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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Álvaro de Marichalar in the wake of Juan Sebastián

de Elcano and Fernand de Magellan

Álvaro de Marichalar, a congenial Spanish explorer with a track record of forty sea raids on a personal watercraft (PWC), has set off on the route of the 1519WorldTour2019 expedition, celebrating the 500thanniversary of the first circumnavigation of the Earth (1519 - 1522). It is the greatest challenge ever attempted with such a craft: a tour of the World in the wake of Fernand de Magellan (1480 - 1521), and Juan Sebastian de Elcano (1476 - 1526).


Álvaro de Marichalar left Seville (Spain) on the 10th of August, then Sanlúcar de Barramedaon the 20th of September. After jetting along the southern coasts of Spain, Portugal and northern Spain, he arrived in Guetaria, near San Sebastián, where he paid tribute to Juan Sebastián de Elcano. 


At the beginning of November, Álvaro de Marichalar paid a visit the Yacht Club de Monaco, as a member of the Club des Explorateurs, to present his "petit navire": NUMANCIA, a 155-horsepower BRP SEADOO FISH PROjet ski, specially prepared and equipped for the occasion. Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific, himself an explorer - circumnavigator and also a member of the Y.C.M. Club des Explorateurs, has engaged the OceanoScientific philanthropic association in the final preparations for Álvaro de Marichalar's crossing of the Mediterranean, and then the Atlantic, providing friendly technical assistance to the big-hearted Spanish sailor. Álvaro de Marichalar can now add the title of OceanoScientific Ambassador to his visiting card as an explorer with a mission impossible.


From left to right: Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific, Álvaro de Marichalar, François Fiat, owner of the explorer superyacht M/Y YERSIN, all three of whom are members of the Club des Explorateurs of the Yacht Club de Monaco, Thursday, November 7, at the launch of the 1519WorldTour2019 expedition on the slipway of the Y.C.M. Photo OceanoScientific

Álvaro de Marichalar y Sáenz de Tejadais a 58-year-old Spanish explorer, member of the Royal Maritime Academy of Spain and of the New York Explorers Club, and a former aviator. After a career as a business executive in the telecoms and satellite communications industry, he has earned a reputation as an explorer for his exploits on jet skis, including crossing the Atlantic in 2002 from Rome to New York. Among the forty successful expeditions he has carried out since 1982, thirteen have won World Records, including jet-skiing from Hong Kong to Tokyo, and Barcelona to Odessa.


Several issues will be highlighted throughout this incredible journey by Álvaro aboard NUMANCIA: "I want to alert the widest audience possible by denouncing plastic contamination at sea, illegal fishing and trafficking in human beings,"explains the explorer with that light burning in his eyes that reflects the passion of commitment.


Although backed by forty expeditions on his funny "petit navire" Álvaro de Marichalar is no less humble when faced with the Ocean. He knows that he sails in a hostile environment, in conditions where life sometimes depends on so little. "Alone aboard a boat like this, you're always afraid, especially in the dark. But hope holds up,"says Álvaro. "Hope filled with passion, motivation, determination and faith. This is what should always inspire our lives, at sea and on shore!"


Until OceanoScientific’s engagement alongside Álvaro de Marichalar as part of his 1519WorldTour2019 expedition, the initiatives taken by the philanthropic association have focused on zero-CO2 expeditions by sail.


However, although Álvaro is setting sail from France using a petrol engine with very low CO2 emissions – the lowest rate on the jet ski market – if everything goes well on a technical side,  he will be sailing in a few weeks either fueled with liquid gas or bioethanol, his aim being to use zero-CO2 hydrogen energy as soon as possible. A first in the field.


This (small) exception to OceanoScientific's rule is nonetheless in line with the association's aim to federate initiatives of various kinds with a common purpose: to pass on a powerful message in favor of the preservation of the Ocean, and to perpetuate the Spirit of Adventure, as Yvan Griboval said:


"What I like and respect in Álvaro is first of all his determination, his unwavering will, his total commitment to whatever he undertakes and succeeds on the sea. He is an exceptional sailor even if his watercraft looks more like a toy boat than an ocean-going vessel, let's face it. Of course, it will produce a little CO2 while sailing the seas. So what? Compared with what he passes on at each port call in terms of passion, of faith in our ability to surpass ourselves, testifying to the beauty and the usefulness of the Ocean, that small amount of CO2 will be largely compensated! Álvaro has that folly that drives us all when we cast off to do what most landlubbers would consider to be impossible. We are members of the same family who have the Ocean as foster mother for our dreams. If only for that we must help one other..."


From Gibraltar to the Caribbean, Álvaro de Marichalar will be escorted and assisted by François Fiat's M/Y YERSIN, captained by Jean Dumarais. The 76.60-meter Explorer Superyacht built by Chantiers Piriou served for the first ever scientific campaigns of the Explorations de Monaco initiated by Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco in 2017-18. On route from Cape Verde to Martinique, the vessel was used to study the proliferation of Sargassum algae on the one hand and surface contaminants on the other, with the scientists on board from the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO) in Marseille and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), also located in Marseille.


The current expedition, taking place five hundred years after the first Tour of the World setting out from and returning to Seville, serves to recall the incredible story of Juan Sebastián de Elcano and Fernand de Magellan. They were the first to round South America, not by clearing Cape Horn, but by wending their way into an inhospitable channel where the wind usually blows in a storm with gusts of extreme violence, the williwaws. Ever since, the passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has been called the Strait of Magellan.


They were therefore the first to enter the immense Pacific Ocean, the largest in the world. Sadly, Fernand de Magellan was to be killed with a poisoned arrow on the island of Mactan (Philippines) on 27 April 1521.


The honor and the fidelity to the King Charles I of Spain, as well as the affinity and great respect he had for Fernand de Magellan incited Juan Sebastián de Elcano to continue sailing beyond the Philippines to the Spice Islands. He considered it his duty to loop the loop, to continue the long route undertaken until he reached the departure point: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the seaportof Seville, north of Cadiz, on 6 September 1522. On board, he was accompanied by the only 18 survivors of the 237 sailors who left from the same port on 20 September 1519, after leaving Seville on August 10. The spices load they brought back did cover the cost if the journey. The king of Spain did recognize  Juan Sebastián de Elcano's achievement and rewarded him.


Five ships had sailed from the Spanish Atlantic coasts: the TRINIDAD, the flagship captained by Fernand de Magellan himself; the SAN ANTONIO captained by Juan de Cartagena, the CONCEPCIÓN captained by Gaspar de Quesada, the SANTIAGO captained by Juan Serrano and the VICTORIA captained by Luis de Mendoza, with Juan Sebastián de Elcano as chief mate.


Only the VICTORIA, a 28-meter three-masted carrack, would return safely, under the command of the extraordinary Juan Sebastián de Elcano to whom Álvaro de Marichalar pays tribute today. The Spanish Basque sailor-explorer had achieved the first circumnavigation of the Globe, between 1519 and 1522.


The route was laid out. All that now remains is for Álvaro to achieve his own challenge, driven by his passion, his Faith in God and his humility; under the benevolent protection of Geneviève Fiat. To be sure, Geneviève keeps watch on high over those zany seafarers who take up such extraordinary challenges to perpetuate the Spirit of Adventure, to make dreams come true. A superb example of courage and willpower in which the OceanoScientific association is proud to play a modest part. Godspeed and fair winds to NUMANCIA and to our friend Álvaro! ...


Álvaro de Marichalar and NUMANCIA made a port call in Marseille aboard the M/Y YERSIN. The port call was prolonged because of a storm on the Gulf of Lion, but was used to install an AIS (Automatic Identification System) and a satellite tracking beacon (YB Tracking).

Photo Team Álvaro de Marichalar

Álvaro de Marichalar ready to start his World Tour in the wake of Juan Sebastián de Elcano and Fernand de Magellan on his "petit navireNUMANCIA, his jet ski. Photo Team Álvaro de Marichalar

Álvaro de Marichalar in Guetaria (Spanish Basque Country) in front of the statue of Juan Sebastián de Elcano, the only captain to have survived Fernand de Magellan's expedition. He brought the three-master VICTORIA back to Sanlúcar de Barrameda on 6 September 1522 after the first complete Tour of the World in History.Photo Team Álvaro de Marichalar

Friday 28 June 2019

OceanoScientific set up in Monaco

On Friday, 21 June, the Journal de Monaco formalized the creation of the OceanoScientific Monaco association domiciled in the Yacht Club de Monaco. On the same Friday, at lunchtime, Yvan Griboval (President), Alberto Vitale (Vice-President), Isidoro Miele (Secretary General) and Cécile d'Estais (General Delegate) held a meeting with a few Monegasque public figures and patrons to present them with the OceanoScientific Programme

On its side, the French OceanoScientific association, created on 7 January 2001 and domiciled at the Maison des Océans in Paris, continues to develop itself to the benefit of the organization of oceanographic expeditions to serve the international scientific community.


The corporate purpose of this Monegasque association is very similar to that of the French OceanoScientific association: "OceanoScientific bears witness, raises awareness and educates the widest possible audience on the causes and consequences of climate change and plastic pollution and call for one and all to respect, love and preserve the Ocean and its biodiversity for the benefit of future generations. OceanoScientific conducts oceanographic observations according to the standards and recommendations of United Nations agencies and the international scientific community in regions of the seas seldom explored if at all. OceanoScientific contributes to the global reach of the Principality of Monaco and promotes its actions to safeguard the Environment".

Two OceanoScientific Expeditions from Monaco to Monaco are already scheduled. 

The 2019 OceanoScientific Sargassum & Plastic Contaminants Expedition will involve sailing the North Atlantic between Mindelo (Sao Vincente - Cape Verde) and the French West Indies during the month of October, with divers to study the Sargassum algae and two drones, one of which is equipped with a hyperspectral camera. 


The 2020 OceanoScientific Expedition Southern Winter Antarctica Tour will consist of a World Tour, including a complete Tour of Antarctica during the Austral Winter (June - October). To date, no crew has ever made such a navigation non-stop during the winter season and the extreme depressions that rage in the most inhospitable region of the seas on the Planet. It will be a human achievement and a major oceanographic challenge, as the international scientific community has no data on the air-sea interface for more than three months during this season.



The new OceanoScientific Explorer will exactly two years after go back in the wake of the Explorations de Monaco 2017.

Photo Olivier Borde - Explorations de Monaco 2017.

Monday 8 April 2019

9th Environmental Symposium: Mission accomplished

The 3rd Monaco Ocean Week was held from 24 to 30 March at the initiative of the Fondation Prince Albert II;the Musée and Institut océanographique, Fondation Albert Ier, Prince de Monaco; the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and  the Yacht Club de Monaco. OceanoScientific was actively involved in the design and implementation of the 9th Environmental Symposium La Belle Classe Superyachts of the Yacht Club de Monaco, to which Thursday, March 28 was devoted. 


The event was created a decade ago by Bernard d'Alessandri, Secretary General of the YCM with Cristina Ruiz Martinez, in charge of Superyacht Relations and, therefore, in permanent contact with the yacht-owners and captains. 


Our President, Yvan Griboval, himself a member of the prestigious Yacht Club of Monaco and Cécile d'Estais, General Delegate of our association, helped facilitate a full day of discussions in the manner of a TV talk show in order to develop the event so that it becomes a highlight of the Monaco Ocean Week. Four major themes were addressed by 24 international speakers, all specialists in their field: 


- New destinations

- Sustainable moorings & anchorages: Respect & Preservation of coastal areas

- Routine maintenance in harbor and at sea: Protection, Maintenance & Management of General Waste & Emissions

- New energy sources for propulsion: Sail, Electricity & Hydrogen. 


More than two hundred people, mostly captains of superyachts and industry members within the Cluster Yachting Monaco and the Sustainable Yachting Network, attended the talk show, which was brilliantly hosted by the journalist Cyrielle Hariel. The day closed with the presentation by the Sovereign Prince of the first  YCM Explorer Awards.


Each of the four workshops for the Environmental Symposium held in the meeting room of the Yacht Club de Monaco resulted in highly complementary talks by well-known specialists, such as Mike Horn evoking here in line-up A the state of the environment as he sees it during his expeditions.

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


From left to right: Cristina Ruiz Martinez, in charge of the relations with the yacht-owners and captains of Superyachts at the YCM.; Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientific; Bernard d'Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco; Cyrielle Hariel, journalist and host of the 2019 Environmental Symposium; Mike Horn, explorer and speaker on the theme of "New destinations", President of the Jury of the first YCM Explorer Awards. Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Workshop on the theme "New destinations", from left to right:  Murat Vargi, Daniela Matheus-Holland, Sonia Torland, Patrick Farcy, Christian Kempf, Mike Horn. 

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Workshop on the theme "Sustainable moorings & anchorages: Respect & preservation of coastal areas", from left to right: Frederic Villiers, Thierry Duchesne, Armelle Roudaut Lafon, Anne Vissio, Laurent Certaldi.

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Workshop on the theme "Sustainable moorings & anchorages: Respect & Preservation of Coastal Areas / Sustainable Yachting Network - Blue Charter", from left to right: Florestan Fillon, Cristina Ruiz Martinez.

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Workshop on the theme "Routine maintenance in harbor and at sea: Protection, Maintenance & Management of General Waste & Emissions", from left to right: Gérard Abidh, Kaj van Alem, Christophe Morote, Margaret Hepburn.

Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


Workshop on the theme "New energy sources for propulsion: Sail, Electricity & Hydrogen", from left to right: Jonathan McDonnell, Alain Janet, Philippe Briand, Marc Van Peteghem, Derek Munro, Richard Tatlow. Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco

Workshop on the theme "New energy sources for propulsion: Sail, Electricity & Hydrogen", from left to right: Jérémie Lagarrigue, Arnaud Vasquez. Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco


HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, President of the Monaco Yacht Club, presented the first YCM Explorer Awards on Thursday, March 28 in the presence of members of the international jury, including Richard Wiese, President of the American Explorers Club (3rd from the right) and Pierre Casiraghi, vice-president of the Yacht Club de Monaco (1st from the right). Photo Mesi - Yacht Club de Monaco

Thursday 7 March 2019

OceanoScientific to take part in the Monaco Ocean Week

On the initiative of HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II, the key Monegasque representatives involved in studying and preserving the Ocean: Fondation Prince Albert II;  Musée et Institut océanographique, Fondation Albert Ier, Prince de Monaco; Centre Scientifique de Monaco and the link between the Principality and the Sea the Yacht Club de Monaco are actively preparing the third edition of the Monaco Ocean Week, to be held from 24 to 30 March. 


Worthy of particular note among some forty events in the week is the initiative of Robert Calcagno, Director General of l'Institut océanographique, who for the first time will bring together on Tuesday 26 March the management staff of the largest European oceanographic institutes for a day of consultation and strategy in order to optimize scientific cooperation between states. 


Another major date is the 9th Environmental Symposium The Belle Classe Superyachts of the Yacht Club de Monaco on Thursday, March 28. Well before the Monaco Ocean Week came into being, Bernard d'Alessandri, Secretary General of the Y.C.M. wished to "make Yachting responsible, and make yacht-owners, captains and crews aware of the need to innovate in order to sail cleanly, sail better" to use his expression. With Cristina Ruiz, in charge of Superyachts relations, Bernard d'Alessandri gradually developed the symposium. 


With the assistance of our President, Yvan Griboval, himself a member of the prestigious Yacht Club de Monaco and with Cécile d'Estais, General Delegate of our association, the 9th Environmental Symposium will be held for a whole day from 9:00 to 18:30, in the manner of a TV talk show. 


Four major themes will be discussed by no less than 25 international speakers: 


- New destinations


- Sustainable moorings & anchorages: Respect & Preservation of coastal areas


- Routine maintenance in harbor and at sea: Protection, Maintenance & Management of General Waste &       Emissions


- New energy sources for propulsion: Sail, Electricity & Hydrogen


This day will end with the presentation by the Sovereign Prince of the first YCM Explorer Awards.


Friday 8 February 2019

OceanoScientific listed by POGO

The OceanoScientific Programme is now officially supported by the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), consisting of 38 scientific institutes in 20 countries. Yvan Griboval, President of OceanoScientifichas thus achieved the goal he set himself in 2005-2006: to serve the international scientific community by collecting high-quality oceanographic data at the Air-Sea interface with no CO2 emissions in regions of the seas that have been seldom explored if at all, including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current under the three main continental capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. As part of the 2019 Annual Meeting of POGO, which was held at the Ocean Science Center Mindelo (OSCM) in Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente in the Cape Verde archipelago, Gérard Eldin (CNRS/INSU) presented the OceanoScientific Programme in front of a room filled with scientists from all over the world. He presented the OceanoScientific Programme on 22 January, indicating the results of the 2016-2017 OceanoScientific Expedition, as well as the next two campaigns during the 2019-2020 austral summer and, especially, during the winter of 2020. If the latter is successful, it will be a major first in oceanography, but also in sailing, because no crew has ever managed to sail around Antarctica non-stop during the austral winter. This is why Yvan Griboval wants to engage in these new challenges at the helm of a 33.50-meter maxi-catamaran - the fastest ocean-going catamaran in the world to date - to be able either to stay in navigable conditions ahead of the dreadful southern depressions, or to escape at 25-30 knots and more from a hopeless situation due to the presence of a depression center far from its theoretical positioning on the weather map. It is unlikely that any sailboat, however fast and designed to navigate the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties, can withstand winds of up to 60 to 80 knots or more, on a raging Ocean, in the most inhospitable - and scientifically the most misunderstood - regions of the seas on the Planet.

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The Annual Meeting of the Partnership for the Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO) was held in late January at the Ocean Science Center in Mindelo (Cape Verde), bringing together representatives of 38 scientific institutes from 20 countries. Photo Andreas Villwock - GEOMAR

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On behalf of the Fabienne Gaillard Scientific Committee Gérard Eldin from the CNRS/INSU presented the overall OceanoScientific Programme, including the 2016-2017 OceanoScientific Expedition, as well as the next two OceanoScientific Expeditions scheduled during the 2019-2020 austral summer and the 2020 austral winter.  Photo Andreas Villwock - GEOMAR

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The assembly paid great attention to Gérard Eldin's remarks during his presentation of the OceanoScientific Programme. In the front row, from left to right: Professor Dr. Karen Wiltshire, outgoing POGO-Chair and Vice-Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI); Professor Dr. Peter M. Herzig, Executive Director at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel;Professor Dr. Arne Körtzinger, Head of Chemical Oceanography at GEOMAR and Scientific Head of the German-Cabo Verdean Cooperation at GEOMAR; Cordula Zenk, Coordinator German-Caboverdean Cooperation. Photo Andreas Villwock - GEOMAR

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