18 March 2020 | In Taravai
17 March 2020 | In Taravai
12 March 2020 | In Taravai
08 March 2020 | In Taravai
06 March 2020 | In Taravai
03 March 2020 | Taravai, Gambier
02 March 2020 | In Taravai
01 March 2020 | at the airport in Gambier
28 February 2020 | Ile Taravai , Gambier
21 February 2020 | Gambier
21 February 2020 | Gambier
01 February 2020 | Ile Taravai , Gambier
31 January 2020 | Ile Taravai , Gambier
30 January 2020 | towards Gambier
29 January 2020 | towards Gambier
28 January 2020 | towards Gambier
27 January 2020 | on our way to Gambier
am I in panikmode?
01 April 2020 | Rikitea
I find this virus story and how different countries deal with it very interesting. Epidemiology is something i never really read much about it But i find it very interesting how this all develops and how you can predict it and
influence the way it spreads.
Unfortunately it has the effect that my readers think I am in panic mode, plagued by fear and close to the edge or even beyond.
I sleep well, except last night when the winds shifted and we touched the reef with our rudder. I must say I do get a little bid into panic mode then. But pulling up some chain and checking position and depth thru the
night helped. The �"pool�" we chose to anchor is a little small and if you drop the anchor exactly in the middle you will touch with the 40 meters of chain you have to use. So we drop it slightly off center, so it works for the
winds we have here 90% of the time. Last night we got the 10% �...crunch�...cchhhkkkk and we pushed a few corrals south. But the rudder is strong, no harm done.
Its those nights you wish to be on land, in a house. We had no moon and it would have been tricky to get out if the shorter chain would have let go.
So we are all good now, We go ashore today, for food, garbage wifi and exercise. And pick up the latest gossip. I still haven figured out why the Gambier post office does not change Euros and only US dollars. But
you never get a receipt even if you beg.
In Tahiti they start robbing banks and shops for Cash and in France the nurses remove their �"nurse sticker�" on their car, because people attack them at knife point to force them to give them face masks...holy shit.
We fixed the chafe marks on our mainsail, repaired Danielas Powerpack for her Iphone. Without it her iphone just dies. I also tried to fix my little short wave radio that I have in my bed. But its dead. No more China,
BBC,radio New Zealand and BBC �...effing electronics just dies and there is nothing you can do.
26 March 2020 | Rikitea
the supply ship Nuku Hau came and went back to Tahiti. That was the excitement of the day. The Major wanted to tear down a historic building at the dock in order to make more space for those giant SUV and pick
up trucks. There is not enough space in port they all say. Now that the police finally do something and get out of their aircon office , things changed . In the past the islanders drove all their giant cars into the port area
blocking each other. Everybody trying to get their merchandise at the same time. Some people stood in line, but many just blocked each other .It was always a pleasant mess to watch. With the virus this is no longer
possible. The police is letting one at the time into the the docking area They get their stuff and get out. Corona did something positiv, they get organized. No diesel for yachts , so the new arrival can stay here until they
get some fuel with the next ship in 3 weeks or so. All others must sail to Nuku Hiva or Tahiti
I watch the bad news on tv and fix things on the boat. With the evening news we get to see our boat in front of the dock. They havent got much to talk about,so they show how they unload stuff in Gambier and how
well the police does it all. We kept busy digging out the diesel jerry cans for other boats and then put them back in, all for nothing today ,no diesel .That keeps us busy for 2 hours and we get some exercise.
Daniela went shoping and was able to score garlic and only one bag of sugar. Its rationed now,only ONE bag per person. With soft drinks around 5US$ per liter, the people make their own limonade and add a ton of
sugar. Maybe they will start rationing the toilet paper as well. I tiny single roll with 20 sheets is 2$ now.
live is still better than anywhere. Lets hope we learn something from this madness. Prince Charles is now positiv and i havent heard any thing about Tom Hanks. I am good , still limping
Confined in paradise,
24 March 2020 | Rikitea
Confined in paradise,
We are very lucky that we can stay here. No virus yet in Gambier, but we have to wait 2 weeks to see if the last 2 planes didn't bring anyone positiv from Papeete.
The shops still have food, but off course; toilet paper is out. People must think this virus is coming from your ass. The supermarkets started rationing in the Papeete.
There is a shortage of empty propane bottles, because everybody keeps too many at home.
