Campagne de France falls silent in respect

Miranda poppy (photo Halvard Mabire)Fernando de Noronha is a volcanic archipelago about 350 kilometers off Brazil’s northeast coast. It’s named after its largest island, a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary with a jagged coastline and diverse ecosystems. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 it’s expected that Miranda, Halvard and Campagne de France will pass by at around midday today, the 15th day of the Transat Jacques Vabre.

It’s at about this time that Miranda and Halvard will fall quiet and respect a moment of silence to commemorate the passing of the 11th hour, of the 11th day and the 11th month in 1918 where the battlefields of the First World War became silent marking the end of conflict.

“I’m immensely proud to compete on a boat covered with poppies, symbols of pesticide-free land and symbols of the memory of fallen soldiers” Miranda says from the trade winds of the southern hemisphere.

Campagne de France is approaching the Brazilian shores at good speed. Still ranked 23rd, an honourable position for one of the oldest boats in the fleet. Tuesday night (French time) seems a conceivable finish time with 650 miles of racing remaining.

Halvard avec fromage (photo Miranda Merron)

News from Halvard:

« Hello,

I never thought I could write so many words about the problems we’re having with technology. Last night was a little hectic but no more so than normal. In any case when sailing in the trade winds, the pace is nice and the road comfortable, but it seems that with every wave, every jolt, everything jumps and crashes. We’re to be aware of increased traffic with cargo ships coming to and from Panama, therefore we require higher usage of our navigational systems, our communication systems and more.

We have too many cables, too much connectivity, all probably ‘made in China’ and not overly well built or mounted. Therefore the aforementioned jolt results in total connection losses. The worst is that everything has been working this season, that is until it was ‘checked’.

Even when sat comfortably in the office at home, stable and dry, it’s a miracle for these electronic things to work. When it works on a sailing boat, subjected to all the shocks and jolts, it’s surely the work of magic or witchcraft. We’re a little worried about our return to Cherbourg because Salvador is not somewhere conducive to fixing our issues. Perhaps a little letter to Santa Claus will result in the required fix being delivered upon our return.

In short each of our little household problems do not prevent us from advancing although it is frustrating.

In the meantime we find ourselves in beautiful conditions on this significant day. November 11th is not a holiday. It’s a day of European and global mourning. A day in which we must all take time to mourn and pay our respects to all that have lost their lives to war.

An armistice is always a happy event, but it is still necessary that the conditions of this armistice does not encourage the continuity of conflict. Another such conflict will see the beginning of the end for civerlization.

Some « national heroes » carry a heavy responsibility. The influence of Clemenceau, a left-wing politician who didn’t hesitate to sacrifice his people was key to the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles, a treaty which itself sowed the seeds for the explosion of the Second World War. At least this November 11th is used to remember and ask ourselves how we got here.

I’m sorry that todays writing is in stark contrast to the adventure we’re currently experiencing but the isolation of the ocean should not be an excuse to forget the sacrifice that has gone before us, unfortunately useless but required by leaders and generations who have preceded us. »

Until tomorrow.


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