2022 has been one of the most exciting year so far with a lot of beautiful adventures and also a lot of changes.
We looked so much forward to train and sail from Annapolis to Bermuda. Sadly due to illness and injury the wonderful owner Rebecca and Joseph had to pull out of the race.
We felt heart broken with them. We knew how hard this decision had to be and admire their braveness. We have high respect for their courage for doing what is best for everybody!
At the same time I was so busy – my beautiful right hand and friend Clara who worked with me for 12 years and we went through so much, built and amazing business together and made me a better person received a job offer too good to refuse. I’m so proud of her! However so sad to lose Clara We almost talked daily if not on the phone via Email. She also has become like family to me and my husband. The pain losing that closeness was a new experience.
However I have been fortunate to have two other amazing people in my life, Ewa and Faith which have been super supportive. However one can imagine how much training is involved to change over 12 years of knowledge between the new team.
On top my work with the two clients I have is going really well and I’m more busy than ever.
So going back to the news that our dream to sail across the Golf Stream with a sail boat came at a time I had no time to think. Also as some of you remember we acquired a huge pick up truck with a cute camper on top…..
We were meant to re-locate until the race to the Solomon Islands Maryland and work from there from our RV.
Lucky my awesome husband had time to think for both of us and came up with an amazing plan to make out of Lemons not just Lemonade but Margaritas!
Before the pandemic – if somebody asked us a month before a special event – if we can make it to another country, it would have been best case difficult when not impossible….. but when my sister Priska asked me in late February if we would be able to celebrate her husband’s (our brother in law’s) 50th birthday – we were – why not – all our other work travel plans have been cancelled and it was super easy to find a reasonable flight.
So on March 16th off we went in a pretty empty airplane. We were hiding one day in Zurich while we were working during the day.
In the evening we planned to have dinner with our wonderful friends Susanne and Davide, but AS Roma was playing (Davide is Italian) ….. and we were super lucky to get invited to have a seafood fondue at their place instead going to a Restaurant. At the same time Marcus team Eintracht Frankfurt was playing so Davide had an amazing set up that everybody could watch their favored team and the best both teams won!!!!!
Side note: to all (almost all ) our surprises both teams are in the final – Rom in the Conference League and Frankfurt in the Europe League final
The next day we took the train and bus all the way to the little village of Richenthal near Luzern where my family lives. First we surprised my Mom at the hair dresser…. then we walked with her to the birthday boy’s farm. It was gorgeous weather. It was beautiful to spend quality time with my Mom and then to see our bother in law’s surprised face was priceless. We had an amazing time celebrating and walked after the party under the full moon home.
The next day we went to redeem Marcus 50th birthday gift certificates he got for an exclusive spa on a mountain in Luzern with our good friend Thomas
After we enjoyed an amazing dinner on a boat at lake Luzern – the food was delicious
On Sunday we squeezed in a run (Marcus and Arben) and a walk and 1000 steps (Patricia and Jolanda)
In the afternoon the celebration continued with the immediate family from our brother in law – after some more delicious food we experienced some transportation adventures – we felt back in high school -especially with the moped….
Then we got ready to walk from Richenthal to Ettiswil – 7 miles over breathtaking hills – we walked with Marcus god child Melanie and my other sister Karin’s boyfriend.
There was even a farm store on the way with amazing looking self made products.
On Monday Marcus did a bike ride with his god child around the nearby lake called Sempacher See while Jolanda worked.
After we all went together for an amazing yoga class which was tailored so Marcus god child got introduced to yoga.
And then we were already on the way to Zurich to fly off in the morning back to Newark New Jersey – it was an amazing visit – so grateful we were invited and could make it.
A new year has started and our first two months were already filled with adventures and changes in our lives.
After coming back from our skiing vacation with the family in Switzerland, I signed up for a Captains Course. The course included theory classes for three weekends Friday-Sunday. Jolanda decided that California has much better weather and spent most of January there. After the successful completion of the course Jolanda came back to Jersey and we borrowed a friends car to drive up north to spend some time with our friends Upstate NY.
On the up to the Adirondacs we visited our friends Noelva and Alex, they invited us to stay a day at City Island in the Bronx. We have not seen them for a while and it was a good chance to catch up in the new year. As we have probably mentioned in previous posts, Alex owns his own island. Since I took my drone with me I could take some nice pictures of their house and the island.
