Jul 122012

2 years 8 months and 4 days, 977 days, or simply 23,448 hours I’ve been away. I have traveled countless miles and thought a million thoughts. The backpack in the corner, dust from far away beaches in my shoes. A distant world is still in my head. But through the thoughts that keep spinning, it is slowly sinking in: I am home.

Jun 182012

Due to requests of the owner of the I have removed all the pictures of a certain boat to be publicly visible.  I apologize for the unauthorized use of those pictures. I didn’t know what I get myself into and all I wanted to do is to provide some information about my life to friends and family. This website does not pursue any commercial interested and so the use of those pictures wasn’t intended to be used otherwise.  Also I haven’t had any intentions to work against the interests of the rights holder. My bad and hereby corrected.

To my readers, I have removed the articles that went along with it too, to be on the safe side. I don’t want to get into any legal trouble, so better safe than sorry, right?

But don’t worry, you’ll get some updates soon, just with a few less pictures where a certain vessel is visible.

paradise

Oh well here we go.

The last post must have been ages ago and I’m not really keen to have a look at the exact date. Not that it matters anyway.

I have a whole plate full of stories that would be worth sharing, but life kept me busy enough with experiencing things rather than writing about things that happened in the past. It’s not an excuse, cause I don’t have to excuse myself to anybody for not writing.

But now I’m at the verge into a new big adventure, that might reveal a few stories worth telling and remembering.

So what’s the deal?

To make a long story short, I have quit my great job in Auckland in April to go back into sailing. There was nothing wrong with this job, in fact I was more than happy but the call of the sea and freedom was stronger than anything else.

I’ve spent nearly 3 years in New Zealand by now and I don’t regret much about this decision to stay here for that long. But it is time for new adventures, new destinations, new frontiers. I might come back to NZ one day and maybe I will stay for good. Who knows? I don’t.

Apart from quitting my job, I have left my flat, sold the motorcycle, sent a gazillion things back to Germany and wished more than once farewell to all my friends that I had the honor to meet.

But I haven’t done this without somewhere to go to. Before making all those decisions I got the opportunity to crew aboard the S.V. See Adler. A 70ft sailing super yacht (or is it super sailing yacht?)

The call of the sea: Once she got you, she might let you go, but you will hear the sea scream after you and you will come back all by yourself.

We will disembark very soon on a journey of epic scales. This trip that will last for several months will take me on my first ocean passage and enable me to see most of the eastern south Pacific.
Foreign cultures, lonely islands, endless beaches, impenetrable jungles and the never ending horizon are just a few things that will await us on this trip.

It’s time to take the next step in sailing experiences.

And what happens afterwards?

After this great journey will be over, I will head back to Germany. Maybe not right away, maybe just for a quick moment. There are several possibilities and plans. But let’s talk about it once those ideas stand on a bit more solid ground.

Last day of Work today. Thanks for the last two years #Cegedim , but new adventures have to come.

Exclusive pictures from inside Kim Dotcom’s mansion near Auckland: http://t.co/U1NHe41e #megaupload #kimble

lustig was #kimble so an seine Nachbarn schrieb als er die 30 Millionen Dollar villa bezog http://t.co/Xeq8SNRx #megaupload

OK forget what I’ve said about #Kimble I was simply faster than the NZ Press. Here we go: http://t.co/waVwydBq #megaupload

#Kimble got arrested by the NZ authorities on behalf of the FBI. Why isn’t there any news coverage about it in NZ? Strange… #megaupload

Ein Bier zu trinken an einem schönen Sommertag. Dies ist das Gold des kleinen Mannes.

The perfect weather for new years eve when you live on the north island.Everything that is not white == rain http://t.co/mIXAUpf4

Good ideas that don’t work. Issue No. 352: Going to the airport on the 30th/Dec in hope to snatch a cheap fly to “anywhere”.

Buyer of my cam will arrive soon.Feel so bad about it.It’s like saying farewell forever to a friend. http://t.co/9UQC0Wrw

Sometimes it’s good to overcome your own sense of proudness.

What does our CEO get if he does a good job? – A 15million dollar bonus. What do I get if I do a good job? – More Work.

“Saying a camera takes nice pictures is like saying a guitar plays nice melodies.”

Nov 042011

I’m sorry for the silence in the blog throughout the last few weeks. Enough things happened that were worthwhile to write about, but to be honest I was too lazy and distracted with other things. But I will deliver, I’ll promise.