The Gendarmes tell the new arriving yachts from Panama to go away. The yachts tell them that they have no food or water and that their boat is broken. Then they
let them in. But only temporary even if they are European. They wait for a decision from Tahiti. Officially all ports are closed, but you can ask to get provisions in
Tahiti. They might give you 48h to shop and then you must leave. You must leave to a world where no ports are open anymore. Fidji and American Samoa are still
open, but for how long? But the entire area is in cyclone season. I don't think anybody can force you to go sailing into a cyclone. As I am writing this, news came that
new arrivals can stay now in Nuku Hiva or Tahiti. Polynesia is not well organized even under normal circumstances. Now they really struggle and you get new infos
every day contradicting eachother. I am sure the news will be different tomorrow.
The local TV and FM news stopped telling us about new virus cases. That's scary when they keep silent.
Chilean military chases yachts away; they must sail back to a country that is closed as well.
We stay in Rikitea for a few days. The winds are turning 360 all the time, so it's the best place to be. Later we might go back to Taravai.
I can get TV here and I am alarmed the way Africa and USA develop. Unfortunately no web on the boat here. You can't have everything!!
Daniela is walking to the shop with her official �"walking to shop Permit�" . I am an old fart and in many countries they suggest not to go shopping if you are over 60.
So I stay on Yelo, but I should walk for my leg. Its slowly getting better.
Most European countries stopped exporting facemasks and disinfectant to other European countries. The Chinese
send a cargo plane full of masks etc etc to the worst hit Italy. When they refueled in Prag, the Tscheck
Republic,they confiscated everything. The Tschecks stole a cargo plane full of facemasks for Italy,can you
believe this!! The Chinese score big points now,they just sent another plane..this time nonstop.
Daniela scored 4 carrots for 4 dollars..wow and baguettes. They still taste stale here.
All is well with us but I feel sorry for poor people in refugee camps or in prison or in India�...or Africa my
The world will never be the same after this.
Leaving for a week in Rikitea today
18 March 2020 | In Taravai
Eduard and his brother caught a pig. Good for him , he can sell the 20 kilos of meat in town. Daniela got a lesson in Coconut peeling and I walked around his garden .We were showered again with avocado , limes
,pamplemousse , pumpkin and a good sized Uru ...that's a breadfruit.
calm waters today ,thats a good time to bring the fragile captn across the lagoon.
Over there we have TV faster web in townbut lousy web on land and fooooood
Is Rolf infected by the virus scare?
17 March 2020 | In Taravai
It's difficult to assess my mental state: I do worry since I am older. I cough like crazy with a flue and I have high blood pressure. Some of my friends think it's a joke, a
conspiracy or just a simple flu. If you can read, you read what you like to hear. Or like 2 people I know, you won't turn on the radio at all; you stay away from the bad
news. Some think I am paranoid, others just ignore everything. Nothing like this has ever happened to any of us. And now countries are getting it, that are densely
populated, with poor medical facilities and not much discipline from the population. I have no idea how Africa and India look in 2-3 weeks from now, but I fear the
I am sure the pharmaceutical companies are working like mad to be the first to have a magic pill. They say, some medication that worked on Ebola and Sars might be
effective, or something to heal the pancreas??? But nothing positive yet.
Still the only thing that works is to sit at home alone, or with your family. Go for walks in the woods and stay at least 2 meters away from other humans. How you are
going to do this with your kids, beats me. The first few days are fun without school and soon they are going to drive you up the walls at home, locked up all day. It's
probably hard on the 2020 parents where kids are allowed to do and say so much more than we ever did.
I am listening to the Chinese Radio. They do stuff to their kids that we think is harsh. They push them to better grades and give you with extra help from private
tutors etc etc
The Polynesian Chinese tell me how they were pushed by their parents and how they push their own kids. And how you must respect your parents and teachers. To
them it's clear why Polynesians don't do as well financially as their Chinese countrymen. It's the lack of obedience and the lack of pushing your kids beyond their
limits. I haven't heard of a Polynesian family pushing and beating their kids thru education. In a way, many western countries have become permissive as well. Kids
are touched with velvet gloves and any demand on them is first evaluated if it doesn't �"traumatize the child�".
Few of these kids are made to really fight for themselves, their family or their country.
It's scary to see the Chinese doing so much better with this virus scare than most western countries.
