Polo Shirt For Lina’s Mini Transat Campaign

What on earth is that, just another polo shirt? No, it’s not. It’s a statement. A statement for saying “support this young lady on her quest to complete the Mini Transat 2017”. Would you like to make that statement as well?

polo shirt Lina Rixgens Mini Transat Campaign - frontInitially I thought this is an idea born to fail. Who would want to walk around in a polo shirt crammed with logos? After a brief design session with a local printer I changed my mind – and here is the result. A polo shirt where the original colour of navy blue can still be seen, logos are not too big and at the same time still fully present. Plus, two URLs on the back (well, they had to go somewhere and “inside” was not really an option).

Is this a great polo shirt for Lina’s Mini Transat campaign?

What do you think, does it look like a winner polo shirt? Or the exact opposite? I really like it. And that is also the reason why we have decided to offer it to anybody interested in getting one (‘we’ meaning Lina and me; read more about Lina’s Mini Transat campaign). The catch is that we won’t be able to sell it for small money and ship it to anywhere on this planet. So if you would like to support Lina’s Mini Transat campaign plus get the polo shirt, then there are (a minimum of) two ways to do that: Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Wales vs Belgium And A Long Weekend Tour

Wales vs Belgium: show just before gameThe Euro 2016 (football) in France is history, and I had been lucky enough to watch one of the best games of that tournament live: Wales vs Belgium in Lille. Without knowing who might play on that quarter final we bought the tickets beginning of the year. A good idea it was indeed, same as to not travel for the game only but for a long weekend.

wet and rainy but bbq up and running

wet and rainy but bbq up and running

Chap no. 1 picked me up on Thursday afternoon, and after a “let’s get going” espresso we set off for the long weekend. On our way to Ghent we stopped in Osnabrueck to pick up chap no. 3 (having arrived by train from Berlin). The remaining drive passed rather quickly, the main concern for the day being: Will the camping site still be opened when we arrive or will we need to camp outside? The real reason behind that question was not concerning toilets or shower, but rather electricity for keeping the beers refreshingly cool. It’s all a question of priorities.

Just 15 minutes after a wonderfully charming and relaxed welcome by the receptionist at Ghent Blaarmeersen Camping we had our barbecue up and running – late check-in, late dinner.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Eatable Wild Plants For A Yummy Meal

Starved… that’s one way to phrase what would have happened to me if I had relied on my skills of getting food directly from mother nature (wild berries, wild plants). It was a try, it was yummy, and it certainly was not enough to drive my hunger away.

looks nice, tastes nice - part of my backgarden

looks nice, tastes nice – part of my backgarden

The initial inspiration came from a book called “Essbare Wildbeeren und Wildpflanzen” (eatable wild berries and wild plants), all in German and by Detlev Henschel. I bought this one after having read a rather remarkable book by the same chap, He paddled long distances with his kayak, the book I read was a tour on the Baltic Sea, with him only eating what he found wherever his day ended.

I do know a few wild plants and berries, however, apart from my own, parents’ or friends’ garden (and, of course, the local market) I have not really plundered nature’s huge resources on eatable wild plants. This little book was going to the basis for my personal cuisine-adventure – that was the plan, and it kind of worked well. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Waste At The Bottom Of The Arctic Ocean

One brief paragraph of a recent study by the AWI has left me absolutely speechless: “In comparison, even the lowest values from the Arctic seafloor are ten times higher (than the waste concentration in the so-called garbage patches)”. They must be joking, I thought. No, they’re not!

plastic bag bottom of arctic ocean 2500 metres depth (cMBergmann)

plastic bag bottom of arctic ocean 2500 metres depth (cMBergmann)

First of all, how cool is that: You are on a ship, and every 30 seconds you get a new picture from the ocean ground beneath you. The OFOS (Ocean Floor Observation System) is the technology behind this, drifting a metre and a half above the ocean floor and delivering still and moving pictures.

In the past, the scientists from AWI have observed the ocean bottom for sponges, sea cucumbers, fish or any other living creature down below. In recent years, however, their attention has also been grabbed by litter on the ocean seafloor. Once they started having a look also at the waste in oceans, they produced some worrying numbers: between 2002 and 2011 the waste on the ocean floor in one square kilometre more than doubled (2.500 metres beneath sea surface). Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Still Needed By Lina For Her Mini Transat Campaign

Hardly ever do I ask you to have a closer look and share articles with your friends. This post here is different, and maybe you know someone who knows someone who knows someone… Lina Rixgens is still looking for support in various areas of her Mini Transat campaign.

