Paris (AFP)

Forced to retire even though she was performing well in the Vendée Globe, Isabelle Joschke is preparing to land in Brazil and does not intend to leave her fellow traveler: "My place is beside my boat" , she told AFP.

Sunday, Isabelle Joschke (MACSF) must dock in Salvador de Bahia, after two weeks of particularly difficult navigation when she had to face a storm with her very damaged boat (damage to the keel which forced her to abandon) .

A long journey between disappointment, fear and a certain nostalgia.

"I'm not unhappy to have had this time to change mode. It's very confusing to dive into the Vendée Globe, without restraint. To get out, you need a kind of decompression airlock, especially when you not come out with the outcome that was desired ", underlines the Franco-German sailor still at sea.

- "Not in a hurry to arrive" -

"The Vendée Globe is tiring but it was really exhausting, so I need to sleep, to understand what is happening to me, to accept it, to mourn the expectations I had. that I have time to think about all that and still be alone with my boat. Coming back to shore, seeing lots of people disembark to help me, it is also leaving my solitude and my bond with my boat. I'm not particularly in a hurry to arrive, I know that when I arrive I will gain something and I will lose something else, ”she confides.

She remembers that moment when she immediately understood that the damage was not repairable.

She was sailing up the South Atlantic, it was January 9th.

"There were great emotions. Already, there is a notion of urgency, I was in the process of entering a storm that hit me and which was the biggest storm experienced during the entire Vendée Globe, I was in a survival mode. I accepted very quickly. And it is not because I accepted that I was not sad, and not disappointed ".

Is it fatalistic?

"I don't know what that word is. I took the start of the Vendée Globe knowingly, I knew that at any moment everything can change. It was part of the contract. When it happened I accepted and nevertheless I was extremely sad, extremely disappointed ".

- Bring back your boat -

Was she afraid of allowing herself to be overwhelmed by her emotions to the point of putting herself in danger in the face of the storm that was beating down on her?

"There are a lot of beliefs about letting yourself be overwhelmed by your emotions, we are so afraid of our emotions in our current world that we cannot imagine being able to welcome an emotion and at the same time be in action. Yet yes, it was like that. I experienced my disappointment immediately and nevertheless I knew that I was in danger, I also had to deal with fear and I managed to do all that at the same time. time, ”she continues.

After going through all her trials, the sailor felt that bringing her boat back to Brazil would allow her to finish her Vendée Globe.

And no question of taking advantage of this precious time to project yourself.

"It's been two and a half months that I have been immersed in this Vendée Globe, my life on land, I have skipped it a bit. I have immersed myself body and soul in this story and I want to get out of it gradually. 'are strategies for not seeing certain things, "said Isabelle Joschke, who will remain in Salvador de Bahia during the repairs.

"My place is next to my boat, very clearly. There is really a huge bond between my boat and me. My place is on board this boat, for the moment. And I am very happy like that".

"And if the boat can leave by sea, maybe I'll bring it back," she breathes.

© 2021 AFP