Lessons from the embers of L’Enfer

TOWT et “Croix du Sud III” au Festival des voiles de travail à Granville
24 August 2017
TOWT repart en mer !
1 March 2018

Lessons from the embers of L’Enfer

On Wednesday, the 15th of November - late morning - the so-called Norwegian houses at the Southern corner of the Place de l'Enfer in Douarnenez have spectacularly burnt to the ground. Everybody is fine.

Inside, ancient Roman clays have heated again, memories of the lives of Georg-Ferdinand Vedeler's descendants, of the Norwegian Douarnenez saga, of Gaëlle's and Gildas' families have dramatically vanished.

TOWT were storing our cargo - which was offloaded on the neighbouring mole: wines, ales, oils, rum/gin/cognac, tea, all delivered here from various parts of the world by sea and by sail.

Diana, cofounder and my partner, our two year old daughter Olympe and I had been living there for about 18 months. Within just a few hours, our home, our intimacy, our simple souvenirs have either joined the spirit of the Ancestors in the sky or are covered with soot and rubble. Considering personal tragedies, we feel privileged that we are alive and well.

While uncertainty still prevails as I write, it is difficult to envisage middle or long-term perspectives. However, as a life reflex, from the ashes, life shall come again, and from life hope arises, and from hope, future achievements. Is this a sign? If so, of what? This is all too early to tell.

Within a few hours, Olympe received more clothes and toys than we could have imagined. The ladies of Douarnenez have embraced us and I have not lacked razors or cigarettes!.

From the simplest message to the most significant support, an entire city - and beyond - has stood up against fate, in pure solidarity, fundamentally human, has reassured us, brought us the moral strength to go alone in the ashes and pick up the remains of our "life before", but most importantly to look beyond: the company, the sailing ships, the routes, Port-Rhu - in this Shakespearian drama, more than ever "the show must go on!"

From deep inside ourselves, from our memory of the premises, by the relevance of our activity in Douarnenez, and in the name of the future, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I will strive not to disappoint you.

Today more than ever, Dalc'h mad!

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