Jacare, Brazil, October 28, 2023
On March 28, 2023, L’Envol looped the loop around the world. It was an eastbound voyage pushed by the trades with three detours in the great south: rounding of the South American continent via the Patagonian channels, paying a visit to the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand and a circumnavigation of Australia.
- itinerary completed by SY L’Envol of 7.7 metres (25-feet)
- aboard Christophe Mora and Carina Juhhova from France and Estonia
- 10 years afloat
- 50 000 nautical miles sailed
- +10 000 hours of sail time
- +600 anchorages
- 96% of the distance powered by wind in the sails
Why this values statement?
On land, man is no longer subject to any predation except from himself. At sea, we are exposed to the natural elements of the swell, the waves and the wind. Furthermore, yearning for the ultimate safety becomes pointless, because the true purpose of a voyage close to nature is all about finding our rightful place in it.
Against the capitalist system’s claim that anything is possible without due regard for ethics, we have made a conscious decision to set certain limits to our way of life afloat.
A circumnavigation in a yacht, yes but:
1. without ever taking a plane, which stands for
no return to Europe since L’Envol cast off from France on October 28, 2013
2. without ever buying or hiring a car, which stands for
plenty of hitchhiking, public transport and walking
3. without connection to terrestrial electricity grids, which stands for
generating our own energy thanks to one solar panel and a hydrogenerator
without using coal, oil or nuclear power
4. without power-hungry equimpent aboard, which stands for
no air conditioner, freezer, fridge or water heater
5. without wasting drinking water resources, which stands for
3 litres of drinking water per person per day + 1 litre shower
6. without lengthy stays in marinas, which stands for
swinging at anchor wherever possible
7. without succumbing to have land-lubbers’ creature-comforts aboard,
which stands for
the choice of a small size ship, basic gear and a minimalist lifestyle
8. without an inboard engine, just an outboard, adding up to 1200 litres of fuel burnt in 10 years (half of it in Patagonia), which stands for
reducing the usage of petroleum products to an equivalent of two car tanks of fuel each year
9. without a dinghy engine or an electric windlass, which stands for
rowing ashore weather and/or current depending,
upping anchor by hand, need be, with the help from the mainsail
In order to emphasize our own responsibility before all choices and their consequences:
10. without insurances nor EPIRB distress beacons, which stands for
anticipating potential issues by minimising risks and when, one time, worse came to worst, we found another way
Respecting this 10-point values statement has enabled us to:
- enjoy life before retirement without becoming (too) dependent on the material and financial aspects of the trip
- develop a method of navigation, collection of information, organisation and decision-making that leaves little to chance
- be respectful of the livelyhoods of local populations – instead of underlining world’s disparities and creating the feeling of desire and envy, we were rather treated like a curiosity where the gain was not money but the mutual discovery of our diverse cultures
- have a negligible impact on our planet, with an infinitesimal carbon footprint
- be coherent with ourselves without yielding to the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet
What are the results?
Even though these limitations have not prevented us from sailing around the globe for a decade, one must recognise, it has come at the cost of considerable stress.
So here is the insurmountable paradox of it all: on one hand, respecting these values has motivated and refined this travel project; on the other, such ethics have also become its venom slowly and insidiously eroding my captain’s psychological resources.
And yet the desire for this lifestyle stays intact, so will it be possible for us to continue sailing or not, is now the question.
To be continued…
Although this values statement focuses on the «withouts», nothing would have been possible without the «withs»: short inventory speaks of those, describing our technical choices.
To find out more: