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May 25 2019
A few years ago the “Zoo Basel” came up with a crazy idea: Let’s build a huge aquarium!
Costs: 100 Mio. Swiss Francs. With that amount of money, an ocean national park, with 1’850 km2, could be protected and supported for 20 years!
Plus, imagine the costs for maintenance! How much energy would it use? Talking about CO2….
When I for the first time heard about it, approx. 2 years ago, I immediately thought, they must be kidding! Doesn’t everyone know these days, what a criminal business the trade with tropical fish is? Also with the big fish like sharks and rays, or mammals like sea turtles!
It’s of course a billion dollar industry and everyone involved want their share…But a zoo, who is supposed to protect animals and their habitat was planning to be part of this dirty business? Their arguments were stone age, such as education and conservation of the oceans…..erm….what?!
That was the believe 100 years ago, but today?
Nowadays, we know that millions of animals are dying in fish tanks – and have to be replaced again. Since most of these creatures cannot be breed, the coral reefs are being plundered – including destroying corals itself, sharks and other animals are brutally ripped off their habitat. Only to die a miserable death, sick and deformed because they can’t perform their natural life. So in the end it would be a continuous destruction of the precious wildlife!
It’s are very emotional topic, of course! (And I try to keep it short).
In the end, people in Basel could vote about the project “Ozeanium” – the 19th May was D-Day! Weeks and months before, the theme was in the medias. Politicians and scientists discussed the subject hotly and well-known nature- and animal protection organizations, such as Ocean Care, Animal Rights, Fondation Franz Weber (to mention only three), did everything possible to fight about this insane plan! People were in the streets and performed peaceful demonstrations against the “Ozeanium” and explained the massive impact it would have in the nature, in case the project would be adopted!
Well, to cut a long story short, the people in Basel decided wisely and voted “no” – with 54.56% – BRAVO! It’s a milestone and shows that people start to think differently! They are more sensitized about what happens to our planet, to the animals and their habitat! Finally it’s also about our own survival, right?!
Needless to say, how happy I am about the result – together with thousands of others! It’s such a relief and I do hope these 100 Mio. Swiss Francs will be used for ecologically worthwhile projects, such as the protection of our oceans and rainforest, or perhaps give the animals in the zoo in Basel more space, by renovating the site?
We’ll what will happen – maybe the zoo considers a project, similar as the new “ZOOXXI” in Barcelona. A vision about education through zoo’s, developed by Fondation Franz Weber (https://www.ffw.ch/de/projekte/zooxxi).
Good luck, in any case!
May 19 2019
Honestly, this was one of the most troublesome weeks!
Some of you know that our new bimini annoyingly hasn’t arrived on Easter. So instead of getting some work done, we were “forced” to enjoy a week holiday…well, of course it was fun, but not the plan!
After our return at home, we received the good news that the bimini had finally been sent from Germany on the 26th April, and within 5 working days it was scheduled to arrive in Loano. Sweet! We immediately started to plan our trip and I booked a room at the Yacht Club for the weekend from 18th – 19th May.
With plenty of time for the transport we weren’t worried, but looked forward to see Luna Azzurra again and to finally assemble the new item! Since we have guests who booked our boat, it was just in time to get the job done – before the high season starts!
Well, almost a week passed and no news about the parcel delivered at the marina office. The forwarders track and trace system did show the pick-up and some further movements and that it arrived in Como/Italy on the 30th April. But that was it – nothing more happened after that?! When I contacted the forwarder and asked about our consignment, I was told that she would try get information and shortly be back with me… I haven’t heard more, so I sent a reminder or two…nothing.
Still quite calm and not too worried I patiently waited for an answer. Somehow another week passed – without any progress – and Patrik and I started to get nervous about the whereabouts of the bimini! Where the hell is it and why don’t we get a reliable answer? Is it lost, damaged, sent back to Germany, stolen…?!
