Just before all the COVID-19 craziness brought our lives to a hold, we got the chance to fly to Bermuda to bring back Arabella, a 157-foot mega yacht, to Jersey City. We were concerned that we get in and out of Bermuda, but everything worked out well. This was an experience like no other before. We had 12ft waves, 40kts winds and rain. You can see how happy we were when we got back home.
Thanks again Michael Fortenbaugh and the the Arabella crew for such an opportunity.
Let’s see what other Lemon’s life throws at us we can turn into Lemonade.
A few years ago Jolanda was diagnosed with high calcium and high PTH. In the long term this condition would be damaging to her bone density. After a 2nd and a 3rd opinion – she finally decided to schedule a surgery to remove one of her parathyroid glands which was responsible for her condition. The surgery was scheduled for March 10th and this was just the start of the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We had long discussions, but eventually decided to go ahead.
Early in the morning Jolanda went with the Ferry to Manhattan and was scheduled for 10am. Ready for the procedure:
After 4 hours Jolanda woke up from the general anesthetic and I picked her up. We had a very nice trip home again with the ferry. As you expect she was soon back and in working mode.
Now two weeks later she managed to do her first small run and the follow up doctor visit will be a first – a virtual visit online only later this week.
In the meantime we experienced already our next adventure. I will soon post the most spontaneous boating adventure we have ever done…. Stay tuned
Last year we started our biggest projects on the boat yet. We wanted to get our generator running again. Unfortunately the survey did not tell us that the generator did not produce any electricity. See (5) on http://marcusandjolanda.com/home-improvement-update/
Thanks to our neighbor Don and Hans, the help from Mark from Colton Point Marina we were able to get the generator repaired after many hours of hard work. A quick summary in the video below:
We are very proud to have power through a working generator and looking forward to the next projects.
Have you ever ……. felt that you experience in weeks more than usually in a year? I definitely feel that way as I’m looking back since we got back from our holiday vacation from Germany / Switzerland to visit family and friends for Christmas and New Year.
The year started off on a sad note, our good friend Beatrice passed away in mid January after being in the hospital for the last few months. We have shared so many beautiful moments and we hope we brightened her life as much as she did ours. We could not thank her enough to take us in when our boat was not ready and travelled with us in her home country Colombia.
Many of you know I started sailing as well. Of course not the fancy boat racing as Jolanda does, but with a sunfish which also has a sail and a rudder. As I turned up on most Saturdays asking for a rental boat, I decided after a little while to buy my own sunfish. With the help of our friends Ken, Eric and little Tyler to inspect the boat, I bought the sunfish:
We were invited to an anniversary party on the 24th of January in Zurich Switzerland, Jolanda was very excited to be a bridesmaid. Because of crazy Swiss tax reasons our friends Susanne and Davide had to decide not to get “officially” married, nevertheless they anyway went ahead with a beautiful party. We had a blast.
The same weekend we visited our friends Simone, Konstantin and Juergen at her weekend house in the Swiss Alps Lenzerheide to go skiing. They invited us to stay at their cool place and we spend two days with them. We are so lucky.
We liked the area of Lenzerheide so much that we decided go spend the week there. Working remotely and still enjoying the beauty of the snow covered Alps.
Jolanda’s moms birthday was on the 29th of January so we decided to visit her as a surprise. She did not expect that we would show up. I think she had a great evening.
On January 31st I celebrated my 50th birthday. Jolanda told me that she want to take me on a surprise trip for the occasion. She did not tell me where we are going. Initially everyone joked around that we will be going to Jamaica to visit our friend Vicki and her new hotel. Even Jolanda’s sisters seem to be excited to go to Jamaica. So the day started with us getting a ride to Zurich airport from Jolanda’s sister Priska. They told me that we have to do a stop at Starbucks before the flight. I got greeted by a group of people totally unexpected:
I was overwhelmed – friends from California (Vicky), New York (Roe) and London (Clara) showed up (I thought it was just a coincidence that they were at the airport traveling through). I did not know what is going on. Are they all going with me on the surprise trip? Out of a sudden we left the airport again and drove to Altdorf (the town where Wilhelm Tell lived). When we arrived even more familiar faces turned up, including my ex-girlfriend Simone (we are still in frequent contact – we even went to her wedding). We all went up to the mountain for a sledge tour. The snow was a bit soft but the view was amazing.
