Where are a family of four, Esben and Vibe with the kids Runa and Mattis. We are originally from Denmark, but since 2007, we have lived three years in Sweden and more recently eight years in Northern Germany, near the city of Bremerhaven. But since the summer 2018, we have lived aboard our Great Dane 28, Chip-Chip. So far we have sailed down the European rivers to the Mediterranean, visited Morocco, the Canaries, West Africa, Cap Verde and are currently in Brazil after crossing the Atlantic.
To read more about our sailboat Chip-Chip, you can click here.
We moved to Germany when Vibe got a PhD position working with marine biogeochemical models at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research, and later stayed when she continued in a PostDoc position in the same institute after finishing the PhD.
Previously, we lived in Gothenburg, Sweden, for three years, while Vibe completed her studies in physical oceanography. As a couple, it has been possible to move around so much because Esben’s job focuses on setting up biogas plants throughout Europe. He therefore travels a lot for his job, meaning the exact location of our home base has not been a big issue – as long as we didn’t move too far from Denmark.
Our oldest daughter, Runa, was born in Sweden and was one when we moved to Germany, and our son Mattis, was born here in Germany at the local hospital in 2013. The kids have been brought up bilingual and have attended German Kindergarten and Grundschule in the village where we live.
Mattis and Runa
Mattis is the LEGO master of the family. He loves playing with his sister, and hates when he is too small for something. Mattis hardly ever gets seasick for some reason.
Runa is the one who always notices how people are feeling. Her friends and family are the most important part of her life, and when we go somewhere new she will soon have new friends to play with. She speaks German and Danish, and is starting to learn English, so talking to new friends is usually easy. She is not keen on sailing, but loves exploring new places. And nobody handles being seasick as well as her.
Esben is the photographer in the family. He loves taking walks to look for exactly the right light. But is not so patient when it comes to photographing us 😉 He is also the go-to person when mechanical things needs fixing. He just can’t help it, but needs to figure out how things work. For example, the first year we went on summer holidays on Chip-Chip he figured out the wind vane while sailing and he almost burned down the boat as he figured out how to use our notorious difficult kerosene stove. But thanks to him, now we know how everything works on board.
Esben job was building biogas plants, so he was usually away on his job for a couple of weeks at a time, and then home for a couple of weeks.
I started this page because I missed writing. In all honesty writing was a part of my job, but scientific writing is just very different from relatively quickly writing your thoughts in a blog post. So here I am, and we’ll see how it turns out.
A recurring theme is the ocean; it’s where I grew up, where I am and have been spending a lot of my free time – and it’s the focus of my research.
I grew up in a small coastal village in Denmark and since I was a kid I have enjoyed the freedom of sailing. As a teenager I started diving in the local dive club, and before starting university I decided to take a year off to go sailing and diving. After saving up money to travel by working in a pub in Switzerland, I boarded a sailing yacht in Lisbon, Portugal, and crewed on the boat for the next few months, sailing to the Canaries and then across the Atlantic to the island of Tobago. I stayed in Tobago for another six months training towards and working as a PADI dive master.
After returning to Denmark I finished a bachelor in biology, only interrupted by a year of traveling, diving and learning when I was awarded the European Rolex scholarship. Upon returning, I had realized that I wanted to learn more about the motions of the ocean, and therefore moved to Gothenburg in Sweden to study physical oceanography. Luckily, Esben didn’t mind moving! After finishing my studies, I got a PhD position at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research in Bremerhaven, and this is where we currently live.