I mean, it’s a big parcel which weighs 25 kg. Hard to lose it under a pile of paper…
Meanwhile, it was the 10th May, and I’ve started to be in telephonic contact with the forwarder in Germany! At least she was very understanding and kind, but it didn’t help much in our situation. I also was aware, of course, that it wasn’t her fault and she just could just pass the information to me which she got from her partner firm in Italy! BUT IT WAS NERVE-RACKING!
On the 06th of May I finally got the “Hurray-News” that the parcel will be delivered tomorrow, on the 07th *yeah*! But when asking the marina office on the 07th, they didn’t know anything about a delivery for us. Back to the forwarder, and they promised to send me a proof of delivery asap! Two days later I’ve been told that – oh sorry – it wasn’t delivered and apparently they needed our and the boats name. *arghh* We knew that the paperwork and address sticker on the parcel was correctly filled in, so we simply couldn’t understand the problem….just deliver the bloody parcel, man!
Mails went back and forth and phone calls were made….still no result and by now it was Monday, 13th May! It was too late to cancel the hotel room and get the a refund, but that was the smallest of the problems, because the bimini still wasn’t delivered! More mails and phone calls followed and from being puzzled I began to be really annoyed and worried and had to pull myself together to not to shout at the poor girl at the other end of the phone! On the 15th I even sent a copy of the delivery note to her, in order to proof that the correct address was mentioned in the shipping documents!
Then – finally – on the same day I received the news that their partner in Italy had all necessary documents (didn’t they have them already before…??) and the delivery will happen in the afternoon, or on Thursday morning! She would keep me informed and let me know when the parcel had been delivered.
I didn’t jump to the roof yet, one disappointment was enough, so I waited patiently anxiously for the liberating news…..
During Thursday….nothing happened again – no news that it has been delivered or of any progress at all ! I even called the factory in Germany and asked them for some help. They assumed it had been delivered on the 07th May, and were more than surprised that it hadn’t.
She promised to call the shipping company and try to find out more. Since it is their regularly appointed forwarder, they might have better connections than I have…
On Thursday evening, just before I left the office, I received an email from the forwarder, that the package had been delivered this morning… I drove home and immediately called the marina office and – HALLELUJAH – they confirmed the receipt of the goods!! WOW, what a relief, un-***-believable!
After a three weeks odyssey our bimini had finally arrived at its destination! I thanked the woman at marina and mentioned that we see one another on Saturday!
Afterwards I called Patrik – who was in Gdansk / PL from Wednesday until Friday – and told him the fantastic news! He also almost couldn’t believe it, but was soooo happy!
So on Friday, after work I picked up Patrik from the train station, then we had to pick up our Chevy from the garage and started packing the few things for one night, plus some stuff for the boat!
Unluckily, the weather forecast for Saturday in Loano was not so good – rainy and pretty cold with only approx 14 deg. C. So our rain jackets and my wellingtons were also added – I even bought a pair of rain trousers (for nothing, as it turned out…. but rather like this, than the other way around).
Five o’clock on Saturday morning we left home, after kissed Odin good-bye, and arrived at the marina in Loano at 11 a.m., luckily, the journey went super smooth! We immediately picked up the bimini and started assembling. According to Patrik it shouldn’t take longer than 3 hours, so the task was completed just after three, good job! After a short visit at Matteo’s shop, we finally checked-into the hotel at the Yacht Club and enjoyed a well earned prosecco. After a shower we got ready for dinner – which we had at “Shardana Wine and Sea”…….. change of plan, “Shardana” was fully booked, so we went to the pizzeria a few meters further away, called “All’Acqua Pazza”. Although, the ambience isn’t as charming, the food was fantastic!
Today is Sunday and the weather is – well a bit better than yesterday! We just had our breakfast and at 11 a.m. we’ll check-out and prepare our journey home! If we are lucky, it shouldn’t take much more than six hours….
