Pani Pwoblem

The sailing world is wild and unexpected… I got to learn it again.

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Indeed, I was supposed to sail to Brazil with a French couple met few weeks ago. I left my job, got on board and went with them on the way to Capo Verde. I had some kind of dread when we started to sail, for some reasons…
Two days later, my doubts became real when I saw the general vibe on board. I would not explain it online but the captain turned out to be a very different man on the ocean. I felt it would be dangerous to keep on sailing together so I decided to leave.

In the morning, I jumped off the boat in the south of Gran Canaria island and looked at them leaving. One more time I gazed at my hopes fading away.

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I came back to Las Palmas the same day and took a coffee with my friend of the marina.
Filled with great energy of meeting them back and relieved to have escaped the worst, I went on the docks and kept asking for boats. Only one hour later, I had a captain offering me to go to… Martinique.
It was not really my plan. I wanted first go to Argentina and then all the way up to Alaska. However, if I was going to Martinique, it was easier to explore North America first and then go down all the way to Argentina. That was decided: 2018 would be Alaska and 2019 Patagonia.

I had a last night with my sweet friends from my work and left the next day.

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I was shared between the sadness of leaving those fantastic people met over the last few weeks and the excitement of finally getting to the other side of the Atlantic (like I was supposed to do 7 months ago).

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Things went so fast, I only discovered the other crew members after we left. We were 4 young French with the captain.

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I found that transatlantic quite relax for some reasons.

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Indeed, our journey on a catamaran was obviously more comfortable than our time on a single hood. That was my cabin for example.

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Then, life on board was very chill too. We had the whole day to relax and then take 2/3 hours shifts at night. I was back in the peaceful ocean where most of the day is just about meditation.

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Once we went back to the deep water, we found back the numerous Mahi Mahi living there. We got to fish and cook them in every way possible… raw, roasted, fried !

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Time went very fast and soon enough, we knew by the increasing temperatures and  flying fishes all over the boat that we were getting closer to the tropics.

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We knew that we arrived under tropics when we faced a very dark tropical thunderstorm. This is the only picture I got from the very start, then it turned way too dark…

DSC_7376We were struck by lightening but no damages were noticed. Neither the boat nor the electronics… Witnessing that storm at night in T-shirt and seeing lightening hitting the ocean several times a second was mesmerizing.

We all survived and a week later, after 17 days of sailing, we saw the coast of Martinique. Like the first time I discovered the Azores, the green color exploded in my eyes.

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Whereas I was smiling at the land, I realized I was back In Martinique, island I left 7 months ago. I had just done an hitchhiking tour of the Atlantic (in blue first trip, in green second trip)…

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I found the same paradise I had left 7 months ago.

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We left the captain and enjoyed walking a bit after 3 long weeks. My steps crossed the path of a friend who had arrived here few days ago. I did not even have time to sit, we were all invited to a big party in the jungle…

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When I woke up from that night, I realized I was alone on a white sand beach. I decided I would spend some more time in Martinique…

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Like usual, the best way to discover an island is to walk it. With one of my friend from the boat, we walked a couple of days following the paradise coast of Martinique. We only stopped to drink coconuts or swim on those lonely paradise beaches.

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We lived a small week completely away from civilization…

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Discovering day per day the surprising landscape of the coast… Sometimes it was full of life.

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Some other time completely arid and lifeless…

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Except those random crawling shells !

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Anyway, that was the perfect way to reconnect with the land after sailing for so long…

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I needed time for myself and kept going alone for some days. Having the flying tent here allowed me to sleep in every possible conditions… Like on this tiny island.

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Where the only way to sleep is between those trees.

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Or in this forest where I could only sleep in the air.

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I came back to cities for Christmas and while I was hitchhiking to some beach, I met a whole Basque family celebrating Christmas on the beach.

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We had a great time and decided to spend the 31st of December together. In the meantime, I went to Fort-de-France and stayed a couple of days with Philippe, a soldier from the French military forces.

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I could not have had more luck to meet anyone like him. He knew every trail of the island and put all his energy to show me as much as possible.

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That was definitely the most sportive time of this year. I even did the soldier training at 7 am the day of Christmas. That was the best gift ever.

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However, the best gift I received from him was on my birthday… We went with a friend of us to climb the Volcano of Martinique, la Montagne Pelée. That was a dream since I was a little boy and a great way to celebrate that quarter of century.

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I would have believed that the military training was challenging but coming back to the south of the island and celebrate the New Year with the Basque was really something I has not been trained for…

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I could not thank them enough, they were like a second family for those few days.

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Recovering slowly from the last weeks, I came back to the port and started to speak with sailors. I would now keep on going north until I reached Alaska. What did you say ? You are going to Guadeloupe ??

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See u there !

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7 thoughts on “Pani Pwoblem

  1. Incredible adventure, Martín (your spanish name). It´s marvellous that finally you have decided to write about your trip in this way. Good look!!

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  2. Arthur ! je suis tombée sur ton LinkedIn qui m’a fait tomber sur ton blog, c’est hyper génial ce que tu fais ! Bon courage encore, il faut de la force pour vivre ce que tu vis et profite à fond !
    Si tu veux passer par Annecy quand tu rentreras en France, hésite pas 🙂

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  3. What a way to get a brainwash! Thanks so much brother, my first transatlantic (Martinique-Port Camargue) is planned and will definitely have a thought for you!

    We’ll meet soon in America, take and care and keep going! ❤

    Like

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