Wir sind bald soweit…!

Wir sind mit einem vollgepackten Auto in die Ferien gefahren, und mit einem leeren Auto zurückgekommen. Das ist ein durchaus gutes Zeichen, denn in der Zwischenzeit haben wir einen Teil unseres Haushalt vom Auto auf das Schiff umgeladen.

Der gassparende Dampfkocher hat nun genauso seinen Platz an Bord gefunden wie die Gitarre (sie fliegt bei weiterem Nicht-Gebrauch als erstes über Bord ;-)). Die Reiselektüre ist in den Regalen eingereiht, und diverse Schränke und Ablagen wurden ausgeräumt und praktischer bepackt. Jedes Kind hat seien Spielschrank, und auch für die Schulsachen gibt es einen festen Platz.

Yuana hat in den Frühlingsferien auch einige wesentlichen Verbesserungen erfahren, zum Beispiel auch was den Stromverbrauch betrifft: Die neue LED Beleuchtung innen und aussen spart gegenüber vorher mehr als 90% Energie. Dank der zusätzlichen Isolierung des Kühlschranks springt der Kompressor weniger häufig an. Geschirr spülen geht nun mit einer Fusspumpe für Meerwasser. Letzteres spart gleich doppelt Strom: es muss weniger Meerwasser entsalzt werden, und die Fusspumpe geht eben ‘per pedes’.

Jan-the-Rigger war an Bord. Er hat die Wantenspannung geprüft und perfekt eingestellt. Genauso wie bei einem Velorad die Speichen richtig angezogen werden müssen damit das Rad stabil ist und rund läuft, so müssen bei einem Segelschiff die Wanten richtig gespannt sein, damit der Mast fest und sicher steht.

Weitere Neuerungen sind der neu eingebaute Wassermacher für die Herstellung des kostbaren Trinkwassers. Ein neues Alarmsystem informiert uns ggf über einen Wassereinbruch, bevor es nasse Füsse gibt. Ein Seilschneider an der Antriebswelle soll verhindern, dass ein Tau oder Netz in der Schiffsschraube den Motor abwürgt. Wie immer passiert sowas natürlich im dümmsten Moment, zB bei einem Hafenmanöver bei viel Wind. Am Bug wurde von einem Edelstahlbauer eine neue Halterung für den neuen Anker angeschweisst. Die Ankerrolle ist nun grösser und weiter vorne. Dadurch schlägt der Anker beim Einholen nicht gegen den Schiffsrumpf. Diese und weiter Arbeiten sind Bestandteil unserer Vorbereitung für die grosse Reise. Nun ist fast alles fertig.

Die seglerische Vorbereitung auf dem Wasser kam diesmal leider zu kurz. Das Frühlingswetter in Holland mit allerlei nass-kalten Zutaten war zu bescheiden, um mehrere Tage auszufahren. Das hätte einfach keinen Spass gemacht. Ursprünglich geplant war, in der zweiten Ferienwoche durchs IJsselmeer nach Amsterdam zu fahren, und aussen herum durch die Nordsee zurück zu segeln. So waren wir lediglich kurz auf dem IJsselmeer. So haben wir immerhin einen kleinen seglerischen Saisonauftakt abhalten können. Dank dem miesen Wetter sind die Arbeiten am Schiff nun weiter als geplant. Bald gehts los, und darauf freuen uns riesig!

Callings

My journey thus far

Christmas 2013 gave me book about a family voyage to the Caribbean. This was when I became aware that such voyage together with my own family could become my next big thing in life. I’ve already had some small and big objectives in life, and that’s what this post is all about. If I were to categorize my true callings in life, then I would perhaps group them into educational, business and private ones.

Educational objectives: Part of it was just luck, as many other things in my life. The Swiss school system was pretty much straight forward anyway, same chances for everyone. A four-year apprenticeship was followed by a Bachelor’s in Engineering. Later, a Master in Business Administration just seemed to be the logical necessity.

