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Januar 05, 2017


© Christophe Stramba-Badiali

Erwan Le Lann returned not long ago from his second part of the Maewan adventure and we've asked him some questions. You can read more about the Maewan adventure here

1. How do you feel being back in the everyday life?

Oh my God…… It’s hard and I didn’t expect it like that. I spent 5 months this year sailing on Maewan through the North West passage. It’s wild and remote. I had enough time to feel and understand the wild life and to be connected again to the “outdoor”, mother nature.

I needed two weeks to bring my brain back in our civilization and still few subjects or “mandatory” actions driven by our society look outdated to me.

2. For most of the time you were not alone on the board. Could you tell us more, who you invited to share this adventure? (tell also why they were with you, about all the sport achievements you made)

Maewan Adventure Base is not a personal project but it connects different passionate people who are bringing on board their own specific knowledge like climbing, sailing, skiing, mountaineering.

© Guillaume Vallot

To be able to sail, discover new places, anchor the boat, go on land and practice a certain activity, you need luck and various knowledge, which I don’t have all.

17 people came on Maewan this year, Jerome Niard, Julien Ithier and Medhi Niard to work on Maewan to prepare her for the long North West passage, Christophe Stramba-Badiali (Multi) a photographer, Liv Sansoz, Eric Chatrian for climbing, Jeanne Gregoire to help the difficult navigation, Sean Villanueva and Nico Favresse to climb and to brake the ice when we were stuck, Emeline Son to sail and to find the way to entry countries like Russia, Eric Loizeau, Nico Boidevezzi to sail, Fabienne d’Ortoli to kite surf Bering Sea…

© Christophe Stramba-Badiali

3. Even if they were your friends, Maewan is only 11 meter- long, how was the sharing such a small space with others?

It’s all a story! Inside a small boat you get the chance to know pretty well your friends and this is one of the nice things of Maewan, you have to open your mind to the others to keep the crew together. On six months of trip I can calculate on one hand the numbers of hours I spent alone.

In the same time it’s also quite easy to go on a part of the boat, where nobody is bothering you. Like when it’s windy and stormy you go in front of Maewan outside, seat on the fold dingy and there you are alone. You have to fight indeed against water, cold, wind, shaker, but you don’t see neither hear the other …

© Maewan

4. It is very impressive what you did. This adventure also means a lot of equipment. How did you manage to take on board everything? Do you have some special tricks how to pack?

Equipment and packing on a boat is THE question. I’m thinking like that: we are in remote places, with no possible help or rescue, you only rely on yourself and Maewan.

It means there is a lot of equipment and not a lot of room to store it. Everybody is bringing the minimum items, everything is calculated and I’m strict with consumption of every single item (food, elastic band, oil, gas, water, power, soap….)

Everything on board has its exact place and it's safe to keep the thing where it has been decided to be, so we can find it straight away when needed. There are hundreds of little storage places in a boat, but I added a big and large PeliCase white box on the roof, which we used for all activities equipment (skis, climbing gear, kites, paddle, mountaineering shoes…)

© Christophe Stramba-Badiali

5. How about food? Was it difficult to cook on board for more people?

No food = no life

Cooking is impossible or easy depending of who is doing it. And it becomes difficult anyway when you have on board vegetarian, no gluten, no whatever people.

The only way we could manage was to use LYOFOOD products and French cheese (20 kilos of Beaufort, Parmesano, Tome de Savoie, Cantal, blue cheese)

With LYOFOOD everyone (sick or not or vegan or gluten free) could prepare a meal, we could have our fruit and vegetables needed and that you can’t find in the North. We have lunch thermos to keep the food warm until the person outside has finished his job and can come to eat.

© Christophe Stramba-Badiali

6. Already two years have passed since the project started. Do you still have the same motivation, same energy for the next two years?

It’s an everyday adventure, every day something new and different things are happening. We are sailing so moving ahead all the time toward new people, new horizons, THE unknown for us.

I have the same motivation and the same passion for this unique adventure and I wish everyone to be able to learn the world as I’m learning it today.

This two last years we have been sailing in the North, next year we’ll change climate and start to deal with too warm!!

© Maewan

7. What is the plan for the next part? Can you tell us who is going to be on board as next?

The itinerary is always under imagination but we already know what the first next step will be.

We’ll start with Xavier De Le Rue, Adrien Coirier, Emeline Son, Bertrand Delapierre, Nicolas Boidevezi and I from Petropavlosk-Kamchatski to Japan. We want to ski volcanoes on Kuril Islands. We’ll be a bit too early for sailing, but still good for skiing, it will be challenging to sail, approach Islands and draw new lines from tops, but worth trying it! The group is well chosen to have the perfect crew to face all situations.

Then we’ll follow the Japan coastline from the North to the South looking after new rocks and boulders for rock climbing with Sachi Amma, Mélissa LeNevé, Fabian Bulh, Marcos Costa and Emeline Son.

From there Maewan will sail down South to New Zealand, a long way that I’m going to sail solo for half of it.

8. What is this project giving you?

Freedom, new way of living, better understanding our world, tons of new opportunities and a problem to solve every day!

© Maewan

9. Did you have any moments of doubts?

I had one doubt for a moment while we were leaving Aber Wrac’h harbor in France last year. But I think there are always a lot of solutions and what you are planning is only one of them. So, no stress and we’ll find out what to do when it will be the right time to take a decision.

10. What was the best highlight and the worst moment of this adventure?

I can’t answer, I have very hard time to compare to the situations as all of them were very different.  I still love sailing in the storms we caught and I hate discovering a leak after we hit a small iceberg.

© Maewan

11. Scientific research has been mentioned as being one of the objectives of the journey. What kind of research has been conducted?

With Mobility who has been supporting the project since the beginning, we have been working on the ways how to deal with stress, lack of sleep, life in group on board since last year. Every day we collected data for the last 6 month.

The unique data, recorded by us, is going to be linked with the work people do in companies where they have to face stress, trouble of sleep, group tension in order to improve the everyday life at work.

The program is called “Improve your way”

12. Did that journey change anything in your way of seeing life?

Yes, a lot, and this is only the beginning. I’d love to be smart and aware enough to help find a better way of living for humans on our planet.

There is no area on the earth where you don’t see an impact of humans, it scares me to realize it. I was hoping to go far enough to escape from human destruction but I’m afraid it’s too late, it doesn’t exist anymore. I meet too many people, mostly in cities, who won’t be able to realize it as they stay to far away from nature.


© Maewan

Traveling like that helps me to understand better our world because I’m starting to know what are the links between countries, ocean, wind, cold, hot, rain, animals, sun, humans and so to see our world differently.

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