log book - Ban Ki-moon at sea on Tara
Ban Ki-moon at sea on Tara
A historic day for Tara Expeditions. After a press conference Thursday at the United Nations where Eric Karsenti, scientific director, presented Tara Oceans Expedition, today Tara experienced a landmark event.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, headquartered in New York, came aboard Tara early Saturday afternoon.
Yesterday his visit was still not certain. But in the late afternoon, the information was confirmed after the security services of the United Nations completed their control and gave the green light. At 2 pm on Saturday, February 11th, Ban Ki-moon accompanied by his bodyguards, his wife and his spokesman Eduardo del Buey, arrived at North Cove Marina in Battery Park. agnès b, Romain Troublé, project director of Tara Expeditions, and captain Loïc Valette greeted them on the dock. Tara's engines had already been already purring for a couple of minutes. The departure manoeuvre was carried out efficiently and Tara left North Cove Marina where we had been moored for almost a week.
With a smile on his face, Ban Ki-moon listened intently to explanations about the masts, sails, and scientific equipment. This man with diplomatic powers equivalent to several heads of state was visibly savouring the moment. Captain Loïc at the helm, Tara descended the Hudson River in 15 minutes, then sailed up the East River. The Brooklyn Bridge and midtown Manhattan paraded in front of the crew, already charmed by this illustrious guest who engaged in friendly conversation with everybody.
Ban Ki-moon then came inside Tara to discover the living space especially designed for polar expeditions. Accompanied by Eric Karsenti, he learned about the challenges of our mission, and all the scientific equipment on board. He then spent considerable time in Tara's “dry lab” discovering images of the amazing but unfamiliar world of plankton.
In view of the upcoming Earth Summit in Rio, Ban Ki-moon stressed his personal commitment to issues concerning the oceans, and invited Tara Expeditions to help define the role of oceans for mankind in the various initiatives promoted by the United Nations. As we approached Chelsea Pier where Tara will be docked until departure for Bermuda tomorrow, Ban Ki-moon completed his tour of Tara's deck and saw the impressive winches.
One last handshake with agnès b, an appreciative salute to the whole crew with words spoken in French, saying that he was “very moved by this visit,”and the Secretary General returned to land, leaving us on a cloud. Tears of emotion in the the eyes of agnès b, the French designer and Tara's owner -- testimony, after this historic visit, to the long journey accomplished by the schooner, her partners, the teams of sailors and scientists -- a journey not calculated solely in nautical miles.