For now I’ll write about the next upcoming thing: The Handball Champions Cup in Tahiti!

The Champions Cup is a Oceania wide tournament, where the alleged best teams of Oceania play against each other to rule out who will be the next king of the islands the best team on the biggest continent in the world, the pacific ocean.
And could you think about a better place to play handball than Tahiti?

Traditionally, the teams from New Caledonia and Tahiti  are known to be quite strong, as they have their roots in the nation of  handball loving (and rugby loosing hrhr) France, while the English invaders of Australia and New Zealand preferred to play boring sports like cricket.

Papeete, the Capital of Tahiti

 

Anyway, the tournament goes from the 5th till the 10th of  November, which means our team will fly into Papeete today, in 8 hours to be exact. Our selection of 11 players trained hard during the last couple of weeks and we are all very excited about the things to come. Will it be a successful tournament for the Auckland Region Handball club? We don’t know yet, but being the unknown underdog can be quite useful. Nobody knows us and we don’t have anything to loose. Usually this is a good formula to surprise other teams.

The line up for this tournament is:

A.S. FAA’A Handball FRENCH POLYNESIA
A.C.B. POYA NEW CALEDONIA
A.S. DRAGON FRENCH POLYNESIA
A.S. DUMBEA NEW CALEDONIA
SYDNEY University Handball Club AUSTRALIA
AUCKLAND Region Handball NEW ZEALAND

I will try and report from the event daily. But for the moment there is not much else to say than giving you a few facts about Tahiti.

Tahiti is a dependence of France and therefore under the reign of Sarkozy, the magnificent Dwarf. It is the capital island of  French Polynesia and wonderful sounding paradises like Mourea and Bora-Bora are part of this group of islands.

The biggest city is the capital Papeete with over 130.000 people, which is quite impressive for a little island, I think.
Tahiti can be found at latitude 17 degees south of the equator, thus it totally in the tropics, yeah baby.

A shame, that we won’t have much time for the paradise side of Tahiti, thanks to the tight handball schedule. So we will miss out on gems like Bora Bora, but maybe I can come back anytime soon, who knows.

Missing out on Bora-Bora: I guess this picture resembles every dream you ever had about a pacific island

 

Auckland made it and survived the first Rugby World Cup weekend. I have to say it was not a bad one so far and especially the opening on Friday attracted may people. As far as I know more than 100.000 people have roamed the waterfront and queen street.
After all the opening was a well planned spectacle and even the fireworks have been quite spectacular although it didn’t last too long.

I’ve been watching the whole spectacle from my balcony. Here is a little impression what that looked like:

Rugby World Cup 2011 Opening Firework

I read several traveler blogs regularly (although I don’t really network with them) and one of them is www.BackpackingMatt.com, who has also been in New Zealand for a while now and is based in Queenstown.

I really like his stories as they are interesting to read and sometimes he has even got some useful advice (although I wouldn’t comply to everything he’s writing, but that’s probably just me).
His recent post although made me more than happy. It was titled “Confessions of a Backpacker: I’m in Love” it is about the insight each and every traveler will get once he stopped traveling for a while.

One of the greatest things of going traveling is probably to leave all things and unnecessary baggage behind – in terms of belongings and mentally as well. It is like a huge clean-up, a restart into a better, more aware life driven be ideals and dreams.

But what if you own dreams are catching up with you? With traveling comes experiencing many great places in a more or less short period of time, depending on how fast you travel.
The slower you are the higher the chances that you’ll find a place eventually, which is actually more beautiful than any other place you’ve seen before. You might fall so much in love with it, that you stay for longer than expected.

This might be a very obvious problem of long-term travelers, but no one has written a very nice round-up about this issue like Matt for a long time in my opinion. I can see myself in each and every of his words in that article, so instead of trying to find my own words, I want you to read his article instead.

In case you are too lazy to read (I know you are), he outlines everything in the last sentence:

I love my life here and for the time being I’m content with that. There is certainly more of this world I want to see – but for now, that’ll have to wait for another day.

Maybe one of the reasons are that Matt and I have spent a similar amount of time in New Zealand. He has been here for 22 months according to his article, which is the same for me. Yes, 22 months, that makes nearly 2 years, gosh time goes by.

Today is the day New Zealand was waiting for such a long time. The Rugby World Cup 2011 will finally begin. Since Rugby is the national sport of NZ, the whole country was striving long for this event and how the “All Blacks” will perform.

