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Welcoming everyone at sea, the credo of the AJD Marseille

Welcoming everyone at sea, the credo of the AJD Marseille

Do not look for the meaning of the three letters AJD, they do not correspond to anything significant. Recovered on the license plate of the first van of its volunteers, they became Association Thursday-Sunday, a joke.But the vocation of the AJD is also promising that its acronym is meaningless: to navigate the whole world, and especially the audiences that sailing can help. In Marseille, the association has an antenna and two boats for five years. And one of them, a small 11 m pink boat named Largade, is none other than the sailing boat of Florence Arthaud, donated by her daughter to the association after the death of the sailor.

“The first idea is to sail people who need it, that it can help.Here, for example, we propose to the Ulis classes of the Marseille Arthur-Rimbaud college (which welcome pupils whose handicap requires a care, Ed), the week, we welcome many children and teens who have problems, this is the first idea in Marseille, “said Rene Barthelemy, one of five regular skippers AJD Marseille by a nice Sunday sunny afternoon.

On weekends, the public is still expanding. Because for a symbolic annual membership of € 10 to the association and a helping hand from time to time to maintain the small fleet, everyone can be a teammate. On board Largade and Rana II, a pretty 15 m long turquoise hull, we meet people with various profiles, such as Elvira, a young thirty-something Spanish recently hired at the Research and Development Institute. Or André, a 29-year-old Belgian, a specialist educator interested in volunteering at AJD. Or Elisa, a forty-something, theater and film costume designer. At sea, we speak as much of sailing as we are, in a relaxed atmosphere.

“These boats are used mainly to maneuver people who want to learn to navigate, to brew a little bit of the world,” says Rene, “although the teammates all have in common in the end: they are people attracted by the sea, less by luxury, and more by usability, simplicity. ” And when summer comes, the AJD organizes cruises for everyone: mini-trips for three days for children, weeks of sailing for regular crews, across the Mediterranean. A way to have fun at sea … And perhaps also to attract volunteers, because the AJD, like many associations, lack of arms. “We are looking for people who are willing to invest in. No need to know how to navigate,” concludes the skipper.

At the origin of the AJD, there is a man and a place. The man’s name is Michel Jaouen. Catholic priest, he finds himself in the 50s to take care of young delinquents, out of prison, drug addicts. The Breton with a strong character takes care of young people in galley, treats them with salt water, widens his perimeter, and founds in 1951 the AJD to which he gives a base, at Aber-Wrach in northern Finistère. There cohabit the two schooners of the association, a shipyard of reintegration thanks to the trades of the sea opened in 1999, volunteers and regular team members. Father Jaouen died on March 7, 2016. His story was told by his niece Chantal Loiselet and Patrick Deschamps in a book entitled “Dare to be happy!” Father Jaouen’s “Bel Espoir”.

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