Mainland China has obviously goofed it up, by first hiding this virus from the world. But once they came into action, it worked. European countries only reacted when
it was way too late. They had all the time in advance to prepare for it and did very little. Taiwan did the right thing, by testing and isolating the victims and with a
discipline, you do not see elsewhere. Everybody wears masks among many things and not just since yesterday, the started early. As a result, they only have a few
I sailed into that country a few years ago and was surprised how they treated us. There was no virus scare then. But they asked us to dock at the Coastguard station
and two men in Orange overalls and facemasks came aboard and made a quick inspection. Then they escorted us to a free marina berth and asked if we needed food
or water. They gave me a water hose and I started to wash down the deck. When I tried to jump onto the marina dock, they kindly reminded me to stay aboard until
health, immigration and customs cleared me in. The two men stood there for two hours guarding us, until the officials came.
During our two visits to Kenting, Taiwan we learned to appreciate their independent spirit of making it on their own. Practically all countries in the world had
recognized Taiwan as a sovereign state and had an Embassy in Taipeh. They loved to trade with the �"free China�" or Formosa as it was called. We were proud to be
friends with them. When the Communist Mainland China became more and more important as a trading partner, Taiwan was dropped like a hot potato. China said:�"
Either you close your embassy in Taipeh and open one in Pejing, or you won't do any business with us. You can't have both�".
I hold a Swiss and Canadian passport and both countries bowed to the pressure from China and stopped recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign state. They where even
thrown out of the United Nations and they can't join any international organizations otherwise China makes a big stink.
When I talked to the Taiwanese about this, I felt deeply ashamed how my countries screwed them. But they don't take it personally, they know its business as usual.
Not with an embassy, but a trade office or some kind of boloney-name. They do the same work like an embassy, it's just not official. We suck. Nobody had the balls
to stand up to the Chinese.
And now they have that virus under control, like nobody else. Why don't we invite them to teach us how to do it? No, we can't .They are a tiny renegade island and
should be taken over and annexed by China like Hong Kong and Macau. �... Tell that to any Taiwanese and you will see a furious response. They give you a lesson of
independence and pride in their country.
I got side tracked, sorry. The virus is still spreading fast, worldwide. We are supposed to be locked down in France. But when the supply ship comes the 24th it might
get hectic. Nobody has the virus yet in Gambier. But who knows. I am thinking about not going to the ship, but my radio is coming, and I ordered some diesel. I can't
carry anything anyhow because of my sciatic nerve. It's not right to ask Daniela to go and stand in line with the coughing people. I hope I get better soon, so I can
carry my 5 kilo Radio.
I have no idea how this all happened, but another sailor managed to put in a few more kilos of flour into my box!! ?? Now I definitely can't carry the fuggn box out of
We are not going anywhere soon. Staying probably between Rikiteas rocky anchorage and the quiet spot in Taravai.
Rikitea has TV and FM radio, but the mobile phone internet is so lousy and overloaded, that you might get one or two messages on whatsapp if you're lucky. Most of
the time, nothing at all. Web on land at Phillips or Jojos is probably not allowed or not safe. Rikitea has stores, but they are empty now. The rest is locked down and
nobody wants to buy pearls. So, we do boat jobs and read. At night I listen to BBC Worlds Service if I can receive it .Or else Radio New Zealand and China and 1 hour
of fabulous news and music from Vienna, Austria�....that's it.
I can't see my stocks tumbling down, but it must be horrible. We have good food for 2 months and 2 TB of movies and my leg is starting to move again. The pain is
Switzerland has closed their whore houses and there are giant line ups in front of Amsterdams coffe shops. And in Australia they have fist fights for toilet paper. Its
mad. We are locked down now in France , you need to print a form and fill out a reason why you are walking around.
The flue pandemic
12 March 2020 | In Taravai
This Virus situation is new and scary for everybody. If you don't worry, then you are either stupid or naive or both.
Only the drastic Chinese system of locking down has worked so far. They fucked up early, when local officials tried to hide it. But once it looked serious, they did
what had to be done. Fired those officials and locked everybody up. That's the only system that works nothing else.
In the early 1900 hundreds my grandpa lost his wife to the Spanish Flue. From one day to the next he was alone with 4 small children and a 12 h work schedule. He
carried a big box around his neck. That was his hearing aid connected to a big earpiece. Grandma always worried that he would lose his job to somebody without a
disability. The Swiss Army made him shoot a rifle without any ear protection. If you lost your hearing you where a whimp. Tuff tits. No money.
