31 August 2009

J – 5

It is Sunday, so the only work to do is putting in order. wiring, repairing, stacking, connecting, degreasing, unblocking, loading, cleaning, sorting out, sweeping, painting, washing, varnishing, bolting, screwing, etc., nothing at all!!!

Just one week before departure, every single day is precious. The dry and wet labs for the moment look like queer crammed closets full of equipment.

Green beans, corn, spaghetti, vegetable stew, peach syrup, etc. Marion, our cook makes sustainable provisions by stacking the cans under our beds like a Tetris food market.

To follow on Monday: the return of the scientists onboard

Hervé the Skipper, today is absent, Samuel, prickly beard and blue eyes, calmly dispatches the tasks of the day. He came back to Tara 2 months and a half ago, in the shipyard site while the boat was being reconditioned. Onboard, everyone is fully aware of the short time left before departure, and no one balks at the task. Samuel therefore does not seem to play the role of a leader but rather that of unifying and organizing the crew.

Samuel can work at the bridge just like at the machine, in rigging and even in scuba diving. His first steps into the world of expeditions date back to 2004 in the eastern Pacific with Clipperton, the biodiversity mission-inventory. Consequently, Samuel holds a sailing licence and the sailing master 200 status.
This is when he heard about Tara and joined the boat on the following year for a first expedition to Georgia. It is at this time that he obtains the professional scuba diver’s diploma.

A new year, a new expedition and a new qualification: Samuel joins Tara in the drifting project on the icepack by previously taking time to train on the machine (750kW mechanic) and becomes second mate and later chief engineer.

For Tara Oceans, this time Samuel is one of the members of the crew who know best the boat. He becomes enthusiastic about the scientific goals of this world tour: “It is a little known universe! There is a huge life in the sea for which we have an equally huge responsibility!”
He pushes the versatility to the extent of replacing, between two adventures, his parents who produce near Nantes the goat cheese that we so much enjoy onboard.
“Of course I don’t have a very classical path, but what pleases me is to learn something different every time!”

Samuel’s best time: His scuba dives under the Arctic ice are among the most fascinating souvenirs he brought back from his wanderings. “We were about to inspect the boat’s hull. There is a staggering contrast between the white world’s surface, the black of the depths and the play of light, which by crossing through the ice makes architecture full of colours. In addition, we wear real cosmonauts’ space suits to dive down there!”

To live with Samuel onboard: “There are tremendous forces exerted in the rigging of Tara’s sailing. We, the sailors, are accustomed to work with gloves, safety shoes, etc., but for everything to turn out well we cannot try to help without knowing what to do exactly. We must find a harmony in all this!”

You will follow Samuel’s adventures up to: Naples.