20 March 2018
After collecting coral samples in Hong Kong, Tara headed out to sea for Taiwan, with science on the agenda, and a relay of crew members.
Everyone was smiling as we dropped anchor. Finally, they would be able to dive in this deserted bay of Crescent Island, northeast of Hong Kong. Since Indonesia, scientists on board were unable to collect even the smallest bit of coral for lack of authorization. But in the Hong Kong archipelago, a few miles from the city and its gigantic buildings, research finally could begin again.
After Crescent Island, Tara headed to a second site, also chosen by the University of Hong scientists sailing aboard Tara on this short leg. Lamma Island, west of the city, is much less green than Crescent. Large orange rocks adorn the cliff that frames the schooner. Open to the sea, this area is much more agitated than the first. After the morning sampling, Tara made a last detour to Hong Kong to drop off the University of Hong Kong scientists before heading north to Taiwan.
Tara and the crew left Hong Kong in order to go sampling coral in the archipelago – © Agathe Roullin / Tara Expeditions Foundation
Back to Keelung
Facing headwinds during the entire crossing, it took us 2 and a half days to reach Kaohsiung on the island’s southwest side. This first stopover will be short: It’s here that some crew members disembark and new ones come aboard: a new first mate, a cook, on-board correspondent and 5 scientists. The scientific program in Taiwan will be considerable. 3 sampling sites are planned along the east coast — Kenting, Orchid and Green Islands — before arriving in Keelung around March 27th. Taranauts are looking forward to a reunion there. Less than a year ago, in May 2017 the schooner moored at Keelung’s dock for a week-long stopover and meeting with the Taiwanese.
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