In the evening I was expecting that we are going with our friends out for a nice dinner, but then suddenly Jolanda told me to wear black pants a white shirt black tie, hat and sunglasses. So I was expecting that we might go to a theme party. As we went down to the restaurant there were some tables food and drinks were served. Now even more friends turned up (all dressed like me). After one hour two guys did a Blues Bothers show and then …… MY FAMILY FROM GERMANY turned up (they went with the train 7 hours to the party), I was speechless. After everyone was there they opened another room where a sit down dinner with DJ was served. People who could not attend send videos with greetings which were shown on a screen. There are not too many moments in my life where I’m emotional and speechless this was defiantly one of them.
The next day everyone suffered a bit after the long party but nevertheless we went on a snowshoe hike in the mountains. After a amazing hike in the mountain we meet for a nice fondue with a little party afterwards.
The following day it was time to say goodbye to our friends and family, after all I was still getting my surprise vacation – so back to Jamaica :-). We took the ferry boat back to Luzern and then the train to Zurich airport.
As we arrived at the airport I was told that the first stop will be Helsinki / Finland, but there will be another connecting flight in the morning. So it seemed that Jamaica was a different direction, but who knows.
After a night at the airport hotel Hilton (we even had our own sauna) we continued our trip to Kuusamo / Lapland. After we arrived at the small airport we rented a car and drove to a cottage house in the middle of the snow covered Finnish country side. As we were getting cozy in the cottage at the fire place and sauna of course, our friends Arben and Patricia turned up. I nearly got a heart attack as I was sitting only dressed in a towel on the couch (no pictures from that moment of course). Another surprise, we had so many adventure the following days that I just include some pictures what we experienced:
Fat tire bike tour
Cross country skiing
We even slept one night in an Igloo, that was always a dream of me (unfortunately Jolanda had to join me 🙂 ).
As I’m writing that we will have our last night in the cottage (Arben and Patricia left already yesterday). I can’t thank enough the friends and family to make that birthday party and surprise trip happen. Above everything else I’m so lucky to have a wife who organized everything and kept it as a secret until the very end. I never dreamed experienced something like that and Jolanda made it happen.
Exciting year with a lot of challenges – and memories we never will forget. Grateful for our experiences and what we have and ready for the changes we want to take on in the new year
Rollercoaster year – our boat gives us incredible joy and obstacles. There is nothing more beautiful to go out on a sunny day with the boat, set anchor, swim in the water, take a shower at home and watch one breathtaking sunset after the other …. On the other hand the list to fix things on the boat is very long. The most frustrating part are the leaks. As of today we have not found a solution. However the highlight has been that Marcus designed and constructed switches for our heaters so now we can turn the heater on and off remotely. Also we are very grateful for the most wonderful neighbors one can wish for – without their constant support we wouldn’t be where we are today – Thank YOU so much!
We started 2019 in beautiful warm Jamaica with a few beautiful scuba dives.
We love Mexico – we had the fortune to travel to Mexico with Marcus work again. This time we went hiking along a volcano and even more exciting we rented scooters to explore the city center.
When we moved out of our Manhattan apartment, we stored all bulky and seasonal items into a container which was stored in a warehouse. After 20 months it was time to decide what to keep and what to let go. It was astonishing how much we could fit in our boat for all the rest we had very thankful takers.
Later in March we were invited to a wedding in Colombia. Our friends Andreas from Switzerland and Juanita from Colombia celebrated a beautiful wedding at the beach. We were so lucky to be invited and able to share the magical moment with the lovely couple. We also meet the families who were very welcoming.
