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je viens d'un pays qui n'existe plus, je viens d'un paradis perdu


o characterften it does seem such a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat (Mark Twain), and now we are imprisoned in the realm of life, like a sailor on his tiny boat in an infinite ocean. Grew up in a fishing village, with sea on a side, it's not until the reading of books such as Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island that spark in me the wishes of travelling beyond that blue ocean horizon. Limited in many ways by my current life, career... the wishes come back in form of a recreational sport: small trips here and there to help training my body physically, and to nurture my mind by the power of immense water, all with my self - built boats.

Vũng Tàu, June 2014

First "longer range" trip from Sài Gòn to Vũng Tàu. By road, the two cities are more than 120 km apart, but by the waterways, the distance is only 60 km: about 40 km on rivers, and approximately 20 km crossing the Gành Rái bay. Slightly supported by the tide, light wind, small waves and somewhat good weather, I finished the route precisely as planned within 12 hours of paddling on Hello World - 2, my 14 foot kayak. A very nice little journey to help testifying my endurance, my preparations and efforts are rewarded with those beautiful sightseeings along the way. After the trip, I know I can endure much longer than 12 hours of paddling if necessary. Lessons learned and experiences gained from this trip would help in preparing the upcoming longer voyages.

Đồng Hoà, June 2015

2 - days paddling trip, the first day: from Sài Gòn through Lòng Tàu river to Gành Rái bay (40 km), then 20 km on sea to Đồng Hoà, the town - let across the bay on the opposite side of Vũng Tàu. I finish the first day within 12 hours of paddling, facing a tropical gale in the last several kilometers, a good chance to horn my "acrobatic" skills, an enrollment into an "advanced kayaking course" indeed 😃. The second day: 10 km crossing the Đồng Tranh bay to join Soài Rạp river mouth, then going upstream back to Sài Gòn again, 55 km in total. A very challenging day facing gales, and fighting against a strong current, with many hours paddling in the dark. I reach home at half past midnight after 16 hours of paddling, exhausted!

Kayaking through the 9 mouths of the Mekong river, June, 2016

Initially, I planned for a kayaking trip to reach Côn Đảo island (85 km from the nearest shore) in 7, 8 days. The planning turned out to be flawful, and I'd to stop short after crossing all the 9 mouths of the Mekong river, a 220 kilometers paddling trip in 9 days (only 7 paddling days). Various reasons lead to the failure: a badly - leaked spray - skirt, a failed Garmin device, a broken signal light, unfavourable weather and also my under - prepared physical condition. However, I still enjoy the 9 days trip very much, a extremely good time camping and cooking out, paddling in various conditions, from calm sea, heavy rain to thunderstorms. This first longer journey taught me lots of things, and I believe with these lessons learnt, I will succeed in reaching target the next time trying.


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