Close-up of a typical day in the life of Geraldine Danon on the Mexico-Marquesas leg of the expedition, August 2010, and her combined roles as wife and mother, crew member, and very special reporter on the Fleur Australe.
I get up for my daily live broadcast by telephone on Europe 1 radio. There is a shift change; Philou takes over for Denis, who goes off to sleep.
After my broadcast, I write for two or three hours until the children wake up.
I make breakfast while Philou drops the lines in the water, adjusts the sails, cleans the deck, makes minor repairs, checks the automatic pilots, and makes sure everything is in working order, particularly everything mechanical or electronic. The morning passes quickly. Loup and Nina straighten up the Fleur. I watch the little ones and do some filming.
I make lunch by cutting up fish, which we often eat raw, prepared in various ways. We eat at around 1:00 p.m.
When there isn’t much wind, which has been the case for a few days now [Editor’s note: between Mexico and the Marquesas], Philou heaves to. The children jump in the water and bob around, attached to a line. I join them to cool off some, because it has begun to get very hot. The girls take a bath on deck in their little tub.
There is no time for napping; I write my daily blog entry and prepare my radio feature for tomorrow. I film the surroundings and reactions of the crew, take a few photos, and exercise a little to stay in shape.
I prepare dinner: more fish, some pasta, and sometimes cake. Once the children are in bed, I finally have some time to read while Philou puts things away up on deck, pulls in the lines, sends off some e-mails along with my blog post, peeks into the engine room to check fuel and water tank levels, turns on the desalinator, and runs the generator that gives us our power: the boat needs electricity to run the refrigerators, automatic pilots and computers, and to make drinking water.
Philou adjusts the sails. He is relieved by Denis.
During long crossings, we all sleep in bunks at the rear of the boat, because it rocks too much in the forward cabin.
Between 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning, Philou sleeps in the main cabin to keep an eye on navigation. During long crossings, there’s no time to get bored on the Fleur Australe.