• Gabriele Musante

    Moitessier

    The Long Way of a Free Man

    Bernard Moitessier was born in Indochina, now Vietnam, from French parents in 1925. Since he was a child he has been attracted by water and his first navigations were with fishermen in the Gulf of Siam. But he also knows the war, the Japanese occupation, the Vietminh revolt and the Second World War. Then he arrives for the first time in Europe, discovers Paris and meets Marie Thérèse, his first love. He takes her to Indochina, discovering, however, that the country he loved has changed and, when he begins to think of leaving him, here is the escape route: the first boat, the Snark with which he ventures in the China Sea. But the boat is in very poor condition, Bernard must return to Saigon, but now infected by the passion for the high seas. He finds a small junk and baptizes it Marie Thérèse, starts off again, but even this time the navigation does not last long and will shipwreck on the atoll Diego Garcia. Here he builds the second boat, Marie Thérèse II, with which he sailed to the Caribbean where, however, is again shipwrecked. He returns to France and two friends convince him to write the first of his books destined to become famous, A vagabond of the South Seas, but here he also knows Françoise, the woman he will marry and with whom he will sail for a long time. The rights earned give him the opportunity to design the new boat, the Joshua. The boat with which he will pass Cape Horn for the first time, before returning to France and discovering that the Sunday Times wants to organize a regatta to sail around the world solo and non-stop, the Golden Globe Race. He participates in the race and when he is about to close in on the lead, he amazes the world with a message launched on a ship: “I continue non-stop to the Pacific Islands because I am happy at sea, and perhaps also to save my soul”. So he continues to sail and returns to French Polynesia where he has a son with his new partner, Ileana. Years later he is surprised by a cyclone in Mexico, while on board in the company of actor Klaus Kinski, Joshua ends up stranded. The support of many friends will allow him to realize the last boat, Tamata, and to write the book that will be his testament to the world, Tamata and the Alliance, before discovering the disease that will take him away, but in peace, as sailing in a calm sea between constant winds.

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  • Gabriele Musante

    Gabriele Musante has always accompanied the activity of illustrator and artist with the professional commitment in the nautical world. He has collaborated with various publishers and magazines, including Bolina for which, in addition to the many illustrations that have animated the pages of the magazine, he has created some comic stories dedicated to the most famous pioneers of navigation.