26 December 2007
The Paris headquarters in expectation
Rue Dieu, Paris, France.
48°52’ 13 Nord
2° 21’ 54 Est
While Tara is stretching slowly but surely out of her bed of ice, the land team is impatient to find out when the “taranautes” will return to land.
For the past month, Romain Troublé, logistics director of the expedition has been drawing one exit plan after the other. This morning at the Paris headquarters, the maps of Island, and the island of Jan Mayen where Tara had already travelled to have been laid out in case the first port of call would not be Longyearbyen in the Spitsbergen.
Indeed, four days ago, « the wale » passed under the latitude of the Spitsbergen capital and continued her long slide along Greenland. Moreover, Tara has just entered in the Greenland economic zone that is Danish and now sends information every six hours to the coastal guards for safety reasons. Today, the logistics in the case of an evacuation would not longer be held by Longyearbyen but by Greenland that is closer to the ship.
Tara is currently 500 kilometres away from the Norwegian archipelago but only 220 km away from Greenland’s coastline.
Moral on land is good. We hope that the crew will remain as long as possible in the ice and spend a quiet new year. It is the second Christmas onboard for some of the crew members. Only a few bottles of wine remain on Tara for these special moments and the last vodka bottle that was embarked at Tiksi (Russia) is carefully saved for the exit…
On land, the expedition director, Etienne Bourgois remains prudent: “this phase can be tricky. The fact of changing from a stable and quasi immobile situation to the full sea in these latitudes, in winter and by night makes us think. Yet, we were pleasantly surprised by the boat when she floated two weeks ago.”
A check with the board is done several times a day on the phone. The bags are ready just in case, to join Longyearbyen or Island.
The whole land team wishes a merry Christmas to all the families of the crew members and to all Tara’s friends, near or far.