His father was a private scholar. The family lived in many places around Europe. In WW II, he served in the Air Force (Luftwaffe) as a photographer. In 1956 he bought his first boat, Solveig I (Swedish: sunshine). With this dinghy he sailed to the Red Sea. With his wooden Solveig II he crossed the Atlantic in 1963 single handed. SY Solveig III was his third boat, actually a yacht. He did two round the world cruises single handed with that.
In 1983 he started off to a 8 year cruise with his girl friend Angelika Zilcher (later his wife), including a term of 6 month without a stop. Soon after in 1991, he founded a Society for dolphin conversation.
He published several books about his trips and about sailing itself.