Tara Has Made it to Longyearbyen

Published on 26.01.2008 - Tara Arctic

After having spent more than 500 days drifting along the Artic sea ice, the French sailboat Tara finally made it to Longyearbyen port.

The adventure has thus ended for the French sailboat, after having drifted through the entire Arctic sea ice. Here is their press release:

"Tara has made it to dry land for the first time in over 500 days. Thursday at 7 30 pm, the weather was fin when Tara came into Longyearbyen port, in the Spitzberg archipelago, during the permanent night of latitudes situated over 78° North at this time of the year."

"A few hours earlier, Etienne Bourgeois, director of the Tara Expeditions, and Jean-Claude Gascard, coordinator of the European scientific program Damocles, had met up with Tara's crew in Isfjorden, a few nautical miles away from Longyearbyen. The reunion was filled with emotion for the ten crew members. They even launched some fire works into the sky for the occasion. The lights sparkled under an aurora borealis. Grant Redvers, head of expedition, had not walked on dry land for a year and a half. He bent down and kissed the land as soon as he made it to the pier."

"In the evening, the whole Tara-Damocles crew had planned a drink onboard the Tara ship to celebrate this before-to-last step of the expedition and the 35th birthday of Grant Redvers, head of expedition. This stop-over is especially a technical stop-over in order to inspect the organs and systems of the ship before it sails off again to France." In a few days, Tara will sail off to Lorient, where the ship will reach her home port on February 23rd.

"Tara was freed from the sea ice at 74°08' North, 10°04' West on 21 January 2008, 16 months after it was ice-bound on 4 September 2006."

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