Apparently it is the third biggest sports event in the world after the Olympics and the FIFA Football world cup, but to be honest that sounds a little bit like “the biggest something in the Southern Hemisphere” to me. Anyway, it is going to be a big event for sure and the country seems quite well prepared for it.

The Auckland Cloud - Rugby World Cup Party Central

One of the new installations is the Auckland Cloud that will function as some kind of Party Central. The temporary tent-like building can host around 7800 people and cost around 10 Million New Zealand Dollars, not bad for a tent.

Today Auckland will see an opening ceremony at the wharf with the reception of traditional Maori Boats called Wakas and then there will be a huge Haka (Maori War Dance) performed by over 600 people. Sounds like something worthwhile watching. Apparently they expect around 60.000 People for that, I am going to be one of them although I usually hate such big assemblies of people.

Before the opening game between the All Blacks and Tonga kicks off at 8pm Auckland will see the biggest firework since the Millennium, which I am already excited about in hope to snatch a few good shots.

So then, the next 6 weeks will be under the sign of the Rugby World Cup. Let’s see what face of New Zealand we are going to see. I remember the FIFA World Cup 2006 that put a cheering face on Germany we haven’t seen before. Let’s see how the Kiwis will deal with their self inflicted 6 weeks of sportive anarchy. At least they got their slogan right: “The world’s here to play”, and they certainly will.

The old concrete storage silos

The Wynyard Quarter is part of a formerly buzzing industrial zone in the heart of Auckland. It lies right next to the prestigious Viaduct Harbour with its expensive luxury yachts and stylish apartments and appears rather dull in comparison. For a long time the Wynyard Quarter was home for a big concrete factory with its huge storage silos. But those times are over and Auckland has to move on. Empty space in the central district of any city, directly at the water in particular, is hugely precious – nothing that is unknown to the city developers of Auckland and after years and years of planning the first part of this revived area has been opened to the public a few weeks ago.

Maybe it was just a coincidence that the opening was just before the upcoming opening of the Rugby World Cup this Friday, but although the Wynyard Quarter will become a business and housing oriented area, the actual finished projects revolve all around leisure activities, hospitality and a few other bits that might actually be useful for the world cup and attractive to visitors.

So let’s have a look at what New Zealand City developers think, a modern city needs.
Continue reading »

Whey, my HP touchpad has arrived… let’s see what I can actually do with it… :-)

The new #Facebook feature of tagging people in statuses can be really dangerous for them if you link them with dodgy places. Y u no untag?

Where is our Ellen? You are so right, uncle cletus http://t.co/iAdlWYz

Getting up early stinks

Getting up early is a hard thing. Especially when there is nothing great awaiting you once you crawled out of bed. Most days of the week we are forced to get up to drag ourself into an office for a job that is eventually paying off that credit we had to get to buy that new flat screen television to watch movies we have already seen again in HD quality or the new car to impress the neighbor.

It’s totally understandable that no one is really keen to sacrifice precious sleep time for such a thing like work. We’d rather stay in bed as long as possible just to snitch one or two more minutes of sleep, or what we think is considered as that.

Alarm clock

Slaves of the alarm clock: We are all minions to our alarm clock. We can fight it by ignoring it, or by getting up early. Which way do you choose?

No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape your alarm clock

But eventually everybody of us has to face reality and  get up to get prepared for another day at work. But thanks to our constant laziness that forced us to stay in bed as long as possible, now we are in an unreal hurry to reach work in time, fighting ourselves through traffic jams and spilled hot coffee to go on our new work pants – does that looks like a good start in the day? I don’t think so. Continue reading »

I’ve been down to Christchurch a couple of weeks ago. Although I was there to play handball in the first place, I also wanted to get a little impression of the Earthquake aftermath. Although several months have passed since the last shake, the effects are still clearly visible:

The inner city area is completely fenced off and no one is allowed in this kinda “forbidden zone”. Everything looks very scary around this zone.

Another place that was hit quite severely was the suburb of “Lyttleton”, where I have been before the big earthquakes took place. It feels strange to come back to a place that has been in good shape on your first visit. It feels like seeing an old school mate after many years again, realizing he has totally changed.

Another demolished church in Lyttleton

The big earthquakes of Christchurch have demanded many casualties and destruction. Many people were forced to leave their homes forever and settling in other areas of the country. Christchurch was known was one of the most cultural places in New Zealand, but it lost many of their historical buildings, such as this old church in Lyttleton.

Continue reading »

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