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02/22/17

“85,000 liters for Science”

A month and a half ago I embarked aboard Tara at Wallis, the most distant place from Paris I’ve ever …

A month and a half ago I embarked aboard Tara at Wallis, the most distant place from Paris I’ve ever traveled.

[After finishing her thesis on data from the Tara Oceans expedition in Chris Bowler’s lab at ENS d’Ulm, Flora Vincent embarked on Tara for the first time at Wallis to sample plankton during the Tara Pacific expedition. She will debark at Fukuoka, JAPAN. ]

 

8-Scientist Flora Vincent shaking her 1,801 sample bottle of this leg of the expedition_Photo Credit Sarah Fretwell_0Q8A5357Scientist Flora Vincent shaking her 1,801 sample bottle of this leg of the expedition © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions 

 

I had just finished my PhD at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris) in Chris Bowler’s laboratory, where I was working for 3 years on data collected during the Tara Oceans expedition. As incredible as it may seem, one can do an entire thesis based on the data from Tara Oceans and never have embarked on the schooner. So quite naturally when Colomban de Vargas and Sarah Romac – responsible for plankton research on Tara Pacific – proposed that I come aboard to collect plankton between Wallis and Fukuoka, I jumped at the opportunity.

The majority of scientists aboard Tara are busy analyzing coral, but Guillaume (the bridge engineer) and I are interested in everything that happens around the coral. What are the physico-chemical parameters of the surrounding water? Which micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye populate the reef? What do they do and how are they different from the ones we find directly on the corals or further out to sea? What is the influence of an island and its population in the middle of the Pacific on the planktonic ecosystem?

Concretely our scientific work is divided into 2 stages. There’s the so-called ‘island phase’: twice a day I go on a zodiac to collect seawater near the coral reefs with the help of the crew – often Julie, Nico, Martin and Jon. Once we’re back on Tara, we do a battery of genetic, morphological and physico-chemical analyses. I had a chance to take samples from the Tuvalus, the Kiribati, Chuuk, Guam and Ogasawara – exceptional places that before I could hardly have pinpointed on a map – unfortunately now threatened by climate change.

 

Guillame Bourdin Flora Vinent Sarah Fretwell 0Q8A1917Tara scientists Guillaume Bourdin and Flora Vinent confer over sample results during their nigh time sample © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

Between 2 islands is the so-called ‘Ocean phase’. During daily voyages in the open sea, Guillaume and I collect water directly as the boat advances, thanks to a series of nets, pumps, and pipes which we put into the water at precise places of interest, with the help of the sailors, by day or by night, in the sun or rain. Afterwards we perform all the manipulations necessary to harvest the micro-organisms present in the water.

This experience in the field is exhilarating: from the 85,000 liters of seawater we collected in just 2 months (of a 2-year expedition!), several years of research and new discoveries will result. Thanks to Tara we can develop approaches and answer questions that only such a large scale of sampling and interdisciplinarity allow. My adventure on board will soon be over, but for Tara Pacific, it’s just the beginning.

 

Flora Vincent

Linked stories

▸ TARA ARRIVES IN FUKUOKA: A FIRST FOR THE RESEARCH SCHOONER AND FOR THE JAPANESE PUBLIC
▸ Questions and Answers with Tara Captain Martin Hertau
▸ “Like every morning”

© Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions
02/20/17

TARA ARRIVES IN FUKUOKA: A FIRST FOR THE RESEARCH SCHOONER AND FOR THE JAPANESE PUBLIC

Press release After several days of  harsh weather conditions, the French research schooner Tara docked in the port of Fukuoka …

Press release

After several days of  harsh weather conditions, the French research schooner Tara docked in the port of Fukuoka on Sunday, February 19, at 5 pm local time. After departing on February 15 from Ogasawara, their last research site, scientists and sailors confronted strong winds and a particularly turbulent sea. The city of Fukuoka, on the southern island of Kyushu, is Tara’s first port of call where the public will be welcomed aboard. 

 

Arrivee a Fukuoka Sarah Fretwell Fondation Tara ExpeditionsArrival in Fukuoka © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

This arrival, highly symbolic for Tara, marks the end of the first campaign of the TARA PACIFIC expedition. For the past 8 months, traversing the ocean from east to west and voyaging 30,000 kilometers, scientists have been examining coral reefs and their ecosystems to understand their biodiversity (including genetic) and behavior as they confront global environmental disturbances.