Lina has come a long way since her very first thoughts and ideas about participating in the Mini Transat (here is a small part of her story so far). She has, however, still quite a few tasks ahead of her. With a boat now available things have moved in the right direction. I am sure you are well aware that simply having a boat does help – but it is not everything. Lina has produced a list of things “still needed”, and if you (or a friend of a friend…) can help her and tick off one of those below it would bring her another big step closer to sailing and finishing the Mini Transat.

Apart from the items listed below, and my apologies for mentioning it again, every little helps – even the smallest donations. If you would like to support Lina, please try this link here and mention “Lina’s Mini Transat” in the subject line.

Please spread the word, share with your friends and make a young lady very happy… thank you! Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Strawberries – Picking, Jam And Tummy Ache

some of the freshly picked strawberriesFreshly picked strawberries – so sweet, tasty, yummy. The same is true when enjoying them with whipped cream or chocolate, in ice cream or smoothies… the list could go on. To show the kids where their favourite strawberries are coming from I took them out for an afternoon of strawberry picking – plus some “work” afterwards.

Looking back at it, the “strawberry picking event” turned out to be a ninety minute happening (with not too much happening at all). The agitation and excitement of it all had been much greater in the couple of days before, as is so often the case. When it came down to actually doing it, it was kind of boring. So I’ve been told afterwards by those three young ladies having joined me.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Lina’s First Classe Mini Solo Regatta

Sailing single-handed is one thing, racing solo on the Atlantic on a small boat you hardly know is something quite different. Despite having had a couple of days training only Lina’s handled the first two regattas pretty well.

Lina Rixgens first single handed regatta on Pogo2 mini doc

(c) Lina Rixgens

To say Lina Rixgens is new to solo regattas would not really be true. She is a World Championship-experienced sailor in class Europe, but sailing on a Classe Mini Ocean racing yacht is a different story. Just after Easter she has started sailing on mini doc, a Pogo 2 she will be training and racing on for the next two years up until the Mini Transat 2017.

Lina had a couple of days to find her way around her boat when the first regatta came up: the 150nm “Bretagne Sud Mini Lorient” (BSM) a two-handed race starting in Lorient. 76 Minis at the starting line, winds up to 40kn and a very tight time limit – well, only about a third of all series boats managed to cross the finish line in time (mostly brand new ones, and not mini doc). Lina’s partner on this storm training session was Katrina Ham, an Australien Mini-sailor with thousands of miles Classe Mini experience (including Mini Transat).

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Some More Facts About Marine Debris

When looking at the career pages of the AWI (Alfred-Wegener-Institut, based in Bremerhaven, Germany), the requirements for getting a job with them seem to be quite challenging: PhDs, Science Officer, Master Students, and a doc for their Antarctic station… There is a good reason for that: They are experts and extremely good at what they are doing. One of the items they keep looking at is marine debris and its origin, distribution and impact.

The text below answers a couple of fundamental questions on marine debris. This is rather similar to a previous post here on Active Outside (basic Q&A on waste in oceans), yet it does give more details and background information on various topics. All of the below (plus lots more) can also be found on the website of AWI. Some of their answers I have shortened a bit, and the reason for including it here as full text instead of including a link is also quite simple: I’d like to keep the content, even if AWI decides to (re)move their page.

Their researchers and scientists are doing a more than fabulous job, and their realistic view on this matter is something I value highly (e.g. their comment on estimated numbers of marine debris floating on the surface of the oceans).

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Hansajolle – Back To The Roots

yes, that's me at the tiller

yes, that’s me at the tiller

Having sailed on quite a few different types of dinghies, a planned tour with a Hansajolle on the river Elbe had me wondering whether this really was a good idea. The Elbe can be quite nasty, especially when tide runs against wind. The Hansajolle, however, had been planned and constructed with those challenging conditions in mind.

With “back to the roots” I don’t really want to imply that sailing on very old or ancient type of boats is my cup of tea. The reference is more in the direction of keeping it simple, reliable and easy to handle. This is something that always comes to my mind when sailing with small boats – with the exception of Classe Mini racers, of course.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Beaches, Boats And Horses On Fehmarn

Keeping the kids busy and trying to avoid “death by boredom” (their wording) during school holidays can occasionally turn into a challenge. One week of this year’s Easter school holidays turned out to be as much fun for the parents as it was for the kids.

deserted beach on FehmarnOk, my kids are not really that bad when at home. They can go without parents for hours, only needing help when it comes to food and drink. This is usually fine for a couple of days, but two weeks can get very long in the end. So we spent one week of that Easter break near the Baltic Sea, an hour’s drive from home. It was on Fehmarn, one of my favourite islands round here.

It was the second week in April, spring having not really arrived yet, sunshine and rain playing hide and seek on an hourly basis, a nasty cold wind blowing – not really a combination to have the kids roam around outdoors. There was, however, not a single day with the kids asking for more action. The reason: horses!

