ende

2021
11
Jun

Ten years!

Ten years ago we set out from Pula (Croatia). We didn’t know then whether we’d like this life, whether we’d be able to deal with all the challenges it poses. We were happy, but also quite anxious… On the one hand it feels like yesterday, on the other hand we have experienced and seen so much during those years that it seems like a lifetime…

Luckily it turns out that leaving the rat race was just the right decision for us! We’re still very happy with our alternative lifestyle and looking forward to all the new places, cultures and adventures that lie ahead :-)

The only thing that casts a shadow on today’s anniversary is that our ship’s cat Leeloo didn’t quite make it to this date…

The morning we set out on our first passage on Pitufa:

And now:

2021
10
Jun

Bad examples ruin cruiser’s reputation

We always like to think that all cruisers are reasonable, environmental friendly, nice people. Well, they are not.

Two days ago we moved to the airport anchorage and anchored in 3 m depth on the shelf where we can see the bottom, know that we are nicely settled in sand and only need 20 m of chain. Our next neighbour was far away, the French catamaran Vahini, anchored out in the deep. When the wind shifted we were astounded to see that the big cat moved on its chain all the way from the deep anchorage to the shelf, just a boat length from our bow. Soon after the owner came by and suggested that we move, as he was there before. He stated that he had anchored in 20m depth, had 80m of chain out and he was certain that his chain was wrapped around coral heads so the cat was likely to move even further into our direction!?!

Questioned about his anchoring method he got angry, as he has lived 20 years on the cat and circumnavigated once already. Sad to hear that he obviously hasn’t learned much during all that time. Exactly this kind of view and behaviour gives all cruisers a bad reputation… We can’t really blame the locals when they want anchoring bans.

2021
10
Jun

Bad neighbours

While Pitufa was anchored alone off Marina Taina, the French catamaran Noee swang into her and scratched her paintwork. When our friend Adrian (who did a great job taking care of Pitufa while we were gone–Adrian Pataki who runs Diesel Clinic in Taina, call him when you need someone to look after your boat!) confronted him, he just called him names. We also tried to talk to him and even though we have witnesses for the collision, he denied the accident. Crazy people…

2021
07
Jun

Two Articles in Cruising World

We’ve just found out that two of our articles have been published in Cruising World’s April and May issues.

Birgit Hackl: Living the good Life, Cruising World, May 2021, p. 16–18.

Birgit Hackl: Lockdown in Paradise, Cruising World, April 2021, p. 58–61.

2021
07
Jun

Back in Tahiti!

Travelling in times of Covid is complicated, requires lots of organisation, paperwork and gave us one adrenaline rush after the other… First we had to beg the Haute Commissariat to accept our reasons to travel (we only got the okay for the return flight when we were already in Austria–quite exciting…), then there’s a form for the folks from quarantine (non-vaccinated travellers need a special transport to the place where they will spend 10 days of quarantine–luckily we’ve got our two shots already…), then there’s ETIS (application to enter French Polynesia and tracking once in Polynesia) and with all that we nearly forgot that Christian needed a new ETA (Canadian transit visa) for his new passport. We applied for it on the morning of our flight from Vienna, assuming that it would only take minutes (as it usually does), but it was still not approved when we reached the counter in Vienna, so the girl could only check us through to Paris–not yet to Papeete. A frantic search and phones calls to the Canadian embassy made us realise that there is NO way you can contact Canadian authorities about visa status–you run against walls and only get redirected to the same internet site over and over again…

Luckily the visa was granted while we were in Paris, so we could tackle the next queue at the airport in Paris. Again all out paperwork was scrutinised and only THEN we were sure that we would really be allowed to fly back home to our Pitufa! We left Paris at 11 in the morning on Saturday and arrived in Vancouver at 11 in the morning on Saturday after 9 hours of flight–quite mind-boggling… 2 hours later we boarded our plane again and were surprised to find that most other passengers had only booked to Vancouver–the flight to Papeete was almost empty, everybody could comfortable stretch out on a row of seats :-)

We arrived in Papeete still on Saturday, just before 8 p.m. and were informed that the passengers of the flight that had landed just before us were still queueing for health and quarantine inspections… Only after they had finished we were allowed to get off the plane, led through several mazes to a Covid test, on to paperwork inspection (passed!!!), on to await the negative result of our Covid tests and only then we were allowed to leave the airport at 9.30…

A huge team works at the airport to make all that testing possible, everybody’s friendly and helpful and even though it’s tiring to wait in endless queues after a long journey it’s great to see how well Tahitian authorities deal with the Covid situation!

2021
01
Jun

A new book about our ship’s cat

Going through pictures of Leeloo and all those happy memories I thought that Leeloo’s many fans around the world would probably like to see more about the unusual 21 years our beloved kitty accompanied us on our travels. “On velvet paws towards the horizon” will soon be available on Amazon–I’m working on it!

2021
31
May

Our TV Interview on LT1

Watch it online:

2021
27
May

Thanks for the positive feedback!

Thanks guys for all the good reviews! It’s great for me as an author to know that people are enjoying my stories… No complaints so far ;-)

Richtung Horizont — Available as paperback and e-book on Amazon.
You can order it here.

2021
25
May

Smurfs on the radio

Our radio interview from Sunday can be found on the ORF webpage for one week:
Linzer Torte with Birgit Hackl, Christian Feldbauer, Otmar Schrott, 23.5, Radio Oberösterreich

2021
24
May

Smurfs on the telly

The TV report about us that was broadcast on Saturday in Austria can be found on the ORF website for one week: Oberösterreich heute, 22.5.2021, Segelnde Auswanderer

2021
22
May

Article about us in the OÖNachrichten newspaper

Here is the link to the article that was published in todays’ issue of the Austrian newspaper OÖNachrichten:

https://www.nachrichten.at/meine-welt/reisen/segel-setzen-richtung-freiheit;art119,3401730

2021
20
May

Famous smurfs

In order to promote our book I wrote to some TV and radio stations in Austria, not expecting much–and was veeeery surprised when quite a few were interested. Pitufa’s crew will be on ‘Oberösterreich heute’ on Saturday at 7 pm and talking for half an hour in the ‘Linzer Torte’ (Radio Oberösterreich) on Sunday at 9 am. I’ll post internet links once we get them! There’s also an article about us in the OÖ Nachrichten magazine in the Saturday edition, travel section.

2021
19
May

Pee break in times of covid

Today we are driving from Upper Austria to Graz. Drinking lots of water is generally healthy, but not a great idea when you’re on a highway… Finally a service station, by now it’s a full emergency, I grab a mask, run to the entrance –and get stopped by a smiling lady in a dirndl dress. No negative covid test, no entry, she informs us friendly, but firmly. I briefly consider peeing my pants, but Christian waves our vaccination passports and we’re granted entry. Just in time.
The new reality hits again.

2021
16
May

Richtung Horizont – Reviews on Amazon

Our travel book has started selling on Amazon, now we need some reviews to encourage other buyers… If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it (which I hope ;-) ) please leave a friendly review on Amazon!

2021
13
May

Richtung Horizont–E-Book Version Available Now!

Now also the e-book version is available on Amazon.
You can order it here.

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