“Welcoming Tara in Japan is very moving for me,” says Professor Hiroyuki Ogata of Kyoto University, the first Japanese biologist to board the schooner (in 2010) during TARA OCEANS, the expedition which expanded knowledge of the planktonic world and gave rise to 50 publications, including 8 in the prestigious journals Science and Nature. “Today, the universities of Kyoto, Tokyo, Tsukuba, Kochi and Ruykyu have joined us in this new scientific adventure: the TARA PACIFIC expedition will contribute to the research we are conducting in Japanese waters and Ryukyu”.

 

 

This is the very first time the schooner Tara has come to Japan and will meet the Japanese public.
For Etienne Bourgois, founder in 2003 of the Tara Expeditions project, “Among the 30 countries studied during Tara Pacific, Japan is the place where the schooner will stay for the longest time, 2 months, with 9 stopovers scheduled. It is extremely important for us to share what we are doing with the Japanese public, and especially with young people and children…”

Stopovers in Fukuoka, Onomichi, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo will allow the Japanese public to come aboard and visit the boat, meet the sailors, and also discover the 13 years of Tara expeditions through a traveling exhibition, film screenings and conferences. An opportunity to learn more about this still largely unknown realm which covers 70% of our planet: the Ocean.

Linked stories

▸ HEADING NORTH TO JAPAN
▸ Tara will be in Japan for the first time
▸ Track the progress of the Tara Pacific expedition

© Yoshirou Hirano / binmei.jp
02/17/17

Questions and Answers with Tara Captain Martin Hertau

After boarding Tara this past October in Moorea, Martin has sailed Tara almost 8,500 nautical miles through 16 atolls, 11 …

After boarding Tara this past October in Moorea, Martin has sailed Tara almost 8,500 nautical miles through 16 atolls, 11 islands, and 8 countries to reach Fukuoka, Japan in 5 months and a week. In the midst of his demanding schedule, he gave us some of his valuable time to tell us more about his experience as captain.

 

Martin Hertau rencontre le roi de WallisCaptain Martin Hertau  introduces Tara to the king of Wallis © Pierre de Parscau / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

How do you feel about visiting Japan for the first time and what are you most excited to experience?

I’m very excited to visit Japan. In college, I was involved in a film festival where the guest of the year was Japanese. Before that, I did not know much about the Land of the Rising Sun, but I met Japanese performers and saw many different movies. Ever since, I have been fascinated by the mix of modernity contrasted with the weight of tradition. I have always known I would visit Japan one day and luckily that day has come with Tara.

 

Where did you begin this leg of the trip, how long have you been aboard, and what were the highlights of this leg for you?

Scientists aboard have taken thousands of samples, we have completed hundreds of dives, dozens of scientists and crew have been aboard. Often it has been in unbearable heat, working/living on a ship built for the Arctic in the Equator. It has been a very rich experience filled with mixed emotions and an array of experiences. We have met with kings and chiefs, spent the night in a fale (traditional hut), we experienced an island church service, and ate pork cooked in a traditional oven.

 

Chief Scientist Didier Zoccola and Captain Martain Hertau hold an early morning press conference with NOAA in Washington DC_photo credit Sarah FretwellChief Scientist Didier Zoccola and Captain Martin Hertau hold an early morning conference with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – US) in Washington DC © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions 

 

Patience has been key to navigating the Pacific. Long hours waiting in government offices stuck in bureaucracy meant we could talk to locals about their islands, way of life, and how they do or don’t protect the environment. I have spent countless hours on boat papers, obtaining clearance in and out of each port, and trying to obtain CITES permits for the coral samples. I met many people with an array of views on the impacts of climate change. In Tuvalu (waiting for permits), I asked an administrator about sea level rise. She said, “We don’t have a problem with that. God has a plan for everybody and so he has a plan for us”.

I was truly impressed by the Tuamotu’s lush tropical backdrop that fulfills every western Polynesian’s dream. We were often surrounded by humpback whales and even swam with them. The Wallis atoll was magical when we arrived after four days’ navigation, with incredible light illuminating the bright blue water contrasted with the green endemic trees. Before Futuna, 50% of the dives we did found bleached and dead reefs. The feeling aboard was we were witnessing the impending doom for coral reefs around the plant. However, dives off of Alofi Atoll were the best we experienced during the past 4 months – colorful and very alive. We were elated to discover a healthy reef in Polynesia. We have been lucky to do some gorgeous nights dives with sea snakes in Niue, and some tremendous wrecks dives in Chuuk.

