We often hear this question …
But are you not afraid?

Yes. We are afraid.
Real fear.
The one that seizes your stomach.

The boat is sinking!

I woke up anxious Saturday morning at 5:40 am, no longer able to sleep. The boat had sunk. I had repatriated the mast (with my bare arms… the beauty of dreams (or nightmares) is that anything is possible) and the retractable keel (not realistic at all, our boat has a lead fix keel) and the cabin sank more and more deeply. We no longer had a home.

Yes, sinking is a possibility. Statistically very unlikely, but fear is not rational. It couldn’t care less about numbers.


I did a lot of research on sharks, because I don’t know these beasts and I want to do everything I can to avoid the dangerous ones, in dangerous situations, especially with our three daughters on board. Here is a great resource to learn more on sharks: https://www.sharkwater.com/

I learned of a shark attack recently, which took place in the Bahamas in June 2019, and it scared the hell out of me.An attack of three sharks on a young girl, dismembered before the eyes of her mother. Quite the hour story. This event eclipsed all the reassurance I had found in the research I had done.

In Canada, we live in Gatineau Park, among the bears. We see them every year, without attack or unfortunate incidents. We learn to live among them, respect their environment and hope not to meet a hungry bear, or a mother with her cubs.

I take the same approach with sharks.

Statistically speaking, the odds are higher to die in a car accident than dying in a shark attack, right? But again, fear is not rational.


Each year, at the start of the season, I apprehend docking. The phrase “sorry honey for what I said during docking” applies very well to me! Notice, I haven’t broken anything yet while docking, so more fear than harm.

sorry honey for what I said during docking


Parbleu !, the family sailboat of the time, was struck by lightning while we were in the Gulf of Saint-Laurent. I saw the damage, and we survived it. I’m not afraid of lightning. Our boat is adequately grounded and we know what to do in the event of a storm. We will most certainly survive it.

Alizée‘s fears

  • Missing things at home while I’m away
  • Fail a school year (we have her school’s orientation advisor to thank for this…)

Cloé‘s fears

  • That the boat sinks
  • That my friends forget me
  • That my friends no longer love me when I return
  • Fail a school year
  • Drop my reader in the water
  • Going deaf following an ear infection
  • Lose my glasses

Lou‘s fears

  • Getting eaten by a shark
  • Hurt myself
  • That the boat sinks
  • A storm in which the boat will heal too much

Nicolas‘ fears

  • That the boat sinks
  • A big storm, big sea
  • Ciguatera poisonning
  • Seasickness
  • Pirates

Sylvie’s fear

  • That something happens to a member of our crew
  • That a member of the crew does not enjoy the trip
  • A shark attack
  • A hole in the hull

Pierre’s fears

  • Hit a container floating 2 feet underwater, in heavy weather
  • An invasion of cockroaches in the boat
  • An illness or injury that prevents me from traveling
  • An illness or the death of someone close while I’m away
  • A lost bullet on the American coast
  • That the boat drifts during the night

Facing our fears

We name them, we talk about them, we explore them, we observe them from all angles, we manage them. We face it until we are desensitized. We tool and overcome them.

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