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Monday, May 29, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Newsletter # 27

39 ° 40 'North - 03 ° 86' East

Live your dreams, build the future!

Hello Kids, the time has come * to write you the last Kids Newsletter of this OceanoScientific Expedition 2016 - 2017 . Indeed, Friday June 2 around 10:00 am, I will dock at the honorary pontoon of the Yacht Club de Monaco. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco will hand me the moorings that I had entrusted to him on November 17th while setting sail. The OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" and I will have arrived at the end of this great adventure which took us to the Deep South, to the land of albatrosses. On the quay, will surely crowd all our young supporters of the Condamine primary school, already in number at the start. It will be a moment of strong emotion. To all the Kids from the Condamine (Monaco), Saint-Louis (Cabourg) and Jean Charcot (Ouistreham) schools, I confirm that I will come to your classes before the end of June. I will have the pleasure to dedicate to each of you a nice poster that Papeteries de Clairefontaine, our loyal partner, printed when I was still far from the goal. As I have browsed, through these Kids Newsletters, I hope I have conveyed to you a good part of the emotion that I myself felt during this solo navigation. Also provided that you are aware of the imperative need to preserve the Ocean. I also wish to have made you want, on the one hand to fulfill your own dreams and, on the other hand, to travel the world to discover the most wonderful things that the Planet offers, whether on land or at sea. Live your dreams, build a bright future while respecting Nature. It's your turn !

This beautiful rainbow in the wake of Boogaloo marked the end of the very last squall of the North Atlantic, while the bow was already aimed at the Strait of Gibraltar. As if the great ocean gave us a knowing wink after so many days spent in its company. The emotion of the sea is hidden behind every cloud.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Once is not customary, I write you * this newsletter on the firm ground of the small town of Cartagena (Spain) where I wait before going back to sea on Saturday May 27, in order to be punctual at the appointment with the Sovereign Prince. A few hours after leaving this welcoming port where I like to relax, I will cut the Greenwich Meridian in the West> East direction, going from a West longitude to an East longitude, according to the method I explained to you in the Kids Newsletter. n ° 17 , when I crossed the antimeridian in the Great South. Even more than when I crossed the wake of Boogaloo along the Moroccan coast ten days ago, this passage of the Greenwich Meridian will mark concretely the end of the world tour, the return to the starting point.

I have about 700 nautical miles to cover (570 direct route), or about 1,200 kilometers, before entering the port of Monaco. The breezes promise to be variable in strength and direction and I will probably have to finish the course with the help of the motor, because a great calm should bathe the French Mediterranean coast at the end of the week, as very often at this time of the year. 'year. Boogaloo is really swift in the very light airs and I will use the slightest breath of Aeolus to get as close as possible to the objective under sail, in order to burn as little CO2 (carbon dioxide) as possible, to sail as clean as possible. far than atmospheric conditions will allow.

Already, I feel an immense personal pride to have realized the dream of the teenager that I was in 1972, when I read and repeatedly reread " La Longue Route " by Bernard Moitessier, in fifteen ; when I made a commitment to myself to go solo around the world sailing, to overtake Cape Horn solo. Forty-five years later, that dream has come true. You can't imagine how happy I am. Or rather if, you can imagine it when in your turn you will reach a supreme goal which you will have fixed in the privacy of your thoughts, without taking into account the remarks of each other on your capacity to do or not. not to do, to succeed or to fail. Let say and move on.

Know that around you, even among those who have the most affection, love for you, there will always be people whom dreams frighten, who will fear for you because they fear for themselves. Above all, do not take into account the anxieties of others. Walk the path that you are tracing every day of your will to accomplish your dream. It is only by staying true to your dream that one day you achieve this fantastic pleasure of saying to yourself first and to others, to all the others, then: " I did it. ! ". It doesn't matter if it takes you 45 years, like me or a lifetime. The main thing is to never let the flame of this envy stronger than anything go out, which will gradually lead you to build your own future as you see fit.

I'm telling you: it's not easy. It's a struggle. With moments of euphoria when we get closer to the goal, of course, but also terrible moments of despondency, periods during which we believe everything is lost, over. And then, if the little flame, even when it has become tiny, still burns deep inside you, deep in your heart, nothing will be lost, the conquest of your dream can continue and you will come out of this sequence of doubt even stronger. . Dreaming is a permanent conquest.

I would like so much that my stories, my answers to your questions, generate in you this mad desire to want to reach the inaccessible! Because we human beings are only rich in ourselves… and in our dreams. That is, the meaning we give to our life. There is no rule. Neither to be happy, nor to succeed in life. But there are millions of them to pass on this earth in the anonymity of a boredom that we carry and endure over the years, accusing everything and its opposite of being responsible for its ill-being. However, there is no other responsible than oneself.

Before concluding this twenty-seventh Kids Newsletters, I have two last pieces of information for you. They have guided my whole life until today and I will continue to follow their precepts until my last day. The first is that bad luck does not exist. It is important to know that. The second is that neither is luck. Too bad, isn't it? No, a thousand times no!

Life, your life, is what you will make of it. Do not wait for salvation from the outside. Believe in yourself and everything will be possible, all doors will open, even those which seem to you the most locked, hermetic to your desires. You have the best future to build, provided that you remain humble in front of Nature, respectful of your environment.

And, please, always think of the Ocean from time to time, it needs your concern, your benevolence. Preserve the Ocean, please. It starts on dry land.

With Boogaloo I opened the way for you, I offer you my wake, seize it, sail towards your own dreams, win the Future. Hi Kids, thank you all and good luck!

" Everything that men have done beautiful and good, they have built with their dreams ... "

Bernard Moitessier

" The Long Road "

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

* I wrote this newsletter on Friday May 26th. It was prepared the following days, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday, May 29 in the morning.

Cap Akritas , this container ship under the Hong Kong flag of 259 meters and 40,000 tonnes of displacement, built in 1987, is a giant of the older generation. The news embeds more than 20,000 "boxes", as shipping professionals call them, on a 400-meter hull. Observe the pile of containers. We thus understand why in the event of very bad weather some escape and fall into the sea, creating excessively dangerous wrecks for a sailboat like Boogaloo . It is a major risk that is constantly increasing on the ocean. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Throughout the OceanoScientific Expedition, Yvan Griboval was in contact with CE2-CM1-CM2 classes in Monaco, Cabourg and Ouistreham. He answered the questions that his young supporters prepared with their teachers, like here in CM1 class at the Ecole Saint-Louis in Cabourg where his children are educated: Quentin, Malo and Léa. Photo Manuel Guyon - West France

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Newsletter # 26

37 ° 33 'North - 00 ° 57' West

Gibraltar for the second time

Hello Kids, as I expressed it by heading south (Kids Newsletter n ° 2) six months ago already, crossing the narrow Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and the Rock of Gibraltar in the North and Morocco in South, is a dreaded phase of our journey. The sailing conditions can be formidable there with strong head winds, whatever the season. Above all, maritime traffic is intense in the direction entering / leaving the Mediterranean, that is to say West - East and vice versa, as in the perpendicular axis which connects the two coasts. We went there at night with a weak to moderate westerly wind and a favorable current which made it easier for us to cross it. It's a major step that really marks the end of our journey. However, as our ascent of the Atlantic was particularly fast, we made another stopover in Cartagena (Spain), in order not to arrive five to seven days in advance of the meeting of Friday, June 2 at 10:00 a.m. at the Yacht Club of Monaco where His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince Albert II will be waiting for us on the pontoon to put us back in the moorings. The expedition will end there after leaving on November 17, 2016.

We passed the Strait of Gibraltar at night, without a moon, therefore in conditions that did not allow taking pictures. In 2015, on the contrary, we passed in the middle of the day in good weather, as shown in this image. We come across all kinds of large ships, whether transporting goods or passengers. It is truly a maritime "highway".

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

The Strait of Gibraltar is one of the three busiest maritime zones in the world with the Pas-de-Calais, between France and England and the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia / Singapore and the Island of Sumatra (Asia). The figure of 100,000 high-tonnage ships per year: freighters, including giant container ships which bring most of the goods produced in Asia and sold in Europe, as well as tankers and liners, would be an estimate now outdated. The careful observation of this gigantic maritime traffic is moreover a very precise way of measuring the importance of the exchanges between Asia and Europe, knowing that the ships which cross Gibraltar, also pass for the majority by the Suez Canal, to the at the other end of the Mediterranean, the gateway to the Orient.

Gibraltar is a tiny territory of barely seven square kilometers, recognizable by its rock of 430 meters above sea level visible from far away in good visibility. About 30,000 people live in this British enclave on European soil, surrounded by two-thirds of Spain and the rest by sea. There are also around 200 monkeys, lords of the famous rock.

Following successive invasions, Gibraltar was a Moorish territory for a long time, before the Spaniards reappropriated it in 1492. Then in 1713 the English seized it in favor of a treaty which put an end to a long war on Spanish territory. This little piece of land with nothing at all, bathed by a large bay where a very large number of ships, commercial as well as war, can be sheltered, becomes an extraordinary strategic advantage for the benefit of the British to control all trade between the countries. Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

Just to port (left) before leaving the Atlantic to enter the Mediterranean through the famous strait, there is the Cape of Trafalgar of grim memory. Napoleon's French fleet suffered its most bitter defeat there against the ships of the Kingdom of England led by the formidable Vice-Admiral Nelson (October 21, 1805), who lost his life. Less numerous, more efficient, with more efficient sailboats and maneuvering faster, the English sailors wiped out in a single battle two-thirds of the imposing fleet of the Franco-Spanish coalition, showing that the English were much the worst enemy. of Napoleon. He never succeeded in imposing the maritime domination of France, synonymous with control of the main world trade at that time. As for invading England, his dearest wish, he never realized it either. What failures in the name of France!

In 1830 Gibraltar became a full British colony. This territory is still today under the authority of the Queen of England. Note that the current Mayor of Gibraltar is an emblematic personality of the rock beyond his administrative function. This is the young (30 years) Kaiane Lopez, ex-Miss Gibraltar, but above all ex-Miss World 2009. She has charm, it is obvious, but she also needs authority, because for more than five centuries the Spaniards have wanted to recover this strategic territory and today more than yesterday. Indeed, until now, that is to say until the moment when England was still part of the European Community (EEC), relations were only bad between Gibraltar and Spain. Now that England has voted "Brexit", signaling the will of its people to no longer join the EEC, the reports have become really appalling, although the population of Gibraltar voted 92% - a record! - in favor of maintaining Great Britain in Europe.

As far as we are concerned, Brexit or not, the objective was to enter the Mediterranean without a hitch. Once again our lucky star ensured that Boogaloo enjoyed the benevolence of Neptune, God of the Sea and Aeolus, God of the Wind. This has also been the case since the start from Rio de Janeiro ( Kids Newsletter n ° 23 ), despite the immense zone of the Azores high pressure which is supposed to block the passage of its calm and its contrary breezes. But Boogaloo , guided by the wise advice of our router Christian Dumard, has found a perfect path. It took us just 28 days to connect Brazil to Cartagena, where we released on Saturday, May 20. Twenty-eight days to cover 5,810 nautical miles (11,000 km), or precisely 207.5 nautical miles covered per day, at 8.65 knots on average for a truly rapid ascent. How fast is this Boogaloo , my P'tit Bonhomme , from whom I will soon have to part with after more than 150 days of a wonderful tête-à-tête.

Whether it is just before entering the Strait of Gibraltar, in or once in the Mediterranean, the dolphins accompany Boogaloo with enthusiasm. Of the entire 2016-2017 OceanoScientific Expedition , this is the sea area where we observed the most. This image, which dates from the same day as the one above, is the best I have made of these happy fellow travelers.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

When approaching the Strait of Gibraltar from the south along the Moroccan coast, one finds oneself confronted with a multitude of tiny fishing boats that are ill-equipped to be spotted. Day and night, these are obstacles that must be ceaselessly watched over. Passing close to the crews busy with their task, the exchanges are cordial, as here where they congratulate us on the round-the-world trip and wish us a safe journey to Monaco. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, May 15, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Newsletter # 25

33 ° 60 'North - 17 ° 10' West

Passing not far from the Azores ...

Hello Kids, in the light breezes of the Azores high where we are currently operating *, we are starting our last week in the Atlantic before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, probably the weekend of May 19-21. It's already a bit of the end of our expedition that started on November 17 from Monaco, in a soft spring atmosphere. No more terrible equatorial and tropical heat. The furious gales of early December in the Mediterranean and along the Moroccan coasts, then the impressive depressions of the Great South are no more than memories. Now everything is appeased. I sail on an ocean of serenity. This should be the case until Friday, June 2, the scheduled arrival date at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Except that the Mediterranean, always versatile, does not reserve one of the pranks it is accustomed to: a strong gale from the East or a powerful Mistral facing the bow of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" . For the moment, nothing on the horizon makes us fear it. Let's take the opportunity to evoke the archipelago of the Azores, not far from which I am sailing. A tiny string of islands on the scale of the immense North Atlantic. But they occupy an important place in the hearts of sailors. Explanations.

The return of the North Atlantic to Gibraltar is a long game of patience in often unstable and weak winds. To progress steadily and at good speed, you have to be vigilant and spend a lot of time adjusting the canopy to adapt to the changing moods of the breeze.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Let us situate the Azores. They are in the northwest of the island of Madeira, the nearest land. The Canaries (Spain) are located a little further than Madeira, to their southwest. But we must above all situate this string of Portuguese islands - it has been an autonomous region of Portugal since 1976, therefore a territory of the European Community - in relation to Lisbon, capital of Portugal and in relation to Newfoundland, you will understand why later in this text. Let us count about 1,500 kilometers to connect Lisbon to the Azores and a thousand more to reach Newfoundland in their North - North West.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

This volcanic archipelago is made up of three groups of islands. The eastern group, to the east, is made up of São Miguel, the largest (750 km2) and Santa-Maria. The central group includes Faial, with the famous port of Horta, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge and Pico, whose peak, often snow-capped, rises to 2350 meters. Finally, to the west, the western group is made up of the eighth island: Flores and the ninth and smaller: Corvo (17 km2), the wildest. In total, the Azores have a surface area of ​​less than 2,500 km2, a tiny lost point on the map of the North Atlantic.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

This archipelago is in what we call the subtropical zone, that is to say, to put it simply, between us and the tropics, more influenced by the tropics. The climate is pleasant. It is mild there all year round. Never too cold, never too hot. Ideal. Nevertheless, this archipelago which gave its name to the immense anticyclone of the North Atlantic Hemisphere, is famous for its precipitation. Because it is also in the southern part of the trajectory of the trains of depressions which run from the American coasts to the European coasts from November to April. The violent breezes sweeping through these resting volcanoes bring powerful rains.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

These islands were famous centuries ago for the luxuriance of their forests. However, the need to breed cattle and sheep as well as the obligation to cultivate cereals to feed its inhabitants made the forests disappear, the trees of which were also used for shipbuilding. Thanks to the perfect cocktail of mild temperatures and heavy rainfall, the flora is particularly developed there, with a multitude of wild flowers and cultivated flowers which are one of the many attractions of these attractive islands.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The Portuguese were, it seems, the first to land in the Azores. Historians indeed attribute to a man named Diogo de Silves the discovery of the archipelago in 1427 (15th Century). However, it may be that in the 3rd Century other men reached these islands before them. The mystery remains. In reality, it will take more than twenty years and many crews, still Portuguese, to inventory the nine islands and discover their interest and wealth.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

The Portuguese quickly understood the benefit they could derive from this discovery, while these volcanic territories did not conceal any particular wealth in their soil, except then on its surface large trees highly prized for shipbuilding. In their competition to conquer the world and to find new ways to get supplies of precious products in India in particular and in Asia in general, competition with the Spaniards, first, then the Dutch, the English and the French , then, was harsh. Having this stopover about 800 nautical miles from their continental bases gave the Portuguese crews a major advantage. Which helped them to discover Brazil, for example ( Kids Newsletter n ° 23 ).

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Indeed, the departure from the European coasts was often done in tough conditions, with a strong wind and a difficult sea, while the crews, often made up of scraps of the company who had just come out drunk from the taverns of the port, had difficulty in mariner. This resulted in a number of damages from the start of these interminable journeys. Having ports in which to stop over, repair the breakage, or even change a mast, stitch up the sails, redo a damaged hull part, or simply complete refueling, represented an invaluable asset in this large-scale maritime competition.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Later, it was also an obligatory point of passage for all the Portuguese tall ships fishing for cod, the main natural resource of the North Atlantic for almost a century, from the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. As long as the sailing navy was not dethroned by steam, the Azores were an asset of choice. The prevailing winds, winds contrary to the progression to connect the banks of Newfoundland, forced the tall ships to first plunge south-west, precisely towards the Azores, then to go up again towards the north-east, towards Earth -New and Labrador. For Portuguese cod fishing vessels, leaving their country and stopping over in the Azores, or even leaving the Azores, then returning directly to Portugal, was the key to their domination of the fishing campaigns on the Grand Bank. So much so that cod - salted cod / dried cod, as it returned to the holds of Terre-Neuviers - has established itself as the emblematic national dish of Portugal ... and Brazil too, as I observed during from my recent stopover in Rio de Janeiro (Kids Newsletter n ° 23).

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

When steamboats dethroned sailing ships at the start of the 20th Century, they played with the direction of the wind. They could thus shoot straight across the Atlantic, from continental Europe to Newfoundland, without tacking (tacking) against the wind. The Azores were abandoned, deserted and impoverished.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

On land, when the Azores were discovered, the fauna was hardly significant, with rabbits - perhaps even imported by Portuguese settlers ... - weasels, ferrets and hedgehogs. Not enough to feed many people or to trade in meat. Hence the need to cut down forests to raise cows, sheep and goats, which make it possible to produce the excellent cheeses of these islands.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

It is not the same with the sea. The approaches to the Azores have always been rich in cetaceans and tuna. So much so that whaling was for a long time the first and very profitable activity of the island. Between cod fishing and whaling, the Azores experienced years of prosperity at the end of the 19th Century, which have long since passed. If these activities have disappeared, it is still possible today to embark in Horta on large, very fast inflatable boats to go and observe the whales which pass near the islands.

I made a stopover with Boogaloo in Horta, the port of Faial, at the end of winter 2013-2014. Our car had stayed there wisely for a good month before heading for Monaco when spring came. I really enjoyed this port, this island of Faial and I can't wait to return with my family to show it to my children: Quentin, Malo and Léa.

One of the main activities of Horta is the reception of yachts, sailboats and motor-yachts, which return from the Antilles once the Caribbean season is over, to spend the summer in the Mediterranean. Thus, from March to May, Horta sees numerous crews parade on board some of the most beautiful pleasure craft in the world. In fact, without knowing it of course, the one who initiated this practice is none other than Christopher Columbus, back from his first campaign to explore the Caribbean Sea, crowned with his prestigious discoveries. The only drawback at the time, the famous explorer was sailing under the colors of the Kingdom of Spain. One can easily imagine that he did not receive in Portuguese lands such a warm welcome as that which contributes to the excellent reputation of Horta today ...

All these crews in transit frequent THE most famous bar for Atlantic sailors: Peter Cafe Sport , now run by the friendly José Henrique Azevedo. At 57 years old, José represents the third generation who presides over the destinies of this establishment opened on December 25, 1918 by Henrique Lourenço Ávila Azevedo (1895 - 1975), one of the two sons of Ernesto Lourenço S. Azevedo (1859 - 1931) who had developed a renowned trade in products made using whale bones. Henrique had indeed had the idea of ​​opening this tavern in the building adjoining his father's offices and shops. What a good idea !

It is a small establishment where you sometimes have to wait a long time for a crew to regain its edge before finding a place to sit. Once seated, we avoid getting up, we consume! In particular the good local products on the plate and the glass. You don't have to go to Horta for a slimming cure! The walls and the ceiling are adorned with photos of stopover boats and the flags and handlebars that they have given to the various members of the Azevedo family who have taken it in turns with a smile since the beginning of the last century. Entering Chez Peter is entering the authentic world of seafarers. We are comfortable there, as we were there and as we will be there. A sort of eternal bistro that stands the test of time. A haven of peace where sometimes to heal the misfortunes of very agitated Antilles - Azores crossings. The severe bad weather specific to the depressions at the hinge of winter and spring in the north of the North Atlantic is indeed no gift to sailors.

At Peter's , we drink, we eat there, we tell sea stories. We can count on teammates from other sides for a few stopover romances. We are remaking the world there too. You do not always come out walking very straight, probably because of the strong low pressure gusts that so often sweep the port of Horta and its docks ... The life of a seafarer on land, what. And it is a tradition that each boat in stopover leaves on the quay a square of paving stones painted by the members of its crew according to their inspiration, signed with the name of the ship. You can find everything on the quay and sometimes beautiful works that bad weather inexorably erase, leaving the pavement to the inspiration of other passing sailors. So goes life in Horta.

To close this episode about the Azores archipelago, let Albert 1st, Prince of Monaco, feast us on his celebration of the natural assets of these islands that appeared out of nowhere, as he described them on the occasion of the last one. Voyage of the Hirondelle I , during the summer of 1888. I quote Him about Faial where the port of Horta is located (1): " … these Azorean islands sometimes rounded under the pressure of a volcano, sometimes torn apart in the explosion of a crater, abrupt on their edges, crowned with greenery even beyond the clouds; everywhere imbued with a grandeur that the Ocean gave them to hover over the domain of its storms.

Their mountains are eloquent with the harshness of lava cooled in the midst of scorched spaces; with the silent craters in a slumber still disturbed by deep shocks under the green mantle with which the tropical nature seems to have covered them to control their last efforts.

In the midst of splendors caressed by the blue shimmer of the sea, in the circle of an ever wider horizon as one reaches higher, the heart of man expands under the impression, vaguely marked with sadness and joy, which always gives contact with the infinite. "

And The Navigator Prince evokes the highest point of the archipelago (2): " Pico, the great summit of the neighboring island, the dead volcano, whose head whitens under the snow and dominates with the serenity of a silence eternal two hundred miles from the ocean; Pico, somber and majestic under a dress of purple and red tones, whose sharp profiles first descend straight, then stretch out for a long time to the sea; Pico, the extinguished torch of the archipelago, raises its vigorous lines beyond the strait.

The sea struggles, not without difficulty, for grandeur with the giant whose waters, moire by currents bathe the belt, just below the villages which stretch out in long ribbons to mark the domain of men.

Higher than these houses, the dark green of a wild vegetation precedes the desert of the high regions which the fire of the earth once disputed with the clouds. Finally, and as if to affirm human daring in the face of forces capable of shaking the world, a ship appears and anchors quietly in the harbor, during its struggles across the Atlantic. "

This superb text by Albert 1st, Prince of Monaco would make a nice dictation for the use of your masters and mistresses, what do you say?

(1) In "The career of a navigator" - Albert 1st Prince of Monaco - Edition of 1966 - Editions of the Archives of the Prince's Palace - Page 135

(2) In "The career of a navigator" - Pages 136-137

* I wrote this newsletter on Saturday May 13th. It was prepared on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday, May 15 in the morning.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Newsletter # 24

20 ° 82 'North - 30 ° 88' West

Twenty-four hours on board

KN 24

Hello Kids, since the passage of Ecuador and the entry into the Northern Hemisphere on May 1, to find you, we are close-hauled. That is to say that we are progressing against the wind which I try to get as close as possible to a speed close to that of the breeze itself. I live permanently leaning, with the mast of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" which makes an angle of 25 ° to 30 ° in relation to the surface of the sea. We go up almost heading due north and we will reach the edge of the sea. high pressure in the Azores when this Kids Newsletter n ° 24 reaches you *. Either we will succeed in entering a vein of favorable winds and we will then escape to the North-East and the Strait of Gibraltar. Either his calm will devour us and we will be well embarrassed. But in any case, the meeting at the Yacht Club de Monaco at 10 a.m. sharp on Friday June 2 will not be called into question. Our router-guardian angel, Christian Dumard, makes sure that the big bad high pressure does not bite us raw ... In the serenity of a breeze of 10 to 14 knots where Boogaloo glides with elegance, I will take the opportunity to detail what occupies me on a 24 hour cycle, well wedged in the wind in the watch seat from which I am writing to you.

Flying fish, exocet of their common name, strafe the deck with their nocturnal assaults. Inside you can clearly hear the impact of the shock, then the flapping of the wing-fins in an attempt to escape from this bad flight. Some manage to find their element. Others unfortunately die on Boogaloo like this one. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

It's hard to say when exactly a 24 hour cycle begins on board, because there is no difference between day and night: Boogaloo requires constant attention and the breeze does not necessarily choose the daytime periods to manifest its moods that require to adapt the airfoil, therefore to maneuver. The period dedicated to the collection of scientific data having ended, the daily program has been considerably reduced.

Just to take a benchmark, let's start from the end of the last long sleep sequence: 2 hours maximum per long sequence for a total sleep of 4 hours to 6 hours per 24 hours. Or brushing the teeth. Important moment that puts me in a good mood. Immediately after, I heat water in the small kettle on the small stove. This is desalinated seawater, produced after one hour of operation of the watermaker approximately every 36 hours. During this time, while waiting for the kettle to whistle, I connect the Iridium satellite phone and check the mailbox on the on-board computer.

This e-mail which allows texts and photos to be transmitted is the link with the earth. I very rarely use the speech function - the phone itself - except in a few cases: to get technical assistance when the autopilots have stopped working, for example; to be live with the house at 7:59 p.m. French time on the evening of each election in order to know who wins who loses; to congratulate my children: Quentin, Malo and Léa when they have good grades, which is frequent, I am proud of it! Or to interact with you in your classes.

The time of use on board is Universal Time - UT, as explained in Kids Newsletter n ° 17 . But my rhythm of life is organized in a somewhat anarchic compromise between this official time, French time - given that all my exchanges with the earth are done during your day - and the local time where I am, this time. that is, the hour of the sun. Therefore, I brush my teeth sometimes at night, sometimes during the day.

The kettle whistles, I turn off the gas and prepare what could be considered breakfast. I haven't been very good at breakfast since leaving Monaco on November 17th. Except at the very beginning, for four days, when I had Vendée brioche to accompany my cup of tea. It looked like breakfast then, then it quickly evolved into something big. For example, after the Vendée brioche, I made a cure of good madeleines and small cakes from our partner Biscuiterie Jeannette 1850, which was in fact only a disguised pretext to satisfy my greed for these excellent treats. From Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), I eat two small energy bars (not energizing!) Made from mixed grains. As I have not really calculated the quantities according to the number of days of navigation, I will run out of it shortly. Like chocolate, cut-late night cakes, shelf-stable bread, fruit, etc. I don't attach much importance to it. I show a real casualness when it comes to food, while I have a brazen rigor for everything else.

Moreover, in terms of food in general, I am hardly an example of serious dietetics. Nevertheless, to feed myself by listening to my body and by anticipating periods of effort or lack of sleep, such as persistent cold, I managed, especially in the Great South, never to have the feeling of hunger, absolutely never cold and I have only had two mini hypoglycemic attacks in already 133 days of solo sailing in all kinds of conditions, although I have suffered quite regularly on land with a theoretically better regulated rhythm of life. It just goes to show that living instinctively, more like an animal than a sailor super protected by principles and rules, is not a bad choice ...

Since we are in the diet chapter, let us specify that I therefore only have one meal a day, generally a bag of freeze-dried - an excellent product recommended by Ariane Pehrson ( in Lorient) which I enjoy. The Chicken Korma and Rice (Expedition Foods), in particular, is really delicious! I haven't had one for a long time. Sometimes it's a very good dish prepared under vacuum, always recommended by Super Ariane. It is rarer, because for that you have to take out the pressure cooker and use a lot more gas, making sure that the pressure cooker, boiling water and hot bag do not visit the cabin in scattered order at the mercy of a wave. traitor that Boogaloo would have had fun smashing with a devastating bow. Because Mon P'tit Bonhomme is not stingy with jokes like this, the guy. I forgive him, of course.

If I do not eat freeze-dried or prepared meals, I sometimes cook my famous tuna noodles or spaghetti in tomato sauce. But hardly more than four or five times since the beginning. I was more greedy at the start thanks to the excellent ham of Auvergne "Laborie" and the goat cheese from Normandy that Nicolas Cherrier had prepared for me, who runs with his wife Sophie Le Fils du Pôvre in Cabourg, the best delicatessen on the site, where I find in particular my favorite Camembert at any time of the day seven days a week: the Champ Secret , produced by Patrick Mercier according to the traditions as when I was a very young Norman already very greedy of Camembert. Besides, if you knew how I want a large piece of Champ Secret with good three-pound bread well baked by Pierre Mansour from Maison Florent (Cabourg) with a (several!) Glass of fresh cider produced. by Michèle and Patrice Giard in Montreuil-en-Auge (14340). I dream about it ! I can't wait to see My Normandy again ...

I also consume a lot of tuna, per box of 400 grams (a block of tuna of 280 g) that I prepare in its box by removing the conservation water, adding lemon juice (in bottle), a drizzle of oil and a good dose of mayonnaise. A box makes a meal. I ate two in a row when I rode all day when I had been cowardly abandoned by my autopilots. I also tasted a few good cans of pickled mackerel. All from the Petit Navire brand. I still have some tuna. Mackerel are just a memory. Pity.

Once this main course is consumed slowly, it is important, I eat a piece of fruit. I have fond memories of my pink grapefruits from South Africa, tasted once a day for 59 days in the Deep South. A delight. Now I have poor quality Brazilian oranges and big Granny Smith apples, the size of which reveals a crop rich in fertilizers and other Monsanto and Co products. We do what we can with what we have, don't- not? Roll on Norman apples!

Finally, I conclude with a sencha green tea, ideal for digestion and for pleasure. I drink a lot of teas and herbal teas on board and sometimes, in the evening or at night, I am fond of a freeze-dried soup. I make clever cocktails from two sachets of different soups, with a weakness for tomato soup, in the absence of fresh tomatoes which I consume breathtakingly all year round, especially in spring and summer.

Whether it's hot or cold, I consume every day, or once every 36 hours at most, 300 grams of sweetened condensed milk (Régilait, French product). My secret weapon to always have fishing. Fortunately, I have almost as far as Monaco. Phew!

Back to breakfast. This moment is important among others, because I am more particularly attentive to the movements of Boogaloo , to the state of the sea, to the shapes of the sails. Often, once the tea is drunk, I modify a setting, possibly I change the wing.

The priority is obviously the good progress of Boogaloo on the chosen route. Whatever I do, a change in the wind force interrupts all activity, even sleep, because it only takes a little difference in the rhythm of Boogaloo to wake up instantly, even tired, without having to call for services. from SamSam , the famous red alarm clock that chimes at all times, a gift from my children.

Usually, around 3:00 UT, so often at night, I will look for a Grib file via an Iridium communication using Météo-France's Navimail2 service. It will unfortunately come to a halt soon when it is an invaluable aid to navigation, thanks to a forecast of an incredible quality, even in places where few ships pass. Once in possession of these forecasts, I carry out road simulations using the Adrena software developed for competition. For his part, Christian Dumard also uses Adrena, but by collecting much more weather information than I do myself on board, from different sources all over the weather planet. As a result, we combine our analyzes, he on the longest term (ten days) in terms of global strategy and I on the short term (two days) to make the choice of the route to follow depending on the precise situation that we meet on the Ocean.

Several times a day, especially depending on small weather changes, unforeseen or major phenomena, I go back to work at the chart table to optimize our navigation. Note that I do not use paper maps, that everything is done on the on-board computer to which the navigation unit is connected, which delivers all the available parameters: precise geographical position, wind force and direction, heading followed on the surface (Compass heading), but also on the ground (True heading). There is indeed a difference between what happens on the surface and the course actually followed, in particular because of the ocean currents which can accelerate or slow down the sailboat by 10% of its speed or much more, anywhere on the boat. Ocean, even in the Mediterranean where there are theoretically no tides like in Normandy and Brittany.

Finally, the biggest chunk of my day is devoted to "office work". This is all work done by email. All exchanges, mainly with Cécile my wife, who relays information, questions, answers and working documents to the outside world as well as to Boogaloo . I spend hours and hours there, but much less than Cécile. Because each email I send him can represent several hours of work to follow. In this context, I am well aware that I am not the one who works the most, even if it occupies me a lot. Cécile is the terrestrial watchman of this expedition and her invaluable contribution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is decisive in our success.

In what I call "office work", there is the writing of two weekly newsletters, supplemented by a few articles written regularly for the daily Paris-Normandie, located in Rouen, my hometown, and for the magazine Marine & Oceans. A newsletter is between four and seven hours of non-stop writing, then about three hours of proofreading - rewriting broken up into five or six sessions spread over 24 to 36 hours. It is sometimes complicated, either because the heat is unbearable on board, as recently around the Equator, or because the sailing conditions are tough and life on board very hectic.

Otherwise, I spend time contemplating the sea and the sky, feasting on the flight of birds and their hunts for flying fish. If it is only for some time Boogaloo and I are really alone in the world, no more birds visit us. We will find them now as we get closer to land. Soon.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

* I wrote this newsletter on Sunday May 7th. It was prepared on Monday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Tuesday, May 9 in the morning .

At the Ocean Market: “ Who wants my salads, nice salads, inexpensive salads! ” Coming out of the Doldrums, in this very hot tropical zone, the blue of the sea is studded with large yellow patches. These are Sargassum, rather light brown once out of the water. A whole life develops there. The only drawback is that they get caught in the keel, the centreboard, the rudder, the hydro generator: it is an invasive algae.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Newsletter # 23

0 ° 65 'North - 28 ° 56' West

Small tour through Brazil

KN 23

Hello Kids, I'm back in the Northern Hemisphere, since May 1st at 3.35pm UT, i.e. 5.35pm in Monaco or Normandy, after leaving on December 18th. So I left the autumn of the South to find the spring of the North which embellishes your gardens at this magical moment of the year when the delicate lily of the valley blooms. At my level, that does not change anything: it is hot, very hot, in this tropical zone, both below and above the Equator. I can't wait to get out of it in order to find more pleasant living conditions on board, because the all-carbon OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" is a real oven in these conditions. And I cook in it! After leaving the Forties, from Monday April 3 I spent nine days without autopilot ( Kids Newsletter n ° 22 / Newsletter n ° 23 ) in the direction of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where I stopped for ten days to put the two autopilots back into service in order to continue my journey quietly towards Monaco. I left Brazil on Saturday April 22 and everything is being organized in Monaco so that I will dock at 10 a.m. sharp on Friday June 2.

We arrived in Rio de Janeiro from the South-East along the beach of Leblon, Ipanema, then that of Copacabana (on the photo), under the gaze of Christ of Corcovado (above the second large building when leaving on the right), before going around the famous Pain de Sucre (on the far right) to enter the bay and reach the Marina da Gloria, the Olympic port of the last Olympic Games

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

So I still have a full month of sailing in front of the bow. Cool ! As a result, I should not be late for the meeting with HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco who will set me up at the honorary pontoon of the Yacht Club de Monaco - as I had myself handed over to him on the 17th. November when I left the Principality for this great adventure. However, this last part of the expedition is also the one where I will come up against headwinds on the outskirts of the Azores high pressure, as well as areas of calm and squalls. For calm and violent squalls, it has already started, I'm right in it! Even if there are no longer the strong depressions and the enormous waves of the Great South, it is not necessarily a smooth sailing. So I must not hang around on the way if I want to honor this meeting of June 2 - 10:00 a.m.… and find all those I love and who miss me more and more, because I left my home in Cabourg then port of Caen-Ouistreham on Saturday 22 October, six months ago already. It's a long six months away from them!

Leaving Rio on April 22, I left the day after the national holiday celebrating the discovery of Brazil on April 22, 1500 by the Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabral (1467 - 1520). I did not understand why we are celebrating a 21st anniversary of the 22. Brazilian mystery…

History retains that the King of Portugal, Manuel I, known as " The Fortunate ", entrusted a fleet of thirteen ships to Pedro Alvares Cabral to go to India to continue the work started by his compatriot Vasco de Gama (1460 - 1524). Among the crews are some of the best Portuguese sailors, specialists in astronomical navigation.

Vasco da Gama is often and wrongly attributed with the "discovery" of India on May 21, 1498. In fact, he was the first Westerner to land there - in the city-state of Calicut, Kozhikode today. That is to say to sail down the entire Atlantic, to double the southern tip of Africa then called the Cape of Storms - now the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) - then to ascend the 'Indian Ocean from the South-West to the North-East to finally dock in India. Moreover, the reception reserved for him was not that expected and he returned with empty holds. Because Vasco da Gama came from Portugal with honey, hats and chamber pots. He expected to exchange them for precious spices, rich silks and precious stones. But the Indians are not fooled and Vasco de Gama is forced to flee by taking some Indian notables hostage to protect himself from the wrath of the head of the local government: the Zamorin of Calicut. He was nonetheless acclaimed on his return home and named "Admiral of the Indies". In short, he is doing well!

At that time, the trade in spices and silks produced in India, as well as precious stones, was controlled on land by Muslims. They controlled in fact all the land routes between Asia and our Europe, of Christian religion under the authority of the Pope. No cargo could therefore pass from the East to the West without the agreement of the Muslim armies, especially those of the Ottoman Empire - to put it simply, today's Turkey. The caravan had to pay heavy taxes at best. In the worst case and most frequently, the goods were stolen and the caravanners murdered or captured to be sold as slaves.