 

Captain Martain Hertau and Chief Engineer Daniel Cron upon finding the boats telegraph on Fujikawa shipwreck_photo credit Pete WestCaptain Martin Hertau and Chief Engineer Daniel Cron upon finding the boats telegraph on Fujikawa shipwreck © Pete West / BioQuest Studios 

 

What is the most challenging part of being the captain aboard Tara?

Life onboard is intense. The mission of Tara is very ambitious and it is not always easy to coordinate the science, public relations, tight time schedules, and weather conditions. There is always another destination, each stop over is different, and you need to be in front of the situation for the success of the expedition. It is extremely interesting and there is always a challenge. Weeks have flown by in no time. In this job you are continually passing through so many new experiences and always focused on the next thing that needs to be done. It is only when you stop you have time to reflect and that you can take in the entire experience.

 

What is your plan after you get off the boat?

It’s not sure yet. I’m waiting for an answer about seaman certificate, I have two options that will lead to completely different paths. I will either return to my boat in Guatemala and get some rest or start an upper certificate to update my captain’s license and go to school for the next year !

To be continued….

Sarah Fretwell

Linked stories

▸ HEADING NORTH TO JAPAN
▸ Video:Pacific shipwrecks: toxic leaks into the Ocean
▸ Video : Marine biologist aboard Tara

© Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions
02/15/17

HEADING NORTH TO JAPAN

For everyone aboard Tara, departing from Guam was sweet sorrow, saying goodbye to valued crew and friends, meeting new crew, …

For everyone aboard Tara, departing from Guam was sweet sorrow, saying goodbye to valued crew and friends, meeting new crew, and excitedly heading to Japan.

Tara scientists completed their research in Guam and were able to sample only a small area because of weather. They noted good coral cover was restricted to small protected patches, yet the abundance of coral reef associated fish was surprisingly high.

The departing crew includes memorable friends.

 

Saying goodbyeSaying goodbye to valued crew members, Chief Engineer Daniel Cron, Deck Officer Julie Lherault, and First Mate Nicolas De La Brosse © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

Deck officer Julie Lherault, the lone woman who can captain a dinghy or fix a bilge pump with the most seasoned of boat crew, then put on a dress and prepare the best sashimi dinner you will have in your entire life.
Nicolas De La Brosse, the first mate, who makes sure the boat is running smoothly with everything in its place. He can always be located on the boat laughing loudly at another joke. His love of prosciutto and chocolate cocoa puffs is so great, rumor has it he slept with them under his pillow for the past month!
Last, but not least, chief engineer Daniel Cron who must contort into the smallest, darkest, and often dirtiest places on the boat to ensure that Tara is running smoothly. His infamous dance moves and humorous scolding when you forget to turn off the lights in your room – “This is not Versailles” – will be sorely missed.

 

Saying goodbye to Daiel, Nico, and Julie in Guam_photo credit Sarah Fretwell_0Q8A3165-2Saying goodbye to Daniel, Nicolas, and Julie in Guam © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

While each of these crew have their titles, they all work incredibly hard, tackling any task that needs to be accomplished – even when it is not in their job duty – to ensure the success of scientists and the expedition. It has been incredible to watch them work as a team and an honor for all aboard to have worked with them.

In the port of Guam, we met with our shipping partner Rainer Friedrich of World Courier, and packed 3 months worth of scientific samples (Tahiti to Guam) for shipment to labs around the world. After saying our goodbyes, we had the joy of meeting four new crew members: first mate Nicolas Bin, deck officer Francois Aurat, chief engineer Loïc Caudan, and our artist-in-residence, Maki Ohkojima from Tokyo.

 

Rainer FriedrichRainer Friedrich of World Courier ensuring temperature sensitive coral samples make it to labs well preserved by packing them in thermal boxes with dry ice © Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

 

We raised our sails for a five-day, 832 nautical mile navigation to Japan, where our first stop before we reach the mainland is the southern island of Ogasawara. One of the highlights this year for Tara are our stops in Japan. Since 2009, Tara Expeditions Foundation has collaborated with Japanese evolutionary biology and ecology of microorganisms expert Hiroyuki Ogata, senior researcher at Kyoto University. As the first Japanese scientist to have been aboard Tara, we are excited to work with him in his home country. In Japan, Tara will specifically look at the Kuroshio marine current and its role in larval dispersal of reef fish. Generated in the Western Pacific, this warm current feeds the most northerly reefs on the planet, located in Japan.

Sarah Fretwell

Linked stories

▸ What future for Kiribati?
▸ “Like every morning”
▸ Quality French Cooking is Key to Tara’s Success

© Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions
02/14/17

Video:Pacific shipwrecks: toxic leaks into the Ocean

Chuuk Lagoon, in Micronesia, is famous to divers everywhere for the 52 warships that sank there during WWII, and the …

Chuuk Lagoon, in Micronesia, is famous to divers everywhere for the 52 warships that sank there during WWII, and the spectacular corals, marine life, and diving that has resulted.

What many people don’t know is that these “treasures” are leaking fuel, as salt water corrodes the fuel tanks. They also still contain unexploded ordnance. For the marine life and communities dependent on the ocean for their survival, the ships are now – literally – “ticking time bombs.” Someone must pay the millions of dollars to remove the remaining fuel, before tanks corrode completely, devastating the lagoon and the islands’ way of life…but who?

© Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expeditions

Linked stories

▸ Video : Marine biologist aboard Tara
▸ Sad news from Chuuk - Micronesia
▸ Video: "If We Save Tuvalu, We Save The World"

© Fondation Tara Expéditions
02/10/17

Video : Marine biologist aboard Tara

Ever wondered what it would be like to work as a scientist in a far-off location, researching issues critical to …

Ever wondered what it would be like to work as a scientist in a far-off location, researching issues critical to the ocean?
Meet 27-year-old marine biologist Oceane Salles, who is currently working aboard the Tara Pacific expedition. She tells us more about her relationship to the ocean, the work she is doing, and her experience aboard the Tara schooner.

© Tara Expeditions Foundation

Linked stories

▸ Sad news from Chuuk - Micronesia
▸ Video: "If We Save Tuvalu, We Save The World"
▸ “Like every morning”

© Fondation Tara Expéditions
02/08/17

Sad news from Chuuk – Micronesia

In Chuuk, Tara scientists found considerable coral mortality and ongoing bleaching. Reports indicate conditions may be even worse in Guam. …

In Chuuk, Tara scientists found considerable coral mortality and ongoing bleaching. Reports indicate conditions may be even worse in Guam.

With little published data before 2016 on the conditions of Chuuk’s coral reefs, the Tara team had hoped to find conditions better here than the high coral mortality they witnessed in Tuvalu and Kiribati.

Scientist Till Röthig from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) located in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, noted, “I was surprised to see corals as deep at 30 meters impacted by bleaching.” He describes visual evidence that suggests the bleaching has been going on for some time, “A colony of massive coral was partially dead on top, with algae growing on it, then further down the coral tissue was alive but bleached. At the bottom, the coral tissue still seemed healthy”.

 

Le Scientifique Till Rothig examine la proue incrustée de corail sur l'épave du Fujikawa Maru, vieille de 73 ans
Tara Scientist Till Rothig surveys the coral encrusted bow of the 73 year old Fujikawa Maru shipwreck © Pete West / BioQuest Studios

 

People in the Chuuk government state there was no temperature related bleaching before 2016, and this is supported by data from the NOAA coral watch site. NOAA data reaching back to 2000 indicates no major temperature anomalies before September of 2016. Then, the temperature increased for a three-month period, likely causing widespread coral bleaching and mortality in the region. What Tara scientists witnessed seems to be the aftermath of this acute bleaching event.

Tara will next examine Guam’s coral, following a 3-day, 580 nautical mile voyage. Tara is currently sailing under (Beaufort scale) force 6 winds, under partially cloudy skies, and facing 3 meters of swell. Everyone is learning how to live and work in very rocky conditions, but spirits are still high.

