Archive for » January, 2012 «

Your greatest enemy in the ocean

You might suspect that sharks, poisonous jellyfishes or crabs are the greatest natural enemies for swimmers and surfers.

Ocean-related fatality statistics, however, disprove this assumption. Underwater animals, like the scary white shark, are not the main reason for most casualties. Between five and 15 people are killed by sharks worldwide.

However, the number of casualties by rip currents ranks second after heat-related deaths. Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) estimates that between 80 and 90 people drown every year due to rip currents along Australian coastlines. They are responsible for 80 % off all surf zone rescues.

On my first day in Australia, my host-family informed me how dangerous a rip current can be. I already knew that Aussies prefer to drive on the wrong lane, but rip currents, what’s that?

A rip current, also referred to as a rip, is a moving current of water, sometimes strong or fast flowing. It will usually start near the shoreline and flow into the open deep water. It may feel like you are in a fast moving flow of water, like being in a river or you may not notice it at all.
Dragging people away from the beach, rip currents can be extremely dangerous. They often lead to drowning when swimmers attempt to fight against the current, become exhausted and begin to panic. Rips are not undertow, therefore they don’t pull people under water.

Copyright by you get caught in a rip current, don’t panic and don’t try to swim against the current. Raise your arm to call for assistance, while floating to conserve your energy. If you are confident, escape the current by swimming parallel to the beach. When free of the current, swim at an angle (away from the current) toward shore. Breaking waves can assist you back to shore.
To get a better understanding of rip currents and professional advice how to escape them just check out the SLSA and USLA websites and the following two movies.

The Aquarium of Western Australia (AQWA)

Last Saturday (21st of January 2012) was a very hot and humid day. The mercury almost hit the 40°C mark. I wasn’t really happy about the prospect of going down to the beach and roast in the sun like a kebap. So, I decided to go with another mate from school, Joel, to a more chilly place. And what would be more suitable as a spot in or, even better, under water like the biggest aquarium in Western Australia (AQWA). Known as the number one attraction in WA you can explore 12’000 km of WA’s coastline in just a few hundred metres.
Therefore I’ve decided to cycle to the aquarium because, as you may already know, Perth’s transportation service is &%*!#+*. Cycling up to the north was a real torture: Despite those insane wrong-way drivers I also had to cope with the heat. After 15 km and 2 litres of water I finally reached AQWA.
An absolute must see, you can explore sharks, stingrays and also very poisonous creatures in the DangerZone.

I will show you some pics here to get a better insight. You can find all the pics in my Picasa Gallery.

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I don’t care about left-hand traffic

The transportation system in Perth just ##$$%^&*, so I decided to buy me a new bicycle to commute to and from school.

But if you wanna buy a bike in a huge shopping centre like kMart or Target, you could most probably face a problem, especially as a Swiss guy.
The bikes are not assembled, you just buy a huge box with all the Lego parts inside and an assembly manual. C’mon, IKEA everywhere or what? I wouldn’t even understand the manual in German.

Wayne, two hours later I finally built my brandnew bike, which I bought for only 129 AUD, without any proper tools at all. Yes, it’s not IKEA furniture, a screwdriver doesn’t suffice.

So, very happy with my new bike, I was riding to school on the next day. And what happened, I’ve had to face a whole bunch of insane wrong-way drivers on the road.
Fortunately almost all the drivers realized their fatal mistake and stopped their cars immediately. But there was this stubborn driver in his red car, heading towards me, very determined to not turn back.

But I didn’t shrink back. Still on collision course, either he or me (and of course my beloved bike) had to give up.

You can see the result on the picture below. Booya!

WARNING: Do not use the grammar of this post as a good example of English

Meine Asia-Pacific Reise beginnt mit einem grossen Vogel

Seid gegrüsst.

Meine achtmonatige Backpacker Asia-Pacific Reise für das Jahr 2012 hat begonnen.

Am 30. Dezember 2011 18:40 bin ich vom Zürich Flughafen gestartet.
Der erste Zwischenstopp was Frankfurt. Von dort aus bin ich dann mit der brandneuen A380-800 der Lufthansa Richtung Singapur aufgebrochen. Laut Angaben der Lufthansa, bietet ihre Version des A380 Platz für 526 Passagiere. Zertifiziert wurde das Flugzeug sogar für 853 Passagiere (wenn es nur eine Economy Klasse gäbe).
Der Flieger ist 72.73 m lang, 24.45 m hoch und hat eine Flügelspannweite von 79.75 m. Dies macht den A380 zum grössten Passagierflugzeug der Welt. Aber das wisst ihr ja vermutlich alle, ihr habt auch Nachrichten geschaut.

Als Passagier kann man dank drei bordinternen Kameras den Flug von aussen live mitverfolgen.
Besonders eindrücklich war die Kamera, hoch oben am Heck. Von dieser hohen Perspektive erscheinen Fahrzeuge wie Spielzeugautos und die Startbahn erweckt den Eindruck, dass sie nicht für den Start ausreicht, da der A380 knapp zwei Mal breiter ist.

Als der A380 nun an seiner Startposition war und das Takeoff bekam, erwartete ich ein ohrenbetäubendes Geräusch der vier Rolls-Royce Triebwerke, die für diese Phase einen Schub von knapp 130000 PS erzeugen. Aber da war kein lautes Geräusch zu hören, nur ein dumpfes Rauschen. Würde sagen, perfekt gelungen. Leise Triebwerke, gute Isolation (in der Business und First Class sogar noch besser isoliert).
Somit konnte ich auch ein wenig schlafen (ca. 3h) auf den 12h langen Flug nach Singapur.

Aber genug geredet, hier nun einige interessante Videos zum A380.

Bilder und Erlebnisse zum Neujahr in Singapur und meiner Gastfamilie in Perth kommen noch.