Travel stories #2

It’s FredO’s turn to tell us about a travel stories that particularly affected him.

“In June 2021 I had the chance to participate in the delivery of a Neel 47 trimaran ! Quite incredible alignment of planets. I cycle through the port and stop to chat with Jules, the owner of a restaurant, we talk about everything and nothing (especially about nothing hahaha) and 5 days later I find myself in Faro in Portugal to help Steve, an American airline pilot who is going to Valencia ! The boat is crazy about performance, comfort and technology Steve is nice and we get along very quickly, very well. The miles go by, the coastal landscapes come closer and disappear. Dolphins and seabirds accompany us regularly. And on June 10, the Strait of Gibraltar is in the bow, we see, Africa!

The scent of this land is powerful, very present. It is incredible, confusing and shocking to realise how close we are geographically, just a few miles away, but also how far apart culturally, socially and economically. So close, so far. Differences that make men, women and children take huge risks in trying to reach the dazzling spotlight of Europe. On the VHF, we hear a report and the fate of these migrants, which already seems tragic filtered through our media, immediately becomes dramatic. A few hours later, it is difficult to continue the journey but perhaps habit leads to resignation and renunciation. Thinking back to those moments today, it is still very intolerable and ambiguous to see what is happening and not act individually and collectively. The journey also brings many good moments and the stopover in Gibraltar is one of them for a very special part: the departure in the early morning, zigzagging in the mist between the super tankers and the bottlenose dolphins, in unreal lights. In the midst of many sailing memories, it remains as something really special.”

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