First of January 2021

Nikonos at sunrise

We started the year right with Grégory. Meeting at 8am at the Dossen, we said. Time to grab the 5/4 wetsuit. I had not much time to try it before thanks to lockdown. This is my first dawn patrol. This is also my first swin with fins and my first roll with the Nikonos V. I loaded a Kodak Portra 400. Like it mattered at all. We shall see if I can get anything decent. I had to test it, I didn’t even knew if it was leakproof in the ocean. The roll came out dry, so I get it is.


You need to be brave multiple times for such a good moment. First, you need to get out of bed in the morning fresh air at 6:30 am. And as always, when I have to wake up early, the night was weird. I woke up at 2, 3 then 4am. Classic Yannick fearing to miss the alarm. Actually, I was right this time cause I set it up for the day after… Second, you need to put on your wetsuit when the temperature feels like freezing. I was already cold in my jacket. My fingers were numb even without being in the water. I try to put on the hood that Greg brought me. I was close to puke. Fuck it, let’s go without it.

Sit on the beach, fins on and walk backwards to the ocean. We see the light slowly comes into the sky. The sun comes out slowly from behind a dark cloud. Time to go. That feeling of cold water, freezing your brain. Ice cream headache it is. With a hood, it would probably be better… Not my fault if I have a big head. Waves are small and I can stand. This helps a lot when you have a big fear of the ocean. Kind of a choc therapy for me with tiny pushes. I try to swim with the fins and not stand. It helps getting ready for places where I can’t stand. It ain’t easy for me. It will take time. It feels so good to be in the waves and try to capture them. I have only 36 shots. I feel relaxed and focused. My wetsuit helps me to float more and not freeze. The more I shoot the better I feel. The cold doesn’t bother me anymore, except when I try to dive.


It was a moment I was waiting for for quite a while now. What better way to start 2021 than shooting my first sunrise in the ocean and battling my fears. 2021, you look good from here. We didn’t swim more than 300m and I always could stand but it was still magical to me. This connection to the ocean, this new tradition, it all felt right. Salty water is the best of all drugs. Thanks to the ocean and Grégory for this first dawn patrol.

Oh, by the way, I forgot. Third, you need to be brave when you take off the wetsuit, that your skin is wet and the air is still freezing. I had a lil something for that, a good old cup of black coffee was ready in my bag.

For the first scans of Nikon, you will have to wait a bit. I just sent it to the lab. Waiting is tough but worth it.

This post comes from my notebooks and the pictures were taken by Grégory

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