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Bernard Moitessier

Beschrijving

Images by Bernard Moitessier (10 - 04 - 1925 / 16 - 06 - 1994), French sailor, taken during his non - stop around the world solo sailing.

Along 300 days (22 - 08 - 1968 / 21 - 06 - 1969), he sailed 37455 nautic miles (69367 km.) which is one and a half tours around the world.

He started this sailing as a competitor in the Golden Globe race, starting at Plymouth (UK) but when he had already sailed through Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia) , around the Southern Pole and through Cape Horn (Chile), Bernard Moitessier started doubting about the real sense of keeping on sailing to Plymouth to win the race. He changed his mind about both the race and the final destination, and sailing along Argentina's shore in his way back to Plymouth, he decided to go on saling and headed again to Cape of Good Hope. There, as he hadn't a radio transmitter onboard, he managed to throw a message with a slingshot on a tanker's bridge, saying:

« Je continue sans escale vers les îles du Pacifique, parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-être aussi pour sauver mon âme »

- I go on sailing non-stop to the islands in the Pacific Sea because I'm happy in the sea, and maybe to save my soul too -

So he did, and sailing again through Cape Leeuwin, he reached Tahiti ten months after starting the trip. After that, he wrote a book about his sailing, called "La Longue Route" (The Long Route).

He didn't officially win the Golden Globe race (which was won by Sr Robin Knox -Johnston), as he gave up the race to continue sailing to where he wanted to, but many people is considereing him as the first man that sailed solo non - stop around the world.

He lived for long time in different islands in the Pacific Ocean, where he got his nickname, "Tamata", which in Polynesian means "To Try".

"Tamata" was the name of his last boat too.

His sailboat, "Joshua" ( as a tribute to Joshua Slocum, first man to sail single - handedly around the world makings stopovers), a steel 12 m ketch, was designed by Jean Knocker. She still bobs in La Rochelle's harbour (France)

"Donne - moi du vent, je te donnerai des miles"

- Give me wind, and I'll give you miles -

- Un rêve de marin, un marin de rêve -

Music: Yann Tiersen: "La Longue Route" ("Tabarly" album) 2008


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