Sylvain Lefebvre


"The sea…if you knock on her door, you will see that if she lets you in, you will never leave again. We go back a long way, the sea and me, and these ships draw us together. Maybe this is why, when I am with her, I never feel alone. I have not actually asked her yet but I guess, if I am still alive today, she must also care for me. Even though, as with any other old couple, neither her nor me will ever raise the subject.

I had sailed for so long on her belly that one day it occurred to me that I had become more a man of the sea than of the land: I have spent more time treading metal gangways and exotic wood decks than walking on dry land. I have not actually finished listing all the ships I helped keep afloat…

Ships like these are no more or have all but disappeared. Some have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, others, which have risen to the skies might well still be sailing above the clouds. Who knows?

Some of them were more fun loving and others more serious in nature but all undoubtedly had a soul; their soul was borne out of human obstinacy − obstinacy is a form of self-belief, this is what drives you to create the impossible…

These ships were impossible. They would challenge nature and scoff at it… Just like a house of cards in stormy seas.

They had a spirit but even encased in steel, a spirit is somewhat fragile. We could compare this to an image on a negative inside a film compartment, which, exposed to the light, disappears only to be replaced by memories… My memories."

Taken from the epilogue of Les Carnets d'un marin , Sylvain Lefebvre (Sylef) Glénat editions.