Encouraged by the popes who succeeded each other at the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th, the kings of Spain and Portugal competed on the oceans to discover new sea routes in order to avoid the immense land area controlled by the Muslims. and to obtain supplies directly from India, then more generally in Asia as new territories are discovered and colonized. Dutch, English and French adopted the same approach. But it was the Portuguese and the Spaniards who were then the most powerful navigators and, consequently, the richest traders. Because it was enough on a fleet of several tens of sailboats that only one returns loaded with spices, silks and precious stones for an immense fortune to be constituted. The investment was then low compared to the profit made. The life of the sailors mattered little, as much to the monarchs, as to the traders ... or to the Pope himself, who besides deducted a significant percentage from all this hyper profitable trade. A part of these sums then made it possible to finance crusades in order to conquer territories on Muslim soil. Rather than "conquer", the term "evangelize" was used. However, it was nevertheless a question of waging war, destroying all resistance and driving out the Muslim leaders in order to impose Christian doctrines on the local populations in order to enslave them in the service of the papacy, while plundering their natural resources. Vast program in the name of God!

This is how the Genoese (Italian) Christopher Columbus left for the West on behalf of the King of Spain, discovering new lands: Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti - Saint Domingue first (1492). Under the Portuguese flag Vasco de Gama left for the Indies by the South and by the East (1498) bypassing Africa. As for Pedro Alvares Cabral, he therefore left Portugal towards the South to follow the path of his compatriot Vasco De Gama three years after him. It was not until 1521 that the Portuguese Fernand de Magellan opened the way from the Southwest and the West to the southern end of the Americas, for the Kingdom of Spain.

Officially, Pedro Alvares Cabral and his thirteen ships are therefore supposed to lash towards India via the Cape of Storms, bypassing the African continent. But there is confusion! Historians are divided as to the exact mission of this Portuguese fleet. Indeed, according to the official version, Vasco de Gama would have advised his compatriot to beware of the calm of Africa under the Equator and therefore to make a large loop through the West. What I did with Boogaloo and which all the Vendée Globe competitors repeat every four years. It is indeed necessary to bypass the Saint Helena anticyclone and take advantage of the favorable winds and currents along Brazil. But at this time, no one knows that South America exists. So the western loop recommended by Vasco de Gama to Pedro Alvares Cabral is not geographically limited.

As a result, when land is in sight and the Portuguese fleet docks on what will become Brazil - Brasil in Portuguese, from the name of the pau brasil wood with which we make red dye and that we find in the both in Portugal, but also in Brazil in larger quantities - we quickly conclude that it was surely the storms and the currents that diverted the thirteen ships from their initial route. Making people believe that is still happening. But to sailors, no way! Especially when you know that some of the best Portuguese sailors of the time are there. In fact, storms in the north of the Southern Hemisphere and currents, on the contrary, push ships away from the Brazilian coast. There is therefore clearly an unacknowledged desire to progress as far west as possible in order to land and conquer a new territory, then to colonize it for the benefit of the kingdom of Portugal and Manuel I " The Fortunate ".

The historians who support this thesis recall that in 1500, before Pedro Alvares Cabral landed on the Brazilian coasts, which are therefore not yet, Vicente Yanez Pinzon, one of the captains of the fleet commanded by Christopher Columbus, who works for the Kingdom of Spain, let us remember, discovered a new land which turns out to be the northern coast (located to the north) of the future Brazil.

At that time, the Pope abrogated the right to decide what will belong to whom: Spaniards and Portuguese, newly discovered lands - without worrying about whether they are inhabited or not and de facto considering that their occupants will be despoiled (dispossessed). However, for various confused reasons and under an ambiguous treaty dating from 1494 delimiting what will come back to the Spaniards and what will be Portuguese, this discovery of the Spaniards is not officially recognized. Or, at the very least, it is not recorded to the credit of the Kingdom of Spain. One can hardly imagine that the Portuguese did not jump at the opportunity to "discover" in their turn this famous land ... and appropriate it with the Pope's consent. As far as I'm concerned, I believe more in this version than that of the thirteen crews who get lost in the West while heading south. HM hm…

For Norman honor, let us recall that the Honfleurais Paulmier de Gonneville, also set foot on the Brazilian coast, in 1504, in a sector where the Italian Amerigo Vespucci (1454 - 1512) had landed before him on behalf of the Kingdom of Portugal.

Pedro Alvares Cabral therefore discovers a land, which he first takes for an island and which he baptizes the Ilha de Vera Cruz (the Island of the True Cross), before this name evolves into Terra de Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross) when it seems obvious that it is a continent and not an island.

As for Rio de Janeiro (the January River), it was discovered on January 1, 1502 by Gaspar de Lemos and Gonçalo Coelho, two captains of the fleet commanded by Pedro Alvares Cabral. This reinforces the thesis of the deliberate and non-accidental discovery of Brazil by Pedro Alvares Cabral on the confidential order of the King, because staying for nearly two years, from 1500 to 1502 on a coast where we supposedly got lost, while 'we're supposed to go to India bypassing Africa, it's suspicious! A bit as if, instead of taking the Strait of Gibraltar to go to Monaco, I found myself in the West Indies… Don't worry, I'm on my way to Monaco!

The day before my arrival in Rio de Janeiro, we passed through an area where a lot of recycled cargo ships are now used as oil rigs. Out of curiosity, I shaved the bow of it. We can see at the front the platform where the helicopter lands, which changes the crew.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

As we approached Ecuador, we found our friends the red-footed boobies (clearly visible in this image), tropical cousins of the northern gannets of our Channel coasts and North Brittany. They spent hours chasing flying fish that Boogaloo's bow scared off. But the exocets are clever and most often manage to escape them! Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, April 24, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017


28 ° 'South - 42 ° West

Last line not straight

After a technical stopover of ten days, Yvan Griboval aboard the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" left Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) on Saturday April 22 at the beginning of the afternoon (6:00 p.m. UT), heading for Monaco where his arrival s 'organizes for a docking at the Yacht Club pontoon in the middle of the morning of Friday, June 2.

On Saturday April 22 at the beginning of the afternoon in the bay of Rio de Janeiro, Yvan Griboval takes to the sea in a light wind and a leaden sky. Favorable breezes were promised to him from the middle of the following night to set course for Ecuador, in order to return to the Northern Hemisphere, on his way to Monaco, his final destination.

Photo Maxime Dréno - OceanoScientific

Four difficulties characterize this end of the solitary journey. First, there is the crossing of the Doldrums, this inhospitable tropical zone dotted with calm and violent squalls. Then, the biggest piece is the bypassing of the Saint Helena high pressure on a huge loop in the West, with sustained breezes, but also risks of calm. Unless a hypothetical passage opens to the east. Third difficulty, the approach of Europe to enter the Strait of Gibraltar. This end of navigation in the Atlantic is promised against the wind, perhaps even tacking, in rough seas. Finally, before enjoying a cool glass of Moët et Chandon at the YCM's pontoon of honor, you will have to adapt to the moods of the Mediterranean: calm and gales of late spring.


In short, another forty days of seafaring work. Not necessarily the easiest part of this world tour. Fortunately, Christian Dumard analyzes the weather with an attentive router and helps Yvan find the best route for this final line… not straight at all!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 22

28 ° 'South - 42 ° West

KN 22

Technical stopover in Rio

Hello Kids, a few hours after having successfully completed the 60-day oceanographic expedition in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current ( see press release) under the three capes (Bonne-Espérance, Leeuwin and Horn), Yvan Griboval found himself confronted with a serious problem Monday April 3 aboard the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo".

Its two autopilots are in fact out of service. Despite six hours of tinkering under the guidance of our partner Philippe Roger (SkySat), Yvan failed to make a working pilot of the two failing. Therefore, he will make a small detour to Rio on the road to Monaco. It thus had 1,000 nautical miles to cover in a direct line, or approximately 1,300 to 1,500 nautical miles in reality, because it sailed partly in a headwind forcing it to tack.

This exercise is particularly delicate for a solo sailor on this type of performance sailboat. Everything on board quickly becomes impossible and if no one is at the helm, man or pilot, the sailboat is on its own and exits from the road are quick and sometimes brutal.

At the end of this marathon where sleep is lacking with non-stop days of 15 to 16 hours at the helm, Yvan has already made good progress and should reach Rio tomorrow evening Tuesday April 11 or Wednesday morning.

Given the close links between the Yacht Club de Monaco, whose colors Yvan and Boogaloo wear, and the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, everything is done to ensure that the stopover is quick and efficient. His faithful teammate, Maxime Dréno, is flying to Rio this evening and will therefore be on site from tomorrow morning to welcome him and manage this technical stopover as well as possible.

The Newsletters will resume when Yvan leaves Rio after a well-deserved rest and once the pilot's problems have been resolved.

Without an autopilot, Yvan Griboval is at the helm for more than fifteen hours a day. A marathon of approximately 1,300 to 1,500 nautical miles, or a little over a week to reach Rio. A fight against fatigue and loss of lucidity. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday April 3, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 21

39 ° 50 'South - 44 ° 31' West

Preserving the Great South

Hello Kids, when you read these lines * we will have been out for a few hours, the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" and I, from the Forties, which we entered on February 1st. We will therefore have spent sixty days in this maritime zone of the Great South between 40 ° and 56 ° South, little or not explored. I will thus have successfully completed the first campaign ever to collect oceanographic data at the ocean - atmosphere interface under sail in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current under the three capes (Bonne-Espérance, Leeuwin, Horn), moreover solo and without burning a single liter of diesel, intended for the international scientific community in charge of studying the causes and consequences of climate change. Crossing this imaginary line of the 40th parallel South, I am divided between several feelings: pride in having succeeded in my oceanographic mission; joy to soon find those I love (at least 40 more days at sea anyway!); immense sadness to leave a part of the Ocean where I feel so good, in harmony with my environment, happy.

This major shearwater ( Puffinus gravis ) or great shearwater arises elegantly in the wake of Boogaloo , as we stir the sea water on the surface, the krill (tiny shrimps) are all twirled and the dozens, sometimes hundreds of birds that follow us feast. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

This morning *, when the temperature of the surface sea water is thirteen degrees, I have no more birds in the wake. This is the first time that this has happened since leaving Cape Town (South Africa), in 64 days. It makes me very funny and I keep watching if Gros Pépère, or Coco, or the Pataplock Family would still come and say hello to me. I'm starting to wonder if I'll see them again ...

The day before yesterday, when I was in the iceberg zone, with sea water at seven degrees, the minimum of which plunged to 5 ° 30, I had dozens, maybe even more than one. hundred major shearwaters ( Puffinus gravis ) of the Pataplock Family, as pictured above, circling in Boogaloo's wake, feasting on krill (tiny shrimp) as half a dozen albatross watch black eyebrows ( Thalassarche melanophris ) always very graceful in their convolutions.

This perfectly illustrates the fear that we all have, in love with the superb birds of the Great South. With climate change and seawater temperature warming, krill will move or disappear. The birds will therefore no longer have enough to eat in their living area. Just like the whales for that matter, because they share the same menu at the large self-service restaurant at the Ocean. How will they do it? Will they move too? Will they disappear for lack of food when they have been on the planet for millions of years, long before us? Will Man succeed in the heinous feat of bringing them to nothing definitively? The answer is surely between these extremes, but the situation is terribly worrying.

In any case, it should be understood that the pollution of our cities in civilized countries generates a global climate change, on the whole planet. Its consequences spread to the oceanic desert of the Fortieth and Fiftieths where I have just spent two months, where Man does not exist. Besides, I did not meet anyone there, apart from L'Astrolabe croisée de loin ( Kids Newsletter n ° 16 ), a trawler probably pirate near Crozet ( Kids Newsletter n ° 13 ) and a few factory trawlers under New Zealand. In the latter case, it was I who approached the earth and men and not them who strayed in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

So I come back from the Great South with the firm desire to bear witness to what I have seen, as I do twice each week with this Kids Newsletter on Monday and the Newsletter on Friday. Witness the beauty of what I passionately admired for over two months, with incredible colors that you can't see anywhere else. Witness the beauty of all these birds who are not afraid of Man, who are in a pure environment, with plenty of food. Surely under natural conditions which were those of our shores several hundred, even thousands of years ago.

I also come back with the firm will and a certain rage in my heart to fight until my last breath of life so that this strip of ocean between the 40th and the 60th South - outside Australian territorial waters (Tasmania), New Zealand , Chilean and Argentinian, obviously - becomes a nature reserve where one cannot: neither fish, nor hunt, nor drill the seabed to loot there oil, gas or rare metals. So that this zone is sanctuarized, that is to say totally and definitively protected by attaching it to the Southern Ocean, the Ross Sea and the Antarctic continent, already protected by international treaties which are gradually being strengthened in the over time for the benefit of environmental protection, in particular thanks to the permanent efforts of HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco.

I cannot imagine that my children, that the children of my children, that your own children are going through what I myself experienced on the Normandy coast of the Pays de Caux where I have walked so much and so much the foreshore ( the land area between the high tide limit and the low tide limit) and crisscrossed the maritime strip for two to five nautical miles (3 to 9 km).

In Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, before practicing sailing and at the very beginning of this regatta practice, I went to sea with my Father on our boat, the Marie-Galante . My father was an exceptional fly fisherman for trout and salmon in rivers in Normandy (and yes, there were salmon in Normandy in the 1940s and 1950s!) And a good sea fisherman, often winner of the competitions in which we we participated with passion in our little tidal port. I only have memories of good fishing. In competitions, I often won the first Junior Under-15 prize - I was 12-13. I thus held the annual record for the largest sea bream with a catch of more than a kilo; of the largest cod with a fish of almost four kilos. During this time, my father also held the record for the largest cod with successively catches of seven, nine then more than eleven kilos. Monsters ! He had also angled, but unfortunately out of competition, a conger of twelve kilos, 160 centimeters long. Impressive! As for our record at four, that is to say four lines, during four hours of competition, it is more than 80 kilos of cod caught… and eaten. Because these competitions fed the whole village and a good number of farms in the lands which offered us their products in return, not to mention the hospice run by the nuns. Not a fish was lost and nothing in the fish itself was thrown apart from the bones and skin. Poussy , my big Angora cat greedy for fish and shrimps, feasted on the cheeks of cod, the lucky one and all the small pieces of flesh that remained stuck to the edges and that Mum carefully peeled for my four-legged companion. In short, it was fish for everyone!

However, when I observe today the inshore fishing boats returning to the port or on the beaches, I only notice the presence on board of a few codfish caught in a net, of a size that we used to return to the sea. sea when I was 12-13 years old. In conclusion, there are very few or no fish left in the five-mile coastal strip in the Eastern Channel, only forty years after our catches at the line in the 1970s.

