21 September 2015
After a week of encounters and exchanges in London, Tara is on the final stretch this friday, September 18, returning to Lorient, her home port.
Leaving London and descending the Thames River at sunset, Tara spent a first quiet night at sea and woke up in the morning in French territorial waters. Life on board is regaining its normal rhythm. Everyone goes about their daily activities and also takes some time to relax. A moment of recreation on the deck gives us the opportunity to catch sight of the slender fins of common dolphins. Moments later, a whole pod is playing in front of the schooner’s bow. Much to everyone’s delight, our traveling companions escort us with style and rapidity. “The presence of dolphins has to be merited!” points out Captain Martin Hertau with a broad smile.
A true moment of grace when light and clouds come together offering a spectacle of great beauty, worthy of an impressionist watercolor. White and anthracite clouds gather on the horizon, with just enough wind to fill the sails so the schooner manages to dodge the next rainfall.
The next day, sailing goes smoothly. The crew is getting slightly impatient however. We’re laughing, teasing each other as the end of the journey approaches, and we all begin to think about the near future, once docked at the Breton port. Preparation for upcoming work on the schooner is already in people’s minds.
Loïc Caudan, all-around sailor and mechanic aboard will reunite with his family here – an eagerly awaited moment for this Breton by adoption who chose to settle down in Lorient. During the period of work on the schooner, this future dad can enjoy being with his family while waiting for the birth of his first child at the end of the year.
Another night on board and for his last shift, Loïc will follow the route towards the Finistère. In the area of Ouessant with its strong current, named the “Fromveur”, sailors must remain vigilant and not miss the signals. A delicate passage in the Chenal du Four, a precise course aligned with the Pointe Saint-Mathieu and the Kermorvan lighthouse, and it’s done! In the starry night, the Pointe du Raz can be made out in the distance. With her sails billowing and an average speed of 7 knots, Tara will have to navigate a few more miles before passing the Bay of Audierne.
For our last afternoon at sea, the sun is shining on the Brittany coast. In the wheelhouse, a tune from Django Reinhardt. Tara is speeding up. Opposite the island of Groix, the crew decides to hoist the biggest sail, the 200-square-meter spinnaker. Full speed ahead towards a welcoming Lorient. After a 3-week pause for maintenance work on the schooner,Tara will head for Nantes to join the first Green Week organized in the region, dedicated to sustainable development. A stopover scheduled from October 15 to 24, before Tara sails to Paris for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21).
By Pauline Planté, correspondent aboard
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