The bimini is where it supposed to be and Luna Azzurra looks very proud, I believe she is!
So this nightmare has a happy end at least – thank God!
Bye everyone and see you next week!
May 04 2019
We hope you also had a pleasant week! Ours was very short…..hmm…OK, mine was, as I took last Monday off, “poor” Patrik had to work!
But I wasn’t lazy, on Monday I did the remaining laundry from our week in Loano. Which was – as usual – a lot (not only our clothes, but also towels and bed linen).
I even had the time to devote myself to my hobby, doing jewellery and key rings – a brand new design, by the way!
Tuesday was a working day, but on Wednesday it was 1st May and we weren’t working. Each canton in Switzerland handles it differently actually. We are lucky enough and life in one where the 1st of May is treated as a holiday!
The weather improved slowly since last weekend, so on Wednesday it was pitch-perfect! Patrik and I only had to decide if we would visit Hausammann’s, “our winemaker”, who had an open house, or work in our garden and finally get things done…..Well, the latter won!
Luckily, we decided in favor of the garden, because the weather changed during the rest of the week. It didn’t only start to rain from Thursday to Friday, but the temperatures dropped continuously from almost 20 deg. C on Wednesday, to 7 deg. C on Sunday!! The weather really is on a rollercoaster, just crazy!
So on Saturday, we visited my parents quickly and then went home and stayed inside for the rest of the day. I bet we won’t leave the house today either….Not even Odin starts any attempts to go outside! We can’t blame him, why should he want wet paws…?!
We wish you all a cosy Sunday, ta ta!
Apr 28 2019
Well, our holidays are almost over and we are home again!
This weeks weather wasn’t what we hoped for. As soon as Michelle and Dounia had left on Easter Sunday, it changed during Easter Monday and the evening was rainy and grey. Which meant we haven’t done so much, except of scrubbing the boat on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday it was still raining (at least the wind had died down) and Patrik and I decided to drive to Savona to check out the shipyard. We want to sail Luna Azzurra there end of August/beginning of September, in order to lift her out of the water, clean the hull and repaint it with antifouling.
Since we have three weeks holiday then, it would be perfect spending the first week in Savona, working on the boat and afterwards having two weeks for sailing!
However, going around the shipyard in the rain, wasn’t much fun and when Patrik called the guy who is operating the lift and manages “his” part of the yard, it turned out he didn’t speak english. Such a bummer!
On the way back to the Marina di Loano, we went grocery shopping and around five p.m. we were at the boat again, unpacking and preparing a little aperitif.
Surprisingly, Patrik’s mobile rang and it turned out that the guy from Savona had managed to organise a friend, who speaks english. So with his help Patrik was able to ask a few questions and get an email address. With help of a translation program we’ll be able to communicate with each other. Super!
Since the weather hadn’t improved, we soon started to cook dinner – a very tasty ratatouille with couscous and salad. It wasn’t even eleven when we went to bed – tired nevertheless.
Wednesday morning started dry when we got up, but just before lunch it started to rain again…. *arrrgghh*
It didn’t bother Patrik that much, because he went out and changed the genoa sheets anyway. The old ones looked a bit ragged, so we bought new ones, in a nice bordeaux colour.
The rest of the day went quiet, we visited the marina office and Matteo at his new shop.
Unfortunately, I’ve received the news by now that our bimini won’t arrive this week….We suspected that it wasn’t even finished yet. But the responsible person promised that it will be shipped on Friday, 26th April. And – surprise – on Thursday evening I received a tracking number for the consignment. At least that worked out!
That meant that Patrik and I would leave on Friday, no point staying longer. Also, the weather didn’t improve a lot – when it wasn’t raining, it was windy…
So on Thursday my main job was cleaning the boat, while Patrik tested the new Mercury motor with the dinghy! It worked wonderfully and Patrik was more than satisfied! Great job!
