Esprit de corps

Things obviously haven't been particularly easy in recent days. We are a team, however, with a common goal: to go as fast as possible on the Route de l'Or. Since Saturday morning, it's as if the clock has stopped—even though the stopwatch hasn't. No one onboard mentions it, no one is counting the days lost, no one is twisting the knife in the wound, no one is complaining or moping around. During our forced inactivity, everyone's little quirks could easily be blown out of proportion. But life on the boat is a long, peaceful river, with each person being extra careful about respecting the others onboard.

The handymen are taking advantage of the down time to make little repairs. The old steering chains were showing signs of fatigue, so two new ones were made. A splice done here and there, a block and tackle made, straps resewn, hatches re-weatherproofed, the kitchen properly cleaned...we've been busy, but time has still crawled onward. So the books came out of the duffels, and conversations started flowing. Sure, we've sailed together before and crossed paths on the docks or at competitions like the Grand Prix des Multicoques, but we don't really know each other all that well. So now we're learning more about each other, telling about our lives and experiences—mainly sailing-related—and discovering many shared acquaintances. These conversations, among two, three or even more of us, simply wouldn't have happened if we had been able to push on through without stopping. We're making the most of the situation, and honestly, this misfortune within our broader challenge has only strengthened our sense of camaraderie.

So patiently we await the return of Zephyr's good graces to get back into action. A window may open Thursday morning. But we don't want to obsess about it, we need to keep a little distance, confident that Lionel and Dominic will let us know when it's time to get going.  It's sort of like being on stand-by again, ready for the light to change to green. Except here we still need to manage the boat, with the watch system, sail trim, a route de follow... Our route today will be to the Strait of Magellan.. Why? For the sake of tourism. Don't forget, we're not just a bunch of rope-pullers. To boost morale even further, each crew member got a can of cassoulet tonight. Nothing hits the spot better when you get out of bed. Thanks Loïck (Peyron) for the cassoulet—Loïck never goes to sea without a few of these cans.


Nicolas Raynaud


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