- the boat
- the worldtour
“Happy is he who, like the Seine, follows his course from his bed” (*)
This alexandrine, engraved with the edge of a pocket knife on an old desk in the sinister Breton boarding school where I (painfully) endured 6th grade, seemed at the time to be the result of a brilliant inspiration from one of my predecessors.
Today, I do not know if the Seine is happy, but I can tell you that the TPS crew is.
Already, before entering the estuary, a passage under the cliffs of Etretat at sunset gave us a taste of what was to come, but then, what a sight, yesterday and today, and what better way to return to France after an over 5-month journey than this majestic spectacle.
However, please do not think that freshwater navigation is a bed of roses. Tomorrow we expect a lock, barely wider than our solar panels—even when they are completely folded in. We are hoping for a 10-cm margin on each side that the engineers from Waterways of France will help us negotiate as best we can!
Apart from the friction risk, the TPS is happy, too. She entered her second life brilliantly by carrying out the Deepwater mission on behalf of the University of Geneva. The TPS demonstrated that she could be a platform that perfectly suited the needs of thirteen (must be verified) scientists who succeeded one another onboard, and that she also represented a wonderful communication tool, capable of inspiring hundreds of visitors during her stopovers.
Our next step will be Paris, in front of the André Citroën Park on September 10th at 1:30 pm, after having greeted the “small” Statue of Liberty in the background of the Eiffel Tower. Grandiose!