September 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
We wish to convey our deepest sympathy to the entire Wittmer Family on the passing of Captain Rolf Wittmer.
Rolf Wittmer was the first person to be born on the island of Floreana. Born January 1, 1933 just four months after his family arrived to the island. Rolf was born a stone cave that together with a tent served as the family’s first dwelling on Floreana.
Rolf was a warm family man and a pioneer and visonary in Galapagos. One of the original promoters of eco-tourism in the Galapagos Islands from 1962 – 1967 he brought scientist and the first tourists to the islands using his fishing boat “The Cologne”. In 1969 Rolf began formally offering tourist services aboard the Tip Top I. A boat he specifically designed to offer excellent services for 6 passengers.
Rolf and his family have remained in tourism and operate the highly respected Tip Top Fleet which includes the Tip Top II (built 1996) Tip Top III (2001) and Tip Top IV (2006) with the highest level of security and service.
Having lived his life in the Galapagos, Rolf was educated by his parents. He continued his education on his own and self educated reached the level of Second Deck Officer of the Merchant Navy. In 2008, at 75 years of age Rolf received his elementary school diploma.
In 1982 Rolf Wittmer Turismo was created providing tourism options to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. More recently in 2006 the Rolf Wittmer Foundation was created to provide for the sustainable development of Floreana and to document the human history of the Galapagos. The Rolf Wittmer Foundation offers scholarships and educational opportunities to the children of the Galapagos.
Rolf had a pleural mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer and had been very sick for the last few months. His family is traveling to Floreana to say their final farewell. Rolf’s body will be will be kept at Hotel Wittmer from 09h00 to 12h30. At 13h00 mass will be offered at the local church. After mass, Rolf’s remains will be transported to the local cementery for their final resting place.