Tara Mediterranean 2014: the best of life on board and on shore

© Christian Revest

5 January 2015

Between May and November 2014, Tara has sailed the Mediterranean sea, and has spent almost as much time at sea as on shore for the first time in 10 years. There were 20 stopovers, in 13 different countries. The schooner discovered cultures, and landscapes. Here are some texts written by the people onboard during the expedition that relate these discoveries.

- FROM LAND TO SEA 

Since our departure from Antibes last Thursday, the rhythm aboard Tara has changed. The newly embarked and the “old hands” are now enjoying life at sea, far from the hectic pace of stopovers.

- SARDINIAN STOPOVER

Eight days after leaving Antibes, Tara anchored this Saturday, July 5th in view of the small town of Cala Gonone, Sardinia. A few days’ stopover during which plankton and Tara Oceans will be honored.

- VIDEO: TARA SAILS ACROSS THE CORINTH CANAL

July 23rd, 2014, Tara crossed over the Corinth canal, which separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland. This shortcut allowed us to reach the Cyclades without having to sail around the Peloponnese. The canal is more than six kilometres long, but only twenty metres large and is overhung by impressive 50 metres high cliffs.

- STOPOVER IN BEIRUT: DISCOVERING THE LEBANESE CAPITAL

On the occasion of Tara’s stopover in Beirut, Lebanese PhD student, Anthony Ouba who had barely disembarked the schooner, suggested he might give the crew a ride around the capital. This visit was the opportunity to learn more about the city’s and country’s rich history, oscillating between war injuries and modern reconstructions.

- VIDEO: FRANCOIS AURAT, A SAILOR AND ARTIST ON BOARD

François Aurat, deck officer, is the sailor who spent the longest time aboard Tara over the last few years. Whenever he can, François got into the habit of taking his camera to enjoy the vast range of subjects offered by the schooner’s journeys around the world. Enough adventures to bring back thousands of pictures taken during the stopovers, from the top of the mast, or even with a drone cam, our newest arrival on board.

- “THE LINK BETWEEN WHAT IS HAPPENING ON BOARD AND THE REST OF THE WORLD”

”The correspondent aboard Tara is “the person who makes the connection between what’s happening on the boat, and the rest of the world.” Correspondents are the ones who relay information, write the logs, and make videos and photos for the Tara website during the various expeditions. Ten of them have taken turns as correspondent aboard since the beginning of the Tara adventure.

- VISIT OF ALGIERS

We follow the Franco-Algierian artist Katia Kamli among the streets of Alger. As a videographer and a photographer, she studies the notion of  ”in-betweenness” and to her, colonisation is part of this theme. That is why she chose to sail aboard Tara between Alger and Marseille. The artist has already recorded 6 videos in Algeria and a new piece of art should appear after her trip on the schooner

- THE SMALL PLEASURES

It’s these little moments that are almost insignificant, instants that punctuate life onboard to the delight of everyone. The bell we love to ring at mealtimes, a childish reflex, exquisite, to be allowed to make noise.

- VIDEO: AIMING VESUVIO

Last Sunday, Stéphanie Petit, Matthieu Oriot and Noëlie Pansiot left the ship for a few hours, to go on shore. Without any guide, they decided to climb the Vesuvio volcano.

- SOUND AND PICTURE : IMMERSION IN THE ENGINE ROOM OF TARA

Tara’s engines upkeep is a full time job. Called Brigitte and Thérèse by the crew, the schooner’s engines are the responsability of the Chef Mechanic, Samuel Audrain. Stopovers enable him to work intensely in the best conditions to their upkeep. Here, in Barcelona, he was helped by Mathieu Oriot, Deck officer, to change the belts. Follow Samuel ans Mathieu in the guts of the boat.

- SOUND AND PICTURE : VISIT OF THE TANGIERS MEDINA

Welcomed by local associations in Tangier, the Taranautes took a guided visit of the medina. From the port the heart of the city, they discovered the city’s history and its characteristics. By walking around in this maze of little narrow streets, the 15 members of the crew rapidly lost their way… Lost at the entry of the casbhah, Amanda, Mathieu and Noëlie had room for a longer walk and new encounters.

- VIDEO: NIGHT STATION WITH DOLPHINS

The night scientific station n°286 will be remembered. As they were playing out the manta net into the water, a few miles away from the Gibraltar Strait, the Taranautes met a large group of short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinius delphis).  To enjoy the show, we enlightened the sea with a powerful light. And then surprise : thousands of glowing lantern fishes (Myctophidae) were trying to escape their predators by jumping outside the water. A magic moment aboard Tara!

- TWO NAMES FOR ONE EXPEDITION

Michel Franco is delving into the on board library, which he says adds weight to the schooner. The engineer of the boat keeps repeating “Tara weighs 40 tons too much”. While exploring the Paulsen collection, Michel pulls out an unexpected book: “The Big Guide to Names”. First names of all the team members are then reviewed. Among them, the two captains of Tara Mediterranean: Martin which means “warrior” and Samuel “name of God.” To the definitions, the author of the guide added some lines on the character traits of the bearers of common names. Brainstorming in the grand carré: How to describe our two captains who took turns throughout Tara Mediterranean?

- VIDEO: RETURN OF THE TARA MEDITERRANEAN EXPEDITION IN LORIENT 

After 7 months at sea, the schooner came back in Lorient on November 22, 2014.

Articles associés : 

- Retour sur les enjeux environnementaux de l’expédition Tara Méditerranée.

- Le meilleur de la science pendant l’expédition Tara Méditerranée. 

- Les artistes embarqués pendant Tara Méditerranée