We also had to settle things with Matteo, about mounting the bimini. Regrettably he explained that he wouldn’t be able to mount it by himself, so we decided that Patrik would drive to Loano and together they would complete the job.
It’s annoying of course, since we’ve spent more than a week at the boat, partly of course, planing to mount the new bimini!
We suppose the consignment will arrive on Monday or Tuesday next week. That means Patrik would leave for Loano at lunch on Tuesday, arriving at the marina in the evening and on Wednesday morning, 01st May he an Matteo would assemble the bimini -which shouldn’t take more than three hours (according to them).
Afterwards, Patrik would leave Loano again, hopefully coming home within a reasonably time in the evening.
That’s our plan so far…..we hope it works out that way! Also, because the sailing season is starting and we have a guest booked for next weekend! We need Luna Azzurra to be ready – and asap!
Apr 21 2019
Happy Easter everyone! Since Thursday afternoon we are in Loano, staying on Luna Azzurra.
We are four this time: My “oldest” girlfriend Michelle – we know each other since kindergarten – and a friend of hers, Dounia, are with us. Partly for a short holiday – on Sunday afternoon they will drive back to Switzerland – and partly to help us to mount the new bimini. OR SO WAS THE PLAN!
Another reason is that Michelle might rent Luna Azzurra during the summer with some friends, one of them has the sailing license, and she wanted to have a look at the boat and the marina.
What have we done so far?
On Thursday afternoon, we drove directly to Albenga, there you find a huge shopping mall, to buy groceries. Then back to the Marina di Loano, where we started to arrange ourselves and get comfy on the boat. I have a strong feeling, the two “girls” like their cabins and feel at home!
Like I said, on Friday it was planned to mount the new bimini. Well, was….. Unfortunately, the manufacturer in Germany couldn’t finish it in time. Although I’ve tried everything last week, even called them to push the production, but it turned out that 12 weeks delivery time wasn’t enough… What a bummer!
I’m not saying, it’s the manufacturers fault! Patrik and I should have ordered a week or two earlier. But we took it for granted that the mentioned, approximately 12 weeks in the offer, would be plenty! Well, next time we’ll know better….hahaha!
So, according to the administrator, the bimini was finished this week and sent to Loano. It means it should arrive withing next week (fingers double crossed!!). Luckily, Patrik and I are still here for a week (instead of being out sailing…..*grumble*….).
Sadly it’s only the two of us then and I hope we’ll manage to mount this vast structure! Patrik and I would have been super happy about Michelle’s and Dounia’s help!
Saturday started quite gusty, but the sun was shining. So we decided taking Luna Azzurra out and enjoy a sailing day! It was 09.30 a.m. when we left the marina, everyone was in high spirits. The wind was great and soon the mainsail and jib were out. We reached between 6 and 7 knots and passed Savona and Genoa.
Sadly, Michelle started to feel a bit sick, but after we had some lunch she started to feel better again! The temperatures rose slowly, which was good – but unfortunately, the winds started to die at the same time. As soon we did our tacking (around 2 p.m.) in order to turn around, heading for Loano again, the wind was nearly down to zero… It meant we had to start the engine – too bad!
It was almost 5.30 p.m. when we reached our home marina. The sun was still out, accompanied by a light breeze and everyone had a big smile on its face! Happiness was evident!
After the mooring, it was time for an aperitif, then a shower and soon we started preparing our dinner!
Weariness wasn’t far away so it wasn’t even 11 p.m. when we went to bed…. Good night my friends, sleep tight!
Today is Easter Sunday, which means Michelle and Dounia will drive home today! After a late breakfast and discussing their trip, we will probably head once more to Loano, for a short stroll. I think between 4 and 5 p.m. they will leave! Thanks for coming, you two and have a save trip back to Switzerland!
Patrik’s and mine plan for next week is still vague. The weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t very dazzling and we still strongly hope that our bimini will arrive…
Apr 13 2019
We are very happy and proud to announce that a new member has arrived in our family…..it’s a…….Volvo !
