Answers to our readers’ questions

©

4 December 2013

Last week, we suggested that you ask us questions. We posted your questions in the main cabin, amidst the many messages of friendship you sent us. Thank you everyone! Now it’s time to answer:

Mare Nostrum Project – How has the return trip been going? Are weather conditions good?

We expected a difficult voyage – taking such a northerly route at a time of year when stormy weather is usual. In fact we’re experiencing a rather unusual transatlantic crossing. We will have accomplished the entire voyage from Saint Pierre and Miquelon to Lorient between two anticyclones, which means  rather calm seas and some beautiful sunshine, despite a little rain these last few days. So, we’re finishing an unusually comfortable crossing!

Christophe Michaud – Do you take measurements with a Geiger counter at certain depths during your travels and stopovers ?

The measurement of radioactivity might have brought  us some surprises, but it was not among the objectives of our mission. Besides the fact that the Rosette was already overloaded with sensors of all kinds! However, we regularly took measurements not directly related to plankton, for example the presence of mercury in the atmosphere or plastic in the water.

Pascale Piron – How can we remain positive, confronted with climate change, pollution, overfishing? What can an ordinary person do to try and reverse this “trend”?

Although the answer is necessarily subjective, we can at least say that these upheavals are now  inevitable. We must become aware of them in order to reduce the impact on our planet: it’s the first step towards changing our lifestyles. We can’t continue to consume as if we were still only 3 billion people on Earth, when in fact this figure has doubled. Aboard Tara, we’re already making the small efforts that should become the norm: buying responsibly, sorting our waste, reducing consumption of water and electricity, etc. A drop in the ocean, but…

Guy Loi – What’s your first feeling returning to port: proud of the work, or joy at finding your  family after so long?

Surely a perfect mix of both! Once we’re docked in Lorient on Saturday, we’ll all at least be relieved that this risky adventure was successful. We’ll be arriving on time, without major incidents, and in addition there’s a priceless treasure of samples on board. From a more personal point of view, it’s obvious that everyone will be  happy to see his family on the pier after several months of absence for some. Returning to land – especially after a 2-week transatlantic crossing – is always a high point, and the occasion to regain ground that’s no longer moving under our feet!

Yann Chavance… With the participation of the entire Tara crew!