Celebrities in Reunion

Lars Alfredson
Wed 27 May 2020 11:42
Harbor, croissants and life of local celebrity - the last one must be taken with a grain of sea salt

A short update from me + a longer article (after very free interpretation from a local journalist) copied in at the end.

Almost two weeks ago, Dawnbreaker arrived in Reunion. It was amazing to be received with flags and wave, after two months in quarantine in the Maldives and some weeks at sea to get from A to B (with a fantastic stop in the unique Chagos, where the sharks were too curious and lagoons hadn't had visitors other than us for many months).
Now we've lived two weeks in the harbor of Le Port and live the cool life on croissants and French wine - what a joy! The island is beautiful, lush and with volcanoes and mountains, and the population is a contradiction of the prejudices of unwelcoming French. When you walk past each other on the sidewalk, you greet with a bonjour and people come by the boat to look at us. Yes, we thought we were tourists, but it turns out we are the attraction: " bonjour! Welcome to Reunion. We saw you on television!"

There's even been a journalist over for an interview and a terrible lot of pictures. And he has chosen to throw all the pictures in the article - both the wonderful ones of Lars, who tell about his 14 years long world circuit, and also those of a messy table and Ivan's favorite chair and me standing there looking a little morning confused. What we told him he has also taken pretty lightly. For example, I apparently think the Maldives had been a bad experience, and Lars would like to take tourists on a sailing trips for € 25! We have no idea where those words come from - not from our mouth, but now it's in the newspaper. Along with Lar s' email address. So who knows - maybe we'll be the tourists, the attraction and the guides.

I've run the article through google translate for interested parties. Otherwise there are some pictures of boat, Crew and a messy table. 😄

The article in google-Translated from French:

Swedish pleasure boats welcome in Pointe des Galets

A few days ago, two Swedish boats stranded in the Maldives added to the harbour of Pointe des Galets marina. A welcome stopover in the middle of an epidemic, made possible thanks to the intervention of Evelyne Veil Charlanes, Norway's honorary consulate in Reunion.

" Dawnbreaker " owned by Lars Alfredson and " Hafsorkersten " owned by Niklas Klantz are the two pleasure boats that have put to port after a fortnight crossing from the Maldives, where they have never been able to dock.

" We were about twenty boats and we were caught in the Maldives for a month and a half ", says Lars Alfredson, the owner of " Dawnbreaker ", who brought two Danish passengers, Malene and Ivan.

" We anchor and were quarantined and forbidden to leave the boat. So it was impossible to draw cash to buy food. Some people could help us, but it became unbearable in the long term."

Lars Alfredson tried to make arrangements to sail to other countries, but his requests were not successful due to the Covid-19 epidemic, where the ports were all closed. As citizens of the Schengen area are authorized to come to Reunion for special reason, a Norwegian woman on board one of the boats contacted the Norwegian consulate in Reunion, who then took steps to receive these boats.

"Norway is not a member of the European Union but is a faithful partner in the European Economic Area and Schengen" said Evelyne Veil Charlanes, Norway's honorary Consulate in Reunion.

" European cooperation and solidarity are more important than ever. As a maritime hub in the southwest Indian Ocean, French, that is also European, La Reunion, has once again proven its capacity for solidarity and action in favour of its citizens ", she said.

The Reunion Prefecture and the Sea Directorate have therefore allowed the reception of these boats under the supervision of the Harbour Master's office and the customs authorities. "I would like to thank the French administration and all interested parties for this united resolution" emphasises Evelyne Veil Charlanes.

Jérôme Belhuerne, main harbour champion, was present to welcome the boats and explained: " The discussions started a month before arrival. They arrived after more than 45 days in Maldives without touching the earth, and more than 15 days at sea - the health risk for corona has therefore been assessed and low, fortnight quarantine was not necessary ".

Lars Alfredson, 68-year-old long distance sailor, left Sweden more than 10 years ago, on an endless world tour aboard "Dawnbreaker", his comfortable 19,50 meters sailboat capable of holding 5 max. people in the cabins. His wife joins him from time to time by plane at stopover, but he is usually the one who travels back and forth. Last time he saw his wife was in October, he tells.

On a globe he puts us in trace with his incredible journey - really impressive. "It's not the man who takes the sea, it's the ocean that takes the man" sings Renaud, but with Lars Alfredson it's actually the man who takes the sea... And there's not what he won't get past. The Swedish navigator still has a lot of stops on his schedule before he returns to Sweden one day. At "Dawnbreaker" two Danes, Malene and Ivan, together with Lars, travelled on the sea stretch. The lovely Malene is a music teacher: " I asked for a sabbatical period of 6 months to be able to complete this cross with Lars from Indonesia," she says.

" I love the sea and it's true that the stopover in Maldives is a bad experience, but we were super well received in Réunion, which I look forward to visiting says Malene. "and then I hope to be able to move on to Madagascar - a country I would like to visit before returning to Denmark".

Lars Alfredson returns to Sweden by plane as soon as possible while his boat is being renovated in Reunion. He returns to continue his journey...

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