After Colombia we did a quick stopover in Jamaica to celebrate our friends Clive 50th birthday party. We stayed a last time in our own AirBnB, unfortunately our contract was not renewed for 2020. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot and hope one day we will have our own airbnb again.
After some serious boat driving practice – we put all our courage together and kidnaped our experienced neighbor Don and off we went on our own first boat trip to City Island to visit our friend Alex & Noelva. This was a day trip we never will forget.
In August our friends Ewa and Bill got married, the celebration took place in the Adirondack (Upstate New York). A lot of adventures we had the pleasure to experience during this wonderful wedding trip.
The Autumn sports activities started officially in the last week of September with the Half Marathon in the Hamptons. Our Swiss friend Andreas was joining us for a longer weekend and running with us as well. The event was well organized with the best after party ever. As it was the end of the season, there were not many other people besides the runners – we had the beach almost for ourselves.
The next event was the “Tour de Credit Suisse” a bike tour from New York to Raleigh NC in beginning of October. This was the 2nd time I participated in the 4 day event and it was even better than the first time. I did daily videos, the same as last year. You can see there the fun we had and the great friendships we build. I was so lucky to be able to do it again.
End of October was the Marine Corp Marathon in Arlington VA, Jolanda was running a 10k and I was running the full marathon. Despite the rain, we had a great time in Washington DC.
Finally I decided to pursue a new outdoor sport. Some of Jolanda’s friends convinced me to go frostbiting with a sunfish. I have to report that I make good progress. Last weekend I even finished every race (we did 5). I had to buy a drysuit and of course tested if it keeps me dry with a beer in the “beautiful” Marina water. Stay tuned…
since our journey started to pick up our boat in Maryland
There were a lot of ups and downs during the last year, but overall we are still happy with our decision to move onto the boat long term. Especially our friends and neighbors were a big help to keep us floating. Thanks so much everyone:
We went twice to Coney Island, once to City Island and did a few cruises around Manhattan. In addition we did the initial trip up from Maryland (see last years blog). Overall we did 105hrs driving the boat.
The memories we have the honor to experience on the boat are priceless and our friends enjoy spending time on the boat as well. Most of the vital parts have been fixed now but there is still a long list to fix for next year. We are already planning some exciting trips for 2020 (which is a very special year for both of us). Stay tuned, we can’t wait for the next adventures.
A few weekends ago we were fortunate to be invited to our friends Ewa and Bill’s wedding upstate New York. The place is a beautiful estate for members only. Bill’s family is a member since many generations. For the wedding Ewa asked us if we could organize a white convertible to drive her to the ceremony. So we booked a flashy white convertible BMW two months ahead on Turo (it is a website like Airbnb for cars), the location for the pickup was around our corner. Unfortunately the night before we were supposed to pick up the car, the owner cancelled the booking. Desperately we booked a convertible with HERTZ at Newark Airport in the middle of the night. The next morning we took a Lyft to the airport and the incredible HERTZ team managed to get us a white convertible (Chevrolet is not BMW but we did not mind as it was white).
After we arrived we were greeted by our friends and their family with an awesome dinner. The next day we explored the estate and we could not believe that we had an entire lake including island on our own. It was so peaceful and scenic.
The wedding ceremony was outstanding and our convertible was also one of the highlights.
The party went long into the night and we danced until the next morning. Ewa and Bill we can’t thank you enough to allow us to be part of your wedding. Your amazing friends, family and location made it an incredible experience for us.
See below the video taken from the wedding by the toastmaster.
79 year ago Marcus Mum was born. We going to meet her on Christmas this year to go on Vacation and see the Christmas market . She was planning to visit the boat but this year she was just too busy with all the travel plans.
59 years later Marcus made his first skydive jump in Luetzelinden / Germany. This year marks his 20 years in Skydiving. Unfortunately I have no pictures from this historical event but I found one from the following year in Indonesia and one of the first jumps Jolanda and Marcus together in the air.
And of course the most important date was August 20th 2005 when Jolanda and Marcus got married at the Brissago Islands in the south part of Switzerland. The wedding was a weeks long celebration with 18 different nationalities.