 

bleached anemone
An anemone – a close relative of reef corals – that appears translucent because it has lost its colorful algal symbionts: it has bleached © Till Rothig

 

Located right outside of the “coral triangle”, Guam is historically known for having an incredibly diverse coral ecosystem. However, The Washington Post recently quoted Laurie Raymundo, Coral Ecologist at the University of Guam: “For the past four years (2014-2016) we’ve had bleaching episodes, and we have not had them to this extent in recent history.” Describing her recent shock after dive to view the coral, she posted on Facebook, “I consider myself to be fairly objective and logical about science but sometimes that approach fails me. Today, for the first time in 50 years I’ve been in the water, I cried for an hour, right into my mask, as I witnessed the extent to which our lovely Tumon Bay corals were bleached and dying”.

Sarah Fretwell

Linked stories

▸ What future for Kiribati?
▸ Video: "If We Save Tuvalu, We Save The World"
▸ ITW Maren Ziegler: overview of the sites studied between Tahiti and Wallis

© Till Rothig
02/02/17

Video: “If We Save Tuvalu, We Save The World”

It’s not a fiction, it’s a fact: Tuvalu is sinking. The impacts of climate change (extreme weather, sea level rise) …

It’s not a fiction, it’s a fact: Tuvalu is sinking. The impacts of climate change (extreme weather, sea level rise) are challenging Tuvaluan security and survival.
Interview with Prime Minister, on the future of Tuvalu.

©  Tara Expéditions Foundation

Linked stories

▸ [Tara Pacific] Happy new year 2017 !
▸ [Tara Pacific] Coral takes us back in time

© Fondation Tara Expéditions
01/27/17

What future for Kiribati?

Aware that climate change scientists have given their island approximately 50 years before much of it is uninhabitable, the residents …

Aware that climate change scientists have given their island approximately 50 years before much of it is uninhabitable, the residents of Kiribati are still looking for any way possible to preserve their sinking island nation and their way of life.

 

Local children have thier run of the village and served as Tara tour guides on Abaiang Island, Kiribati_photo credit Sarah FretwellLocal children have their run of the village and served as Tara tour guides on Abaiang Island, Kiribati  © Sarah Fretwell /  Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

As the Tara dinghy coasted to the white beach, a local fishing family sauntered down to greet it. A young boy scaled a coconut tree to harvest fresh young coconuts for the Tara crew.

As Tara’s scientists took in the surroundings of this lost paradise, a lump formed in the back of some of their throats. This island, this community and this family will not be here in 50 years.

Tara scientist, Martin Desmalades from CRIOBE Lab in Perpignan, France summed up the feeling, “You know the science and hear the different opinions about where and how (impacts of climate change) will happen here. Then when you stand on the island with the people and see their life, it is a feeling of disbelief. You hope they can find a way.”

 

Where the green plants and palm trees meet the beach marks the backyard of most residents of Abaiang Island, Kiribati_photo credit Sarah FretwellWhere the green plants and palm trees meet the beach marks the backyard of most residents of Abaiang Island, Kiribati © Sarah Fretwell /  Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

Located between Fiji and the Marshall Islands. the young island nation of Kiribati (pronounced Kir-ee-bahs) is slated for the dubious honor of being one of the first nations in the world to lose its way of life to the ravages of climate change.

To get a local perspective, Tara’s team sought the opinion of Choi Yeeting, National Climate Change Coordinator to the President for Kiribati. Yeeting tells us a common saying instilled in Kiribati youth, “Nangoa Wagm Nte Tauraoi” – Be ready at all costs.

He says, “Now with the ice sheets melting, it may give us less time to build our adaptive capacity and resilience relative to when Kiribati may disappear. It is a big question mark. We may not have enough time to do that fully.”

 

Fishermen from Tabontebike village in Kiribati_photo credit Sarah FretwellFishermen from Tabontebike village in Kiribati © Sarah Fretwell /  Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

The inhabitants of Kiribati – I-Kiribati in Gilbertese – are already feeling the pressures of climate change. More severe storms lead to land disputes, as more and more people move inland after storms, encroaching on other people’s land.

Still, Yeeting says people are hopeful. “We have that fighting nature to stay in our country. You can kind of look at it like being the captain of the ship – you go down with your ship. It is about pride. It is about being who we are. Where would we go? Would we still be I-Kiribati after this? Personally speaking, that is how I see it for my country. I guess my first instinct would be I’m going to go down with it.”

