August 2007 : Summer’s End

Published on 09.09.2007 - Tara Arctic

Summer has gone well for the Tara crew. Everyone is now getting ready for the September turnaround.

While the crew was continuing its scientific work and the men were enjoying the last days of good weather (mainly by going off as far as possible with the dogs), on 05 August the Tara was visited by some men from the "Russian Deep Sea High Latitude Expedition", led by Arhtur Chilingarov. Just to remind you, this expedition's objective was to plant the Russian flag on the bed of the Arctic Ocean, at a depth of more than 13,000 feet.

"This was another short and unreal interlude", Charles Terrin, Officer of the Bridge, has written. "The ten or so people present did a tour of the base and were welcomed for a quick little toast inside. Some photographs, some handshakes, some exchanges of gifts and they were already back on board the helicopter. As with the Yamal visit, we have been given cases of fresh produce (fruit and vegetables), which we will savour with the greatest of pleasure to prove that we were not just dreaming of them... "

Three weeks later, it was with the turn of a Swedish icebreaker, the Oden, to visit the Tara's crew. "On Sunday morning at 00.00, we were visited by the helicopter of the Swedish icebreaker, the Oden (pronounced Oudeine)." Charles has written. "Like the previous ones, this visit was much appreciated here. Not only for the fresh fruit and vegetables received, but also for the chance of seeing a few new faces. It is just a bit of a pity that it was so short. Barely half an hour this time. So there was no time for real exchanges, for talking about our respective missions, things or phenomena observed, information collected, various protocols or the situation of the surrounding ice and its development over the coming weeks. Nor also of each one's impressions of the fact of being here... The Oden's main mission is to map the North Greenland area around the Lomonosov Ridge: it should last for five weeks. A Russian nuclear icebreaker, '50-Years Victory', has been keeping it company."

Since the end of August, the priority of the Tara's people has been to find a landing strip for the Twin Otter for the September turnaround. This turnaround will not only enable some of the crew to be changed, but also and especially the delivery of certain essential spare parts so that the oceanographical activities can continue.

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