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                 The ORS Int. is the official adjudicator of ocean rowing records for Guinness World Records

 


Extracts from the book

Introduction

Good Luck
Ahead of Me...
Rowboat Calling...
With My Head...
And If All This ...
Survival
Typhoons
Indelibly Inscribed
Do You See...
The "Heavenly Bum"
One Second Longer

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One Second Longer

The sun, which had seemed no longer to exist, reappeared. A bird passed overhead, a odd-looking bird with ridicu-lously short wings. Ah, a land bird. Off to starboard, a little leaf was swimming, and I took care not to touch it with the blade of my oar as I passed by. A butterfly contemplated alighting on Sector, then changed its mind and flew off. Speaking of Sector, I knew that something was wrong: my boat had become light, so extraordinarily light.
And then I realized it actually hadn't: I had been dream-ing, there must be something strange...

Say, I hadn't noticed, the shoreline had moved in, the steep, sloping riverbanks were covered with Oregon pines, a lot like the shores of the Aurey River not far from Kérantrë. Then, as in any dream, the most unexpected characters began to appear. To give the illusion of being real, they were setting out on various boats. A while ago it was Ber-nard. And there were Professor Boissonas and Dr. Chauve. Look, there was one of my sisters, and, over there, someone who looked like Francois, talking to Louis-Noel. . . . And a whole host of others - what a nice group! They were hold-ing a sign that said WELCOME TO ILWACO. What an odd name! They looked as if they were having a celebration;
no, that wasn't quite right. They were all looking at some-thing, as if they were trying to understand. .
Strange, this dream, with all those people and all those colors. Make sure to take a close look, so that when I woke up, if I hadn't forgotten, I would write all this down in my log. What a great collection of memories to be savored tomorrow morning, when it was time to start rowing, alone once again, with my mind in need of a fresh supply of images. .
I had the feeling I was rowing into a dead end. The water was so smooth, I had to be sleeping really soundly, I had to be far away, very far away from reality; this hadn't hap-pened to me in a long time. How long would it be before I would suddenly be jerked awake by the pull of the sea anchor, by a slightly larger wave than usual, which would break the spell? Or, indeed, had the Pacific granted me a truce; had it at long last taken pity on me?
If this dream had really been perfect - but wasn't that asking too much? - it would also have Cornélia, Guil-laume, and Ann all standing there, at the edge of the dock.

As for me, I was going to glide in to a silent landing, without uttering a word. I would remove my sticky slicker, take off my foul-smelling boots, put my oars back carefully where they belonged. I would try to gain some time, but above all I would make no sudden movement that might wake me up from this dream, this dream in which I felt so good, wanting to make it last a little longer, just one second longer. An eternity.

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