Tara surfs with the ice

©

20 December 2007

Two nights ago, Sam and Marion were keeping the watch. Toward 1 am, Tara broke all her speed records. 1,3 knots. 2,4 km/hour. For you, living on earth, this is nothing! But for us living out of Earth’s time dimension, this is a performance. An ice surf in the night. I think we are all experiencing more than ever the luxury of living in a different time dimension.

We are still going along the Greenland coast. At our speed and the Eastern wind, we have even crossed the 4°29′ West that is the level of Brest.
Will we exit the ice to the north so that our port call at Longyearbyen is justified?
Or shall we go towards Iceland? The adventure continues.
Yet since the ice exit is quasi impossible, too dangerous and that science is now restricted solely to ozone recordings, we hope that this period will not last for long. With less daily chores, the crew is less busy and this is not necessarily a good thing for its moral.

Fortunately, Christmas is on its way. This morning, at the suggestion of Marion, the carre of Tara was decorated. Paper chains, stars, a beautiful tree. We do not know how Santa Clause will enter? He is on his territory here. Perhaps he shall descend by the mast? Through our stove? That’s impossible, he couldn’t’ even put his beard in it. But shall we spend Christmas in the ice? It is difficult to say. What we do know is that we shall be ten onboard Tara.
We are approaching land. This morning, Hervé Le Goff, our scientist was able to join with Hervé Bourmaud the captain, the Longyearbyen radio. It is a station in Svalbard that is permanently watching the boats at sea or even in the ice in our case.
“Longyearbyen radio from Tara” “ We are a polar ship”. A voice answered in English. “Yes”. We heard another voice than the ones onboard. How strange. Hervé Le Goff gave our position and news.
Longyearbyen, Longyearbyen, perhaps “happy new yearbyen” for us. We are far to the west to spend Christmas on land. If our final destination is Svalbard off course.

Vincent Hilaire