From Tahiti to Fiji, in September-October 2016, the Valaisan designer Ambroise Héritier boarded Fleur de Passion for nearly two months. Besides the illustrations he began distilling, and on which he is still working, back in his studio on the heights of Sion, he delivered the following text written on board. A sort of report according to the navigation of the south Pacific that led to the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga.
Eight days of sailing.
Eight days without seeing any other living beings around us.
Apart from "Jean-Edouard," a crazy blue nose who squatted behind the boat one night, and some flying fish that came to die on the bridge, there is no one on the horizon.
The journey begins to undo us, bit by bit.
It forces us to go where we are not used to going.
In the midst of this great blue nowhere, "Fleur de Passion" is just a tiny speck of nothing on the map.
The show that unfolds before our eyes is often breath-taking.
Day after day, night after night, we let our solitary souls wander following the wind’s fancy.
Some pots and pans we thought we had left on land, are still trailing behind the boat.
The trip jostles, sculpts, erodes our beings to the rhythm of the navigation.
There is no possible escape.
Some have paid to be here, others are paid to be here, and others are here against their will.
If the horizon is the same for everyone, the questions we ask it are personal.
Each of us launched our bottle to sea.
Mirroring days flow into each other, there the individual experiences are, to varying degrees, echoes of our individual paths.
Like a sponge, I am trying to absorb snippets of stories sketched along the navigation.
A few snatched sketches,
lines on a notebook,
and hundreds of photos on the clock.
I will relive these stolen moments, on the blank pages of my drawing table, when I return to my studio.
It's been eight days living in the rhythm of quarters.
Monotony lulls the minds,
the bodies are exhausted,
melancholy takes over hearts,
Beings seek each other,
It is September 18, the sun is high, the ocean ... cobalt blue.
On deck, adrift, a flying fish dies.
A seventh designer boarded Fleur de Passion in Papeete early September 2016 as part of the cultural program of the Expedition: In Magellan’s mirror. Ambroise Héritier, from Granois near Sion, swapped the mountains of the Valais for other peaks, those of the South Pacific atolls between Tahiti and Fiji. And in a striking play of lights and shadows, he offers us a first dazzling vision of the island of Moorea, captured only a few hours after departure. Somewhere between sunrise and sunset, we cannot tell.
The ridges cut into a sky in a palette of greys that echoes the blackness of the water of, perhaps, an early morning. It is for us to decide. One can already feel the intensity of the sun, somewhere behind the island.
From Tahiti, Ambrose will stay on board until Fiji via the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga. So he can carry us for long while yet in this journey of salty sea revisited.
The Geneva-based designer is back from Tahiti where she sailed for two weeks on Fleur de Passion, in June 2016. She provides a colorful depiction with a sharp and funny approach, sometimes bittersweet, of this paradise, which isn’t one for everyone as it is clear despite its obvious beauty. " In residence" aboard from Papeete to the southern islands and back, she followed the expedition, and those doing it, describing with warmth and humanity the characters and the atmosphere usual on a ship, let alone on an old rig as Fleur de Passion. And at the stopovers, she lets us share encounters, feelings and impressions of a remarkable journey.