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 idea developed soon after the arrival of the expedition in Tahiti in June 2016 after exciting meetings and exchanges with local scientific, environmental and socio-educational representatives. These became a concrete program a few months later: two primary school classes from Papeete and their teachers had the privilege - and joy - to board Fleur de Passion for a one day sea trip on 25 and 30 August. Sixty children aged 12-13, for whom this introduction to sailing was an amazing first experience. The fundamental issue, however, was another. It was for them to understand the marine world from a closer point of view and to extend in this new and exciting way the advocacy work done in the classroom. Mission accomplished, if we can judge by the stars shining in the eyes of these "buccaneers" for a day when they returned to port.
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.