Loire. In a kayak, this Air Force commander wants to reach Roanne in Saint-Nazaire in 5 days

The day is still very far from having pointed the tip of its nose. However, Commander Pascal (1) slips into his kayak, greets the firefighters one last time who lodged him and helped transport his kayak to the shore, before disappearing into the night, carried away by the current.

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In 5 days, this commander of the Air Force commandos hopes to have reached the mouth of the Loire at Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) in order to establish a record for descent of the river in total autonomy, and in winter. But this anecdotal record is not the only motivation for this 37-year-old officer to embark on this adventure.

“I took on this challenge because I am recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder. And rather than complaining, this challenge allows me to re-energize and reconnect me to nature, ”explains the 30-something with great modesty.

A year ago, Commander Pascal therefore decided to go down the Loire. A river which passes under its windows, since it resides in the region of Orleans. “I have done over 2,500 km in a kayak since the start of my preparation. And I have already recognized the 750 km between Roanne and Saint-Nazaire ”, details the officer who leaves in total autonomy.

He will filter the river water to drink

Indeed, he carries 60 kg of food and equipment in his kayak. But no water because it will filter the water from the Loire before drinking it. And he’s planning to camp on the shore when he’s tired, either after 17 or 18 hours of paddling a day.

Commander Pascal hopes to reach the Loire estuary on Friday. “It’s an average of 150 km per day. This is achievable because the current is strong right now and the weather forecast is for a favorable wind that will push me. It is for this reason that I decided to try this adventure in January, even if the conditions are harsher because I will be paddling at night for several hours, ”explains the 30-something, whose military experience in hostile terrain. allows you to calmly approach this adventure.

“I like to confront nature and the elements. This allows you to get to know yourself and see what you are worth. “

(1) As Commander Pascal is still active, we do not mention his identity for security reasons.

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