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Birgit Hackl

Birgit Hackl, Christian Feldbauer and ship’s cat Leeloo have been exploring the world on their yacht Pitufa since 2011. Visit their blog: www.pitufa.at

Mad Max Makeshift Magic

Boom repair while on passage. Picture by Birgit Hackl and Christian Feldbauer

Cruisers often have to rely on their own resources when something breaks, needs to be replaced or invented, especially for must-have items.  Sometimes the parts used for make-shift repairs or gadgets do not quite fit (together) and look like something …

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Girl Power: Interviewing Charlotte Guillemot

When single-handing, independence is the name of the game

Women have caught up with men in most disciplines and professions, but single-handed female sailors remain a rare sight. In the Caribbean we still met a few, but that changed in the South Pacific. Maybe women are discouraged by the …

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Communication at Sea

Now where was that signal? Photos by Birgit Hackl and Christian Feldbauer

Nowadays a broadband connection at home is standard for almost everyone in the Western world. Smartphones enable people to be online wherever they are all day long to inform Facebook friends about everything they are doing, Google for information, or …

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Cruisers Cook Creatively

I remember our first grocery provisioning tours as newbie cruisers very well. We were overwhelmed by the prospect of spending weeks away from supermarkets. How much coffee would we need a month? How many pounds of flour to bake bread? We …

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Green Cruising

Environment: Green Cruising: 400 Watts from the sun

Topics like sustainable resources and waste disposal are all over the media, the public shows concern and agrees that something should be done in order to save the planet. For many, environmental woes remain somewhat theoretical, distant, brushed aside by …

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A Cruiser’s DIY Toolbox

A Cruiser's Toolbox: Sail repairs while on passage

Whenever I’m given the choice on clearance forms whether our boat classifies as a Commercial Vessel or Pleasure Craft, I fight the urge to draw another box with the label ‘Floating Workshop’ or ‘Sailing Building Site’. Not that life on …

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Plant a Garden on a Cruising Boat

Safety harness for our Thai-basil, cilantro, oregano, spinach, mint and basil. Photo by Birgit Hackl

  The deep indigo and azure of the open ocean, the sparkling light-blue and turquoise of an anchorage – the cruising life comes mainly in shades of blue. Wouldn’t a speck of green be something on which to rest the …

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Night Watches

Time to snug her down for the night watch. Photo by Birgit Hackl

When strategies for sailing at night are discussed among cruisers, opinions differ quite a lot. Many cruisers divide the night into watches of varying length to be able to react immediately to wind shifts, reef ahead of squalls, and look …

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Cruising Must Haves

400 Watts free from the sun. Photo by Birgit Hackl

When we first set out cruising, life in our floating home wasn’t quite as comfy as we’d hoped it would be. Over the years we’ve added gadgets and gear that made life easier while keeping an eye on energy, fuel …

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Spanish Water—The Floating Town of Curaçao

Spanish Water. Photo: Birgit Hackl

The popular anchorage of Spanish Water, Curaçao, is a convenient stop-over on the way through the Southern Caribbean. Curaçao may not be as pretty as its neighbor Bonaire or its underwater world as spectacular, but the cruiser community in Spanish …

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The Darién: In the Wake of Discoverers and Pirates

Outer San Blas Islands. Photo by Birgit Hackl

  After Columbus’ discovery of the ‘new world’ in 1492, the Spanish conquistadores subjugated islands in the Caribbean and then focused on South and Central America. The first colonies were founded in the Darién—a region between today’s Panama and Colombia. …

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Traveling with Pets: Tips on Cruising with Cats

Little tiger in the big city of Cartagena. Photo by Birgit Hackl

When people hear we cruise with our cat they’re often astonished or appalled. ‘Cats are attached to the house, not to people’ and ‘not enough space’ they say. Our cat Leeloo is part of the family, not less clingy than …

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Las Perlas: Unspoiled Nature Near Panama City

Pitufa anchored off Isla Canas. Photo by Birgit Hackl

Only 35 nautical miles from Panama City the archipelago of the Las Perlas lies in the Pacific. Despite their proximity to the metropolis the 15 islands and countless islets are a relatively untouched wilderness. Only Contadora has regular air and …

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Cape Verdes – República de Cabo Verde

The Cape Verde archipelago consists of ten islands and is located 800 nautical miles southwest of the Canaries and 400 miles off the coast of West Africa. Even though the location of the Cape Verdes makes them a logical destination …

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Cruising Suriname: A Path Less Traveled

After the tropical downpour, the dense jungle foliage sparkled in the first rays of sun. The giant trees and the rig of our boat reflected in the calm, tea-colored waters of the forest stream. Around us, the forest awakened; animals …

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