log book - First Impressions aboard Tara
First Impressions aboard Tara
After a year and a half working in Paris, helping teachers and children get to know Tara and her adventures right in their classroom, I'm now enjoying the pleasure of being on board. We're sailing towards Dublin where Tara will participate in a scientific symposium.
It's July 7th around 3pm when we set off from Lorient, and I'm very enthusiastic. I want to participate in as many maneuvers as possible, take part in life on board, and fill up on experiences and stories.
But things don't always go as planned. After a few hours of sailing my stomach starts to revolt. No way to live normally; moving around is difficult, and I only feel well in the open air on deck. As soon as I go inside the cabin I feel nauseous. The smell of fuel, food or cleaning products makes me sick.
Difficult to live life fully on board. Being active is almost impossible, so at 8pm I go to bed. I manage to sleep despite everything, and my night is disturbed only by a change in engine speed and direction. The result is that the boat moves even more. I cling to my bunk and go back to sleep hoping that sleep will bring me salvation.
There's no salvation, but a nice surprise. Tara is anchored in the Bay of Lampaul-sur-Ouessant. I have many memories of this island, hours of walking around and birdwatching. What a pleasure to come down to earth. With any luck, seasickness will forget me when I get back on board.
The walk did me good, but as soon as I'm on the boat, the seasickness returns. It attacks my stomach as we sail out of the bay. At this point the Sea of Iroise is chaotic, the offshore swell runs into different currents, waves take off in all directions. Seasickness is having a great time and firmly grasps my stomach. Every odor turns my insides out. I stay out on deck, and lie down until it's over. Bad strategy: it's cold outside and I start to shiver.
My traveling companions advise me to go inside to get warm, and put on a patch.
I'm no longer able to resist, so I finally get into my warm bed and apply the famous life-saving patch. When I wake up it's 10:30 pm. I didn't see the time go by. I get up and my stomach seems strangely quiet. It's almost weird not to feel my stomach reacting to the slightest roll. Have I been liberated from my seasickness? Apparently so.
I can even have a snack. Everyone goes about their business – some go to bed to get some sleep before their night shift. Others are chatting in the cabin. I go up to the command post. Screens are turned on, radar, sonar and other instruments sparkle in the night. Many freighters cross our path in this sector, so we must watch very attentively.
Around midnight I go to bed. The patch has good effects on my stomach, but makes me feel a little drowsy. The night goes smoothly; the sea is very calm.
Upon awakening, a new surprise: we're approaching Cornwall, Newquay exactly. Gabrielle, one of the Tara Oceans scientists, lives there, so we'll give her a quick hello. This is the chance for me to set foot for the first time in Great Britain. Time to have tea with Gabrielle and her friend, to breathe in English air, to be amazed by the architecture. Then we sail off again for the last leg towards Dublin.
Gradually I come back to life. I can draw, take photos, have discussions and also write. I'll be able to share my impressions of this trip.