17:10 By Pascale
Logbook N° 003,
(aboard ship, between Fécamp and Brest)
by Gérald Musereau,
Lieutenant engineering officer.
Lieutenant engineering officer: that has been my role ever since I climbed aboard that legendary three-masted schooner one sunny day in Paris…heave ho!
And what a journey I’ve been on since then. Not in terms of distance of course (for the time being) but rather in terms of work accomplished and of reappraising my job and my speciality.
I am a naval engineer and I’ve worked on all sorts of boats from small speedboats to large diesel-powered boats with a brief period in between (still a good 3 years though) working on old steam ships.
And now here I am on La Boudeuse. She is a ship on which you have to be very versatile, to be able to carry out or at least help with all jobs (in fact I’m sure her engine becomes “temperamental” just to make sure I remember what my main job on this ship is). And there is a long way to go before I can say I know how to sail this type of ship well. That has been my challenge and one of the main reasons behind my wish to join the crew here.
Can you imagine an engineer being able to plot a point on a map, navigate using a sextant, take on the role of quartermaster with his eyes closed whilst preparing tasty little titbits! The guy who can do all that would be king of the oceans. One of the major benefits of this boat is this sharing of knowledge. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Lao-Tzu)
For the time being my job can be summed up as a trip down the Seine and a 4-month stint in a shipyard in Le Havre, but now the real adventure is about to begin with an Atlantic crossing en route for the Amazon, a part of the world that is totally new to me. All the mysteries that it holds draw me to live that experience, one that provokes that little shiver of excitement and the feeling that you are experiencing something unique. Of course, I’m not kidding myself that it will be a bed of roses every day. I’ve done enough sailing to know that there will be hard times ahead; but that is also part of the beauty of our mission.
Anyway, on that note, it’s time to get back to work…