28 October 2011
On Wednesday 26th October, we glimpse the California coast, first sign that a world exists and is waiting for us beyond the seemingly boundless ocean. Whales accompany us into the bay. Then we see a bunch of white sails.
All of Tara’s team is there to escort the boat to San Diego’s Maritime Museum Port. Tara takes her place among the “Surprise” (the boat from the film, Master and Commander), a Soviet submarine from WWII, and other historical ships anchored there.
On the following day, San Diego’s mayor Jerry Sanders visits the schooner and welcomes Tara on behalf of this city, which cherishes the ocean, is capital of the America’s Cup, and home to Sea World, the world’s largest aquarium. He joins Scott Peters, Port Authority Chairman, in offering an honorary plaque to Tara Oceans celebrating the progress of this worldwide expedition in the presence of Romain Troublé and Eric Karsenti.
In the afternoon, the Tara team visits Scripps Institution (University of California in San Diego), one of the leading centers for oceanography in the world. Key members of the expedition — Eric Karsenti, Chris Bowler, Mike Sieracki and Matt Sullivan — present the latest techniques used in acquisition and analysis of samples.
After immersing ourselves in the world of diatoms, the genomics of viruses and other plankton inhabiting the oceans, we celebrate our arrival on the terrace of this splendid site overlooking La Jolla Beach. A band of dolphins appears among the surfers as we enjoy the California sunset.