4 sailors in lockdown but still full of energy!

Posted on 07 May 2020.

In September 2019, four engineering students embarked on an Atlantic tour to explore tomorrow's renewable energies. After several months at sea and several weeks stranded in Martinique, they look back on this doubly unique experience.

An extended stopover in the West Indies for the “4 sailors full of energy” – the translation of the name of their project “4 matelots pleins d’énergie”. These future engineers set off in September 2019 from the Gulf of Morbihan to sail the Atlantic, with the support of Living Circular. But with the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, Camille de Veyrac, Charlotte de Fouquières, Côme Houdeville and Paul Thomé had to drop anchor off the coast of Martinique and remain aboard their sailing boat, the Kerwatt.   Far from wasting their time, they decided to take the opportunity to compile their advice because they had already had to learn to live by themselves on the open sea for weeks at a time.
Provisions, division of tasks, activities... They share their experience of confinement and their tips! Discover their advice in the video.
  The four future engineers had already made stops in Senegal, Madeira and Cape Verde before heading to the West Indies where, in the weeks leading up to the lockdown, they had the opportunity to explore Martinique and Guadeloupe. With the same ambition: explore, facilitate and promote access to sustainable and carbon-free energy.

In March, for example, they met with officials from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe) in Martinique to gain a better understanding of the island's energy strategy. By 2030, the authorities hope to be energy self-sufficient.

These renewables have a major drawback: they are intermittent, which means they are dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining. But energy production needs to be continuous. 

Hence the idea explored by Green Energies to use the island's electric cars both as a means of transport and as storage batteries. During production peaks, the vehicles connected to terminals store the electricity from the solar panels and will later release it during periods of lower production.


It's a great way of promoting access to renewable energy across the world since, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 2 million people die every year because they don’t have access to electricity. The problem comes from rudimentary cooking systems using coal and open hearths in small homes where indoor pollution has some very serious consequences.