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2023 News

Wednesday 20 September 2023

A question of national sovereignty


Paul Gadel, Director of Operations and Studies at the Institut Choiseul (right) with Yvan Griboval on Tuesday morning, September 19, on the terrace of the CNTL in Marseille, at the end of the Choiseul Sud breakfast. Photo OceanoScientific

Paul Gadel explains in simple terms that: "The whole challenge today for France is to think of the Maritime in its globality and to implement an “assembling” policy, in order to restore its sovereignty by and over the sea. Knowing that the Blue Economy is made up of five traditional sectors: transport, fishing, industry and shipbuilding, telecommunications, energy; five emerging sectors: mineral resources, tourism, biotechnologies, marine renewable energies, aquaculture; eight cross-cutting sectors: environment, training, infrastructure, digital, science and innovation, services, security, surveillance. At national level, this maritime economy represented 90.6 billion euros in production value and 386,000 direct jobs in 2021." Marine biotechnologies: medicines, food supplements, seaweed farming" are presented as "innovations likely to boost the dynamism of coastal territories."


This report from the Institut Choiseul reminds us that: "Global warming is having real consequences at sea. Marine heat waves are twice as frequent as they were forty years ago, impacting flora and fauna. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 33% of coral reefs, sharks and related species are threatened with extinction. The same applies to more than a third of marine mammals. This erosion of living things has consequences for global food security. The IPBES predicts a 3 to 10% decrease in the net primary production of the Ocean by the end of the 21st Century, due to global warming. Fish biomass is expected to decline by 3 to 25% over the same period. Marine species are doubly affected by ocean acidification and anthropogenic pollution. Up to 13 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year. Faced with this, France has a special role to play, as it is home to 10% of coral reefs and almost 10% of the world's diversity of marine species."


In France's internal development prospects, Paul Gadel evokes, "Overseas departments are France's and Europe's chance. Overseas maritime areas account for almost 97% of France's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), half of which is in French Polynesia. They grant France exclusive rights to explore, exploit, preserve and manage resources. They are a lever of geo-economic power as part of France's Indo-Pacific strategy. France thus brings together six territories in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and 1.6 million citizens."


We will come back to these key issues for France's future, and the national sovereignty of its overseas territories, when we will describe a less and less confidential project that the OceanoScientific association has been working on for over two years under the name Projet REssources FRAnçaises CORalliennes - REFRACOR 2030, which shows that it is now possible to exploit genetic data from marine organisms threatened by the Sixth Extinction for the benefit of human and animal Health, Well-being (Dermatology - Cosmetology - Nutrition) and Environmental Services (Agriculture - Aquaculture - Decontamination). That it is possible to preserve biodiversity such as France's fantastic reef heritage for the benefit of national interests. France is the only country in the world to be present in the tropical space of the three great oceans: Pacific, Indian and Atlantic, and thus boasts the world's largest submarine domain. France, where the sun never sets...

Next site update / Newsletter: Wednesday 27 September 

On Tuesday 19 September, the Institut Choiseul brought together at the CNTL nautical center in Marseille three major players in the Maritime sector to discuss the challenges of decarbonizing ships and the ports that host them. This theme is the Axis 2 of the FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030 program implemented by a 26-member consortium, including OceanoScientific. Speakers: Jean-François Suhas, Marine Pilot, President of the Conseil de Développement du Port of Marseille Fos ; Anne-Sophie Cochelin, Deputy Director of the CSR Division of the CMA-CGM Group; Patrick Augier, General Secretary of the PONANT company, after serving in the cabinet of several Prime Ministers and having worked effectively on the conception of the "Blue Economy Law", promulgated on June 20, 2016, then commanding from September 2019 to August 2022 the Bataillon de Marins Pompiers de Marseille, made up of 2,500 men and women, both sailors and firefighters. 


This was one of the themes raised by the Choiseul Institute in the report "Le maritime, un horizon de souveraineté pour la France" signed by Paul Gadel, its Director of Operations and Studies. Because of its quality, it was also taken up by Thibaud Teillard in Le Marin. Here are a few excerpts on the subjects that interest us most... 


Report "Le maritime, un horizon de souveraineté pour la France" - Institut Choiseul

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Stronger together !

“Stronger together!” If there is one formula that fits the collaboration between the French association OceanoScientific and the Spanish foundation Ecomar, it's this one. "All of us, philanthropic organizations and individuals committed to the fight to mobilize the widest possible public to respect and love the Ocean, we are working towards the same objective, taking different paths depending on the personality and experience of the leader of each of our public interest organizations. While it's tricky to join forces within the same country, because we often target the same prospects and solicit the same sponsors, it's easy to develop links with partners outside our own territory to carry out joint actions, share our respective experiences, and provide each other with the assets we have", explains Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific and Director of the OceanoScientific Expeditions. "This is what we have successfully implemented for several years with the Ecomar Foundation, created on 3 March 1999 by Olympic sailing champion Theresa Zabell".


From left to right: Karine Leprêtre and Yvan Griboval (OceanoScientific), Theresa Zabell and Gastón Cedrone Dobarro (Ecomar) in the Ecomar Foundation offices on 7 September 2023. Photo Ecomar Foundation

The most successful female athlete in the world of Olympic sailing, with two gold medals (Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996), five World Championship titles and three European Championship titles on the 470 Olympic dinghy; Female Sailor of the Year in 1994 alongside Peter Blake and Robin Knox Johnston; Member of the European Parliament under the banner of the European People's Party - Christian Democrats (1999-2004); Director General of Madrid's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games... Theresa Zabell is an inspirational figure, endowed with the talent and sheer will that enable a great athlete to become a champion and leave an indelible mark on the history of his or her sport, like her compatriots Nadal in tennis or Indurain in cycling. In short, an exceptional person!


Since 1999, Theresa Zabell, supported by Manuel Lopez Camacho, has been committed to passing on her knowledge as a champion to children and young people in general, to introduce them to sailing, to show them that this sport allows for personal fulfillment that goes far beyond the purely competitive aspect; that sailing is a state of mind; that sailing means communing with the Sea in particular, and with Nature in general.


Very early on, this approach, which began as a sporting endeavour, evolved into an awareness of the fragility of the maritime environment, particularly at foreshore level, where the sea meets the land, where the land disappears under the water. Theresa has transformed her commitment to introducing people to sailing into a passionate fight to preserve the Ocean. Long before anyone else in Spain, and among the pioneering NGOs in Europe, the Ecomar Foundation mobilised young people to clean up the beaches. Then Theresa, on the strength of her reputation as a champion and influential figure in Spanish public life, knocked on the doors of the chairmen of the biggest companies based in Spain. The message was simple: "Help me preserve our country's maritime space, a common asset that we must respect to ensure its good health and long-term survival". The message was received loud and clear by many of them.


Today, among the major companies committed to the Ecomar Foundation are Kinder, Coca-Cola, Movistar, Volvo, BNP Paribas and many others. The list is growing all the time. As well as providing financial and technical support to enable Ecomar to develop its philanthropic activities, these major companies are also fantastic relays for spreading the "good word" to thousands of families.


While cleaning up the beaches is obviously more than ever on the agenda of Ecomar's actions, these are being developed, for example in a major national campaign to replant posidonia where it is endangered or has even disappeared due to various forms of human aggression. It also means reaching out to students or promoting to them careers born of the virtuous exploitation of the Ocean's riches. Yvan Griboval concludes: "The Ecomar Foundation has become a major European player in the preservation of the Ocean and its biodiversity. We are proud of OceanoScientific being one of their partners in the "Strategic Alliances" category, and our ambition is to multiply our joint actions to mobilize even more people to respect and love the Ocean".


Yvan Griboval and Theresa Zabell have been friends since September 1996, when the champion had just won

her second Olympic gold medal and was invited to race in the Trophée Clairefontaine des Champions de Voile 

in Cap d'Agde (France). Photo Ecomar Foundation


Theresa Zabell (left) is godmother of the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN with Rym Benzina Bourguiba

(La Saison Bleue). Here on 29 June 2023 at the Yacht Club de Monaco during the blessing of the catamaran

by Monseigneur Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, in the presence of Laurent Stefanini,

French Ambassador in Monaco. Photo OceanoScientific


Theresa Zabell in conversation with Sovereign Prince Albert II on the arrival of the OceanoScientific Expedition Contaminants Mediterranean 2020 at the Yacht Club de Monaco amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Photo Claudia Albuquerque

Next site update / Newsletter: Wednesday 20 September 

Wednesday 6 September 2023

Port Navy Super Services

"The success of an oceanographic sailing expedition without CO2 emissions in little-explored maritime areas, like that of an Ocean race, is built on land during the preparation phase," explains Yvan Griboval, both OceanoScientific Expeditions Director and skipper of the catamaran LAGOON 570 refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN. Put ashore at Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône) on August 1st and dismasted the following day, LOVE THE OCEAN has entered a long sequence of maintenance and preparation for the grand departure of the first of the OceanoScientific Expeditions Coral Reef 2023-2030 in the Eparses Islands (Indian Ocean - France - TAAF). Its re-masting and re-launch are scheduled for the end of October.


During this period, five companies contribute their skills to the meticulous preparation of the LOVE THE OCEAN. Frédéric Switala and Benoît Gabriel (META Yacht Services) are preparing the rigging, underwater hull, a few accomodation modifications and the numerous tasks involved in preparing for Ocean navigation. Christophe Ortin (Atelier Marine Services) and his lieutenants Jérémy (Engines) and Gwen (Power) meticulously prepare the Yanmar engines and their saildrives, the Suzuki engine for the Vanguard RIB and the generator. Nicolas Escande (Accastillage Diffusion - The Wind Ship) is in charge of Raymarine navigation instruments. Global Nautic, managed by Régis Wattenbergh, is in charge of saddlery work, carried out by Stephan Lebar. Patrick Cohier (PROMO SAILS) carries out minor repairs to the sails. Other technical partners will be on hand in early November at La Grande Motte.


Frédéric Switala, on the left, and Benoît Gabriel (META Yacht Services) inspect the mast step of the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran ashore on Port Navy Service's huge quay in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. 

Photo OceanoScientific 

Next site update / Newsletter: Wednesday 13 September 

Wednesday  30 August 2023

Return to "Land of the Albatrosses"

The end of the summer has enabled us to carry out a comparative study between the East and West routes, both of which lead from the Yacht Club de Monaco (Y.C.M.) to Mayotte and Juan de Nova (Indian Ocean - Éparses Islands - France - TAAF) for the OceanoScientific Coral Reef Expeditions 2023-2030. Sailing the catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, to port out of the Y.C.M. Marina, heading for the bottom of the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, is the shortest route. It is also the most complex for a 'small' 17-metre yacht. It's like taking on the busiest of the major commercial shipping routes. It's like cycling on the motorway! The West and South option, via the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean, is much longer. But it's better suited to sailing, which means no CO2 emissions. The grand departure of the first of the OceanoScientific Coral Reef Expeditions 2023-2030 to the Eparses Islands will therefore take place in mid-November via Gibraltar to Réunion and then Mayotte. The route will be well to the south of Cape Town to avoid the terrible Agulhas Current and to take advantage of the strong prevailing winds blowing from west to east. It will take around 70 to 80 days of sailing to get from mainland France to Réunion, then on to Mayotte and on to Juan de Nova. This will be the opportunity for Yvan Griboval to return to the 'Land of the Albatrosses'.

Albatrosses live mainly in the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties, gliding without flapping a wing over the immense swell of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which no land prevents from racing around the planet. Here a black-browed albatross with a wingspan of 2.00 metres to 2.50 metres, in the Indian Ocean at 48° South and 64° East.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

After sailing from La Grande Motte to Nice via Toulon, there are around 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) to cover from the Monaco Yacht Club, from where all the OceanoScientific Expeditions depart, to Réunion and then Mayotte. From the East, via the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, it takes 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km). However, taking into account the complexity of the Eastern route and the prevailing winds, the time spent at sea is virtually identical: between 70 and 80 days.


The easterly route is more restrictive, as the risk of no wind or headwinds will force the crew to use the engine on numerous occasions, thereby emitting CO2. All things that the OceanoScientific association rejects! There will be many administrative constraints on the Eastern option. Crossing the Suez Canal on the Asia-Europe route among the behemoths is a complicated and costly exercise for a 17-metre sailing catamaran. Agile pirates hunt anything slow and unarmed in the Horn of Africa south of the Red Sea, between Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia in the south and Yemen in the north, in the Gulf of Aden. We therefore need to place ourselves under the protection of the European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) as part of Operation Atalanta. It's a complex organisation that will probably require sailing in convoy. However, a sailing boat is not capable of keeping up with the pace of container ships, whose average speed often exceeds fifteen knots. In short, the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran is not a vessel suited to flirting with the giants of commercial shipping on the Suez Highway, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.


The West and South route is a sailing classic. It is the traditional route for round-the-world races starting from England, France or Spain. It's the route taken solo by Yvan Griboval to complete the OceanoScientific Expedition 2016-2017 around the Globe from Monaco to Monaco in 152 days. "Going to sail a catamaran in the Roaring Forties, far below the Cape of Good Hope to avoid facing the powerful Agulhas Current, won't be a walk in the park," explains Yvan Griboval. "But our LAGOON 570 is really designed for sailing in hostile conditions. I have every confidence in LOVE THE OCEAN after the 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km) already covered on board since mid-March. What's more, I'm too keen to return to the 'Land of the Albatrosses' not to seize this opportunity to go there this year...".

When sailing under the three great continental capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn, albatrosses are the only faithful companions along the entire route. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

The albatross at the origin of modern sailing


When we talk about albatrosses, we are reminded that this fantastic bird is at the origin of modern sailing. In fact, Manfred Curry (1899-1953), a brilliant physicist born in Munich (Germany) to an American father who gave him his nationality and a Russian mother, wrote the famous book "Yacht Racing - The Aerodynamics of Sails and Racing Tactics" in 1925, considered to be the reference book on modern sailing. It is still fascinating and highly instructive to read it today, in the 21st century. It recommends, for example - remember, this was in 1925, a hundred years ago! - the use of full batten mainsails. Today, these mainsails are used on all ocean-racing yachts with one, two or three hulls. Manfred Curry's theories on the aerodynamics of sailing were mainly inspired by the albatross wing. He verified the validity of his ideas in a wind tunnel, which was an incredible innovation in 1925.

To glide, albatrosses "adjust" their wings by adapting to the wind conditions they encounter above the swell. They never flap their wings like other birds, with the exception of eagles, whose gliding flight at altitude is similar to that of albatrosses. This exceptional ability greatly inspired Manfred Curry, who invented modern sailing in 1925.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Howler albatrosses are the largest birds in the world, with a wingspan of up to 3.50 metres. Here an adult in the Atlantic at the entrance to the Roaring Forties, at 38° South and 23° West. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Manfred Curry raced in hundreds of regattas. He collected victories thanks to his revolutionary sails that copied the albatross wing. His ultimate goal was the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. He finished tenth in the "Mixed One Person 12’ Dinghy" category, the Olympic forerunner of the Finn, the Laser and now the ILCA 7, whose 2022 World Champion is France's Jean-Baptiste Bernaz. Manfred Curry also raced in the top category of Olympic sailing at the time: the 8M J.I., then known as the Mixed 8 Metres. He finished sixth.

While we're on the subject of the 1928 Olympic Games in the Netherlands, it's worth remembering that these were the first Olympic Games to allow women to take part. Some disciplines were open to both men and women, hence the name "Mixed" attached to the name of the Olympic discipline. In sailing, in the sport's most emblematic category, the "Mixed 8 Metres" (monohulls 14 metres in hull length), the Olympic champion was a woman. It was Virginie Hériot who won Olympic Gold for France on Aile VI, with three victories in seven races, ahead of seven other nations including the Netherlands (Silver) and Sweden (Bronze).

Virginie Hériot, pictured here aboard her schooner, won the Gold Medal at the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games in the 8M I.Y. category. It was the first time women had been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games.

Photo Le Chasse Marée


Wednesday 23 August 2023

Preparation for the great departure

at Port Navy Service

After setting a record in July of 104 samples conducted at 52 stations along the 465 nautical mile (862 km) route of the OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023, dedicated to an unprecedented collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) along the French Mediterranean coast as part of the BioDivMed Mission 2023, the catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, has been put ashore at Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône) for a long sequence of maintenance and preparation for the great departure of the first OceanoScientific Expeditions Coral Reef 2023-2030 to the Eparses Islands (Indian Ocean - France - TAAF). "Port Navy Service is an exceptional site for preparing for long distance navigations, particularly in maritime zones that can be hostile for a "small" 17-meter catamaran," explains Yvan Griboval, skipper and OceanoScientific Expeditions Director. "It is important to have the necessary space to work in, and to be surrounded by high-quality service providers and partners in all areas of preparation. Because the success of our exploratory navigations is built during this preparation phase. Our work as sailors once the moorings are cast off will depend on it. I'm therefore confident that our oceanographic sailing missions without CO2 emission will be a success, as we will have the perfect tool to take us to the Juan de Nova lagoon after around 80/90 days of sailing from Metropolitan France to the Eparses Islands via Reunion and Mayotte".


Port Navy Service's equipment in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône is perfectly suited to lifting large catamarans.

The LAGOON 570 LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran can be handled in complete safety. Photo OceanoScientific


Once on its keels, the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran is ready to be visited by technicians from the various trades

involved in making all the onboard equipment and systems reliable, from the engines to the navigation instruments,

not forgetting the desalinator. Photo OceanoScientific


During this maintenance phase, the Vanguard RIB powered by Suzuki is wrapped under a large tarpaulin

to avoid any aggression, starting with the wind and sun, both of which are generous in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. 

Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 26 July 2023

Mission accomplished: 104 samples of eDNA

between Menton and Gruissan in 24 days

A record of 104 thirty-minute samples were taken at 52 Stations along the 465 nautical mile (862 km) route of the OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023, an unprecedented collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) along the French Mediterranean coast. Departing from the Yacht Club de Monaco on Monday 3 July and starting off from Menton the same day, it ended this week in the Port of Gruissan due to a strong gale across the whole of the Mediterranean, particularly active in the Gulf of Lion. The scientific results will be revealed on 8 June 2024, World Oceans Day, by David Mouillot, Scientific Director of the BioDivMed Mission. This oceanographic campaign under sail is part of this innovative oceanographic mission, the aim of which is to carry out a synchronised and standardised inventory of living organisms on the French Mediterranean coast and in the Pelagos Sanctuary, under the joint impetus of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica water Agency, the University of Montpellier and a joint laboratory between the MARBEC Research Unit and the company SpyGen. The catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, served as the technical base for the five people on board for 24 non-stop days of expedition. The catamaran also carries the Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki - particularly fuel-efficient and therefore a very low CO2 emitter - fitted with unique equipment specially designed to facilitate this large-scale collection operation.


Delivery of the first of two batches of environmental DNA (eDNA) samples in the Port of La Grande Motte.

From left to right: David Mouillot (Scientific Director / MARBEC - University of Montpellier),

Yvan Griboval (OceanoScientific Expedition Director & Skipper), Léa Griboval (Speed & Depth Manager),

Pierre Friant (Second Officer & Pilot of the Vanguard-Suzuki), Léni Guillotin (Marine Biologist / Scientific Manager), Justine Camus (OceanoScientific Expedition Coordinator / GPS trajectory Manager). Photo OceanoScientific


It's 6.15 am outside Le Cap d'Agde, the sun is rising and the OceanoScientific team is already in action for the first collection of the day, while Yvan Griboval remains solo on the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, linked by VHF radio to the four eDNA collectors. In this way, it is possible to avoid collecting samples when the sea is agitated by the afternoon thermal breeze. Photo OceanoScientific


End of the oceanographic campaign under sail at the Quai d'Honneur in the Port of Gruissan, thanks to the warm welcome from the team led by Jean-Claude Méric (Director of the Gruissan Tourist Office) and

Marie-Claude Niclot (Technical Director of the Port of Gruissan). Photo OceanoScientific


Wednesday 19 July 2023

The wonderful Mediterranean 

Departing from the Yacht Club de Monaco on Monday July 3rd, the current OceanoScientific Expedition is dedicated to an unprecedented collection of environmental DNA (eDNA) along the French Mediterranean coast, from Menton to Banyuls-sur-Mer, at 54 stations. It allows sailors to discover an absolutely marvellous French Mediterranean, far from the clichés of landlubbers. More than half of the stations have been sampled and, on its way west, LOVE THE OCEAN has passed the Camargue. This OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023 is part of the BioDivMed Mission, which aims to create a synchronized and standardized inventory of living organisms along the French Mediterranean coast and in the Pelagos Sanctuary, under the joint impetus of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica water Agency, the University of Montpellier and a common laboratory between the MARBEC Research Unit and the SpyGen company. The catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, is the technical base for the five people on board for the 25-day non-stop expedition. The catamaran also carries the Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki, fitted with unique equipment specially designed to facilitate this large-scale collection.


The special feature of this OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023 is that it does not spend the night

in harbors, but at anchor, usually in exceptionally beautiful sites, like here under the island of Sainte-Marguerite (Ile de Lérins), where you can watch the sun set over Cannes through a porthole on LOVE THE OCEAN. Photo OceanoScientific


Whether, as here, near the posidonia-rich island of Sainte-Marguerite (Iles de Lérins), or at the other spots where the catamaran ink, the crew of LOVE THE OCEAN, led by Yvan Griboval and Pierre Friant, make every effort to drop anchor in sandy areas devoid of these precious plants. This is made possible by the ingenious application (free version) developed by Andromède Océanologie with the support of the Agence de l'eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse. Photo OceanoScientific


On board LOVE THE OCEAN, we usually wake up around 5:30 a.m. to enjoy the early calm mornings, when

the night breeze has run out and the thermal wind has not yet awakened. It's a unique moment that offers

the grandiose spectacle of sunrises we never tire of, as here at Cap de Saint-Tropez, just off the Baie des Canoubiers.

Photo OceanoScientific


When the Mistral is in full force, it's best to stay at anchor and let the gusts run over the surface of the Mediterranean! Like here, the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran at the foot of Cap Sicié, near the Rade de Toulon, nicknamed the "Cape Horn of the Mediterranean". Although Sicié is to the Horn what sardines are to the port of Marseille: a joke.

Photo Justine Camus – OceanoScientific


It's no secret that the French Mediterranean coastline of the Var and Alpes-Maritimes departments is heavily built-up. But the banks of the Var are home to vast, undeveloped areas, completely untouched by construction and preserved in the authenticity of their origins. Sometimes a house dominates an exceptional landscape, as here in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer. Photo OceanoScientific


If we had kept this image of an exceptional coastline to illustrate the forthcoming OceanoScientific Expedition Coral Reefs and its passage south of the Red Sea, as Arabia approaches Africa, nobody would have noticed. However, this image was taken at the foot of the Bec de l'Aigle, which closes off La Ciotat harbor to the west. Photo OceanoScientific


This image taken at the Sanary-sur-Mer fuel station is not the most artistic of those presented here. But it is a wink in the form of thanks and congratulations for this municipal port with an efficient black water drainage station (rare in the west of the Var!), which gave us a warm welcome thanks to the kindness of Jean-Michel Bordat (Port agent at the harbor master’s office). Thank you, we'll be back... Photo OceanoScientific


The contrast is striking between the coast to the east of Marseille, and the Camargue to the west,

which appears on the horizon as a discreet, almost invisible line of coastline, a simple black line at sunrise,

as seen here during our anchorage near Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Photo OceanoScientific


Wednesday 12 July 2023

OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023

As always, the current OceanoScientific Expedition started from the Yacht Club de Monaco on Monday 3rd July. This summer, the expedition is dedicated to collecting environmental DNA (eDNA) at 54 stations along the French Mediterranean coast, from Menton to Banyuls-sur-Mer. This OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023 is part of the BioDivMed Mission, which aims to create a synchronized and standardized inventory of living organisms along the French Mediterranean coast and in the Pelagos Sanctuary, under the joint impetus of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica water Agency, the University of Montpellier and a common laboratory between the MARBEC Research Unit and the SpyGen company. The catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, is the technical base for the five people on board for the 25-day non-stop expedition. The catamaran also carries the Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki, specially fitted with unique equipment designed to facilitate this large-scale collection.


On board the Vanguard - Suzuki, in the Bay of Menton on the 3rd of July, the eDNA sample collection team,

from left to right: Pierre Friant, Yvan Griboval's second in command; Justine Camus, coordinator of this OceanoScientific Expedition and Media Woman; Léa Griboval, in charge of speed and depth control;

Léni Guillotin, Marine Biologist, sample collection supervisor. Photo OceanoScientific


The catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN, helmed by Yvan Griboval, leaves the Yacht Club de Monaco’s pontoon of honor

on Monday 3rd July to begin the 25-day non-stop OceanoScientific Expedition eDNA Mediterranean 2023.

Photo Sarah Moniez – OceanoScientific


On board the Vanguard semi-rigid motorized by Suzuki, Léni Guillotin (OceanoScientific) is getting ready to launch the filtration strainer. Attached to a stainless-steel rod, the strainer is always positioned exactly at the same depth

to facilitate comparison between the different samples from the outward and return transects of each station.

Photo OceanoScientific


The strainer used to filter the seawater to collect the eDNA samples is always immersed at the same depth (see video). The Suzuki-powered Vanguard RIB travels at a speed of between two and three knots during collection. Thanks to Suzuki technology, petrol consumption for a sampling station is less than 1.5 litres of super E98, including the round trip to the area. Photo Léni Guillotin - OceanoScientific


At the Cap de Saint-Tropez, in an area exposed to wind and swell, in an environment where numerous

rock heads outcrop, Yvan Griboval is at the helm of the Vanguard - Suzuki semi-rigid. Léni Guillotin holds

the immersion rod of the filtration strainer. Justine Camus (foreground) controls the GPS position.

Behind her, Léa Griboval monitors speed and depth. Photo OceanoScientific


At the end of each sample collection, the Marine Biologist Léni Guillotin saves the collected eDNA samples using

a liquid solution developed by SpyGen. This magical recipe preserves the samples for the time it takes to transport them from the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran to the laboratories where they will be analyzed.

Photo OceanoScientific


On board LOVE THE OCEAN, after almost every station, Justine Camus and Léni Guillotin (OceanoScientific)

are in teleconference with Amandine Avouac and Marieke Schultz (MARBEC - University of Montpellier) to share their observations and specify the exact position of the following eDNA sample collection stations.

Photo OceanoScientific


Wednesday 5 July 2023

Blessing of the LOVE THE OCEAN

The LAGOON 570 catamaran, refitted as an OceanoScientific Explorer, was blessed on Thursday 29 June in the Marina du Yacht Club de Monaco by H.E. Mgr. Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, in the presence of H.E. Laurent Stéfanini-Parry, Ambassador of France to Monaco, godmothers Thereza Zabell, President of the Fundación Ecomar (Spain) and Rym Benzina Bourguiba, President of the association La Saison Bleue (Tunisia), Bernard d'Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco and Marjorie Crovetto, Second Deputy Mayor of Monaco, representing Georges Marsan, Mayor.


From left to right: Yvan Griboval, President of the OceanoScientific association; H.E. Mgr Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco; Thereza Zabell, President of the Fundación Ecomar (Spain); Bernard d'Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco; Rym Benzina Bourguiba, President of La Saison Bleue association (Tunisia); H. E. Laurent Stéfanini-Parry, Ambassador of France to Monaco; Marjorie Crovetto, Second Deputy Mayor of Monaco. Photo Claudia Albuquerque

Extract from Yvan Griboval's speech at the blessing of the LOVE THE OCEAN


"On the occasion of the Blessing of the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, I wanted to be surrounded by two inspiring women who, long ago, each on their own shore, took up the fight for the MEDITERRANÉE DU  FUTUR.


Theresa Zabell, of course, who gave Spain an unrivalled record of two consecutive Olympic Gold Medals and five World Championship titles in the 470. 


Theresa was a Member of the European Parliament, but also the bearer of Madrid's hopes in the bid to host the Olympic Games. 


Above all, Theresa put her reputation as a champion and her desire to be a sportswoman at the pinnacle of international sailing at the service of a cause: Introducing children to sailing and raising their awareness of the need to protect the sea, by creating in 1999, 24 years ago, the Fundación Ecomar, at a time when such an initiative was extremely innovative. Even unprecedented in Europe."


Rym Benzina Bourguiba is Tunisian, and she is fighting hard to preserve her country's coastline and raise awareness of the importance of the sea.


After diving into the abysses of data and digital, Rym was president of the first economic interest group bringing together IT companies on the Tunisian market. Then, in 2018, she set up her own digital communications company, Image & Actions, as well as the association La Saison Bleue.


La Saison Bleue, chaired by Rym, has been organising the World Mer Forum -Bizerte, chaired by Pascal Lamy, for the last six years. It is the only international meeting on the southern shores of the Mediterranean devoted to the sea.  


The presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco and numerous world leaders at the 2021 World Maritime Forum underlined the importance of this regional initiative.


One year later, in 2022, the "OCEAN 2050" group was created. Its mission is to think about and anticipate the profound changes in the Ocean over the coming decades. The twenty founders of OCEAN 2050 unanimously adopted the Bizerte Declaration, a genuine "shock of cooperation" for the common good of the Ocean.


For its 6th edition, the World Mer Forum-Bizerte will bring together the OCEAN 2050 group on Friday 22 September 2023 to draw up two recommendations for decision-makers: The Ocean 2050 as we want it & The Mediterranean 2025 Action Agenda.


With inspirational women like these, in both North and South, wearing the colors of MEDITERRANEAN OF THE FUTURE is an obvious choice for a scientific and promotional sailing boat called LOVE THE OCEAN.


I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Theresa Zabell from Spain and Rym Benzina Bourguiba from Tunisia for joining me today at the Yacht Club de Monaco to give positive impetus to this ship of universal hope: LOVE THE OCEAN".

On the occasion of the blessing of LOVE THE OCEAN by H.E. Mgr Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, Yvan Griboval asked Thereza Zabell, President of the Fundación Ecomar (Spain) and Rym Benzina Bourguiba, President of the association La Saison Bleue (Tunisia) to be the godmothers representing the two shores of the MEDITERRANEAN OF THE FUTURE.

Photo Jocelyn Florent - OceanoScientific

Every OceanoScientific ceremony in the Yacht Club de Monaco marina is an opportunity to meet primary school children. For the blessing of LOVE THE OCEAN, there were two classes of CE2 from the École de la Condamine and a class of CM1 from the Institution FANB. Photo Claudia Albuquerque


Before being the name of a sailing boat, "Love The Ocean" was the title of a hymn to the Ocean written, composed and performed by the talented young Monegasque artist Olivia Dorato. For the blessing of LOVE THE OCEAN, Olivia Dorato performed her creation accompanied by Fred Vitteaud (bass, right), Romain Viale (guitar, left) and Louis Vitteaud (drums, centre). Photo Jocelyn Florent - OceanoScientific


Wednesday 28 June 2023

Prince Albert II of Monaco:

"The Mediterranean must be exemplary"

The first edition of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow of the FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030 program came to an end in the Port of Nice (19-24 June), thanks to an excellent welcome from the Nice Côte d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry; followed by a stopover of the LOVE THE OCEAN on Saturday 24 June in the Marina of the Yacht Club de Monaco to present this operation, as well as the OceanoScientific Expedition Mediterranean eDNA 2023 (3-27 July) and the OceanoScientific Expedition Coral Reefs 2023 (departure Thursday 21 September from the YCM to the Indian Ocean) to HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco on the occasion of His visit to the catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer. As He put it that evening in His opening speech of the sumptuous 70th anniversary celebration of the Yacht Club de Monaco: "The Mediterranean must be exemplary in all areas of Nature preservation, for a truly sustainable development".


On Saturday 24 June, Yvan Griboval presented the 2023-2030 major initiatives of the OceanoScientific association, which he chairs, to HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco, on the occasion of His visit to the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran, in the YCM marina. Among the topics discussed was the MEDITERRANEAN OF THE FUTURE operation, to which the Principality of Monaco is committed and whose colors the LOVE THE OCEAN bears. 

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Schoolchildren from three classes (elementary school - CM1-CM2) from the City of Nice were welcomed aboard the LOVE THE OCEAN to learn about the catamaran's uses, and how the natural resources of the coral reefs the catamaran will help to value could become great career opportunities as they enter adulthood. Photo OceanoScientific


Each meeting with elementary schoolchildren highlights the maturity of these children, intellectually nourished in their family circle and during their school career, but also by social networks. A majority of them explained that they follow the news on TikTok rather than on TV with their parents... Photo OceanoScientific


Since 2016, HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II has been one of the most loyal supporters of the couple formed by Yvan Griboval, Navigator-Explorer and President of the OceanoScientific association, Member of the Yacht Club de Monaco and Cécile d'Estais-Griboval, General Delegate of the association, but also in charge of the relationship between the OceanoScientific Explorer and Earth during the OceanoScientific Expeditions. Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


During the visit of HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco, Yvan and Cécile Griboval were joined by three young members of the Yacht Club de Monaco, from left to right: Nina Buhler (Switzerland), Didier Schouten and Luca Marchiando. Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Wednesday 21 June 2023

Ecological transition in Yachting 

During the stopover in the port of La Grande Motte of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Revealing the vocation of Tomorrow of the FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030 program, a round-table discussion was held on board the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN. Around Yvan Griboval (President of the OceanoScientific association), Xavier Desmarest (Co-founder of the Grand Large Yachting group - Outremer and Gunboat shipyards based in La Grande-Motte) and Éric Mabo (Deputy General Delegate of the Fédération des Industries Nautiques - FIN in charge of the Mediterranean, Employment and Training) discussed two major themes: "How to produce pleasure boats with recyclable materials" (Axis 2 of FAMEX 2030); "Faced with the shortage of personnel in the French nautical industry, how to encourage young people to enter the yachting industry". Then the catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as an OceanoScientific Explorer, continued the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - FAMEX 2030, heading for the port of Nice, where it is docked from Sunday June 18 to Saturday June 24.

"To reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing", explains Xavier Desmarest, "one of the subjects we found interesting to study, with the help of the Occitanie Region as part of the BIOBAT project, is replacing fiberglass with natural, biosourced fibers: hemp, bamboo, flax. We took on a major challenge for Roland Jourdain by building an Outremer 5X catamaran (60 ft) called We Explore, half of which is made from flax fibers. It proved its qualities by finishing second in its class in the recent Route du Rhum. We are now using it as a platform to develop new low-tech solutions, which we will ultimately adapt to ocean-going boats, which account for the bulk of our group's production".


"However, when it comes to resins, there's a blocking factor. The marine industry doesn't represent a big market for the few major international resin manufacturers, compared with other industrial sectors. Today, this is an obstacle. But the ecological transition is underway. We're confident that we'll be able to come up with increasingly sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions".


Éric Mabo adds: "The nautical industry has long been committed to the environmental transition. Before talking about construction, we should point out that in France we have APER, Europe's leading yacht dismantling industry, organized since 2019 in consultation with the manufacturers in our Federation. In this spirit, we have developed partnerships, particularly with the Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB), to raise yachtsmen's awareness of the responsibility of their actions to respect the maritime environment, particularly in the Mediterranean with the posidonia issue".


Éric Mabo continues: "There are, of course, individual initiatives, such as the collaboration between Beneteau Group and the chemist Arkema to develop the recyclable thermoplastic resin "Elium" to make composites recyclable. Other initiatives exist on this theme, such as those of Windelo or Fountaine Pajot, for example".


Of course, the subject of innovation in yacht production also raises the question of the type of skills needed by shipyards, and therefore, more generally, employment and training.


"Yes, there are new professions emerging", says Xavier Desmarest, "particularly in data analysis, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Our challenge today is to recruit in the core skills of our business. The entire industry is concerned, and we're finding it hard to recruit anywhere in France. For example, at our production site of La Grande-Motte, we now have 55 job vacancies to fill: 40 in production, mainly in composites, joinery, electricity, plumbing and deck fittings; 15 in support functions. The key question is: How can we attract young people to these exciting professions, which have a lot going for them and are more attractive than many other jobs in industry? We need to promote our traditional professions more effectively".


Training seems to be at the heart of the employment and recruitment issue, but Xavier Desmarest qualifies this: "There are initial training courses that are satisfactory, but there are also people with initial professional experience who need to be accompanied towards new types of jobs. This is what we are developing in partnership with Pôle emploi, to create bridges from various professions to our own. In fact, we're pulling out all the stops to find solutions for recruiting, aided and abetted by all the solutions implemented in France, including work-study contracts. We are also committed to ensuring that once our employees are hired, they stay and flourish. This is achieved through induction courses, mentoring, training and quality of working life surveys".


Drawing on the experience acquired by the Fédération des Industries Nautiques, Éric Mabo adds: "The most important thing is to consider, company by company, what will make a young person want to join a yachting company rather than another sector. Yet, young people as a whole have three priorities: That my job makes sense. In other words: That what I do is useful. The second priority: Do I share the company's values? Environmental values, societal values. This is the "Employer Brand" concept. Third: What's in it for me? Interests in terms of personal fulfillment, working conditions and remuneration".


"It is these notions of attractiveness and loyalty that are essential for attracting young people and promoting the development of companies in the nautical industry", agreed Éric Mabo and Xavier Desmarest to conclude this round-table discussion.


As part of the stopover in the port of La Grande Motte of the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN, the OceanoScientific association organized a round-table discussion on board between Xavier Desmarest (Grand Large Yachting / left)

and Éric Mabo (Fédération des Industries Nautiques / right), moderated by Yvan Griboval (OceanoScientific). 

On the agenda: carbon-free yachting and employment. Photo OceanoScientific


Focused since its creation in January 2011 on raising awareness among elementary schoolchildren (CM1 - CM2)

of the wonders of the Ocean, and the need to respect and love it, OceanoScientific welcomed on board two classes (CM1)

from the André Malraux school in La Grande Motte, with the presence of Stéphan Rossignol, Mayor of La Grande Motte,

who is deeply committed to preserving nature, and in particular Mediterranean sea turtles. Photo OceanoScientific


Based on the principle that the strongest vocations are born early, Yvan Griboval passed on his passion to the children

of the Sailing School at the Yacht Club de La Grande Motte, hoping to see them realize their dreams as young racers. 

Photo OceanoScientific


As soon as the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN docked in the port of Nice, Marieke Schultz and Amandine Avouac (UMR MARBEC - University of Montpellier) - from left to right on the back of the professional Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki - began collecting eDNA in the harbor, as part of the BioDivMed Mission 2023 

initiated by the Agence de l'eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Encouraging the vocations of Tomorrow

While the catamaran LAGOON 570 LOVE THE OCEAN, property of the OceanoScientific association, is currently docked at the Port of La Grande Motte as part of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030, it's worth taking a look back at the Marseille stopover, from June 5 to 10, as two events were particularly successful: a double conference at the Marseille campus of the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), and a donation of scuba-diving equipment to the association Septentrion Environnement to enable young people to discover the wonders of the Silent World around Marseille... in the hope of inspiring vocations to create and develop new professions in the Blue Economy.

Next stopover: Nice from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 June  


On the occasion of the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN’s stopover in Marseille, the OceanoScientific association offered

Septentrion Environnement a set of scuba-diving equipment to make it easier for young people to discover the seabed. Pictured here are the students from the first and second year of high school in the sports section of the EPL Valabre Campus Nature Provence of the Lycée des Calanques, supervised by Olivier Bianchimani, Founder-Director of Septentrion Environnement, and Carla Di Santo, Diving Manager. Photo Septentrion Environnement


In the amphitheater of the ENSM Marseille’s Campus, Jérémie Lagarrigue, founder and director of the French company EODev - world leader in its field after just three years in business! – encountered a great success with the students, as he spoke

of the "thousands of jobs" currently opening up to young people thanks to the development of hydrogen use

in maritime mobility (Axis 2 of the FAMEX 2030 program). Photo OceanoScientific


Christian Dumard, internationally renowned for the quality of his routing for record-breaking ocean sailing competitions,

gave students of the ENSM engineering program a presentation on routing for commercial sailing, and in particular

for complex maritime convoys, whether it is a question of saving fuel and reducing CO2 and fine particle emissions,

or enhancing safety by taking maritime routes less exposed to the assaults of wind and waves. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 7 June 2023

From Marseille to La Grande Motte

Following the stopovers in Toulon (May 22 - 27) and Marseille (June 5-10) of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030, the LAGOON 570 LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran, property of the OceanoScientific association and totem base of this initiative of the Campus des Métiers et Qualifications d'excellence (CMQe) "Économie de la Mer" of the University of Toulon, will be welcomed in the municipal port of La Grande Motte on Monday afternoon, 12 June, for a five-day stay until Saturday 17 June.


Monday 5 June, the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN entered Marseille's Vieux-Port alongside the Mucem,

the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilization, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an exceptional program from the June 2, 2023 to the June 2, 2024. Photo Jocelyn Florent - OceanoScientific

The program of the OceanoScientific team is particularly busy in the port of La Grande Motte:


Tuesday 13 June, a navigation is scheduled with David Mouillot (UMR MARBECUniversity of Montpellier) and Pierre Boissery (Agence de l'eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse) to collect environmental DNA (eDNA) samples off La Grande Motte as part of the BioDivMed Mission 2023, using the professional Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki, specially equipped for these innovative operations.


Wednesday 14 June, operations with young people from the Yacht Club of La Grande Motte will be carried out to raise awareness of Ocean preservation among this young captive audience. Yvan Griboval will be showing extracts from the film about his around-the-world solo circumnavigation to carry out the OceanoScientific Expedition 2016-2017, the first oceanographic sailing campaign without CO2 emission to collect physicochemical data at the Air-Sea interface below the 40th South and the three major continental capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn.


Thursday 15 June, a round-table discussion filmed for the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - FAMEX 2030 video report will be held on board the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN. Hosted by Yvan Griboval and a journalist from Midi Libre, Xavier Desmarest (Co-founder of the Grand Large Yachting  - Outremer and Gunboat Shipyards based in La Grande-Motte) and Éric Mabo (Deputy General Delegate of the Fédération des Industries Nautiques - FIN in charge of the Mediterranean, Employment and Training) will discuss two major themes: "How to produce pleasure boats with recyclable materials?" (Axis 2 of FAMEX 2030) & "Why such a shortage of personnel in the French marine industry?" and its corollary: "How to encourage young people to enter the yachting industry?". On this occasion, Éric Mabo will present the new website launched by FIN, dedicated to the industry's trades and training:


Friday 16 June, the crew of the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN will welcome schoolchildren from the CM1 classes of the André Malraux Primary School to support the OceanoScientific Expedition 2023 (November) to the Eparses Islands, and receive the weekly logbook (Texts - Photos - Videos) when they are in CM2 at the start of the new school year, based on the principle that vocations born early can last a lifetime...

Next stopover: Nice from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 June


Opposite the City Hall, in Marseille's Vieux-Port and under the protection of the Bonne Mère, the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN serves as ambassador to the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow of the FAMEX 2030. 

Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Heading for Marseille

Following the successful stopover in Toulon (May 22 - 27) as part of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS – Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow, of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030, the Marseille stopover is scheduled from Monday June 5 to Saturday June 10, including the World Oceans Day on Thursday June 8. The catamaran LAGOON 570, refitted as the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN, property of the OceanoScientific association and the totem base for this initiative of the Campus des Métiers et Qualifications d'excellence (CMQe) "Économie de la Mer" of the University of Toulon will arrive on Monday June 5 at around 4:00 pm in Marseille's Vieux-Port, at the pontoon opposite the town hall.

On the occasion of the first stopover of the FAMEX 2030 program (May 22 - 27), while the associations La Touline and CINav welcomed a large number of people including students in the Palais des Congrès Neptune in Toulon, Justine Camus, coordinator of the stopovers of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS within the OceanoScientific association, received port agents from the Rade of Toulon on board LOVE THE OCEAN.

On the agenda: the evolution of ship propulsion systems towards low-carbon maritime mobility for clean ports. Exactly the theme of the second priority axis of the FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030 program.


This will also be the theme addressed in the amphitheater of the Marseille branch of the École Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), on Thursday June 8, as part of World Oceans Day. Indeed, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., no less than 130 third-year engineering students will be introduced to two major innovations designed to reduce the carbon impact of ships:


- Routing to take advantage of downwind and currents conditions to reduce fuel consumption, presented by Christian Dumard, a renowned router of Ocean races and racers;

- The use of hydrogen for ship propulsion, presented by Jérémie Lagarrigue, one of France's leading specialists in this field for over ten years, and Managing Director of EODev - Energy Observer Developments.


In addition, on the same Thursday of celebration of the Ocean, at the other end of Marseille, the spotlight will be on middle and high school students enrolled in the Brevet d'Initiation à la Mer (BIMer) run by the French Ministry of Education. They will visit the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille by boat and one of the CORSICA linea ferry. The results of the BIMer 2023 will be announced under the authority of Bernard Beignier, Recteur of the academic region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. These actions are led by the associations: La Touline and Campus national des industries de la mer (CINav), both members of the FAMEX 2030 consortium.


At the start of the week, La Touline - which has its head office in Brest and local offices in Marseille, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Nantes and Lorient - will also be organizing ExploriMer meetings for jobseekers and young people, with the presence of Anaïs Diméglio, an archaeologist from the French Department of Subaquatic and Underwater Archaeological Research (DRASSM), and Lucie Fournier, a merchant navy officer, to talk about their professional experiences. A marine biodiversity forum and a forum dedicated to the use of wind: from boating to offshore wind power, generating jobs for the future, will complete the program. These events will take place at La Cité des Métiers de Marseille et de Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (4 rue des Consuls, Marseille 2e, France). Once again, La Touline will illustrate its vocation as a "Social link for the Sea Trades".


Starting on Saturday June 10, Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific and Director of the eponymous expeditions, will begin the BioDivMed Mission 2023 to collect environmental DNA samples at 54 stations, each two kilometers long, between Menton (Italian border) and Cerbère (Spanish border), using the professional Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki, according to procedures defined by David Mouillot (UMR MARBEC).


Justine Camus (on the left) welcomed on board LOVE THE OCEAN port agents of the Rade de Toulon, including, from left to right: Manuel Feldis, Port Agent Toulon Vieille Darse; Françoise Temam, Port Agent Darse Nord; Vanessa Pozo, Port Agent

La Seyne-sur-Mer; Lucas Mazzonetto, Port Agent Toulon Vieille Darse ; Thomas Legall, Main Harbour Master

of the Port de Toulon Darse Nord. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 24 May 2023

First stopover of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS - FAMEX 2030

Monday, May 22 at 12:30 pm the catamaran LAGOON 570 reconditioned in OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN docked at the quai d'honneur in Toulon (France) for a week of stopover, opening the cycle 2023 of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS – Revealing the vocations of Tomorrow of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030. This event, which is part of the actions of the fourth Investment for the Future Program (PIA4) of FRANCE 2030, is an initiative of the University of Toulon led by the Campus des Métiers et Qualifications d'excellence (CMQe) - Économie de la Mer - Région Sud based in La Seyne-sur-Mer. It is implemented by a consortium of 27 members, including the OceanoScientific association. Its stated objective is to promote the professions of the Blue Economy, whether it is positions to be filled today in a multitude of industrial and scientific sectors, or opportunities for future career paths due to the incredible diversity of professions linked to the Ocean.


It is Mrs. Clémence Mounier, Municipal Councillor delegated to the Sea representing the Mayor Josée Massi

and Mr. Philippe Buffe de Mornas, Advisor to the President of the University of Toulon, Xavier Leroux, who took the moorings of the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN at its arrival at the quai d'honneur of Toulon (France). Photo OceanoScientific

For five days, the stopover of the FAMEX 2030's sailing totem base, the oceanographic and promotional catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN, is the occasion for numerous conferences, round tables and demonstrations in the Palais des Congrès Neptune in Toulon, where the major players in training for the sea trades, including the Campus national des industries de la mer (CINav) and the association La Touline, created in 1989 by sailors in a context of crisis in the Navy of Commerce and Fishing. Out of solidarity, the seafarers who founded this association in Brest shared their professional networks and experience to help other seafarers find a place on board. Renowned for the efficiency of its actions in favor of the reconversion of maritime professionals, La Touline also develops a number of actions aimed at young people, from secondary school onwards, to motivate them to take up a career in the sea.



The two major axes of the FAMEX 2030 program are:


AXIS 1 - Fishing & Aquaculture for a sustainable food system, to facilitate the training and awareness of the actors on their sites of exercise to the changes of the professional practices induced by the climate change, for a sustainable fishing for the benefit of the consumer. 


AXIS 2 – Decarbonized marine mobility & Clean ports, to anticipate the skills needed for the transformation (refit) and hybridization of ships in service, while anticipating the implementation of training programs compatible with the use of new propulsion energies. All fleets, without exception, are therefore concerned: large tonnage vessels, pleasure yachts, fishing boats, boaters' units, and even dinghies and drones.


Beyond these two major objectives, the purpose of FAMEX 2030 - half of which if financed by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations - Banque des Territoires and the Région Sud, is to highlight that the Ocean is a powerful vector of economic development, a fantastic provider of jobs of all kinds.

Next stopover: Marseille from Monday 5 to Saturday 10 June


The stopover in Toulon of the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN of the OceanoScientific association was the occasion to embark the Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki; two partners joined together to support the success

of the OceanoScientific Expeditions 2023-2030. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 17 May 2023


"Managing the resources of the Planet in the best way is to apply the essential principles of the circular economy" explains Yvan Griboval, President of the OceanoScientific association and navigator-explorer engaged in navigations with oceanographic vocation in the Mediterranean: BioDivMed Mission 2023, as in the Indian Ocean: OceanoScientific Expeditions 2023-2030 and with the promotion of new professions of the Blue Economy: Tour MER & MÉTIERS - Reveal the vocations of Tomorrow of the program FAçade Méditerranée EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030, which will begin in Toulon on Monday, May 22nd. 


So instead of spending a few million on a new boat, OceanoScientific chose to give a new life to a LAGOON 570 catamaran (17 meters), produced in 2000-2001 by the Construction Navale Bordeaux - CNB shipyard from plans by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (Cabinet VPLP): "A well-born catamaran, intelligently designed by sailors for offshore sailors, solidly built by a unit of the Beneteau Group, world leader in its sector of activity, at ease in almost all oceanic sailing conditions... In short, the ideal tool for the future philanthropic missions of general interest of the OceanoScientific association, with a yearly program of 12,000 to 15,000 nautical miles during eight years".


The LAGOON 570 born DRAGOON in 2001 became LOVE THE OCEAN on May 12 at Port Navy Service in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône (France) thanks to the dexterity and talent of Bertrand Le Gallic, owner of the Stickerman - Pix'Sail companies (Auray - Morbihan). Bertrand was Yvan Griboval's accomplice during the 24 years of the Trophée Clairefontaine des Champions de Voile 

during which he managed the markings of the eight catamarans. Photo OceanoScientific

During the month spent at Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, France), the main works concerned the repair of engines, saildrives and traditional power sources. Essential work carried out efficiently by Christophe Ortin's teams (Atelier Marine Services). The underwater parts of the hulls have also been exposed in order to apply several layers of primer - which protects the polyester - and then hard matrix antifouling paint. This prevents life from developing under the catamaran without letting chemical particles dissolve into the sea. This was the job of Frederic Switala (META Yachts Services) and his staff.


The equipment in means of production of decarbonated energy: hydro generators and solar panels, will be done from mid-July to mid-August at the end of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS of the FAMEX 2030, then of the BioDivMed Mission 2023.


Obviously, it is the "change of dress" orchestrated by Bertrand Le Gallic (Stickerman - Pix'Sail) that is the most spectacular transformation. The old white pleasure catamaran is being transformed into a beautiful grey workboat. It becomes the first catamaran with oceanographic vocation and promotion of the new professions of the Blue Economy, sailing without CO2 emission.


LOVE THE OCEAN will have its scientific equipment at the end of May, then in July-August:


- Pump and filtration kits for the collection of environmental DNA - eDNA installed on board the Vanguard semi-rigid inflatable motorized by Suzuki.


OceanoScientific System - OSC System of automatic collection every ten seconds and automatic transmission every hour of about ten physico-chemical data intended to feed meteorological databases in quasi real time and scientific databases dedicated to the study of the causes and consequences of the climatic disruption/global warming: Temperature & Salinity of surface sea water, Fluorescence, Dissolved Oxygen; Temperature & Humidity of the air, Direction & Force of the wind; Atmospheric pressure, etc.


- On-board DNA/RNA sequencing kit to save genetic data of unknown marine organisms in danger of extinction in order to enhance the value of molecules of interest intended to promote the emergence of new therapies for Health and Wellness (Dermatology - Cosmetology - Nutrition) and environmental services by biomimicry (Aquaculture - Agriculture).


- Freezers dedicated to scientific samples.


- Underwater robot (- 300 m) for sediment collection.


- Satellite transmission equipment for access / transmission to international scientific databases.


Exploration areas: West Mediterranean - Atlantic - English Channel - North Sea - East Mediterranean - Red Sea - Indian Ocean: Éparses Islands (France) in the Mozambique Channel.


LOVE THE OCEAN / LAGOON 570 n°7 in the serie: Hull length: 17,06 m - Width: 9,15 m - Draft: 1,40 m - Displacement: 18 tons - Upwind sail area: 170 m2 - Downwind sail area: 216 m2.


First phase: Preparation of the hulls before applying the covering. This is a delicate step,

perfectly mastered by Erwan Monchaux (Stickerman - Pix'Sail). Photo OceanoScientific


Bertrand Le Gallic and Erwan Monchaux (Stickerman - Pix'Sail) battle against the Mistral gusts

to apply the HEXIS adhesive produced in Frontignan (Occitanie). The longevity of the covering depends on the quality

of the application of the adhesive film. Photo OceanoScientific


Perfect result: The hull of the catamaran LAGOON 570 has become a real mirror. This sailboat will be able

to start its new life in the hands of the crews of the OceanoScientific association to lead oceanographic expeditions

and to promote the professions of the Blue Economy. Photo OceanoScientific


Three coats of primer, then two coats of antifouling will soon be applied by Frédéric Switala's team (META Yacht Services)

and the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN will be able to be back on the water very quickly

and begin her philanthropic missions of general interest. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 2 May 2023

BioDivMed Mission 2023: An unprecedented mapping

of the Mediterranean marine biodiversity 

The BioDivMed Mission 2023 will carry out a synchronized and standardized inventory of living organisms on the French Mediterranean coast and the Pelagos Sanctuary using environmental DNA (eDNA) under the joint impetus of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency, the University of Montpellier and a common laboratory funded by the ANR (French National Research Agency) between the MARBEC Research Unit and the company SpyGen. This unique and exemplary partnership for the benefit of marine biodiversity also involves the company Andromède Océanologie, the Vigilife alliance and two philanthropic associations from Nice: OceanoScientific and We are Méditerranée. This exceptional operation will enable the first fine-scale and synchronous mapping of the marine biodiversity of the French Mediterranean coastal zone, including lagoons, river mouths and ports, up to the Pelagos Sanctuary between Corsica and the mainland.


This will be the first big OceanoScientific Expedition with the catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN, currently in preparation at Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône). For this purpose, its Suzuki Marine motorized Vanguard Marine inflatable boat will be specially fitted out and equipped to facilitate the work of the OceanoScientific team. About sixty sampling stations of about one nautical mile have been selected between the Italian and Spanish borders by the MARBEC team of scientists under the direction of David Mouillot. Each station will be covered twice to optimize the efficiency of the collection.


Tuesday, April 25, 2023, in front of the port of La Grande Motte and thanks tothe collaboration

of the Yacht Club de la Grande Motte (YCGM), Alicia Dalongeville (SpyGen) makes a demonstration of the procedure

of collection of samples of eDNA to a part of the team of the association OceanoScientific. Photo OceanoScientific

The objective of the BioDivMed Mission is to determine and better understand the occurrences of fish, crustacean and marine mammal species and to establish a true fine-scale mapping of marine biodiversity. To do this, environmental DNA (eDNA) technology will be used to allow a standardized inventory of the Mediterranean conducted in a synchronized manner by four sampling campaigns. During four months, more than 700 eDNA filtrations will be carried out in marine and brackish waters covering more than 2,000 kilometers.


eDNA metabarcoding is a new technology that allows the inventory of aquatic biodiversity thanks to the DNA traces left by species in their environment. The filtration and analysis of eDNA allow the detection of numerous species and therefore has a strong potential to develop a new generation of indicators of the health of marine waters under human impact or protection measures.


Never before has such a synchronized and standardized inventory of marine biodiversity been undertaken on French territory. This unprecedented effort is the result of the collaboration and synergy of four oceanographic campaigns planned this year between May and August 2023:


PISCIS : The campaign to monitor the health of the Posidonia meadows and the coralligenous which is implemented on behalf of the Water Agency by Andromède Océanologie;


PIAF : The study of the marine life of soft and sandy substrates. PIAF is coordinated by the University of Montpellier;


The OceanoScientific Expedition will follow the Mediterranean coasts from the Italian border to the Spanish border to collect eDNA samples, as well as to inform and raise awareness about the issues related to the Ocean and its biodiversity by carrying out the Tour MER & MÉTIERS of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030;


The Pelagos expedition of the association We are Méditerranée, whose ambition is to study marine life in the pelagic zone, in particular in the Pelagos Sanctuary (SPAMI) aiming to protect marine mammals in a triangle comprising the French and Italian continents and including Corsica at its summit.


Thanks to this cooperation, a first mapping of marine biodiversity with a resolution of ten kilometers will be made available in 2024 to all stakeholders and managers of coastal and marine areas on the mapping platforms MEDTRIX and Vigilife Maps - The Global Life Observatory, of which the University of Montpellier and SpyGen are two founding members.


Mission BioDivMed 2023

Wednesday 19 April 2023

First operating phase successfully completed

Since Tuesday afternoon, April 18, the 17-meter catamaran LAGOON 570, built in 2001 on plans by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) at the CNB shipyard (Groupe Beneteau) is ashore at Port Navy Service, in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône - Région Sud. It is thus in one of the technical bases of the OceanoScientific association that this DRAGOON catamaran will become the new OceanoScientific Explorer named LOVE THE OCEAN. Its blessing by Monseigneur Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco, is scheduled in the morning of Thursday, June 29 at the pontoon of honor of the Yacht Club de Monaco. The departure of the shipyard is scheduled in mid-May in anticipation of the start of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire - FAMEX 2030, which is part of the MÉDITERRANÉE DU FUTUR, the major international operation for adapting to the consequences of climate change carried out by the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona. 


Last sunrise between Figueira da Foz (Portugal) and Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône (France - Région Sud), the end of this first navigation, on the Bec de l'Aigle, the Cape of La Ciotat. There are only about thirty nautical miles left

to cover out of the 1,200 of this convoy. Photo OceanoScientific

"During this navigation of 1,200 nautical mile (2,220 km), we have had almost every type of wind and sea state that we will encounter in offshore sailing conditions", explained Yvan Griboval as he set foot in the Région Sud. "From flat calms to a nice and long downwind slide in 25 to 30 knots with wind gusts for nearly six hours; a descent towards the Strait of Gibraltar while winding in front of more than 30 knots of a breeze that was raising a big nasty chop that was difficult to climb; a small gust of wind of three to four hours of 40-45 knots on a moonless night - the "feeling" is superior to the information of the anemometer! - and a truly magical moment upwind with an average of more than 8.5 knots on the bottom in 18 to 22 knots of spring breeze in the middle of the Gulf of Lion. In short, I never imagined that a LAGOON 570 with tired sails would offer us so much satisfaction, so much pleasure during such a "discovery sailing".


This 1,200 nautical mile trip allowed us to discover the behavior of the new OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN in many wind and sea conditions. It was nice to see that with a 25 to 35 knots tailwind, it is easy to maintain an average of 10 knots without much sail. Photo OceanoScientific 

Only shadow in the picture: "For the first time in nearly 60 years of sailing the seas and Ocean, I called on the help of the lifeguards at sea! At night, I succeeded in grounding the LAGOON 570 on the corner of a tuna farm that was overflowing from a marked area between Cadiz (Spain) and the Strait of Gibraltar. Standing there, I looked as stupid as a tuna harpooned by a fisherman. The Spanish rescue team arrived quickly on the spot, and remained on standby in case of need of intervention. At the time of hiring, the workers of the aquaculture farm came, with a slightly sarcastic smile, to sink the small part of the tuna pen in which I had hooked the rudder and SailDrive of the port hull of the catamaran. We were soon on our way again... a bit sheepish!"


Final objective of this navigation Portugal - France, the landing at Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône - Région Sud). Here the phase 1: Perfectly present the catamaran on the forklift. Photo OceanoScientific


Second phase of the grounding by the very competent teams of Philippe Froment, Director of Port Navy Service: Progressive exit (dry berthing) of the catamaran from its element. Photo OceanoScientific


Third and last phase: The ship is ashore at Port Navy Service, which becomes one of the technical bases

of the new OceanoScientific Explorer. From DRAGOON, this 17-meter catamaran will change color

and will become in one month: LOVE THE OCEAN. Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Rock 'n roll in Trafalgar

The 17-meter catamaran LAGOON 570, built in 2001 from plans by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) at the CNB shipyard (Groupe Bénéteau), is becoming more and more the OceanoScientific Explorer LOVE THE OCEAN. It continues its progression towards France. After several maintenance services performed in the very welcoming Lagos Marina (Portugal), we continued the route with one of the most hazardous sequences of navigation in this early spring in the Atlantic as in the Mediterranean: the crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar. Even though we have crossed it many times in one direction and in the other, being greeted by a 25 to 35 knots breeze from the front (South - South-West) and a violent tidal current, also from the front, is always a hardship. Especially in a short and hollow sea with aggressive waves. But it was better than the 45 to 55 knots of the day before! On the positive side, it allowed us to measure the quality of this 17-meter boat, which is more suited to offshore sailing than to coastal racing in hostile weather conditions. The doubling of the Cape of Trafalgar (Spain) - in the sad memory of French sailors - was the most complicated. No less than 23 tacks were required to pass this historic cape and to sail the last few miles to Tarifa Island (Spain), the western gateway to the Strait of Gibraltar.


From now on, the ascent towards France continues, with the passage of some tricky capes and the crossing of the Gulf of Lion, often animated by a strong Tramontane in this season, then with the promise of strong gusts of Mistral while approaching Provence. Two more periods of maintenance and decoration and we will start on May 22 in Toulon the Tour MER & MÉTIERS of the program FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire (FAMEX 2030) and the BioDivMed Mission of environmental DNA collection between the Italian and Spanish borders at the initiative of the Rhone Mediterranean Corsica agency and under the scientific guidance of the University of Montpellier (UMR MARBEC).


It is hard not to feel a twinge of sadness as we round the Cape of Trafalgar, the penultimate gateway before entering 

the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. We think of the naval battle that raged on 21st October 1805 

with the crushing victory of the English, despite the death of Vice-Admiral Nelson, their heroic leader who reduced to nothing two-thirds of Napoleon's Franco-Spanish fleet commanded by Vice-Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve. More than to the defeat 

of a Napoleon going to war, it is to the sailors lost at sea that we think with respect.... Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Technical stopover in Lagos, Portugal

Having purchased the catamaran LAGOON 570 number 7 in Figueira da Foz, about 100 nautical miles north of Cascais and Lisbon, it was useful and practical to benefit from the expertise of the professionals established on the Portuguese coasts to proceed to the first revisions and modifications necessary before an intensive use. This 17-meter catamaran, built in 2001 from plans by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) at the CNB shipyard (Groupe Bénéteau), although perfectly maintained by its previous owners, needs to be put in configuration for annual ocean sailings of 12,000 to 15,000 nautical miles (approximately 25,000 km). 


This is how the stopover in Lagos Marina (Algrave) was organized in order to entrust the rigging services to Pete Keeping, and to SOPROMAR for the engines, saildrives (propulsion systems), generator and navigation system. The next step will be the departure on Saturday, April 1st to Port Navy Service (Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône - Bouches-du-Rhône - Région Sud - France) for further maintenance and final transformations of the Swedish DRAGOON into the French LOVE THE OCEAN intended to carry out the OceanoScientific Expeditions in the Eparses Islands (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises - TAAF). These uninhabited French islands in the Indian Ocean are located in the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Africa. 


Before that, we will be sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, on the occasion of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS within the FAçade Méditerranéenne EXemplaire (FAMEX 2030) program, and as part of the BioDivMed Mission to collect environmental DNA between the Italian and Spanish borders.


Pete Keeping (his back on the photo) and his team working at the base of the mast to replace the main stay 

of the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran. Photo OceanoScientific


Early morning at the reception pontoon of Lagos Marina. The oceanographic catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN

still under the colors of DRAGOON, its name when it was under the Swedish flag, is moored in front of a monohull 

for initiation to deep-sea navigation (see photo below). 


This ancient sailing ship is an exact replica of one of the two caravels of Bartolomeu Dias (1450-1500), one of the four most famous Portuguese sailors-explorers of the 15th century. With such a ship, he discovered the Cape of Storms / 

Cape of Good Hope and the Cape Agulhas in the South of Africa (1487-1488). Photo OceanoScientific

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Maui Jim commits to the OceanoScientific Expeditions

Yvan Griboval, President of the philantropic association of general interest OceanoScientific and Éric Gonguet, Sales Director of Maui Jim (Kering Eyewear) France, Belgium and Luxembourg, signed the 14 March 2023 a partnership for the OceanoScientific Expeditions 2023-2030"I have been wearing Maui Jim sunglasses for almost 25 years, ever since this brand, born in the Hawaiian Islands 35 years ago, arrived in France. I don't know of anything better to protect oneself at sea from the sun's rays, direct or by reverberation", explains Yvan Griboval as a convinced user. "This is why I wanted the crew of the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran and the scientists on board to wear Maui Jims sunglasses, both during the OceanoScientific Expeditions in the Eparses Islands (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises - TAAF) in the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Africa, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea on the occasion of the Tour MER & MÉTIERS and the BioDivMed Mission for the collection of environmental DNA between the Italian and Spanish borders". "The origin of Maui Jim sunglasses is precisely to protect from the intensity of the sun's rays in natural environments where it is very aggressive for the eyes: sea and mountain, as we meet in Hawaii", said Eric Gonguet. "This is why we are happy to accompany sailors engaged in long navigations, because we know that our Maui Jim sunglasses will contribute to their comfort, will help them to be well protected in a hostile environment. We are even happier to accompany these oceanographic sailing missions without CO2 emissions because it is fundamentally in the Maui Jim Spirit!".


From left to right: Yvan Griboval, President of the philanthropic association of general interest OceanoScientific

and Éric Gonguet, Sales Director of Maui Jim France, Belgium & Luxembourg seal their agreement with a warm handshake

to associate the parrot of the island of Maui (Hawaii) with the OceanoScientific albatross of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Photo Maui Jim


Tuesday 14 March 2023 in Castelnau-Le-Lez (Occitanie), at the French headquarters of Maui Jim, Yvan Griboval and Éric Gonguet signed the partnership contract for the OceanoScientific Expeditions 2023-2030. Photo Maui Jim 

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Suzuki Marine commits to the OceanoScientific Expeditions

Yvan Griboval, President of the philanthropic association of general interest OceanoScientific and Guillaume Vuillardot, Director of the Marine activity of Suzuki France, signed a long-term partnership for the OceanoScientific Expeditions 2023-2030 in the Parisian showroom of the brand of French luxury lingerie Lise Charmel, historical partner of the OceanoScientific association. This Suzuki / OceanoScientific partnership will include the supply of a Suzuki DF30A engine to equip the Vanguard inflatable dinghy designed to transport the scientific divers of the LOVE THE OCEAN catamaran to the exploration sites of the Eparses Islands (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises - TAAF) in the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Africa. "We chose this Suzuki engine because of its low fuel consumption and a unique system that allows limited CO2 emissions. It is also the lightest in its category. These are important criteria when we are in the middle of nowhere and the safety of the scientists diving depends on the quality of our equipment. Having Vanguard semi-rigid equipped with with Suzuki is a guarantee of reliability and efficiency. So it is an asset for the success of our innovative expeditions", declared Yvan Griboval. And Guillaume Vuillardot added "This partnership is consistent with our environmental program "Clean Ocean Project" aimed at limiting our consumption and discharge of plastic. One of its objectives is also to contribute to a better understanding of the Ocean to better protect its biodiversity. Thus, we are happy to help OceanoScientific to a better knowledge of the genetic data of marine organisms endangered by the Sixth Extinction".


From left to right : Yvan Griboval, President of the philanthropic association of general interest OceanoScientific 

and Guillaume Vuillardot, Director of the Marine activity of Suzuki France, in the showroom of the brand of luxury lingerie 

Lise Charmel, historical partner of OceanoScientific. Photo Lise Charmel / OceanoScientific


Cordial exchange in the showroom of the brand of luxury lingerie Lise Charmel, historical partner of OceanoScientific, 

between representatives of two companies mobilized on the theme of the preservation of the Nature in general 

and of the Ocean in particular. From left to right: Guillaume Vuillardot, Director of the Marine activity of Suzuki France; 

Olivier Piquet, President of Lise Charmel; Yvan Griboval, President of the philanthropic association of general interest OceanoScientific; Marika Doulas, Responsible for Communication, Marketing & Press of the Marine activity of Suzuki France. 

Photo Lise Charmel / OceanoScientific

Thursday 5 January 2023

Sir Ernest Shackleton for eternity

January 5, the anniversary of his death in 1922 on South Georgia Island at 54° South and 36° West, is an opportunity to remember Sir Ernest Shackleton. Record-breakers will point out that it was the Norwegian Roald Amundsen on board FRAM (visible in Oslo) who first planted a flag at the South Pole, on the 14 December 1911; while the famous British, who was attempting to cross the Antarctic continent, wandered from 1914 to 1917: first on the ENDURANCE, then in a lifeboat, and finally on foot, once the 44-meter three masted schooner had been swallowed up on the 21 November 1915, by the ice of the Weddell Sea. And found by 3,008 meters deep on 9 March 2022 by the Endurance22 expedition, less than five nautical miles from the place estimated by Frank Worsley, its captain. Another extraordinary adventure! But for all the explorers who were more or less direct disciples of Shackleton and for a good number of long-distance sailors, Sir Ernest Shackleton remains THE reference, the one who brought back his 27 companions safe and sound, in incredible conditions that force respect for eternity.


The hunt for records, the quest for performance and the race for oceanic victories; as well as the conquest of emerging or submerged maritime territories; and the research for oceanographic successes, should not make us forget that when a commander, whether he is an admiral, captain, skipper or solo sailor, casts off, he is embarking on an adventure on the immensity of the Ocean. From then on, the rules of the Earth give way to those laid down by Nature. It is another dimension. Man comes closer to his original status, which made him an animal like any other at Creation. He is no longer the biped dressed with super powers of oversized urban cities, over-equipped, so computerized that they connect him to everything and anything.


Once at sea, the essential values that make a human being a sailor, or even a great sailor, are actually quite simple, including four essential values in no particular hierarchical order: Courage, Willpower, Humility and Humanity. To which we can add: Audacity, Combativeness and Resilience. And it is better to be smart, vigilant and reactive, than nincompoop, indecisive and passive. Besides, it is not only at sea that this is useful, because it is better to be an actor of your life than a spectator...


Then, in addition to the military objectives that we will not mention here for lack of knowledge of the subject, the result of the navigation: record attempt, competition, exploration, research, ... it will only be a consequence partially disconnected from the quality of the sailor's work, the finesse of the navigation. "How many regattas have I finished with the satisfaction of having "sailed clean" in terms of navigation options, maneuvers and tactical choices, without being at the top of the ranking", explains Yvan Griboval, President of the philanthropic association OceanoScientific and former professional ocean racing skipper, "and more than once I have gone for the cup without feeling that I have accomplished a performance worthy of the result obtained and the honors received"


Ernest Shackleton had the peculiarity, as generally all explorers - often considered as "conquerors of the useless" - of always running after the financing to assume the debts of a previous expedition even before financing the next one. But, at the same time, he generously distributed the proceeds of his conferences to charities. This illustrates the paradox of a state of mind that is definitely difficult to understand by the common people of Earth!


This great navigator is a source of inspiration more than a century after his extraordinary campaign of 1914-17. Moreover, several friends of the OceanoScientific association have set out on his tracks.


Let's first mention the expedition initiated and led by Luc Hardy, a Franco-American member of The Explorers Club: "À la poursuite de l'Endurance", carried out on board the sailing boat AUSTRALIS during the fall of 2014 with eight people from various backgrounds. It resulted in a book and a film directed by Bertrand Delapierre.


On board the AUSTRALIS, in addition to Luc Hardy, were embarked François "Ben" Bernard, polar guide and extreme skipper, David Hempleman-Adams, experienced explorer, Justin Packshaw, former officer, Ben Wallis, skipper of AUSTRALIS, Zoé Koenig, scientist and two young soldiers: Ollie Baindbridge & Keith Harbridge, not to mention Swiss snowboarding champion, wingsuiter and speaker Geraldine Fasnacht, whose images of crazy snow slides on the side of a volcano with a 50° slope leave you speechless. ..


Although made almost a hundred years later, with a group of skilled explorers equipped with modern equipment and the assurance of having potential assistance at short notice in case of serious problems, the film highlights the complexity of the journey made under Dantean conditions between Elephant Island and South Georgia Island. This is the route that Ernest Shackleton and five of his crew, including Frank Worsley, Captain of the ENDURANCE, took on board the lifeboat CAIRD to seek help for the 21 sailors abandoned to their sad fate on Elephant Island, condemned to the worst without the heroic determination of their leader.


Less extreme but not less remarkable is the expedition carried out under sail on SIR ERNST, a Boréal 47 monohull, designed and built by Jean-François Delevoye, who spent nine years in the Patagonian canals. Initiated by François Miribel & Fabrice Papazian, accompanied by Hervé Perrin and Philippe Gredat, the SIR ERNST drew a small line in the Mediterranean and a very large one in the Atlantic: from the Yacht Club de Monaco to Marguerite Bay, on the Antarctic peninsula (South of Cape Horn), discovered on the 15 January 1909 by Jean-Baptiste Charcot and named after Marguerite Cléry, the second wife of the great French Antarctic and Arctic explorer.


These two recent adventures of 21st century sailors have something in common with each other and with their illustrious inspirer. These three extreme navigations have allowed to carry out unprecedented scientific missions. Physical and chemical data collection on board the ENDURANCE, snow sampling and deployment by Zoé Koenig of floats for meteorological and oceanographic purposes, in particular Argo floats, on board the AUSTRALIS. As for the crew of the SIR ERNST, they collected bathymetric data for the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in Antarctic zones that have been little or not mapped.  


We recommend reading the book: "Ernest Shackleton - Endurance" published by Libretto, translated by Marie-Louise Landel, with a preface by Paul-Émile Victor, illustrated with the exceptional photos of Frank Hurley, photographer on board the ENDURANCE, witness of this incredible human adventure.


As well as the books: "The Pursuit of Endurance" by Luc Hardy and "Sir Ernst - Plus qu'un voilier en Antarctique" by the crew of François Miribel and Fabrice Papazian.

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