This week: Tripoli (Libya)/La Valette (Malte)

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12 November 2009

This week: Tripoli (Libya)/La Valette (Malte)

Trials and Tribulations :

Our stop-over in Tripoli was extended for 2 days to allow the announced 30 knot winds to pass by.  We  also encountered at the same time diverse technical problems, i.e. the kitchen fridge suddenly went on strike, but more seriously, the desalinator pump failed, endangering our fresh water supply. Thus, during our stop-over, we took on 6000 liters of water, which unfortunately, turned out to be overly chlorinated and only suitable for boiling pasta. To compound our problems, the Thalassa satellite antenna used for daily communication failed to respond and the crew’s telephone satellite unit began to emit burnt odours requiring emergency shut-down. Internet and telephone were inoperable for 24 hours.

The good news ?  Everything is working again !
Julien, our chief mechanic, resuscitated both the desalinator pump and the fridge while awaiting spare parts to arrive. Our satellite communications were re-established and we were able to leave Tripoli at the break of day in rough seas and 20 knots of wind.
This week will be exceptional, for Libyan waters have only rarely been sampled by foreign scientists. We were able to obtain authorisation to sample at two different locations. The data obtained from the near coastal waters are not expected to be particularly rich in plankton, but, however, the data will be avidly appreciated by  the international scientific community. 
We will be stopping over at Malta on friday for a couple of hours to welcome a new scientific crew  before continuing on our journey to Croatia.



14 people on board

SCIENTISTS:
Mike Sieracki (US). Flowcam inventor, zooplancton filtration
Sara Searson (New Zealand). Oceanographer engineer
Johan Decelle. Protists filtration
Franck Prejger. Filtration of virus and bacteria
Alan Deidun (Malta). Sampling of nutrients and pigments

CREW:
Hervé Bourmaud. Captain
Olivier Marien. Second captain
Julien Daniel. Chief engineer
Fabrizio Limena. (Brasil ).Deck officer
Denys Simon. General assistant officer .Customs inspector
Shirley Falcone (Antigua). Cook

MEDIAS:
Clément Gargoullaud. Cameraman
Mathieu Bretaud. Editor
Sacha Bollet. Log book

TARA EXPEDITIONS:
Rachel Moreau. Authorizations & Environment