23 November 2009
This week: Dubrovnik–Athens
“This week we have 2 limitations, explains Fabrice Not, our new chief scientist. “The Adriatic Sea is divided into the territorial waters of Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece.We have the right to do samplings only in Croatian & Greek waters. The second limitation is that we have to pass through the Corinth Canal at a precise time, reserved in advance Wednesday morning.
A first station was done yesterday in the company of three Croatian marine biologists. We went to an area 12 nautical miles north of Dubrovnik, with depths of 300 metres. It’s a spot where Croatian teams take samples every year. The data we collect can therefore be compared to information gathered in preceding years. This station especially interests Tara because it’s located in the middle of the current moving up from the Mediterranean towards the Adriatic, along the Croatian coast.
The scientific team would also like to try sampling plankton in the current descending the Italian coastline. It’s a difficult operation to find the exact area, just a few kilometers long, located in between different territorial waters. We’ll be using onboard captors which systematically measure water temperature and salinity beneath Tara’s hull. We have to find a zone that’s suddenly colder and less salty than the surrounding waters.
The third station, Tuesday, will be less tricky. We’ll approach Greece to take samples above a depth of 2000 metres. “This point is located in the heart of a typical water mass extending between the Adriatic and the coast of Libya. We’re at the border between the west basin of the Mediterranean (cold, less salty, mixed by currents) and the east basin (warm, salty, and poor in nutrients).
Finally we’ll have the opportunity to cross the vertiginous Corinth Canal carved into the cliffs between the Peloponnese and continental Greece. We’re looking forward to a week full emotion!
15 people on board
-Fabrice Not. Chief scientist. Sampling of carbonates, pigments, oxygen…
-Sara Searson (New Zealand). Functioning of the CTD
-Chris Bowler (Great Britian). Protist filtration
-Christian Rouvière. Zooplankton & imagery
-Christophe Boutte. Virus & bacteria filtration
-Hervé Bourmaud. Captain
-Olivier Marien. Second captain
-Julien Daniel. Chief mechanic
-Fabrizio Limena (Brazil). Deck officer
-Denys Simon. General officer
-Shirley Falcone (Antigua). Kitchen
-François de Riberolles. Cameraman
-Jérôme Bodenes. Editor
-Sacha Bollet. Logbook
-Remi Hamoir. Painter