Carol Soucy, Chair of Sept-Îles Port Authority, was excited and proud to announce that Port of Sept-Îles’ offer to buy the Hermel has been accepted. Mylène Paquette used this oceangoing rowboat on her 129-day trip across the Atlantic in 2013, an unprecedented exploit covered by the international media.
“This achievement, which took courage, tenacity, determination, and skill, ties in perfectly with the values of Port of Sept-Îles,” said Mr. Soucy. The rowboat will be showcased at the Port’s new administrative building, to be constructed in 2015, and will be a key attraction for residents, schools, visitors, tourists, and cruise ship passengers. “I would like to congratulate the Port on its bold move to acquire the Hermel. Like its captain, the Hermel is well known. It will be an invaluable point of interest for Sept-Îles and will add another quality tourist attraction to the town. I’m confident that residents will enthusiastically adopt this symbol of success and perseverance,” added Sept-Îles mayor Réjean Porlier.
Mylène Paquette of Montreal became the first North American woman to row solo across the Atlantic, from Halifax to Lorient, France, a journey of 2,700 nautical miles. She arrived in Lorient on November 12, 2013 after 129 days at sea, capsizing ten times and facing waves of over ten metres.
Her rowboat, made of fibreglass, foam and resin, was equipped with two watertight cabins, a water maker, two solar panels and batteries, as well as safety equipment (life raft, immersion suit, beacons, flares) and communications and navigation gear (autopilot, GPS, AIS, Iridium satellite phone, computer and internet access). She relied on her physical and mental strength to paddle to her destination, overcoming the considerable obstacles that were thrown her way.