What is happiness?

The class difference can be seen everywhere here. The rich can afford to do anything. Since the corrupt police tolerates much, as long as the wallet is drawn, vehicles may be steered under the influence of drugs or alcohol, parties are enjoyed regardless to losses and all crimes are consummated unpunished. The one who has wealth shows it purposely. However, we all know that money alone won’t make us happy, right?


Alô Vó, Tô estourado

The brazilian temper seems to be really relaxed, in no case hectic. Yes you could even call it casual, slack. Nevertheless there are always chores to deal with. Foraging ranks first…. closely spaced to handicraft work.. tons of it. This continues until the sun goes down and someone starts turning up the radio. Nothing works out here without music. In restaurants, on the moped, in the garage, on balconies, next to the soccer field, at the beach or even on the loading platform of a pick up truck; no matter where, the music appears to be everywhere. All over the place you can see huge loudspeakers hanging, laying and standing which turn every little village into a party and concert spot and may bring most of the unpracticed eardrums on their knees. The music is called Forró (for all). It is a mix of reggae and dancehall- only much better and way louder. Pumped by the music and being a little tipsy of the cachaca Simon and I went to our first Forró party.


A fishing village called Taiba

Brazil. When thinking of the fifth biggest country in the world three month ago, I inevitably had three ideas on my mind. Soccer, caipirinha and havaianas. Well, armed with that ignorance of knowledge I boarded my plane heading to Fortaleza. After the arrival at midnight a shuttle bus took us through some pretty shabby „favelas“ heading north, where the bus driver didn’t even want to stop at the red lights. Finally we came to a small fishing village at the Atlantic coast, called Taiba and I betook myself to the „Villa Marola“. That gorgeous, isolated pousada would be my home for the next couple of month and my little brother Simon who has arrived there one month earlier welcomed me with a sugared smile.


Aye aye!

What you absolutely have to be capable of on a sailing ship, is the knot art, off course. They taught us the most important sailor’s knots. The bowline, square and fender knot. There’s more than enough time to practice here. In the following days we sailed to the port cities Aeroskoebing, Spodsbjerg Marstal, Svendborg, and Rödbyhavn and some will wonder how to kill boredom on a sailing ship over the lovely, long day. So hereby i solve the quiz. Setting sail, tensioning lines, being in the doldrums, drinking alcohol, swimming, playing cards, eating lunch, reading the paper, making coffee, searching a port, refueling petrol, eating dinner, slumbering. All in all, we had two great weeks at sea. Thanks to the top skipper and the two really nice, funny and totally relaxed crews!


Sweet sweet Bagenkop

The next day was quite stormy. We even rumored that we were generously rewarded with wind due to our superstitious skipper, who poured on the day before half of the bottle precious champagne to King Neptune’s joy into the sea. Wind force eight. (Force twelve = hurricane) If you add a bad hangover of the last night you will be brought on a sailing ship quickly and rudely to justice by reality. However, we didn’t let ourselves be intimidated and kept up sailing proudly and unwaveringly. To the horizon and much more. I guess the saying is stolen. And even lied. Our horizon was Bagenkop. Denmark Ahoy! A beautiful harbor village where we filled up water and electricity and spent a night in the marina.


Sailing in Denmark

Alright,.. after leaving the harbor behind us it was finally „Hoist the sails!“ Big words – if you have no idea what is actually meant. These lines, strands and cables (later linen) which wind throughout the whole ship are important to understand. Half the crew started suddenly to talk „sailorlanguage“, the other half, to which I belonged, was trying to wittily derive expressions such as jib, leech, mainsheet, fenders and lanyard. No chance! The yacht silently began floating without motor across the water and we teared with 3.5 knots at about wind force 1 direction Lemkenhafen.


Starting difficulties

The first thing that needs to be planned with a good cruise is to bring sufficient food, alcohol and junk on board. After everyone has written down his desires and idiosyncrasies on the later no more really legible shopping list, a part of us made a move to search food. Then we were allowed to fall in for the safety briefing. Aye aye, Captain! Henning enlightened us landsmen with the use of warning flares, smoke pots and liferaft, which were disguised as a plastimo box on the foredeck. At this point I expected someone tearing the sails into the air.. but no, not really.. but already „cast off!“ Unparking a yacht is not as easy as one thinks. But we cheated, grabbed in the gimmickry and let the board engine do all the work. Newschool style. I already felt like a true pirate though. After mastering the first turn on the water, but still not yet out of the harbour, the well-deserved first maneuver sip was served. Enough rhum for the crew saves from mutiny!


Danish south seas

Thanks god i arrived in one piece on the way to the danish sea in Heiligenhafen, even though my crazy driver from the car pool didn’t care about all the accidents we passed by and kept driving way above the speed limit. Our top skipper Henning, who is considered as „young sea bear“ has already more than 30.000 sea miles on the clock and looks quite waterproof. A proud achievement! Bit by bit the rest of the motley motley crew arrived in dribs and drabs. It’s the first time for me to sleep on a sailing ship. Although we are laying in the calm water of the harbor it’s a very different feeling than the usual bed. But the gurgle of the water cradles one quickly and gently to sleep.


Pharaohs and pyramides

After i re-cultivated myself in Munich, it went off again – to the land of the Pharaohs, Egypt. Actually, just for taking pictures of kite surfers. I’m in El Gouna, which is near Hurgada and I have to admit in all honesty that I’ve seen up to now not quite a lot more like sand and water and it will probably remain so. I feel fit as a fiddle anyway.


Simply divine!

I said farewell to this fully active, vibrant country. The beauty of unspoiled countryside, the isolated loneliness, the unfamiliar silence, the acceptance and unconditional trust, the remarkable selflessness, the living faith in the good things, the contentment and satisfaction with minimalism, the lasting coziness of countless moments and the welcoming warmth of the people combined with the hustle and bustle in streets and snickleways, the wild, so different chaos, the timeless intense activity and the unbridled, adventurous disorganization aroused a great deal of interest and sucked me into a maelstrom of unexpected human fullness, divergence and complexity, handcuffed me, took me under it’s spell and burned the experiences infinitely deep into my heart. I let myself get carried away, started to love it and want no longer to be unleashed. The white sand islands surrounded by turquoise sea, which pile up fruit palm-lined avenues give the perfection only its deserved context.


JONAS MERLIN

PHOTOGRAPHER
AND
FILMMAKER.

Pages
↟↟ SOCIAL MEDIA ↟↟