On the way up we also stayed in AirBnB at Hudson a beautiful little town right next to ….. you guessed it: Hudson River. The apartment included a fire place and a bathtub in the middle of the biggest bathroom ever. This was a nice surprise from Jolanda for my birthday.
The next day we went all the way up to the Adirondacks to meet our friends Ewa and Bill, also Luna was there for her vacation from us. We had a couple of very nice days to go snowshoeing, cross country skiing and just enjoying the quiet country side.
Unfortunately during my stay I learned that my consulting gig came to a sudden end. I was told one day after my birthday that my last day with Citi was on my birthday. I never experienced that before, but hey: life must go on and there are a lot of opportunities which might be much more interesting. I’m still very excited to work with Columbia University and helping to teach coding at the Enterprise Risk Management program. It looks like that I’m getting my own course as well, also I will be assisting in the Machine Learning class, which is one of my favorite topics.
In February I got the chance to give a presentation of Risk Management practices to chemical students in Switzerland (EMPA). A friend of mine is a professor at the institute and thought it might be something different and refreshing for the students.
One of my highlights was to catch up with our friends Barbara and Jeff in their apartment in NYC. We had a fabulous evening and a lot to catch up as we have not seen each other for the last two years. They are a role model to us: being so active, sportive socially engaged, delightful and positive. We aspire to become like them.
One weekend our old “flatmates” Sabrina, Alex, Lucas our youngest god child and Natalie came for an overnight stay on our boat. Everyone had so much fun and Luna of course was the main attraction. Natalie was just born when we lived together at the Upper West side.
Without much rest we were off to Jamaica, Jolanda still did not like the weather in Jersey so she decided to stay 3 weeks with her friend Vicki in Jamaica, I came along for the first week. Despite working, we had a really good time and even got to go scubadiving for a day. We also visited the Montego Yacht Club and Jolanda got a chance to sail with a local team in a race after I left. In Jamaica sailing seems to be a full contact sport, the boat from Jolanda had a few battle scars afterwards, but she enjoyed it very much and she can’t wait to sail in Jamaica again.
Also we need to mention that we bought a pickup camper, this one had been owned by Alex our friend and he did not use it very much. We will do some trips with the camper which will take too long to go by boat, especially the training days for the Ocean Race in Maryland. It is astonishing how much space there is in the camper. It even comes with a toilette and shower!
Our first trip with the camper was to Annapolis where I had to refresh my CPR practice. I strongly recommend the course to everyone and there might be a provider just around the corner. Luckily our friend Joe was teaching the course so we could go out in the evening with him and his wife Rebecca. Jolanda also saw on Facebook that one of our good friends Looney from Maine is in town and arranged a catch up. Looney did a road trip with her friend. We had a fabulous evening with everybody.
More adventures coming soon, we already packing our bags….
An interesting year ended and finally we had time to finish our reflection!
We started 2021 in Charleston on our amazing Journey South and ended the year in Switzerland!
I always enjoyed traveling, but never thought I would be so grateful to do so! Having to make several Covid tests to be able to advance to the next place made us appreciate every bit of our beautiful Christmas vacation!
What will the future bring? On Sunday Dec. 12th we travelled with our wonderful boat friends Pam and Don to Annapolis where we met our friends Rebecca & Joseph for a Happy Hour at the Eastport Yacht Club. Rebecca and Joseph are the couple who bought our Swiss neighbors sailboat. They plan to participate in a sailing race from Annapolis to Bermuda which starts on June 3rd and they have asked us to join as their crew. We are honored to be part of the team and we expect to be racing about 6 to 7 days offshore.
At the December Happy Hour we meet fellow sailors and discussed more details about the race.
See below our happy faces made it to the to the official advertisement for the January Happy Hour.
On Monday the 13th of December – Pam, Don, Marcus and I continued our trip to Baltimore to check out the city and to see how we like the Marinas there. Since our beautiful friends and neighbors had to leave our Marina it’s not the same anymore!
My dream would be to live in a Marina with clean water so I could take my stand up paddle board and go for a paddle after work or sail our sunfish at lunch. So one of our 2022 resolution is to visit different Marinas with public transport New York access and explore if any would be an alternative to our current one.
We are also doing a third attempt to run the Napa to Sonoma Wine half Marathon in July. We are looking forward to go back to the land of the most delicious wines and actually run the official half Marathon.