Professional life included two jobs related to industrial plant building business, four years in the first and 15 years in the second. Both jobs allowed me traveling to some beautiful, some vibrant, some exotic and some tough places of this world. Travelling the world sharpened my consciousness for how privileged we are. Job rotations enriched my professional life. I tried always to deliver honest and high quality work and good results. Professional life was great, but it went not without some tough periods. I do appreciate everything because the hardship helped greatly to shape, making me ready to start jumping into future.

Private callings included extensive tour biking from in my youth times, followed by month long car tours to many corners of Europe, North America and Australia. The right woman came into my life and we celebrated an outstandingly nice marriage in our early 30ies. We built a nice nest for ourselves and two wonderful kids. Learning to sail with my wife in my late 30ies somehow evolved in buying an old but fantastic sailing yacht in 2015. To set sails with the family in 2017 obviously is the latest calling.

What did my various callings have in common? A lot! There was always high passion and at same time an urge that kept me in motion. To achieve goals made me happy whilst coming to a stop had something dangerous about it. At times, my mind dictated crazy high standards for me to fulfill, to feel personally responsible for some given situations in business, not to tolerate mistakes, to succeed in meetings where the chances of success were almost nil. Sometimes, this generated a lot of pressure. The good side of this struggles is that they also strengthened me. But while succeeding in the process made me happy, it rarely really satisfied. That fueled me to go further, to improve.

Looking back now, half way through life, many callings have turned into achievements. Putting them in a row makes them looking very focused and straight forward but it wasn’t always like that. The process sometimes felt dead slow. Sometime I felt like an unsuccessful seeker. The sailing trip ahead has changed that completely. All previous doubts have resolved, and I know that they were an important part of the game.

Did I ever plan this sequence of callings? I have to state that it has been a totally unpredictable story. A part of it was blueprinted by how I was brought up. Later on it often happened that one achievement lead to a new target. Some of my best journeys have silently emerged on the basis of what was there, just waiting to be jump-started by minor remark from someone, for example.

My newest calling – to bring myself and my family out and into the world on a sailing yacht – is for sure my most passionate one ever. I deeply feel that we really should do this. It will be the gate to our common future. There is a tremendous respect for the sea and the physical and psychological demands a long sea voyage can make. We will be sailing off extreme areas. However, the potential for hairy sea states is there, that’s for sure. Things could go wrong, as always in life. But I’m as confident to return back home safely, same as one could be for an extended road trip.

Emergency?

How will it be in an emergency, when one has to leave the yacht? An emergency could occur for example when a fire gets out of control. “Everyone into the raft!” Yacht down. “Did somebody take the sat phone to the raft?” No, too bad!

A good friend advised to book an IASF safety training. And so we did. It included virtually everything from storm tactics, safe use of flares, or also how to safely evacuate from the boat.

A particularly fun part of the training was to jump into a pool, with full clothing, boots and the life west on. Pfiuuuuuit – life vest inflated! Swimming was almost impossible, because a good life vest is supposed to turn an unconscious person face up. That makes it difficult to swim as most persons would do.

Later on a life raft was launched. How would one get into the raft from the water? Move like a well trained monkey! Then you’ll make it. Or not. Everyone enjoyed, and we are glad to get an impression of what could happen in such emergency situation, which hopefully never occurs.

Adventure year at the doorstep

It’s early morning of one of the last working days of year 2016. It’s slightly foggy and I’m waiting at the bus stop for the Euro-Stretch-Limo to pick me up. There is one particular thing which totally excites me: My guts feel that new year is not far.

Very soon it will be 2017, and this is when we will drop the lines for our family voyage. It’s the light through the fog which is telling that to me! I feel happiness, in my body, my limbs, my head, thoroughly!

After three years of planning, seeing THE YEAR knocking at the door is just great, it’s fantastic! It will bring us from the oftentimes cool and rainy European North into the sun, into marvelous blue bays, to the whitest sandy beaches, and last but not least: in into a totally new kind of family life!

Still at the station: it’s yet cold. This level of the game was really good to us. And next level should become better again. We do appreciate such privileged world!