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Chance Encounter: Two People, One Goal

A very long time ago (January last year, actually, but it feels a lot longer) I spent quite a few hours browsing the web to find some information on the costs of a Mini Transat campaign. I managed to pull some data together and came up with a pretty neat cost estimate – however, that is a different story. While doing my research I stumbled upon a couple of Classe Mini sailors’ websites, one of them being Lina Rixgens. What a goal she has set herself, and what a story it has been so far!

Lina Rixgens enjoying the first day of sailing with Classe Mini 732The very first information I found was a flyer for Lina’s Mini Transat campaign. Her project idea sounded pretty cool, and I was indeed a very happy person after she had rather quickly replied to an email and answered a couple of questions. Soon after I published a first article about Lina and her plans for a Mini Transat campaign. But – who is she, what’s her background? In brief:

  • young medical student, German, living in Belgium
  • has been sailing for more than half of her life, including Optimist, Europe, crossing the Atlantic with “High Seas High School” and racing around the Baltic Sea with ‘Haspa Hamburg’, a Judel/Vrolijk designed long distance cruiser-racer
  • regatta-proven, including World Championships in class Europe
  • highly organized, with a clear view on her goals and aiming to reach them asap (that is my personal view, though it may sound like taken from a consultant’s CV).

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Come On, Rainbow Pirates, Keep On Going!

The “Rainbow Pirates“ had quite a crazy day way back at the beginning of March. The result: a 2.050,- € donation! Another great step for the team of “Meer bewegen”, allowing them to continue their challenging task of getting disabled folks out onto the water and sailing.

"Meer bewegen" team picture swimming pool

“Meer bewegen” team picture swimming pool

“Pirate Party” sounds like a lot of fun, and it was indeed for dozens of kids and their parents. The team of “Meer bewegen” (the Rainbow Pirates) also had a couple of goals for this party day, those mainly being:
– the happiness of and fun for all those kids having turned up (location: swimming pool)
– reach a specific donation target (location: www)
– have quite a bit of fun themselves (location: both of the above).
Success rate of those goals: 100%.

What an amazing and crazy day it had been for them! Loads of children turned up and wanted to get onto “White Pearl”, the RS Venture with sailability kit. No chance of counting the number of times the White Pearl crossed the pool (hopelessly overloaded with eager sailors-to-be). Very happy and excited faces all around encouraged everyone involved to keep going not only all day long, but rather with the entire idea and concept of “inclusive sailing”.

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

The Race Is On… Lina’s Got A Boat

Woohee, she’s got a boat! Lina Rixgens is now ready to tackle the intensive and challenging Classe Mini regatta scene. She will be sailing on 732, a Pogo 2, and is well on her way to close in on her main target: the Mini Transat 2017.

Lina Rixgens all smiles on 732 first sailingFor more than a year she had been talking to sponsors, looking at boats and trying to figure out how she could get out onto the water with and on a Mini all by herself. As mentioned in previous articles, she does not only want to sail around for leisure and pleasure. Her main objective is to complete the Mini Transat 2017 as the first German female sailor.

Things are looking a lot brighter now for this young sailor. Lina has already been on her first sailing weekend in Lorient, enjoying a marvellous couple of days on 732, a Pogo 2. Where did this boat come from, and what are her immediate plans?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Catamaran ‘Seekuh’ Collecting Garbage In Water

How to get rid of all that garbage floating around in our waters? One of the ideas having caught my attention is the prototype of a catamaran called Seekuh (sea cow), currently being built and ready for its mission in summer 2016.

catamaran Seekuh (Sea Cow) (c One Earth - One Ocean)Plastic garbage in shallow waters, seas and oceans is omnipresent. Tons of plastic bags, fishing nets, bottles, cosmetic product waste and the like are polluting our liquid surroundings. Three quarters of all the garbage in oceans consists of plastics needing a couple of centuries to decompose. All that waste is a major danger to wildlife and, ultimately, humans (if you are rather new to this topic, check out these Basic Q&A regarding waste in oceans).

A catamaran called Seekuh (Sea Cow)

Worldwide, awareness to actually do something about all that waste in oceans has increased dramatically in recent years. Lots of projects and initiatives have been started, and a pretty cool one I found to be a catamaran called Sea Cow (Seekuh). What is this supposed to be, or mean?

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Lacking Vitamin Sea

stick on beach in WasserslebenSomething is not going the way it is supposed to, at least when listening to the prioritisation list of my heart. Just winter blues? Or a really bad case of not enough vitamin sea?

As usual in the first quarter, the kids are down frequently with all sorts of virus and God knows what infections. The sun is blocked by clouds, and it is either raining, freezing cold or, on a good day, just not nice enough to spend a lot of time outside. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail