Sunday, June 28, 2009
GERALD d'AUBERVILLE, ADVENTURER
"We say that with time, the worst memories become good memories. Nothing, not even time, will change my memories. They will always be horrible.
I'll never forget the capsizing, especially the one when the boat took a full backward somersault. Scared to death, I was thrown against the bulkhead screaming like the animal within me. I thought my final hour had come.
I'll never forget the struggle for my life, the strength I exhausted in a few minutes. The taste of sea water in my lungs. The specter of death and I lived all of this alone, alone, alone.
I have chosen the ocean as my field of confrontation, my field of battle, because the ocean is reality at its toughest, its most demanding. As my weapons against this awesome power, I have human values, intelligence, experience, and the stubborn will to win.
When life is only a fight for survival, glory and fortune are ridiculous motivations. All the gold in the world and the praise of others are worthless when I ask myself, will I get out of here alive?
I challenged the Pacific, but I didn't win. She let me cross."
This page from his book describes the horrors of his crossing the pacific in a sailboat. He did the Atlantic and came out a winner. His book is available at the Ilwaco History Museum because he washed up in Ilwaco, underweight, aged and unsteady, but successful. His own story redefines "successful".