The Tree by Rüdiger Nehberg

For more than 25 years now the human rights activist Rüdiger Nehberg has been fighting for the preservation of the rain forest and the survival of the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon region. To draw attention to the desperate situation of the Yanomami Indians Nehberg had crossed the Atlantic in a pedal boat in 1987 already, and once more in 1992 in a bamboo raft, together with the human rights activist Christina Haverkamp from the Society for Endangered People. These actions were crowned by success: The general public became aware of these Indians who were awarded a protectorate.

With a log boat, "The Tree", shown here, and acting against the advice of many experts, he set out on January 21, 2001 on his most dangerous enterprise, so far, a 4,000 km crossing of the Atlantic from Mauritania to Brazil. The boat, designed by Rüdiger Nehberg himself, which was propelled solely by its sail, was made from the trunk of a 350-year old Swiss silver fir. It is 18 meters long and weighs about 12 tons. In order to prevent the boat as far as possible from capsizing and sinking, the trunk was fitted with foamed cavities and two outriggers.

After a voyage of 43 days (including 7 days during which the boat was becalmed) Nehberg reached the coast of Brazil safe and sound on March 4, 2001. In July of 2002 "The Tree" was given by Günter Nehberg to the Technik Museum Speyer as a donation.