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During these two years of preparation, I dreamed of this moment, as I slowly left the coast of Gran Canaria, to contemplate the skyline looming and experiencing a thousand lines of ocean blue, and sublime pleasure.

My parents and those who know me, have tried everything – from persuasion to deterrence – fearing that dream could turn into a nightmare, remaining at the mercy of the loneliness, exposed to 5500 km of the vagaries of sea and wind. Even if everything seemed tiring, uncomfortable and dangerous, I only had one answer to them : we must love, love adventure, the sea and transcendence. I do not want to just exist, I want to live …

At 24 years of age, stubborn, tenacious and passionate about the ocean, I haven’t listened to anyone. I wanted to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat. I wanted to be the first woman to accomplish this feat. And March 10, 1998 at 9:00 GMT, I put to sea.