The weather today is even more awful than expected. It is impossible to ride a loaded bike in these conditions. But don’t imagine that i have spent a lazy day in my pyjama! (Anyway, I did not take one with me). Firstly, it rained all the night and around 9 AM the rain was so strong that I nearly got flooding in my tent. I barely avoided it by building a protective dam and an evacuation pit. Then, for more than 3 hours now we have been experiencing very strong wind gusts reaching speeds up to 100-120 km/h! I stayed most of the time in even the tent by fear that without my weight in it, it would go away or break.Staying for hours in such a small living space in these conditions is not easy. Hopefully I have to tell you my stories and have some eBooks and good music with me.
Today, the first sailor of the Vendée Globe crosses the finish line in France. It took him only 73 days to complete alone on a mono-hull sailing boat a race around the globe, through the most remote and dangerous waters of this planet. The last sailor is currently still in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and has more than 14000km to go. This story inspires me several thoughts that I would like to share with you.
First of all, I am impressed by the performance of the leader. This is made possible by constant progress of ship design and materials, better preparation of the skipper and intensive use of computers to aid for the navigation. In many fields and in particular adventurous sport, people are constantly pushing the limits. At the same time, some “seemingly basic” issues such as containing climate change, providing food and drinkable water to each human being seem impossible to solve… How strange!
Secondly, this performance should not make us forget what all the other participants of this race are doing! Indeed, even the last sailor 14000km behind is doing something that most of us would even consider doing someday! This kind of sportive feat can have two-folded effects: on one side, it can encourage us to do “the same”. Probably that after this race, many young kids will want to try sailboating. The downside is that it unconsciously sets a standard, a goal of what level of performance we should reach, a bit like the top-models of Victoria’s Secret do for the image of a perfect female body. Compared with these top-sporters, we might end up disgusted because we are just terribly bad. Finally, what matters is that each of us is feeling confortable with him / herself. What the top-sporters do should push us to achieve our own adventures, our own challenges, at our own pace. Because yes, I strongly believe that adventure, defined as going out of our own confort zone, is an essential ingredient to life. It is refreshing, because it helps making a cut in our day-to-day routine. It make us discover new aspects of ourselves and gives us happiness and self confidence. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to sail alone around the globe to experience adventure. Adventure is before all a mindset with respect to our day-to-day life: I will cook a new recipe. I will stop going always on vacation to the same place. I will try out another sport. Every small or big step in the unknown is adventure.
I wish you to be more adventurous for tomorrow, and to make your dreams come true!
Finally, around 6 PM the storm ended abruptly and we enjoyed a fantastic evening at our campsite!
Fellow bike tourer Mark also decided not to ride today, so we learned to know each other more! We were offered a delicious grilled fish and some water by a very friendly family camping next to us. The two little girls of this family were very chatty, awake and curious, a huge contrast compared to the young “cartoon addict” that I saw at Bridport. In the end, it was nice to stay there for one more day!