En route for the Mediterranean
This was the final week before departing for the Tara Mediterranean 2014 expedition -- the occasion to fine-tune the preparations started two months ago. The scientific equipment embarked this year is less bulky than on the previous expeditions.
For the sampling, we’ll focus on plastic, and have neither the battery of nets nor the CTD-rosette which served during Tara Oceans and Tara Oceans Polar Circle expeditions. The wet lab was dismantled, and we have fewer measuring instruments, therefore reduced wiring, networking, and power requirements.
We’ll still have to be as independent as possible during these 7 months -- able to take care of all daily maintenance and deal with unforeseen circumstances without changing the planned route. We've made an inventory of key parts and machinery, and drawn up a list of what is essential to have on board.
Some changes have also been implemented to divide the dry lab in two -- a wet area for filtration, and a dry area for sensors and computers.
As often happens, an unforeseen job was added to our work list – repairing a fuel tank leak. This last hectic week in Lorient took place with sunshine and good spirits, and the help of 2 people from the Tara Expeditions Paris office: Myriam and Pierre-Marie.
And then D-day arrived, sunny as last week, but with a light breeze from the east to assist our departure.
A few dozen people came to say goodbye and amongst them, journalists seeking the last interview before the Mediterranean. It’s always nice to feel accompanied and supported.
With the mooring lines cast off, Tara left the dock and the foghorn sounded for a last goodbye to Lorient and the people who came to see us off.
And with the submarine base behind us, we left the channel, hoisted the sails and headed towards the Mediterranean. A new expedition, Tara Mediterranean 2014, has just begun.
Tara Mediterranean 2014 expedition departure
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