HE CONNECTS THE 2 POLES ALONE ON ITS SAILBOAT WITH A LAYING HEN :
FIND OUT WHAT YOU HAVE IN COMMON WITH HIM
You're there alone, sitting on your boat. Looking into the white of the ice that traps your boat in the middle of a cold desert.
The wind has fallen, your hands are frozen, and your feet...you have to take a look to make sure they're still hanging from your ankles. You're shaking a little, you're letting go.
You look at the sun setting over the frosty horizon and think about your family that you haven't seen or heard in months. You miss them so much... As the tears crystallize at the edge of your eyes and you feel a sob rise up inside you, a chicken passes before your eyes.
So you smile and think that tomorrow will be better.
GUIREC AND MONIQUE
HE STARTS BY PRETENDING TO BE AN EXPERT...
Imagine a man about to buy a cruising sailboat for 40 000€ when he doesn't have that money, knows nothing about it and is only 20 years old. Of course he knows about windsurfing, the optimist. But sailing boats, he doesn't.
So he plays the sailor, pointing out deficiencies in order to bring down the price and give the impression of being an experienced sailor. It's working! He's going back up the boat with three friends, from Martigues to Bretagne.
But the weather isn't in their favour and on top of that the boat is sinking. They're going to sink! So they landed in Spain, went home and Guirec, who had no money left in his pocket, went back to work to pay for the repairs to come.
Five months later, he goes back to sea with a friend to bring his boat back from Spain. They are shaken in the Bay of Biscay with 6-metre waves.Then came battery problems, no GPS and no more motor... That night, fear invaded the boat.
But here they are, at last, in Yvinek, the island of their childhood.
That's where he fell in love with the sea.
...HE'S GOT TROUBLES AND HIDE SECRETS FROM HIS FAMILY...
His intentions was to repair some problems on the boat during the summer and set sail. But repeated complications pushed his departure into the cold of November. Then he set sail in rather surprising conditions : the day before, he realised that his boat was completely eaten away by rust.
As soon as he tried to deal with this problem, the boat leaked, water gushed everywhere. So a real sailor advises him to completely repair his boat. But at 20, who's reasonable enough ?
Besides, he hasn't really warned his family of his real ambition. They think their son is going to cross the Atlantic, and it's already giving them goose bumps. But in reality, the young sailor wants to get to the top of the world, where very few men have passed through; the North-West passage, single-handed and unassisted... on a sieve.
After a false start due to the engine failing and the automatic pilot. He leaves, alone.
Alone? Not quite really. When he arrives at the Canaries, where he will start the long crossing, he decides to adopt a laying hen. He thinks it's a good thing to have fresh eggs on board and also, it makes for company.
That's when Monique embarks on the longest crossing of her life.
... YET, AT 24, HE IS THE YOUNGEST SAILOR TO HAVE CONNECTED THE 2 POLES TO SAILING !
The exploits of this young sailor, who finds himself 130 days stuck in the ice of the North Pole, and of the hen who has accompanied him on all his crossings, are all around the world. At the age of 24, Guirec became the youngest sailor in the world to cross the Perilous North-West Passage single-handed. Here is a map of his routes.
"I'm not a scientist, but I testify to what I see."
Today Guirec offers us conferences, he wishes to share his thirst for adventure, to transmit his optimism and the notion of surpassing oneself, as well as to make the greatest number of people aware of the environmental issue.
The Ocean is very much impacted by human activities and the two adventurers have been able to realize this on many occasions. Here is an interview of Guirec :
"In Greenland, there are glaciers that existed on my map that had disappeared. I also saw huge blocks of ice drifting off Cape Horn, hundreds of kilometres from the pack ice. Or the pollution of the seas with our plastics. It's all very scary,". Always cheerful, he ends on a hopeful note. "I'm not a scientist, but I testify to what I see.
And I have the impression that the children I meet have understood the importance of preserving the planet. And it belongs to them."
Their travels fascinate us and inspire us with great respect for the environment in which they grow up.
Sources and photo credits: