In May 2013, the Tara expedition schooner took to the ocean for several months of navigation in the Arctic: 25,000 km would be covered to study the marine polar environment for scientific and educational purposes.
Particularly sensitive to environmental issues, it was again natural for Serge Ferrari to renew its commitment, as a partner in the Tara Oceans initiative since 2009, by accompanying the expedition vessel’s crew in navigating around the Arctic Ocean via its perilous North-East and North-West Passages. Serge Ferrari has therefore supplied the high-performance composite materials required for fitting out the expedition vessel.
Just a few days before the vessel’s arrival in Lorient, France, we take this opportunity to recall, all too briefly, more than seven months of polar navigation.
After reaching the North Cape and crossing the Arctic ice floes, Tara travelled through Western Siberian and Greenland waters before navigating in an ice-packed sea, when negotiating the difficult North-West Passage.
In today’s snow and with its main deck covered with ice, the schooner left the waters of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and headed for Lorient, in far-away Brittany, where it is expected to arrive on the 7th of December.
Subjected to extreme climatic conditions and intensive daily usage, Serge Ferrari composite membranes have successfully protected the expedition equipment and offered real comfort to Tara’s 14 crew members.
Protective covers and full canopies over the two auxiliaries were made from Serge Ferrari Stamoid Light composite membrane, chosen for its lightness and strength.
A cockpit extension tent was installed to protect the crew from the cold and appalling weather. Serge Ferrari Stamoid Top composite membrane, selected for its robustness, was used for this structure.
A few days before the schooner’s return, Tara expedition seaman Nicolas de la Brosse shared his impressions of the resistance and benefits provided by Serge Ferrari composite membranes:
“The full canopies of the Tara auxiliaries are in good general condition after withstanding the harshest weather, which is all the more impressive since they had already travelled around the world for 3 years prior to touring the Arctic Ocean” explain Nicolas.
“As for the cockpit ‘igloo tent’, this remains in perfect condition; there’s really nothing else to be said! It’s good work, a great finish, robust. We received several severe gusts of wind and, on a number of occasions, huge waves that passed right over the boat and, despite this, it sustained absolutely no damage. Conditions encountered during this tour of the Arctic Ocean (cold, waves and strong wind) severely tested the tent and it stayed rock solid”, pursued the seaman.
“The final test during this return crossing of the Atlantic will, as usual, be fairly tough!”, added Nicolas de la Brosse.
Serge Ferrari is proud to have helped the Tara Oceans Polar Circle crews to navigate in the best possible conditions and to have protected the expedition equipment in an extreme, icy marine environment.