So from one day to the next around 1920 he had to find new woman that could help him with the kids. All healthy Christian women were already taken or surely not
interested in a hard of hearing widower with 4 hungry kids. So he found a �"second hand woman�", one that nobody wanted. She was young, single and beautiful but
already had a son without ever being married. Shame on her. In those days it was a disaster! You where a slut! On top of that, her son was not even pure Swiss. No,
he was half ITALIEN for heaven's sake. This woman that I loved forever, was my grandmother. Her heart was golden and I still miss her badly.
She had 4 more kids with Grandpa, one of them was my dear Mom. She raised 4 kids that were not hers, then 4 of her own and �"Otto�" the �"Italian�". It must have been
hell to be branded as �"easy�" or whatever they said in those days. In my family everybody talked about the Italian incident, but not in front or Grandma. After all the
kids left her house my Moms sister dropped her kid at Grandma's �"for a few days�". These few days lasted for 20 years as she raised my cousin as well. His own Mom
was not interested. It was this cousin that had the guts to tease my Grandmother often about the unholy Italian adventure. By that time she was well in her 70s and I
remember clearly how she turned all red in her face, like a ripe tomato. All he had to do was mentioning his name: �"Giancarlo Nicolussi�" and she flushed like a
teenage girl. I was touched a bid to see how my cousin exposed her. She giggled and held a handkerchief over her mouth and begged him to stop.
Otto's life ended sad. He was taken to the hospital with a broken leg and died shortly after they fixed it .It was a nasty flue again, that came into the city and took him
with only 17 years of age. Hard to believe but that's how it went in the 1940s or so.
She put a notice in the newspaper, as Otto Nicolussi. She was devastated. According to all brothers and sisters he was everybody's darling, had a lot of charm and
they all went to the funeral off course.
At the funeral was a woman that my Grandmother never saw before. She had with her a young boy that looked very much like Otto's twin brother. This woman gave
her condolences and asked her why the name Nicolussi ? Grandma was trembling, but took the time to tell her about this incidence with Giancarlo. The other woman
was relieved and told her that she also had a child from Giancarlo and pointed at Max her boy. It wasn't the time to explain it all at this funeral. They met later and
both confessed that they were always reading the obituaries, hoping to see if Giancarlo died in Switzerland. But he never came to Basel again. He left those two
women after this short interlude, never to be seen again. But they both were still madly in love and never found out what happened to him.
Both women kept on seeing each other, sharing this very similar story, and became friends. Max soon had a �"legitimate�" brother since his Mom had married. Often
all kids from both families played together and this is how my parents met�....playing as kids in the sandbox. Lotti my mother was Otto's half sister and Hans my dad,
was Max's half brother. And both my Grandmothers had a one night stand with an Italian lover. I think it's great hi hi hi . Today you wouldn't lose much thought about
such trivial encounters. But then it was a sin and it lasted 9 months for everybody to see it later!!!
So the flue makes stories �...sad and happy ones. I for one would not be here, if not for Mr. Nicolussi. My parents would have never met.
It was cool for me as a kid to meet Max, my dad's older half brother. He impressed me. He was charming, flamboyant and often did business that my dad was
My Mom told me that Max invited both my parents to a dancing club in Basel. The �" Singerhaus�" had life bands and my parents could never afford the cover charge.
No problem for Max, he didn't dance like my parents but loved to watch the hot women in their 1950 outfits. To spice up the mood, he pulled out a handful of 5 Franc
notes and threw them into the dancing crowd. Laughing as they stopped dancing, scrambling for the bills. You earned maybe 100 Francs a month. My parents were
ashamed of his attitude, but always admired him for his success and money. And my Mom loved his way of playing with life; he was not scared of anything or
anybody. My dad had no Italian blood and his big brother made millions, laughing at everybody and not taking the law too serious. My dad had to visit him in jail
often and was ashamed. Max just laughed at Hansli. He belittled my dad by calling him Hansli in front of me. But then again, out of jail he called my parents and flew
them to Paris for breakfast. In 1946 just after WW2 ended. My parents, honest and obedient workers were mesmerized by Max and so was I. Too bad I don't have
Italian blood in me. Swiss are dry and often boring. Viva Italia..I feel for you Italians as you struggle to save your country today. You will make it, be patient be strong.
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