Louis Bernico

Picture of Louis Bernico

Date of Birth: 1883

Age: 69

Place of birth: Brittany

Citizenship: France


Bernicot was born in 1883 in Brittany, famous for its brave sailors and fishermen. Growing up on the shores of the Atlantic, he was already in his school years went under sail. Later, when Louis Bernicot finished nautical school, he served on large sailing ships and became a captain. Almost all his life he has spent on the ships, grasping the top of nautical art.

In 1934, after retirement he settled in his native place. But the measured and monotonous land life was not like sea wolf. Memories of distant seas would not let him rest. Even in his youth, reading books about sea voyages, he dreamed of someday myself to go alone in the vastness of the ocean.

Bernicot designed yacht single project and in 1935 ordered its famous shipyard in Carantec. The yacht was named. The ship was a Bermudian sloop 12.5 meters long, 3.5 meters wide, with a draft of 1.7 meters, with strong contours, purposeful internal layout and a small auxiliary engine.

The prudent navigator installed on the deck of a small wheelhouse, to be able to manage the boat in the worst weather. On the boat were placed tanks with 400 liters of fresh water and 40 liters of fuel for the engine.

Carefully concealing his purpose, without the hype and unnecessary witnesses 22 August 1936 Bernicot deduces from Carantec and heads for the south-west. Close friends said Bernik, the first and most difficult storm he had experienced on the ground, when the family tried to dissuade him from the first, and then simply to prevent translate it into reality. However, all ended well.

Initially, swimming is not afforded Bernicot much trouble. But soon came the first problem. In the rush and excitement of the last days of the sailor did not have time to try out the ship, and now had to pay for it. Unfortunately, the boat did not have the ability to withstand course, going with a fixed wheel, and was doomed to Bernicot. It was necessary to deviate from the plotted course and temporarily interrupt the flight. Parking In Fushpale Madeira Bernicot used for repair. After a short stay sailor went on. Bernicot well endured loneliness. However, swimming alone, and did not leave much free time. Sail repair, especially the grotto, mate calculations, cooking and many other activities taken up all the time. He suffered only from lack of sleep, but it is the lot of all seafarers, traveling alone.

Yacht stubbornly went ahead, following the path. Having passed the Cape Verde Islands, he came in a calm lane, and here something useful engine.

In the tropics yacht body quickly overgrown with algae. Seaman tried using a special brush to clean off these growths. Despite the huge experience of the sea, the first time so close Bernicot watched the ocean life.

Finally, after many days of sailing seemed to welcome the coast of South America, and soon, leaving to starboard La Plata, moored to the dock Mar del Plata. After passing 3000 miles across the ocean, sailor needed a rest, and a yacht - to be repaired.

The modest and even shy by nature, Bernicot avoided the hype and accolades, and most of the time spent on svoemsudenyshke. The shabby old suit and cap, he was more like a provincial teacher than pas fame fanned navigator.

December 22 Bernicot went on a long journey. He sailed along the coast of Argentina. There are strong, often headwinds created him considerable difficulties.

The farther to the south was removed, the harder it became swimming. Two weeks later, the way Bernicot falls in a particularly violent storm. The long hours he has to contend with the elements. January 8, 1937, he decided to at least take a break. But before he could go down to the cabin, like a huge wave covered the sailboat. When you shake the sloop Bernicot got a lot of injuries, but he managed to get out on the deck and save his ship from sinking. When the storm abated somewhat, sailor, despite the pain in the injured spot, began to restore order. Many even had to endure the lonely navigator before he reached Cape Virheies. And his eyes opened the Strait of Magellan, through which 40 years ago was his famous predecessor Slocum.

When completely exhausted Beriiko led to a small yacht harbor and lay down to rest, came the tide (tide in places the height of 13 meters). Bernicot next morning to find his boat, heeling heavily, he sits firmly grounded. The ship has found freedom only with the tide.

With great difficulty rounding Cape Pilar, Bernicot sent a boat in the Pacific Ocean. The yacht was equipped with an engine, but it is constantly capricious, and therefore overcoming the strait was a significant achievement, showing that even in bad weather yacht can go against the strong wind. When bumped hurricane west wind, as well as at one time, he was thrown to the south. When at last a fair wind blew, Bernicot realized that the worst is over. With regret, he passed the island Ost: the entrance to the port was too dangerous.

Life marine hermit entered into a groove. He got up early in the morning and drink a cup of coffee. Around 7 am breakfast: biscuits and coffee with milk. In the afternoon - to determine their location and then preparing lunch: potatoes with rice and meat, and for dessert - jam. He had dinner leftovers from dinner or boiled rice porridge.

Bernicot swam in the Pacific Ocean, suffering from calm, and only a few weeks later came into the south-east trade wind zone.

After a few weeks, she went to the French islands of Gambier and then to Tahiti. Now she had to run hard to the islands of Fiji. Ahead -Korallovoe sea, quiet at first, then a formidable and dangerous. Bernicot passed the Torres Strait, the Arafura and Timor seas. Then move across the Indian Ocean: Mauritius passed and Reunion and finally 6 November 1937 -Durban. Rounding the Cape of Good Hope, and taking advantage of a strong tailwind, he walked quickly along the coast of Africa. Followed by a stop in Pointe-Noire (formerly French Congo), and in the Azores. This part of the trip took place uniformly, without incident.

On a rainy morning of May 30, 1938 came to sail in the estuary of the Gironde. So it ended not so colorful, but at the same time a remarkable journey.

In subsequent years Bernicot continued to walk on his yacht in summer and winter. He died in the autumn of 1952, torn from the mast yacht.