Boarding for the Pacific
Abandoning everything, joining the sea, putting his life on hold to jump on the first sailboat heading West is exactly what the highly talented Montreal producer, Guillaume Beaudoin, decided to do.
This ocean lover challenged himself to cross the Pacific Ocean, hitch-hiking from one sailboat to another. This adventure was intended to improve his skills as a sailor, meet the inhabitants of remote islands on the way, but also to observe the effects of climate change on the marine ecosystems.
As we follow Guillaume’s journey, scheduled to last more than six months, we will share his extraordinary story and provide you with exclusive content.
Just last week, this new PortFranc ambassador began his journey on the Atlantic coast of Panama aboard the French catamaran Indigo, a 62 feet sailboat that left the shipyard just four years ago. After crossing the infamous Panama Canal, the six sailors running this ship are scheduled to reach the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia, a trajectory estimated to involve 25 to 30 days of navigation. Guillaume will then have to find another sailboat to continue his journey.
Crossing the canal is quite an adventure. This 77-km channel, inaugurated in 1914, is travelled by 14,000 ships every year, including the largest container carriers on the planet. It is thus 5% of the world’s trade that transits through this shortcut between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Without this canal, joining New York to San Francisco via the Cape Horn represents a 24,500 km journey ... against 9,500 km via the canal!
It took the indigo crew barely a day to cross the canal. "Finding ourselves alongside one million tons of cargo cargo is quite impressive!" Says Guillaume. "There were really narrow parts with a few complicated maneuvers (it was not uncommon for ships to be damaged), at the end of the day though, it was rather relaxed."
Upon finally reaching the Pacific shore of Panama, Guillaume and his companions are now ready to sail for the Marquesas. If all goes well, it will take them a month at sea to join this paradise. Many have fallen in love with this place, painter Paul Gauguin and singer Jacques Brel even chose to be buried there.
We commit to keeping you posted on their progress.
Until then, you can watch this magnificent video, produced by Guillaume last year during his crossing on a small sailboat between Hawaii and San Francisco ... a fascinating adventure that could have turned into a nightmare without four Sailors’ cold blooded attitude!