“There is not much that could have prepared me for the tidal wave of emotions that came over me the day I arrived, Wednesday. I quickly noticed the gaps in my vocabulary: moved, stunned, surprised, distraught, intimidated… to be combined of course in the joyful and positive version! It is true that there is hardly a moment more destructuring than crossing the finish line of the Vendée Globe: spending 87 days at sea alone and finding yourself from one minute to another surrounded, celebrated, almost acclaimed by hundreds of strangers. The planet change is brutal!
During the ascent of the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne, I had the feeling of being a computer whose operating system would have remained at the time of Windows 94 which we would have asked to surf on a typical 2021 Internet. In other words, I was rowing. Impossible to know how to react! My face stuck in a half-tear-half-laughter grin I hallucinated for several minutes.
Since I set foot on land, I have not seen my boat again, I entrusted it to my team and I was struck by a series of reunions and solicitations. The one who has been my companion, my home, my means of transport finds himself for the first time in three months motionless in the port of Sables. The day after my arrival, I surprised myself wanting to find it and wanting to be alone on board again. The more time we spend at sea the more it becomes natural, the more it becomes a bodily necessity.
And yet how heartwarming these first contacts with my team, with the people I love; how good that first hot shower was. I have the impression that life on land is all sweetness, silence and warmth. No more stress of knowing if I will complete my Vendée Globe. We succeeded, the line is crossed.
“An intimate adventure like this is so difficult to express”
Since my arrival, I have been internally torn apart: I try as best I can to make the link between the planet that was mine for three months and the planet that I find today. Of course I am proud to have achieved my goal and decided to share this joy, but an intimate adventure like this is so difficult to express. Do I want to go back? I haven’t even arrived yet. My body is on land, but my mind seems to have stayed a few tens of miles offshore.
In a few days, a few weeks at most, I can imagine that I will have managed to say thank you as I wish to my team who have been on the front line for three months and who are still worried about whether I have been happy to live this adventure. I dare to hope that I will have more perspective and that I will no longer fail to find words to make those who have remained on earth feel the power of this trip around the world, of this timeless slice of life on the planet sea. “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr