The Danger of Backup Plans. And Choice. [en]

[fr] Avoir un plan B nous rassure, mais nous empêche aussi souvent de mettre autant d'énergie qu'il le faudrait dans notre plan A. Parfois, ne pas avoir le choix est une bonne chose.

Being rather pessimistic by nature and risk-averse, I love my backup plans. I really like knowing what I’ll do “if something goes wrong”.

The only way to go is forward.
No plan B here!
Photo by Anita Bora, taken on one of our hikes a couple of years ago.

These last ten years as a self-employed professional are no exception. In the back of my mind I’ve always “known” that, if things go awry:

  • I have savings I can dip into
  • I can borrow money
  • I can always “find a job”
  • maybe I’ll shack up with somebody who has a stable situation and there won’t be so much pressure on my income anymore.

I have always had the nagging feeling that these backup plans kept me from giving my fullest to the current one, the one I was actually living. Why struggle and work like crazy when it might not be necessary?

Like our modern western world, I like the idea that we are responsible, that the way we lead our life is through choices. We always have a choice. I’ve been brought up to believe that we always choose, even when we think we don’t. I don’t think it was drilled into me on purpose — it just reflects the ambient beliefs of our time. If you say you don’t have a choice, you’re in some ways painting yourself as a hapless victim with less agency than you actually have.

But reality is more complex than that, as all we women of the 60s and 70s who ended up not having children due to the circumstances of life rather than our desire not to have any very well know. (I hope.) Not everything that happens to you is a choice.

Looking at the future (and present) rather than the past, absence of choice can actually be a good thing. Absence of a plan B. A series of recent discussions brought that to light for me: professionally, there isn’t really a plan B for me. In the long run, I need to stay self-employed (more about this in another post at some point). And so I have to make my business more successful than in the past (not just by wishful thinking, there is a lot of work to be done, actually — more about that in another post).

Saying “I have to do this” is, again, something I’ve been taught to avoid. Because it makes one powerless to have to do something, rather than want, choose, decide. But an episode of the podcast Hidden Brain presents research that points to another phenomenon: if we have a fallback plan, our motivation or drive to make our main plan succeed diminishes.

Not having a choice can actually be an advantage!

This might be one reason I like action/thriller movies, in which characters very often have no choice but to do what they are doing. Trying to stay alive or save the world definitely gives one a sense of purpose, something I sometimes feel I am lacking in my life.

There could also be a link to my love of physical activities like skiing, sailing, judo, kitesurfing, and even cycling and driving: when you’re moving or in action, you have to do what you have to do, or you can hurt or even kill yourself. In that moment, there is no backup plan. Come to think of it, that is true of public speaking too, though there is of course no physical danger there.

Facebook: Sharing or Showing Off? [en]

[fr] Une prise de conscience d'une part de l'effet négatif que peuvent avoir sur moi les publications positives de mes amis sur Facebook (je suis contente pour eux, mais en comparaison, suivant mon humeur, ça peut faire ressortir à mes yeux mon inadéquation), et d'autre part du fait que je contribue peut-être à cet effet chez les autres avec mes partages (de tout mon temps passé au chalet dans un cadre magnifique, mes voyages, la voile...).

A few months ago, I realised that certain posts that showed up in my timeline on Facebook didn’t make me feel very good.

  • another of my friends was writing a book
  • somebody else was hanging out with exciting “famous” people
  • yet another was pregnant
  • somebody had a new exciting professional gig

I felt happy for all these people, of course. Amongst my peers, I’ve been reasonably conservative about connecting with people on Facebook, and bar a few exceptions (that’s life), I’ve only friended people I like. So, when people I like are happy, or have a new exciting job, or are about to be parents, or lead exciting lives, I’m happy for them.

Neige et chalet 129 2015-01-18 17h45

But during times when I’m not feeling too good about myself or my situation, or going through a tough spot, or suffering a bout of self-doubt, learning about these good things in my friends’ lives actually brings me down.

The explanation is quite simple: social comparison. We tend to do that. Some more than others. We compare ourselves to others. It’s a background process, really, and I personally have a lot of trouble turning it off or at least down.

I’m somebody who is on the whole positive/optimistic about the internet, the digital world, social media. I think it is overall a good thing. For us as a society, and for us as people. So I’ve always looked at articles like this one with a bit of skepticism.

What I see described in some of these “facebook envy articles” doesn’t really fit with what I observe on Facebook. They sometimes paint a picture where people are actively putting their best foot forward and showing off the highlights of their lives, and others spend their time actively stalking their friends lives, seething with envy. I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea.

Kolkata Streets 2015 38

When I noticed that learning good news about my friends’ lives was bringing me down, it took me a while to realise I was experiencing some form of Facebook envy — because the mechanisms I could see didn’t fit with what I had been (half-heartedly) reading about.

I didn’t see my friends as bragging. They were just sharing stuff about their lives. And of course, people are more likely to share “Yay got the book deal!” than “ate a cheese sandwich for lunch”. Or maybe they also share the cheese sandwich, but more people are going to like the book deal and comment on it. And so Facebook’s algorithm is going to push it to the top and make it appear in my newsfeed, rather than the cheese sandwich.

I also didn’t see myself as actively trying to compare myself with others. This was just part of the “keeping passively in touch” role that Facebook plays for me. Catching up asynchronously, and probably also asymmetrically. But behind the scenes, social comparison was working overtime.

Sailing in Spain

I learned to take time out. Leave Facebook for a while and go do something else. It didn’t spiral out of control. Yay me.

As I was becoming aware of what my friends’ posts was sometimes doing to me, I started having second thoughts about some of the things I was posting. You see, I have a chalet in the mountains, in a really picturesque area in the Alps. I go there quite often during winter, as I take a season ski pass. And I share photos.

What’s going on in my mind is not really “see how lucky I am”, but more “I’m aware how lucky I am and I want you to get to experience some of this too”. My intention is generous. It is to share so that others can benefit too.

But I’ve realised lately that this may not be the impact my posts have on others. My sometimes seemingly endless chalet and mountain photos might be for others what book deals and professional success in my newsfeed are to me.


People with families, or two weeks of holiday per year, or who live in parts of the world that make travel more difficult or simply don’t have the means to move from where they are might feel (rightly) envious of some aspects of my life. I travel quite a bit. Aside from the chalet, I have a boat on the lake, go to India regularly. My freelance life has drawbacks, but one of the advantages is have is that I have quite a bit of freedom with my time and where I am, as some parts of my work are location-independant. And I live in Switzerland, for heaven’s sake.

Of course, I try to share the good things about my life, because I’m aware I’m privileged, and I don’t want to spend my time whining or complaining. I do complain, but about the small things, usually. Like people saying “blog” to mean “blog post”. The big things that bring me down are also much more difficult to talk about, and so I don’t often mention them. But I’m generally happy with my life and that is what I try to express.


I don’t experience what I do on Facebook as “self-promotion”. Every now and again I “do self-promotion”. I write a post that really has to do with my professional area of expertise, or I share information about something I’m working on. But that’s far from the majority of my postings. Most of the time, it’s really just “oh, look at this, I want you to enjoy it too!”

Now, however, I’m more and more aware of the part I may be playing in fuelling other people’s social comparison blues. Am I going to post yet another photo of how beautiful the mountains are from the chalet balcony? Or showing that I’m sailing on the lake? Or that I’m hanging out with the cats again?

Furry Boys

I don’t know if I’m going through a realisation that will change what I post about or not. But it’s definitely changing how I think and feel, to some extent.

What about you? Do you get “bad feelings” seeing what your friends are upto? And do you think about what “bad feelings” you may unwittingly be eliciting amongst your friends through your postings?

And what is the solution to this?

This American Life Episode Selection [en]

[fr] Quelques épisodes de This American Life qui valent le détour.

I had my worst “forgot something on the stove” episode today. No fire, but I came back after three hours away to find my flat completely filled with smoke. I had to hold my breath to open the windows (everything was closed). My pan is dead (I’m not even going to try). Quintus was outside but Tounsi was inside, and was exposed to the smoke for all that time. One of the first things I did after opening the first window was throw him onto the balcony. He seems fine. Vet say to keep an eye on him for the next two days or so, as symptoms can be delayed.

Now my whole flat stinks of burnt smoke. Good thing it’s not January, as a friend noted.

Some podcast episodes for you. (And me, maybe one day). They are from This American Life, which I listened to a lot at the chalet. It’s really great — I should have started listening years ago.

  • #536: The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra: a chilling first-person account of the culture of complacency in the world of finance regulation.
  • #525: Call for Help: remember this story that was making the rounds, about a family that had to be rescued at sea because of a sick baby? and how a lot of the (uninformed) public opinion was up in arms about how irresponsible it was to go to sea with a baby, and then ask the coast guards to bail you out when things got rough? Well, as you can guess, there is much more to the story than that…
  • #555: The Incredible Rarity of Changing Your Mind: so, one of the studies this episode is based on has been retracted, but it remains interesting. First, to note that people rarely change their mind, particularly on ideological matters. And then, and this is something I think about a lot, what makes people change their mind? We do have anecdotal evidence that knowing somebody who is gay (or trans, or kinky…) can turn us around on those issues. And I think that people’s theoretical stance on an issue can be somewhat disconnected from what they would think, or how they would react, faced with a real human being they have a connection with and who is concerned by the issue.
  • #556: Same Bed, Different Dreams: for the very moving story of the two kidnapped South Koreans, the actress and the director.
  • #557: Birds & Bees: how do we talk to children about race, death, and sex? Some very good questions about consent and its “fuzziness” (I personally don’t think we should have to say “is it OK if I kiss you?” and wait for an enthusiastic verbal “yes” — seriously?!), how you can’t escape the question of race, and a moving segment on a grief counselling centre for children. If I could go back in time, I would take my 10-year-old self there. Sadly, we weren’t quite there yet 30 years ago when it comes to grief and children.
    By the way, this episode brings me to Death, Sex & Money — a podcast about all these things we don’t talk about.
  • #562 and #563: The Problem We All Live With (two parts): how do we reinvent education to get poor minority kids to perform as well as white kids? An exploration of the solution that works, but that we’re not putting much energy into implementing: desegregation. I found this episode both fascinating and infuriating. Fascinating because issues of race are not on the forefront in Switzerland as they are in the US, and infuriating that such a simple elegant solution is not given the attention and resources it deserves.


Living on a Boat [en]

[fr] Ce matin, j'ai passé une heure et demie à lire les aventures de Capucine et Tara Tari.

I’m writing this (“yesterday’s”) post late, because I unexpectedly ended up joining a party of one of my clients’ — I sailed past it as I was bringing the boat back into the marina, saw the big banner with their name on it, texted my contact, and he promptly invited me to join them.

On Wednesday nights during the “good” season I usually go sailing. We have training races. Tonight I was at the till, and we did good, better than I expected. That means there were more than one or two boats behind us when we crossed the finish line.

I might have mentioned it: sometimes I dream of living on a boat. I’ll probably never do it, but I like dreaming of it. This morning Corinne sent me a link to Where is Tara Tari? — the blog of Capucine and Tara Tari, her boat. She crossed the Atlantic with it. Corinne told me it made her think of a cross between she and I: a nomad on a boat.

I spent an hour and a half reading through the blog, and reading articles about Capucine and Tara Tari. Check out the blog. The boat is beautiful. It’s a 9m boat built in Bangladesh on the model of traditional fishing boats, using a jute composite. The guy who built it sailed it to France, and Capucine took over from there.

The Mollymawks also get me dreaming. I have spent hours reading their blog and books. Unlike Capucine who is at sea alone with her boat, the Mollymawks are a whole family with three children born at sea — now grown and growing up.

Funny how some dreams or obsessions we have seem destined to remain just that. And I say this without bitterness. I’m not sure I would like living on a boat “permanently”. But I like dreaming about it.

3rd #back2blog challenge (3/10), with: Brigitte Djajasasmita (@bibiweb), Baudouin Van Humbeeck (@somebaudy), Mlle Cassis (@mlle_cassis), Luca Palli (@lpalli), Yann Kerveno (@justaboutvelo), Annemarie Fuschetto (@libellula_free), Ewan Spence (@ewan), Kantu (@kantutita), Jean-François Genoud (@jfgpro), Michelle Carrupt (@cmic), Sally O’Brien (@swissingaround), Adam Tinworth (@adders), Mathieu Laferrière (@mlaferriere), Graham Holliday (@noodlepie), Denis Dogvopoliy (@dennydov), Christine Cavalier (@purplecar), Emmanuel Clément (@emmanuelc), Xavier Bertschy (@xavier83). Follow #back2blog.

Bol d'Or Mirabaud 2013 avec le Farrniente [fr]

[en] YouTube video and Storify of my three days sailing on the lake with the Farrniente for the Bol d'Or.

C’était mon troisième Bol d’Or, le week-end dernier. Genève-Bouveret-Genève à la voile. Ça va pas forcément vite (29h de course pour le Farrniente) mais ça donne un peu le même sentiment de satisfaction qu’une longue randonnée en montagne: tout ce chemin parcouru sans source d’énergie extérieure!

J’ai posté quelques photos et séquences vidéo en cours de route, jusqu’à ce que mon iPhone rende l’âme (malgré le chargeur de secours que j’ai vidé aussi). Grâce à Storify, voici donc le Bol d’Or 2013 du Farrniente presque comme si vous y étiez. J’ai pris pas mal de photos que je dois encore trier (avec celles des éditions 2009 et 2012!) et en attendant de faire mieux, j’ai collé bout à bout les séquences vidéo pour en faire le film d’une quinzaine de minutes que vous pouvez voir ici:

Moins pénible peut-être que la vidéo, le Storify mentionné plus haut (et il paraît que les liens vers les vidéos dans Facebook marchent quand même, même si on n’a pas de compte Facebook!):

[View the story “Bol d’Or Mirabaud 2013 sur le Farrniente” on Storify]

J’ai profité de l’engouement provoqué par la possibilité de suivre le Farrniente live durant la course pour créer une page Facebook pour le bateau. Click click!

Sailing [en]

[fr] La voile et moi. Histoire.

Note: I’ve been thinking of writing this post all afternoon, but put it off because I figured I should illustrate it, and some of the photos I’d like to use are stuck on this computer because of the bad internet connection I have here. Perfect example of how wanting to do things “well” easily leads to doing them “not”.

My parents met in Scotland, sailing. So, if you’re one to read signs and stuff, it would come as no surprise that I like sailing. My largely land-bound brother would probably beg to differ.

As far as I can remember, my dad has had a boat of some kind. On Lac de Neuchâtel when we were little, then Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Holidays on the French canals, in Yugoslavia (nowadays the Croatian islands), and around another lake I can’t quite clearly remember (Lake Constance?).

I always liked going on the boat, but stuck to doing what I was told, pretty much.

When I came back from India in 2000, I signed up to be waiting-listed for a berth in one of the Lausanne ports. I knew that finding a spot for the boat each year was a bit of a juggling act, and for complicated local political reasons, my dad couldn’t sign up for one. There was a 10-15 year waiting list, but it cost nothing, and I figured I might as well put myself on the list, just in case it became handy some day down the line.

In 2008, I was very surprised to receive notice that I had been attributed a mooring in Vidy. It was good timing, as the boat had recently been washed ashore after the buoy it was moored to outside the port had broken during a storm. It was damaged, but the insurance would pay. Now it had a safe place to live.

The mooring being in my name, I had to pass my sailing permit. This was a good thing: I’d been planning on doing it a few years earlier, but life took over and I dropped the project. This was the kick in the pants I needed. I started accompanying my dad and his crew more seriously on their Wednesday evening races, and passed my Swiss sailing permit in fall 2009.

Before I started actually learning how to sail, I remember I used to find it a rather frustrating experience. It was hard to steer the boat in the direction I wanted it to go (though I’d of course done it in the past, under supervision). I didn’t understand the wind, or how to trim the sails. A lot of what went on on the boat was a mystery to me.

With time and practice, though, things started to sink in. I started to be able to take the boat roughly where I wanted it to go. I started getting the hang of the sail thing.

With a boat at sea now (here in Torrevieja, Spain), it made sense for me to go one step further and do a sea-based course. That’s what I’ve been doing this week — the RYA Day Skipper course. (I also added in Powerboat level 2 and VHF/DSC operator training, but that was unplanned, icing on the cake.) I learned a lot during this course (if you’re in Spain and want classes, book with Serenity Sailing without hesitation), but it also allowed me to realise how far I’ve come in just a few years. A whole lot of things which I used to find challenging are now almost automatic: I know where the wind is without having to really think of it, for example, because I now pick up on a bunch of signs that give me this information.

So the next step now? Gather a bunch of friends who are interested in a sailing holiday, and charter a boat for a week or two somewhere in some nice sunny islands. Oh, and if you have a powerboat lying around somewhere that needs to be taken out for a spin every now and again, let me know!

Une semaine sur l'eau [en]

J’ai voulu intituler ce billet “une semaine en mer”, puis je me suis dit que c’était un peu grandiloquent compte tenu du fait qu’on dort principalement dans des ports, ou à l’ancre à quelques dizaines de mètres du bord.


Le bateau est basé à Torrevieja, sur la côte sud-est de l’Espagne — sur la Costa Blanca plus précisément. A quelques petites heures de route (par la mer!) il y a Mar Menor, un petit lagon à l’eau salée et chaude, pour le plus grand bonheur de la population de méduses qui s’y reproduit joyeusement année après année. Pourquoi tant de méduses? Peut-être à cause de la pollution

Sailing in Spain 1130497

Alors je sais, “méduse” ça fait un peu “arghl”, mais en fait, celles-ci sont inoffensives (on ne sent rien ou presque) et plutôt jolies une fois qu’on a appris à les apprécier. C’est clair, se baigner dans un eau qui grouille de méduses, ce n’est pas très appétissant, même si elles ne nous font rien, alors les autorités locales font de grands opérations de “démédusification” durant la haute saison, qui s’arrête mi-septembre. Il y a aussi des filets pour protéger les plages, afin que les baigneurs ne soient pas incommodés. Mais pas en octobre.

Espagne 1130394

J’en ai bien sûr profité pour apprendre tout un tas de choses sur les méduses. Elles sont fascinantes. Au cours de mes recherches, je suis tombée sur un article portant sur la faune de Mar Menor. En lisant, j’ai compris qu’il avait été écrit par Roxanne, une dizaine d’années à l’époque, et qui vivait avec sa famille sur le Mollymawk, de façon permanente. Elle est même née sur le bateau! J’ai plongé dans la lecture du site et je vous recommande de faire de même. Je vais probablement commander leurs livres.

Retour à notre semaine de bateau. Conditions idéales, soleil, jolie navigation — variée — et quelques aventures. Mar Menor est peu profonde, et distraite par le ballet des kitesurfs, j’ai procédé à un nettoyage en règle du bas de la quille (traduction: on s’est échoués dans la vase). Quelques grands coups de moteur plus tard, et on était désenglués. La mise en marche d’urgence du moteur a été l’occasion de constater un problème de batterie. Comme le capitaine n’est pas encore très familier avec le bateau, on est repartis à Los Alcazares, d’où nous étions partis le matin, plutôt que d’ancrer au nord de Mar Menor comme prévu. Il ne faut pas tenter le diable.

Farrniente Too 1

Los Alcazares, où nous devions passer une seule nuit mais finirons par en passer quatre, est la “grande ville” du côté terre du lagon. Ville bien endormie, appartements fermés, immense centre commercial abandonnée dont toutes les fenêtres en entrées sont murées, Los Alcazares sent la crise et la basse saison

Los Alcazares by Night 25

Le port est joli, et on a dégotté un extrêmement bon restaurant, le Restaurante Ramon, où on a soupé soir après soir.

Sailing in Spain, Torrevieja to Mar Menor (Los Alcazares) 104

Après notre deuxième nuit à Los Alcazares, on a repris la route pour le sud de Mar Menor, cette fois. Au programme: mouillage. En réalité: retour à Los Alcazares à la voile (avec entrée dans le port à la tombée de la nuit), parce qu’au moment d’approcher le lieu de notre ancrage, le moteur a catégoriquement refusé de partir. Même pas un bruit. Rien.

Le lendemain, l’électricien arrive de Torrevieja pour nous dépanner. Impossible en effet de rentrer sans moteur: il nous est indispensable pour passer le canal qui sépare Mar Menor de la Méditerranée. Verdict: c’est le fusible du chargeur qui a fondu. Ces nuits au port où l’on imaginait charger les batteries… eh bien non.

On aura donc en tout et pour tout passé une nuit à l’ancre, la première, près de la Isla Perdiguera. Réveil bien agité par les vagues le matin, et découverte des troupeaux de méduses qui avaient échappé à notre attention en arrivant la veille au soir.

Sailing in Spain, Torrevieja to Mar Menor (Los Alcazares) 10

Avec un jour de retard sur notre programme, on reprend la route pour Torrevieja. Au milieu du canal se trouve un pont (il faut bien que les voitures puissent passer d’un bout à l’autre de La Manga) qui s’ouvre 15 minutes toutes les deux heures pour laisser passer les bateaux. On vise la première ouverture du pont, 8h, avec l’espoir d’arriver à Torrevieja assez tôt pour faire encore un tour au marché avant qu’il ne ferme. Debout à l’aube, donc, mais pour rien: à 8h dans le canal, le pont reste résolument fermé. On se renseigne, la première ouverture est à 10h. Nos informations dataient probablement de la haute-saison…

Sailing in Spain, Torrevieja to Mar Menor (Los Alcazares) 65

Il y a du vent pour le retour. 25 noeuds au départ, arrière. Et des vagues. C’est chouette. Je prends la barre, et on peut dire que c’est physique. Je réussis tout de même à garder un cap approximatif. De temps en temps, une vague plus grosse que les autres arrive et nous pousse. On surfe dessus, on la descend à toute vitesse, ça fait un peu montagnes russes. J’adore.

En bateau, on a beaucoup de temps pour penser. Du temps à “rien faire”. Lire quand on navigue? Pas top. L’ordinateur? L’électricité est limitée, il ne faut pas abuser. Internet? Au port, oui, si on a de la chance. On a du wifi à Torrevieja dans le bateau, mais à Los Alcazares, par exemple, il faut aller s’installer au club nautique (et encore, pas n’importe où, et la connexion est bien capricieuse).

Los Alcazares by Night 7

En bateau, donc, on pense. Ou on ne pense pas, et on regarde juste l’eau autour de soi. Ou les méduses. Et comme toujours lorsque je me mets au vert (enfin, “au bleu”), j’apprécie de voir ma vie ralentir. De ne plus savoir quel jour on est. Mon occupation principale quand j’en ai assez de “rien faire”: tuer des zombies sur mon iPhone (je suis incorrigible) et trier mes photos. Je me retrouve toujours à trier mes photos en vacances. Comme si c’était une activité que je ne jugeais pas digne de mon temps lorsque je suis “en travail”.

La lecture du site Yacht Mollymawk me fait rêver. Est-ce que ça me plairait, d’emménager à long terme sur un bateau? Peut-être pas pour toute une vie, mais pour une année? Je me souviens avoir pensé aller passer quelques mois sur une péniche — c’était il y a un moment. Le nomadisme géographique ne m’a jamais vraiment attirée (je suis plutôt casanière dans l’âme, je n’aime pas trop le changement). Mais avoir une maison qui bouge, ça, c’est autre chose.

J’ai lu il y a quelques mois le livre Drive, de Dan Pink. Dans la dernière partie du livre, contenant des idées et suggestions pratiques, il y en a une qui a retenu mon attention: prendre un “Sagmeister”, du nom du designer allemand qui en a parlé à TED, une année sabbatique de retraite anticipée durant les années travaillées. Tous les 7 ans de vie active, par exemple.

Un vague projet se forme dans ma tête: en 2019, je pourrais retourner passer une année en Inde. Une amie à moi devrait d’ici là avoir sa ferme. Aller y vivre, apprendre à monter à cheval, voilà qui me motive bien. Pour la suivante (2026? à 52 ans? ça me fait un peu peur ça), pourquoi pas passer l’année en mer? Peut-être que je n’ai pas besoin d’attendre aussi longtemps. J’organise déjà mes années pour avoir 4-6 semaines de break chaque hiver. Peut-être que je peux m’organiser pour avoir un plus long break toutes les x années, sans aller jusqu’à “un an” et “tous les sept ans” (je suis quand même bien installée dans la vie active, là, ce n’est pas comme si j’avais 25 ans). Bref, ça flotte dans ma tête.

J’aime la vie en bateau. Ce ne sont pas mes premières vacances sur l’eau. Quand j’avais 13 ans, nous étions allés passer 3 semaines en famille (3 de plus pour mes parents) dans les îles de ce qui est maintenant la Croatie. C’était magnifique. J’adorais — et j’adore toujours — m’endormir bercée par les vagues. Mon seul souci maintenant c’est que je tangue beaucoup lorsque je suis sur la terre ferme (= “mal de terre”). Après 10 jours sur le bateau en mai, ça avait été assez terrible à mon retour en Suisse. On verra si c’est mieux cette fois ou non.

Un bateau, c’est comme un petit studio flottant, ou un immense mobilehome sur l’eau. C’est petit bien sûr, mais c’est prévu pour utiliser au maximum la place disponible, et on y est étonnamment bien. Quand il fait beau, on est dehors la plupart du temps, de toute façon.

Les ports sont assez chers (25€ la nuit pour nous, tout est relatif) mais les nuits à l’ancre ne coûtent rien, sont super calmes, et bercent bien.

Sailing in Spain, Torrevieja to Mar Menor (Los Alcazares) 4

Si on n’est pas pressés, on navigue à la voile. Il y a quelque chose d’assez extraordinaire avec le fait d’avancer uniquement grâce à la force du vent. Sans autre bruit que celui du bateau qui avance dans l’eau et du vent qui souffle dans les voiles et les haubans. Comme j’ai pu le constater lors de notre retour de Mar Menor à Torrevieja, j’aime assez quand il y a des vagues et qu’on sent la mer sous la coque. Il y a des limites, je suis certaine — je n’ai jamais été exposée vraiment au gros temps.

Alors voilà. Une semaine sur l’eau, plutôt dix jours maintenant (nous sommes de retour à Mar Menor pour la deuxième semaine), mon cerveau est ralenti voire arrêté, et si mes chats ne me manquaient pas, je crois que je n’aurais aucune envie de rentrer à la fin de la semaine.

Tounsi câlin Quintus very unhappy in Switzerland