chuuk 4 people left our boat.

I had fun, even though i had not a lot of fun under water as i first got an ear infection and then an infected toe due to a very well aimed machete stroke while coconut harvesting 😉 (in my defense it was the last of 70 coconuts on top of a palmtree) but now all is healthy again, so i will do some free wreck diving here in Chuuk Lagoon.

It is the worlds most famous wreck diving spot, as the Americans sunk almost the entire Japanese fleet as retaliation for pearl harbor.

so long
Your pirate Ole

p.s. pictures of the trip so far are sure to follow
p.p.s. pictures of the trip in the future are sure to follow 😉

P1010164

Palau, the end of the rainbow

Palau is awesome!
And expensive, but i suppose thats what you get when you have to import everything from the US.

I feel like i have been captured in a travel catalogue.
The sea is crystal clear and bright blue.
Corals are growing everywhere, even in the channel of the capitol.
Parrotfish, pufferfish, sharks, turtles, little Nemos, and basically everything you think they normally make up so the movie looks more colorful.

I started my SCUBA-Course and have been diving to 30m depth, and emerging an element that we are not made for is pretty insane.
Yet amazingly beautiful!
A turtle can look right into you. No wonder every culture considers them wise.
Sharks are like the lions of the sea.
It is like discovering an alien world…well actually it is discovering an alien world.

Although this group of islands has an almost untouched wildlife, one can see coral bleaching, invasive species destoying the reefs.
If you see the masses of fish that are around at some of the sites, and you know 100 years ago it looked like this or even more alive all over the world,
it makes me sad a little. This last fortress of conservation is attacked by global pollution and climate change.
They say in about 20 years there will probably not be any coral left.
I feel like an ambassador, and in a couple of decades i would probably considered to be a eye witness.

 

I love freediving, i like it more than SCUBA.
It is quiet and peaceful, you don’t have all this gear with you and you don’t get headaches from compressed nitrogen 🙂
The air bubbles next to my ears are very annoying when breathing out.
But at the same time both sports have different advantages, with scuba you can actually interact with the animals.
Get the attention of a Napoleon Wrasse that then nibbles your fins and lets you pet its tail.
Look a turtle in the eye, get close to a sleeping shark….


i enjoy every last bit of it.
so long Ole