 

Tara crew pose with the local children in Tabontebike village Kiribati_photo credit Sarah FretwellTara crew pose with the local children in Tabontebike village, Kiribati © Sarah Fretwell /  Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

Yeeting is not in denial about the stark reality of having to leave the land that his people and heritage are so closely tied to, to go live in another country, “Who are we if we move away from our country? Are we still I-Kiribati? Do our traditional values still count when we move to another country? Personally, I would like to remain I-Kiribati and still have my own traditions and cultural values. Aside from the science. Besides the scientific fact that we do have 50 years.”

When we asked best case scenario what his future will look like he replied, “I will have kids by then, I will be married, I will live here in Kiribati all my life. That is something that I envision for myself. That is the best-case scenario at this point. The worst-case scenario? The worst-case scenario would be having to evacuate Kiribati. I don’t see a good future for our people if that day really comes.”

 Sarah Fretwell

Linked stories

▸ “Like every morning”
▸ Quality French Cooking is Key to Tara’s Success
▸ WALLIS HANGING IN THE BALANCE

© Nico De La Brosse / Fondation Tara Expéditions
01/24/17

“Like every morning”

6:15am – the alarm goes off. From my cabin, I hear the footsteps on deck of Julie and Daniel, deck …

6:15am – the alarm goes off. From my cabin, I hear the footsteps on deck of Julie and Daniel, deck officer and chief mechanic. They’re off to raise the yankee sail on Tara’s bow.

[After finishing her thesis on data from the Tara Oceans expedition in Chris Bowler’s lab at ENS d’Ulm, Flora Vincent embarked on Tara for the first time at Wallis to sample plankton during the Tara Pacific expedition. She will debark at Fukuoka, Japan. This is Flora’s logbook 1/3]

 

I stagger towards the main dining room and like every morning, glance at the notice board for household chores. Today, I am on duty for lunch with my usual group composed of Nico de la Brosse, the first mate and Pete West, the underwater cameraman. Each scientist is in a group of 3 with a different sailor who gets us started and guides us through life on board, especially for first timers on Tara, like me. I pick up 2 pieces of toast, my coffee and, like every morning, join Dominique the cook on deck. We enjoy our breakfast with a sea view, admiring the sunrise.

No time for daydreaming, I have to set up the wet laboratory at the back of the boat and prepare the equipment to process the daily collected samples.

 

11-Scientist-Flora-Vincent-in-the-wet-lab-changing-filters_photo-credit-Sarah-FretwellScientist Flora Vincent in the wet lab changing plankton filters © Sarah Fretwell / Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

Like every morning, every corner of the boat reminds me that Tara is optimized to be a lab on the ocean. From the forward to the rear hold, from the hull under the boat to the top of the mast, science is everywhere, all the time, hidden in the bowels of the schooner.

Pumping air, pumping water, measuring iron or CO2 in water, Tara is continuously collecting a series of oceanographic and atmospheric measurements that will be used to understand the link between climate change and the state of health of coral reefs.

The relationship to time and space is unique on Tara. At the slightest power cut, Guillaume, the deck engineer, rushes to check that the measuring instruments are still running because the backup batteries give him 3 minutes to react. A badly closed freezer can ruin weeks of work at sea, impossible to redo because it’s there that all the samples are stored before being sent on.  Forgetting to store tubes before going for a coffee break means running the risk of seeing them scattered everywhere because the boat is constantly pitching. Putting down a cup of coffee to pick them up runs the other risk of seeing the cup break into a thousand pieces on the deck.

 

7-Tara-scientists-Flora-Vincent-and-Guillame-Bourdin-sample-iron-in-the-water_photo-credit-Sarah-FretwellTara scientists Flora Vincent and Guillaume Bourdin sample iron in the water © Sarah Fretwell / Tara Expeditions Foundation

 

As every morning, the cohabitation between science and navigation in such a confined space obliges us to anticipate everything. And there is always something unexpected to do at the last moment and it’s already too late! We accomplish things as soon as we have time (put things away, repair, prepare, but also sleep, do a laundry or reply to emails!), especially the sailors who are constantly solicited day and night to manoeuver the boat, but also to help us with sampling. Today we are raising the mainsails. It promises to be a beautiful day for collecting samples, like every morning.

 Flora Vincent

Linked stories

▸ Quality French Cooking is Key to Tara’s Success
▸ WALLIS HANGING IN THE BALANCE
▸ ITW Maren Ziegler: overview of the sites studied between Tahiti and Wallis

© Sarah Fretwell / Fondation Tara Expéditions

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