Chapitre 1 - L'école de la vie ..Chapter 1 - The school of life

 
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Dernier né d’une fratrie de 8 enfants, Guirec a grandi en Bretagne, sur l’île d’Ivinec, dans les côtes d’Armor.

Avec ses 13 écoles au compteur, il était loin d’être un élève exemplaire ! Dès sa majorité, il quitte les bancs d’une école qui l’ennuie, vend sa moto et achète un aller simple pour la liberté. Il s’envole pour l’Australie sans parler un mot d’Anglais avec seulement 200 euros en poche.

Après quelques nuits éprouvantes à dormir dans la rue, il s’enfonce dans les terres et trouve un petit boulot dans une ferme. Son pécule lui permet d’acheter un vélo, avec lequel il parcourt le sud-ouest du pays, Guirec espère trouver du travail là-bas. D'autres étrangers le mettent en garde : il n'y a pas de travail ici. Mais la chance est un hasard qui se provoque, en interrogeant chaque bateau sur les docks il finira par obtenir une place sur un crevettier.

Parti pour 3 semaines de mer, il y restera finalement un an. Seul le sérieux paye. À force d’un travail acharné (près de 20 heures par jour), embarquant des semaines durant, Guirec a pu réaliser son rêve de gosse : acheter un bateau à voile dès son retour en France. Il le baptisera Yvinec, en souvenir de son île natale. 

Le bateau est vieux, et son état général nécessite des réparations, mais Guirec est convaincu de faire une super affaire. Pourtant, à trois semaines du grand départ, l’apprenti aventurier a bien failli couler ! La coque est rouillée à cause de la corrosion (le défaut majeur des bateaux en acier), Guirec la perce rien qu’en appuyant sur les endroits abimés.

On le prévient, « Attention Guirec tu ne pourras pas partir comme ça, c’est du suicide, il faut faire tout un chantier sur ton bateau, ça va prendre du temps et de l’argent. » Ça tombe bien, il n’a aucun des deux ! Membrures rouillées, coque abimée, il s’en fiche. Le bateau existe. Il rebouche rapidement les trous avec du sika (silicone) et un poste à souder qu’il garde sur son bateau : ça pourra toujours servir !

Après un court entraînement en solitaire (de quelques heures seulement !), il se lance. L’expérience viendra en route.  Il est prêt pour réaliser son plus grand rêve. Partir pour se livrer à l’inconnu, à l’imprévu, à l’infini des possibles, à la liberté quel rêve ! 

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Last child of a family of 8 children, Guirec grew up in the French region of Brittany, on the island of Yvinec.

Having been to no less than 13 schools,  Guirec was far from being a model student! As soon as he got to the age of majority, he left school, which was of very little interest to him, sold his motorbike and bought a one-way ticket toward freedom.

He took off for Australia with less than 200 euros and could barely speak nor understand a word of English. After a few exhausting nights sleeping on the streets, he travels to the inland and finds a casual job in a farm. With the little amount of money he made during his stay, he bought a bicycle on which he roamed through all of the south west of the country, hoping to find a job along the way. Many locals warned him that there was no job to be found on his way. Convinced that he would be able to have the odds on his side, he starts asking each and every boat in the harbor for work. Then, not only does he ends up finding a fisherman job, but is one of the highest ranked employees, thanks to his dedication and hard work.

Guirec turned this three-week summer expedition into a year round full time job. Being serious and reliable had paid off. After one year of herculean work (up to 20 hours per day), being on seas for many weeks in a row, Guirec had earned enough money to realize his childhood dream: buying a sailing boat as soon as he gets back to France. He then baptizes it “Yvinec”, in memory of the island on which he grew up.

The boat was in a poor state, and required some heavy work. But, Guirec was still convinced that he was making a very good deal. However, three weeks before leaving for his expedition, the brave apprentice found his vessel flooded and nearly sunk!

The boats hull is rusted due to corrosion (the drawback of steel boats), Guirec is able to poke a hole simply by pressing on the hull.

People warned him “Be careful Guirec, you cannot leave with a boat in a state like this, its suicide, you need to do much more work on your boat, this will require a lot of time and money.” That was pretty ironical since he had neither of these two elements to pursue his journey! Rusted shell, damaged hull, he did not not care. The boat was what it was and there was nothing to be done about it. He covers the whole with a welding machine, which he keeps on the boat “this could indeed come in handy”!

After a quick training all by himself (a few hours only!), he takes off for the sea. Everything that’s left to be done will be done on the spot. He is finally ready to fulfill his biggest dream “make sure the earth is indeed round”. Leave, off to the unknown, improvise without any limits, what a dream!

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Pierre Simondet