The natural question that comes to mind when one evokes the journey of Damien, the Antarctic adventure at sea: « And what about Jérôme? »
The answer is as few words: « Jérôme never came back, Jérôme never left the Deep South, Jérôme continues the journey we started on the benches of our Grenoble school. »
When we returned to France in late 1973 after our epic first Damien, we had one goal: to leave earlier, leave together but everyone on our boat and each couple with the women we met during our travel. We were given 1 ½ to 2 years. It was a rather short time to build two large special boats, suitable for large travel and life in extreme regions, but we managed to hold approximately. The circumstances of life is obviously not offered us two strictly parallel destinies: I finally found myself on my big solo sailor Damien 3, while their southern navigation Jérôme and Sally led to the Antarctic continent for a great winter in complete autonomy, the first the genre. Found wintering in the same autarky by birth on the boat of their first son, Dion, the current skipper of the largest boat of the fleet based in the Falkland Islands. This amazing adventure is told in the book of Sally « The Great Winter », first published by Editions Arthaud, then reissued in Transboréal.
It is in this windswept archipelago Falkland became base camp, the whole family moved over 30 years. Excepting episodic and short visits to Europe, Jérôme never returned. As the family has grown Damien II, has undergone changes over time, Golden Fleece, a bigger sailboat, has gradually replaced for scientific or cinematographic explorations Antarctic Peninsula or polar islands most inaccessible in this area. In 2011, a powerful seagoing vessel perfectly suited to this type of polar navigation was added to the fleet.
Over time, tens of thousands of miles along the Antarctic Peninsula, into the most secret recesses of Marguerite Bay, Jerome made the area his garden. In my eyes, this browser for which I keep friendship and admiration, is the size of the large polar explorers of old, those who inspired us on the benches of our school to tell us that we should not dare wait. Remained faithful to our ideal of kids who convinced us that we can not do much, go far and wide, in love with a harsh environment, it has offered a unique destiny to the earth’s surface, away all vain agitations of our modern world. My personal wish is to have enough water to run for one day testify through a biography that would serve as a reference for other young idealistic dreamers decided to take action, as we were. The loop is closed.
More information directly on the site of Jérôme : http://www.goldenfleecexp.co.fk/
Interview of Jérôme (extrait du DVD « Le voyage de Damien »)