Mexican Standoff – Part 1: Humiliation

I am wet. I am cold. My bruises hurt. My scrapes burn. My head aches. Breaded in sand like a schnitzel I feel hunger coming up. I take a deep drag. The sweet smoke befogs my mind and my sight but I still make out Seefalke’s anchor light in the distance. So she is still…

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Tale of Tears and Treasure – Part 2 (The Treasure)

Please make sure you read part 1 first: Part 2 (The Treasure) If you would need to hide something really well, where would that be? Something valuable or dangerous maybe. Or compromising. When you would need to make sure the wrong people will never find it.  Your obsolete bio-weapon CoVid lab equipment maybe. Or the…

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Episode 2: Where Is Suriname?

Ronja’s Learning Adventures tell the story of a little girl who is fed up with school. At one point she runs away from home and joins her father who lives on a sailboat. While sailing the world with him she will now experience all that she only read in text books before. With the time…

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A Tale of Tears and Treasure – Part 1 (The Tears)

I shake Tommaso’s, Michele’s and Renato’s hands. Screw social distancing for a moment! “Fair winds! Stay safe! See you later in this or in next life!” A smile. A hug. A nod. I see tears glitter in their eyes. I climb down the rope ladder into my bright red dinghy. I crank my little Mercury outboard…

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Rise and Fall of Supermoon

I got up early this morning. I had my “good” camera charged over night and I had researched that moonset at my position here at Isla Mujeres, Mexico would be at 07:07 UTC-5 or CDT. Not too bad. But sunrise would already be at 06:33, so I knew I had to get up a good…

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Life Under the Yellow Flag

“Open – Rain or Shine” the neon sign over the entrance to Skull’s Landing invites its guests. It is one of those signs that normally can be switched from “open” to “closed” just this one doesn’t have a “closed” option. A great marketing move. Skull’s Landing is the local cruisers’ hangout with Happy Hour from…

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Last Order

This photo was taken on March 27, 2020 at the anchorage at Isla Mujeres, Mexico after the government of the state Quintana Roo had ordered to close all bars and restaurants from 23:00 until further notice due to the Corona pandemic. We are from Canada, from Argentina, from the Netherlands, from Sweden, from the USA,…

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Call of Duty – Black Ops

It is dark. Pitch black. Impervious. Only scattered low declination stars hint at the existence of more boats at this anchorage. I know there are dozens. Most of them have their anchor lights on, but not all of them. During the day I spent some time memorizing a path through this maze of boats and…

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Light At the End of the Tunnel

This photo was taken on March 18, 2020 at the anchorage at Isla Mujeres, Mexico. That day marked a small step for mankind, one giant leap for me: I could finally clear in to Mexico. What sounds like the most ordinary thing in the world, in times of pandemic masterplans it becomes an extraordinary achievement.…

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Passage Briefing: Havana – Isla Mujeres

Port of Departure: Marina Hemingway, Havana, CubaPort of Call: Isla Mujeres, MexicoDistance: 268 nm (308 mi, 496 km)Estimated Duration: 67 hrs (2 d 19 hrs)ETD: Thursday, Mar 12 13:00 UTC-4ETA: Sunday, Mar 15 07:00 UTC-5 Weather The moderate high (1024 HPa) sitting south of the Florida Panhandle is most influential for the current weather situation…

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The Beauty of the Beast

This photo was taken on March 03, 2020 in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately ten nautical miles north of Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. We were on our way from Varadero, Cuba to Havana, Cuba, a short 90 nautical miles over-night passage. After a rocky night the winds and the seas had calmed down and…

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Sunshine, Salsa and Socialism

“Hey Maik!” somebody is shouting my name and abruptly I turn around.  I see a pink Chevrolet ‘55 convertible taxi, and I see a woman, wearing an elegant long dress and a hat that makes every sombrero look tiny. Huge sunglasses cover what is left to see on her face. The sun is burning relentlessly.…

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The Birth of a Solo Sailor

So now it is definite. It is early morning of October 31, 2019 as I motor down the muddy waters of Suriname River from Domburg, through the heavy jungle heat. I follow the tide past plantations and mansions towards Paramaribo, Suriname’s lively capital, and I know: It is definite. Earth and water, just like air…

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Deprived of the Sunset

This photo was taken on November 08, 2019 just a few nautical miles west of Dominica. I headed north making use of the trade winds on my way from Martinique to Guadeloupe. I remember this was a stop-and-go passage.  The wind in these latitudes is constantly, strongly coming from the northeast. When you are in…

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A Song of the Sunrise

By an Unknown Author The night breaks. The light shakesDown from the sky. The darkness trembles: shivers, dissembles:Unwilling to die. And facile and fleet, on dusky feet,Out of the dripping sunlight tripping,Shadows pass by,All sprinkled and spatteredWith golden rain, All shivered, all shattered, like dream-ghosts scatteredBy the waking brain. The light dawns. The night mournsAnd…

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The Magic of Arrivals

I just arrived back on my boat Seefalke. She is currently docked in Marina Gaviota in Varadero, Cuba and after two weeks of painful separation, the two of us are finally reunited again. I caress the womanly curves of her wheel tenderly; I know she feels how much I missed her. When talking with friends on…

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Hit by a $3,000 Gust – Lesson Learned

$1,000 nights are notorious among sailors. This is what we call nights when a sail is ripped in a sudden gust, or the dinghy outboard motor falls over board, or the anchor needs to be given up. Ask any blue-water sailor and you’ll find they all had at least one of those $1,000 nights in…

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Mother Carey’s Chicken

Being in Germany now, in my home country 10,000 km away from home, I feel like on a speed dating competition. I will be here for only two weeks and friends, family and business partners are fighting for a spot in my bursting schedule. I feel very flattered, however, I feel overwhelmed and homesick, too. …

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The Earthquake Can Wait

Santa Marta, Cuba – January 29, 2020 – I took this photo in Santa Marta, Cuba, just a few moments after the earth was shaken by a 7.3 force earthquake short of Cuban’s southern coast and a tsunami warning was issued for the area. Everyone is checking on friends and family. Only the couple in the top right corner…

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The Smell of Fresh Bread

I just arrived in Santa Marta, a lively small town in the north of Cuba, between the cities Matanzas and Cardenas. As I get out of the blue and white 1956 Chevrolet 210 Sedan that served us as a taxi, I am struck by the smell of fresh bread. (You need to know that bread…

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Cuban Muscle Power

Santa Marta, Cuba – January 25, 2020 – There is a lot of things that Cuba has plenty: cigars, beautiful girls, vintage cars and Che Guevara pictures for example. But on the flip side there is also a lot of things that Cuba has very little of: milk, apples or razor blades for example –…

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Moody Atlantic

Varadero, Cuba – January 04, 2020 – Let me tell you the good news first: Yesterday we safely arrived in Varadero, Cuba Marina Gaviota, Varadero after a 168 hrs/503 nautical mile exciting passage: We left GreatInagua, Bahamas on Dec 28 around 13:00 with some delay because I needed to climb the mast to cut the…

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The Brave Men Of La Patience

Matthew Town, Great Inagua, Bahamas – December 13, 2019 – The most exciting experience while sailing the seven seas are the encounters with people from other worlds. From worlds so far from ours they might as well have just landed from Mars. Sometimes their stories are sad, sometimes they are funny but almost always most…

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