George Dibbern

his Lifehis Questhis Te Rapunga

Adventurer ~ Sailor-Philosopher ~ Free Thinker ~ Self-declared Citizen of the World

The definitive GEORGE DIBBERN web site.
Devoted to his life, family and friends; to his book, Quest; his ketch, Te Rapunga; his passport and flag; his biography, Dark Sun: Te Rapunga and the Quest of George Dibbern by Erika Grundmann.

Included on this site are photos and information for which there wasn’t room in Dark Sun nor in Quest, or which I have acquired since publication of the books, as well as articles, reviews, newsletters, feedback, etc.

From 1993 till 2003, with the support of Dibbern’s family, I researched and documented the adventurous and committed life of George Dibbern, a fun-loving vagabond, visionary and controversial sailor-philosopher with views well ahead of his time. I examined what motivated him, the sacrifices he made and what became of the family he left behind in Germany. The ensuing biography, titled Dark Sun: Te Rapunga and the Quest of George Dibbern, is a timely and inspiring chronicle of what one man can accomplish when he thinks for himself and acts upon his convictions.

My goal to bring about an affordable reprint of George Dibbern’s much sought-after book Quest has also been met. The process took several tries and in the end I self-published, but to see the new Quest take shape has been very rewarding.

In addition, my long-held vision of a restoration of Dibbern’s ketch Te Rapunga is being realized! Twenty years after my husband and I made our first research trip to Australia, I received the news that the boat had been purchased by an a group of wooden boat and local history enthusiasts, backed by an eco-tourism company of Bruny Island, Tasmania. The restoration of this historical boat will, they feel, be a way of bringing attention to Dibbern’s life and philosophy, so applicable to these challenging times. The progress of this new adventure will be recorded in the Restoration segment of this site.

The “George story” seems to be never-ending, and new findings continue to appear. In the early years of my research, there was nothing about “Dibbern” on line — except for fine bone china. That has changed substantially and thanks to the generosity of people who have known him and have sent memorabilia as well as anecdotes, newspaper clippings and photographs, the Dibbern collection continues to grow. It will be up to the Dibbern families to decide where the collection will ultimately be housed, but in the meantime, for anything you might want to know about George Dibbern, this is the place to visit.


Latest Blogs

February 8, 2019 — Te Rapunga restoration - latest videos

Bruny Island Coastal Retreats have released a set of videos about the restoration of Te Rapunga.

October 8, 2018 — Te Rapunga in my hand

A few weeks ago I received a small “package” from Andrew Denman, whose company Denman Marine in Kettering, Tasmania, has been contracted to complete the restoration of Te Rapunga. Read more

May 14, 2018 — New Look and New News !

An update of the George Dibbern web site was long overdue. Coincidentally with the move to modernize came the fantastic news that Bruny Island Coastal Retreats in Tasmania, Australia, along with a group of wooden boat and local history enthusiasts, had bought Dibbern’s ketch, Te Rapunga with the intention of restoring her. Read more


Bruny Island Coastal Retreats
has undertaken
Follow progress here.

Reader comments for Dark Sun

Ich habe es viel zu schnell gelesen, es ist spannend wie ein Kriminalroman. Ich habe ungeheuren respekt für Ihre Arbeit. Man meint, Sie seien dabei gewesen. […] Insgesamt zu Ihrem Buch denkt man manchmal, eine Art Kommentar oder Bewertung fehlt. Anderseits haben Sie ja durch das ganze Buch kurze oft weise Bemärkungen und Erklärungen gestreut. So treffend auch die überschriften der Kapital! Das sagt eigentlich genug und der Leser ist frei, selbst zu urteilen.

Von meiner deutschen Sicht aus wünschte ich mir noch, dass der Kontrast zwischen Nazideutschland und Dibbern beschrieben sein sollte. Hier die perfide und mörderische Barbarei, der Verlust alle Humanität und dort ein wahrer Mensch. Welch ein Lichtblick für uns Deutsche! Dass Sie diese Arbeit auf sich genommen haben, ist bewundernswert. Lassen Sie mich Dank sagen. Ohne Auftrag zwar aber doch im Namen aller Deutschen die unter der Erinnerung unserer schrecklchen Geschichte leiden. Dibbern ist – bei alle Unzulänglichkeit – Balsam für die deutsche Seele. Vielleicht dauert es noch eine Generation, bis er hier die gebührende Ehre erhält. Oder das Wunder geschieht, dank Ihre Arbeit. Vielen Dank dafür!

- Jo Schaeuble (Vogtsburg DE)
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