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

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

Happy new Year from Malaysia!

After Singapore, i walked over to Malaysia (literally)
In Johor Bharu, i took a bus to Melakka, i wanted to hitchhike, but i was to complicated to get to a big road..
and also the bus was only 9RM (Malaysian Ringit)

In Melakka i got a little city tour from my Couchsurfing host Patricia.

Pisa is not the only place where buildings stand crooked…
IMG_1282IMG_1283 Blue SpiderIMG_1285 I did not have to pay for the fishy massage, i just had to stand still for 2 minutes.
it was really tickling, but sometimes a bigger fish came, and then it actually hurt
IMG_1290 IMG_1291 Me and PatriciaIMG_1292 IMG_1294 IMG_1297 The rikshas in Melakka all had incredible decoration, light and soundsystems with blasting techno music..IMG_1307 IMG_1310 If you can tell me why there is a dragon in the Middle of the town, you get something.
Just write it in the comments.
IMG_1312After Melakka, i took the bus to Kuala Lumpur, again ery cheap and just so comfortable 😉

Me and Anita, my host in Kuala LumpurIMG_1315 Bata Caves of KLIMG_1319 IMG_1318 IMG_1320 With sooo many monkey…oh i love them, i want to raise and train one myself 😀IMG_1326 IMG_1327 IMG_1329 IMG_1331 IMG_1334 IMG_1338 IMG_1342 IMG_1343 IMG_1348 IMG_1352 IMG_1353 IMG_1354 IMG_1357 Also if you comment please give me a proper name for this…err…Cow…bird..woman thingIMG_1365 In  the chinese temple, giant incense sticks!!IMG_1366 And even bigger incense spirals!
all of them were lit
IMG_1367

 

So long
Ole
IMG_1299and please comment 🙂

Mumbai and London, Fish and Shoes, Kids and City Trains

So have been in Mumbai for 5 days, checking out my possibilities to work on a cargo ship.
It is not going to happen, yet.
I need more time for getting my seaman’s passport or CDC,  in order to legally work on any commercial vessel.
So i am going to postpone this either to Singapore or Thailand.

Tomorrow i am leaving mumbai and go to chennai because the chance of catching a private vessel is much higher, and also the distance is not as far if i have to pay for a passenger boat.

But this is trouble for next time.

From Gokarna i took the bus to Goa, where i wanted to meet some friends, but i couldn’t find a host near them, so i spend a night with another CS host in Mapusa.
From there i took the train in general Class to Mumbai

On the station i met a baba with the name of Anand, who walked barefoot for the last 8 years, he was really nice, invited me for a tea, and even tried to organize me a seat in Sleeper class.
Which did not work out…

IMG_093110 h drive..in this! Luckily i found a seat, BEFORE it was crowded.

Then i arrived at Thomas house.
IMG_0998(i seriously need to shave 😉 )
He has a big house and hosts a lot of couchsurfers, pretty cool guy!

Mumbai looks like i imagine London to be (i have not been there, but some english people agreed with me) pretty clean for indian standards, bus and train system…
Probably because it is the biggest harbour of India, and has a lot of victorian style buildings.

IMG_0947IMG_0976IMG_0936IMG_0942IMG_0935

 

When i was wandering around in the city i found myself in funny situations a few times.

IMG_0949

The kids gang, we played football together and i taught them a little bit beatboxing, in exchange, they took me to the Gate of India
IMG_0951

on the way, we passed through a market…a little macabre for western standards, but the meat is fresh, which is not always the case here in india. (I don’t care anymore as i became vegetarian in Dharamsala)
IMG_0950The Gateway of India, very impressive building, but a lot of people!
IMG_0964IMG_0957IMG_0963

IMG_0959relaxing

When we had the quiz some people did not recognize the color of my shoes anymore, so i went to one of the cleaners

IMG_0965and now they are shiny again 😉IMG_0966

Another funny thing happened to me, i followed my nose and came here:

IMG_0979The Mumbai fish market…well one of themIMG_0977IMG_0981IMG_0988IMG_0986IMG_0983IMG_0982IMG_0991IMG_0989

In India, it is funny, that whenever you leave the tourist trails, people handle you in a completely different more heartwarming way.
They are not used to white people most of the time.
And the people here are happy to see, that i am interested in them.

The city trains here a packed.
Mumbai only has 19 million inhabitants (New Delhi has 27 million) but Mumbai has less space, so it is way more crowded…in the trains.
IMG_0968The doors remain open during the drive, because sometimes you have to get out before the train stops in order to get out at all…
IMG_0938and if the train is to full, you can grab on to somebody 😉
IMG_0967IMG_0970But if the train is full, the normally have a good time together…

And one last thing happened on my daily sunset hunt, i was following the view, when i was in a slum all of the sudden.
Small indian children who have never seen somebody like my…
“who is scared of the white man?”
But in the end i could convince that i don’t bite and even the most afraid ones shook my hand 🙂
IMG_0996So long Ole

P.s. i think it is awesome that people read this, who i have never ever seen in my life.
If you do don’t be afraid to comment, or take part in the quiz…
if you have questions, i will gladly answer them.
This goes out to everybody of course 🙂https://i0.wp.com/distilleryimage11.s3.amazonaws.com/63bee9263af011e2854522000a1f9e45_7.jpg