Well, the main reason was Italy. Since we most probably will travel there more often now, we decided we need a “cheaper” car. Still big enough to load stuff – as we can with our Chevy – but one which isn’t as thirsty. We also have an Audi TT Roadster Cabriolet, but since it is a two-seater, it’s not very practical.
Although, it’s a real fun toy, which suits Italy and its climate.
Well, it’s obvious that we can’t have three cars and a Harley – so one had to go…. sadly it was our toy car! Since spring is coming, the chance of selling a cabrio was much higher than that of a heavy, 2 ton, always thirsty, American dinosaur! And we were right, the car dealer took our Audi as a partial payment.
Our Chevy has meanwhile had its service and the obligatory check-up and everything was fine – he passed the test! So now we are thinking about selling it as well and buy a small car again (preferably a cabriolet again). But there is no rush….
Anyway, about our new car: We were looking for quite a while until we settled for a (second-hand) Volvo XC60, which aren’t monster-big, but have enough room to load and transport things. It’s a 2015 model with 91’000 km, black outside with ivory-colored seats.
Plus it’s a diesel and it boozes almost half of the Chevy. Another positive point is, it’s a very comfy car, so when driving 6-7 hours to Italy you don’t feel like having been run over by a truck!
And you know what, here comes the clou: It’s the Volvo Ocean Race Edition! It’s such a fantastic coincidence! We couldn’t believe it when we saw the ad and when we drove to the car dealer and saw it live, we knew we’d found our new car!
Luckily, the guy was open and didn’t only accept our Audi for payment, but he also agreed that we get 4 winter tires in mint condition and he arranged to tint all the back windows. Of course check-up and service had been done as well when we picked it up last Saturday!
So yes, we are confident that we bought a good car and can’t wait to see, how little fuel it will use when driving to Loano the next time – which will be before the Easter weekend!
That means, see you next time on Easter with greeting from Italy and Luna Azzurra! A Presto!
Apr 07 2019
Well no, no martens this time (although, we still hear them sometimes running around on the rooftop)!
No, our dear neighbour – and Odins hero (catsitter) – Cony, her three children Tiana, Samuel and Kilian and Cony’s partner Lukas came to us for dinner. Their baby girl Lina was also with us, but she slept most of the time – with seven months no surprise!
We decided to do a homemade chilli sin carne (of course), accompanied by a crisp sallad and fresh (bought) bread, for our guests – a second version a bit less hot for Lukas. Apparently, he not very used to chilli and Co. No problem for us, of course!
The benefit with this meal is, it can be easily prepared the day before and it actually tastes better by doing so. So Patrik was in the kitchen on Friday evening, cooking his tasty speciality. Soon the house was filled with the spicy smell…it was hard, not to fill two plates and eat a big portion already…
Since Lukas is a milk goat farmer and had to do the evening stable, he came a bit later than Cony and the kids. But around 8 p.m. we were complete and enjoyed the remaining aperitif.
The main course was a true success and everyone loved it…. no one reacted that Patrik used soya “minced meat”, as usual actually!
Of course we had a lot to talk about, since we hadn’t seen each other for a while. One big theme was Cony’s relocating with her kids. Since Lukas has his farm he has no intention of moving house, which is understandable.
So the only other solution was, that Cony and her kids move to Lukas. It took some time, since Lukas parents also live at the farm and a new house had to be built for them, otherwise it would have been too crowded.
Well this summer it will be finished and our neighbours will say goodbye to Uesslingen. Although, it’s not too far away – maybe 20 minutes from us – we will miss her and the children… And Odin of course! Countless times he made a visit to them, while Patrik and I were working. And of course, they were the “can openers” when we were away. So yes, it will be quite change, for us as well!
However, we still have a few months to spend some time together, so I guess we’ll make the best of it and visit each other as often as possible!
Here are a few photos of our evening together, hope you like them 🙂