Saturday, July 18, 2020

Alain Bombard : voluntary castaway (1952)

July 19th 2005, Memory Day : death of Alain Bombard.
In 1952 he sailed in a Zodiac inflatable boat called l’Heretic which was only 4.5 metres (15 ft) long, taking only a sextant and almost no provisions across the Atlantic ocean from Canarian islands to West Indies.

Castaway! This word became for me the very expression of human misery.
It was synonymous with despair, hunger, thirst.
When his ship sinks, man believes that the universe sinks with him, and because two planks are missing under his feet, he lacks all courage, all reason, at the same time.
If at that moment he finds a lifeboat, he is not saved, for he remains motionless in it, contemplating his misery.
He no longer lives.
Caught by the night, transfixed by water and wind, frightened by the hollow, by noise, by silence, it takes him only three days to complete his death.
Alain Bombard. Voluntary castaway. 1953

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