Sébastien Rousseau is a professional skipper and specialized naval technician. During his childhood, a very limited passion for the academic world was soon replaced by a strong will to travel the world. After passing his exams, he left Paris behind and headed South, to the coastal town of Sète. He has been working in the nautical world for many years, which gave him a solid experience in the management and maintenance of sailing boats. Very passionate about the marine world, he played an important role in the Foundation’s very first expeditions with Philippe Henry and Julien Pfyffer.
Tell us about your first encounter with the sea…
It wasn’t a single event, but more of a succession of journeys to the sea when I was a kid. I fondly remember my yearly holidays near Marseille and our low tide fishing sessions as well as play time in the waves during the storms. During my teens, I spent two years in Normandy, only 500 meters from the shore. It definitely had a great impact on me. My love for the marine world has never left me since.
What drove you to follow the adventure with the Octopus Foundation?
I believe it is a rare chance to participate in such varied and rewarding projects. The sea offers an unlimited source of knowledge, and the Octopus Foundation understands this. I simply couldn’t dream of something better: to share precious moments with exceptional people that truly care about the future of the planet. It restores your faith in mankind.
Tell us about your role at the Octopus Foundation…
My task is to manage everything taht is related to the navigation, in coordination with Julien Pfyffer, the founder of the Octopus Foundation. I make sure that our sailing yacht is always in perfect condition to safely leave port. I also resolve all the logistic and technical problems that we might face during our expeditions, and always look for the simplest and most effective solutions. The end goal is to reach the mission’s objectives using the less resources as possible. Furthermore, I learn how to dive and pilot drones, which broadens my competences.
What is your best memory shared with the crew of the Octopus Foundation?
Honestly, there are too many unforgettable memories. Nevertheless, I can mention the kindness of the people we meet along our expeditions and the sincere interest they show about our work. It’s very touching. Maybe my fondest memories are those that bond us to the generation of sailors that one day have marveled at the same magical scenery at which we marvel today. I remember of a night crossing, near the Stromboli that delighted us with its regular eruptions all through to the morning when we were finally able to discover it in all of its glory.
What do you do with your spare time, when you aren’t sailing?
My main hobby is boat racing. I’m never very far from the sea. I need to see it, to smell it, to feel the sea sprays… With my family, we enjoy activities in nature. I love to see my son grow up in this environment, to get a feel for all of the beautiful things that nature offers us.