11 August 2009
Setting into operation of the first measuring devices
At the side of the prestigious Pen Duick fleet, Tara, moored at the Eric Tabarly Cité de la voile pontoon continues its preparation under the watchful eyes of interested visitors. They are often surprised to see on the aft of the boat the wet laboratory modifying somewhat the shape and futuristic aesthetics of the polar schooner.
This week has been for us an important moment because it was the first positioning of the scientific equipment for continuous data taking. Installed in the dry laboratory inside, it was positioned and tested. Sacha, the Italian scientist specialised in the study of plankton and Hervé Legoff of CNRS adjusted the precision of the devices and therefore of the data during the sea outings. The positioned devices will be used to study the fluorescence of plankton and to take the characteristics of density, temperature, and salinity of sea water throughout Tara’s journey.
Colomban de Vargas of the Roscoff laboratory (CNRS) and his team began fitting the filtration laboratory located on the bridge and have tested the large peristaltic pump which will pump water from a depth of 10 meters. This water will then be filtered in sieves smaller and smaller to take samples which will be stored in the -80 ° C freezer and then shipped to laboratories around the world and this at every port of call.
After 3 weeks from departure, there is a lot of activity on board. Welders from Timolor Company are completing the positioning and work in synergy with the scientific teams for the last modifications that can now be brought about after the tests during the sea outings. The difference in the type of trades and professions which combine on board, represents really the diversity which characterises Tara.
Next week we will continue with the installation of EMBL’s European laboratory. The time of departure is approaching fastly and everything is carried out to ensure that Tara leaves on 5 September its port of registry for many months under the best conditions.
Hervé Bourmaud, Tara’s skipper