Tara is back in Lorient
This Saturday, December 7, 2013, Tara returned to the port of Lorient, marking the end of the Tara Oceans Polar Circle expedition – a 25,000 km tour of the Arctic accomplished in about 200 days. Tara returns with a treasure of more than 5,000 plankton samples collected in the Arctic region.
The schooner docked at 6:30 pm in a very festive atmosphere, with the harbor lit-up especially for the occasion. More than a thousand people from Lorient were present. Norbert Métairie, President of Lorient Agglomeration was there to welcome Tara, agnès b, Etienne Bourgois and the Tara team.
Tara's return will be celebrated on Sunday at 2:30 pm on the stage of the Paris Salon Nautique, in the presence of the entire crew.
Friday morning the coast of Brittany already loomed on the horizon, but it wasn't until Saturday noon that Tara anchored near the small Island of Groix, just opposite Lorient. We docked here to welcome aboard Romain Troublé, secretary-general of Tara Expedition, and agnès b, main sponsor of the expedition. 2 technicians also came on board to set up a multitude of spotlights destined to illuminate the boat for her arrival by night in the Lorient marina.
At 5 pm the engines of the whale were started again and we headed for Lorient. In the setting sun, several boats accompanied us to the sound of fog horns. A speedboat approached to drop off Loïc Vallette, one of 3 captains of the expedition. We are now all aboard, impatient to cover the last few miles separating us from our home port.
At night, spotlights installed on the deck flood the schooner with a bluish glow. “Glacier blue!” a sailor calls it, in keeping with our trip around the icy North Pole. On board, the excitement of returning to port increases as we approach the city lights. We hear the first applause of the crowd, chanting the name of our boat. The applause increases as we gradually approach.
At exactly 6:30 pm, we're finally at the dock, welcomed by the large crowd that came to greet us after our 7-month expedition. Etienne Bourgois, President of Tara Expeditions and Norbert Metairie, Mayor of Lorient, come aboard to complete the family photo, in the presence of many journalists. After a few speeches, our arrival concludes with a general "Happy Birthday." The end of this expedition also marks the tenth anniversary of Tara expeditions. Though the Arctic voyage is now over, we expect that many other scientific journeys will take place in the years to come. Tara's adventures are far from finished.
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