Marcus has applied in lotteries for many Full Marathons and after 6 years of trying he got finally into the Berlin Marathon in September. He is very excited as he always wanted to run a Marathon in his home country. We are always open for exotic running events – if anybody likes to go somewhere exciting and likes us to join, hit us up!
Latest news is that we are exploring of buying a pickup camper, which we planning to use for journeys on land and be able to get quicker from A to B without burning 18 gallons of diesel an hour with a speed of 10 miles/hour.
2021 in reflection
To be able to travel with the boat South was a true dream come true. It was hard, it was miserable at times, but it was an incredible achievement full of adventure which will fill our hearts for years to come!
Marcus had another dream to get into teaching and he had the first guest lectures at Columbia University and for 2022 he got accepted as an assistant teacher for two courses and as a lecturer for the summer term.
Marcus work as a consultant in banking has been amazing. Unfortunately he learned that the current engagement was cut short and ended end of January, nevertheless there are already some potential gigs in the pipeline and hopefully my work for my clients will continue to grow and we can transfer into digital nomads (my dream) during the semester vacation!
Currently there are a lot of question marks what this year will bring but one is for sure we can feel it will be another exciting year and take every opportunity as they come.
Finally some boating experience for our boating friends!
Wednesday November 24th Marcus and I took the train to Providence, Rhode Island where our friend Malisa picked us up and brought us to their sailboat which was at the dock from Mattapoisett Town Wharf.
The plan was to sail / motor their beautiful sail boat Cerulean (a Southerly 38) 170 miles to Hudson Point Marina NJ which is the same Marina as we live in. We thought it will take about 30 hours + for the whole journey down the Sound through Hell Gate down the East River.
Our trip started at 4am on Thursday Thanksgiving. It’s a bit nerve wracking to drive through the dark. However Marcus had a special lamp and was instructed by the skipper Todd to look out for Crab pots, buoys or anything else which could be crossing our path on our way out from the marina. I was stationed between our skipper and his first mate Malisa and Marcus and related the messages between Marcus and Malisa/Todd and also helped to watch out for any obstacles.
We have done one delivery before and my favored time of the day is the sunrise. We were incredible lucky and had the most beautiful sunrise on this gorgeous Thursday.
We were able to sail for a little bit with the wind blowing from the perfect direction.
Our Thanksgiving menu was the most delicious hot soup one could dream off on a day like today!
Then we got gifted by a magical sunset
We discussed to sail only through the day or also about the possibility to continue during the night. We knew that there was a storm warning for Friday late morning so it was decided to get as far as possible until the storm would start. We took turns Malisa and me and the boys. I so appreciated to sail with Malisa. By the smallest challenge, I wanted to call for the boys, but Malisa said we can figure it out and we did! I also loved the conversations we had – the time flew!
Before we knew it, it was getting light again this time without sun as it was cloudy – the first signs of storm.
One thing though I didn’t sleep much the last two days so by the time the boys got up, I was so tired that I fell asleep in the galley. I was woken up shortly before we arrived at Oyster Bay Marina where we wanted to get shelter from the storm. We made it just in time before the storm arrived.
I was ready for my next nap after that we enjoyed the most delicious coffee in town and got a clean up. We were a bit short on water and couldn’t refill because everywhere the water pumps were closed. This is normal by end of November in this region of the USA. The showers were also closed, but they had big restrooms with the nicest hottest water – we all felt like new born after a wash down and new cloth.
In the evening we had a beautiful meal and made the best out of the weather hold!
On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy day and tried to sleep for a few hours. We were about 6 hours away from Hell Gate and needed to be there at 3:30am. Hell Gate has super strong current and with a sail boat it’s best to be there during slack tide which was at 3:30am on Sunday morning. So we had to get up at 8pm on Saturday evening…
Again we had to be super careful to drive out in the dark, but by now we knew what to look out for and again we made it without any issues.
This time it was a bit more “exciting” to drive down the sound at night. Suddenly we saw some boats on our AIS(automatic identification system) … I learned that the AIS is a great tool to know that there is a boat, but it’s not super accurate. You really have to use the radar to get the exact location. We had some huge barges coming our way. Because the Easter River current was going up the barges used the favorable current…..
After cold long 6 hours we made it! We could see Hell Gate… and the best, thanks to the slack tied, we made it easy through and it was beautiful driving down the East river. We made it before sunset to Hudson Point Marina.