Wanderlino Arruda
Djalma Souto


101 Days of Solitude

Wanderlino Arruda

Suddenly and unexpectedly comes the desire to write about things and happenings that we remember, even though distant in time and not having anything to do with expressing our own personal views, they keep coming back to us. They are ideas and memories that float on the limit of our consciences…and remain there, like clay, molding and molded by our force of will, apparently arranging the date for its birth, natural and definite. Many personalities live this way and live among us, companions of the day and night, principally in hours of meditation, or when relaxed, we lose the measure of what is real and pragmatic. They are the dreams, the elaboration of thinking, the readiness to transfer what happens inside us to paper. Perhaps it is the only manner we know of, to share with you, dear reader, what we have in our intimate selves.

In this way, the literary necessity to write about the Brazilian pioneer Amyr Klink came to me. That young man from São Paulo, who crossed the Atlantic ocean, leaving the African continent from South Africa and coming by boat to Bahia, in South America…alone. I will never forget the one hundred and one days of solitude borne by a man so young, so courageous; to the point of realizing one of the most exciting, difficult and dangerous adventures of our century. To tell the truth, it seems that I, never having been solitary, I never could stop from offering my solidarity to someone who is capable of isolating themselves so far from their fellows and connect themselves so close to nature and its dangers for so long a time. Amyr Klink, author of “ One Hundred Days Between the Sky and the Sea” is a modern Brazilian folk hero.

They say that there is no sadness greater than that of solitude. I don’t really know if this is true, because, sometimes a little distance can be very important to all of us. Sometimes there is nothing better for us than a short period of personal isolation, when we can let our thoughts vague ethereally, hovering over nothing in particular, resting without ties or any other obligation. But the sadness of solitude for Amyr Klink was quite different. There was the sadness of the day, of the immensity of the sky, of the clarity of winds splashed with salt water, and there was the solitude of the nights, the fleeting companionship of stars, the black of the darkness or brightness of the rays of the silvery moon playing upon the waves of the cold, indifferent sea. The solitude of Amyr Klink was not a silent solitude, not at all. Radio operators worldwide sent out words of encouragement and solidarity, wrapped in the magnetism and friendship of many different languages.

Amyr was in love with his precious boat, the Paraty, especially constructed for the trip, which, of course, naturally followed the ocean currents. Passing by South Africa, they would unfailingly bring our sailor to the coasts of dear old Bahia…But Amyr’s solitude wasn’t quite that lonely. Even though dolphins, seagulls and whales don’t talk, they liked keeping company with him. Exhibitionist dolphins, curious seagulls and magical phosphorescent whales also traveled with him, exchanging tales upon the salty waves, each at its own pace, in an inedited crossing of seven thousand nautical kilometers, from the deserted coasts of Namibia to the dancing beaches of Salvador, the land of all
saints. There was also a solitary ship, which, with crew cordially waving offerings of help to the adventurous sailor and was dismissed.

Of course, there were a good number of storms, lots of water coming from the sky, much lightning and thunder, gale winds and waves much, much bigger than the Paraty. But none of this could deter our intrepid adventurer, the most solitary of all Brazilians and the most fearless of all our sailors. And the voyage, the voyage was a wealth of teachings, so comforting to the soul that, now with him so close to his native soil, Amyr interrupted his charted course, rested, and demonstrated that he hadn’t the least idea of going on shore. Of course, he was living in his world, the world of waves and sky!
A great hero is Amyr Klink, now author of “100 Days Between the Sky and the Sea”.

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