As we were about fifteen boats per competition, or about sixty canes, the village therefore ate cod in the spring. Then mackerel, grilled, in "safate" (smoked in Cauchois dialect), in pâtés and rillettes and in all summer sauces, in particular with mustard and cider, a specialty of Mom. Fall, less because it is herring season. But also in winter, given that each hostess competed in ingenuity to concoct the best recipes for preserving marinated mackerel in jars, a pretext for endless debates between these ladies.

Again in terms of mackerel, our fisheries were "miraculous" compared to what they became forty years later. As far as we are concerned, still with four fishermen aboard the Marie-Galante including a junior, I have only reached the boat record with… four hundred fish in one trip, with four rods with six hooks per line! That day we didn't even make it to the podium, because another six-rod boat had managed to reach 1,200 mackerel - Saint-Val's absolute record - while others had 800, 600, 500 catches. At home, it was mackerel noon and night for a while! And not only with us… I am not however disgusted. I have indeed taken a lot of boxes of marinated mackerel for my expedition. Unfortunately too little and I'm rationing myself severely because I don't have much left to taste when I sail in the tropics, where it will be good to eat them on the deck in the shade of the mainsail, in barely a week. .

I went back to fishing with my friend and almost big brother, Patrick Declercq almost two years ago, just to introduce mackerel fishing to our twins Quentin and Malo. From the port of Dieppe, we went to the fishing spot at high speed. We positioned ourselves just on the fault where the fish are most numerous thanks to the onboard sounder - which did not exist when I was a kid. We brought back to four canes a bucket of mackerel and vines. Or about twenty fish. Happy with an honorable fishing in the middle of the 2015 season.

This is what I want so much to avoid in the Great South, that in forty years nature changes so much, that species of fish disappear and probably birds with them.

Because I only evoke here of my childhood memories in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux cod and mackerel. I'm not talking about fruit bats and cows (large fruit bats in Cauchois dialect), hash (sharks resembling sharks), porbeagle sharks, bars, pollocks, herrings, etc. I am not talking to you either about my solitary peaches in the rocks where I brought for dinner between 300, 500 grams, a kilo, or more during high tides, big pink bouquets sinned with four or five scales (or lanais) ; or cakes that I unearthed by hand in the holes under the limestone rock while lying in the sand, the kelp and the puddles of water… while making me dispute by Mom on my return given the state in which I returned to the family apartment on the quay: wet, sandy and muddy. But so happy with my delicious peach to enjoy at the next meal.

I don't want all this life, this fantastic life to disappear from the Deep South as it has disappeared from Manche and elsewhere.

I am counting on you Kids to become aware of this immense risk now. Don't let life slip away, protect your future and that of your children. Make that after so many centuries of plundering of Nature - since the XVth Century in fact, since the discovery of distant territories - this XXIst Century be one of respect for the environment, of a rebirth of Nature. The Future is yours, in your hands, make the best use possible: give back to Nature what your elders, of which I am a part, have stolen from it. Love her, respect her. And save the Ocean!

While I put an end to this text a petrel evolves in long harmonious curves in the wake of Boogaloo. I am reassured, my friends have not left us yet ...

* I write this newsletter on Saturday. It is prepared during the day on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday morning.

Despite the ambient cold below the 50th South, I have never been cold, thanks to suitable clothing, but above all because I correctly dosed my diet with one meal per day consisting of a double-portion freeze-dried sachet. , like here a shepherd's pie tasted sitting on the downhill step, with a view of the sea while watching the albatrosses fly. A luxury ! Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, March 27, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 20

56 ° 01 'South - 62 ° 46' West

I am a Cape Horner!

Hello Kids, when you read these lines * I will have just started the long climb up the Atlantic to Ecuador, the Strait of Gibraltar, then Monaco, which I expect to reach around May 10. So I passed Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos - Chile) this Sunday March 26, at 4:18 pm UT (6:18 pm in Metropolitan France), thus realizing the dream of my fifteen years… 45 years later. I am therefore a Cape Horner! This important phase of my expedition marks the 101st day of solo sailing, including 57 in the Great South since crossing the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa). I have traveled 15,110 nautical miles (28,000 km) since leaving Cape Town on January 26th. So I'm going to have another big week in the Forties to finish collecting oceanographic data, with a northeast heading that makes me progress towards you while looking for favorable breezes to go up the South Atlantic quickly. This Cape Horn is truly legendary. I give you here some keys to better understand why this tiny island at the end of South America generates such passions, great adventures, but also many misfortunes.

Goodbye the Pacific, we are in the Atlantic. We had exceptional fine weather conditions to overtake Cape Horn on Sunday March 26, mid-morning in local time (4:18 pm UT). The time to return to Monaco has come. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Let's be respectful of our elders who have paved the way on which we fulfill our dreams and live our passions. Let us pay their homage with respect for their incredible will and in recognition of the suffering they endured to achieve their exploits.

After the Portuguese Fernand de Magellan in 1521 on behalf of the Kingdom of Spain, it was the turn of the British Francis Drake, for that of the King of England, to further explore the South American coast. The first finds the passage between the islands and islets of Tierra del Fuego which becomes the Strait of Magellan. It thus connects the Atlantic to the largest ocean on planet Earth, which it baptizes Pacific. The second continues even further south and discovers that we can bypass Tierra del Fuego in the open sea. We are in 1578, the Drake Passage is thus identified. It is the immense canal between the American continent and the Antarctic continent. At this point, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current which carries eastward is a flow of 135 million cubic meters per second, or about 135 times the combined flow of all the rivers of the world. Hence the interest of scientists in studying it to better understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Hence our ongoing oceanographic mission with the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo".

The Horn is this small isolated outgrowth of land in the extreme south of the American continent. This island was discovered at the beginning of the XVIIth Century, that is to say shortly after the passage of Francis Drake in its vicinity.

In Amsterdam (Holland), the wealthy trader Jacob Le Maire is tired of undergoing the diktat of the Dutch East India Company which then governs trade between Asia and Europe via the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and the Cape Town stopover that it controls. He decides to find another way and entrusts the role of captain of his two-masted ship, the Eendracht , to his compatriot Willem Schouten. These Dutch set off on an adventure opposite the Cape of Good Hope and discovered in Drake Passage the famous little islet they called Hoorn, named after the city near Amsterdam which partly financed their expedition. Thus was born on nautical charts Cape Horn at the beginning of the year 1615.

But this path to go from Europe to India is much more perilous than that which bypasses Africa. Indeed, going from the South Atlantic to the Indian Ocean is accomplished with strong downwind winds (they push the sailboats), even if you have to face the Needle Current which brings the warm waters of the Indian to the west. While moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the southern Americas requires sailing in the face of westerly breezes that frequently blow in storms - with units that are not very quick to go upwind. By this hazardous route the shipwrecks are numerous, the vessels often disappear body and goods. European traders: Dutch, English, Spanish, Portuguese, for the most conquering nations of the time, suffered heavy losses. Shipowners are ruined by taking this route to their crews who perish with their ship.

However, from the beginning of the 18th century until the end of the 19th century, even until the very beginning of the 1900s, there was no other path than the one that doubled Cape Horn for Americans on the East Coast (Boston , New York) eager to reach the West Coast (San Francisco), in particular to try their luck in the framework of the gold rush. Deposits of the precious yellow metal have indeed been discovered in the west of the continent. They fertilize all imaginations and encourage the wildest excesses. Consequently, it is necessary to overtake Cape Horn "upside down", that is to say from East to West, in often extreme sea and wind conditions, to go to San Francisco. Cape Horn is also the route from Australia to the east coast of North America, but in this case, in the "right direction".

It is then the epic of the clippers, these immense sailboats with four and five masts, always longer, always bigger, always more veiled - they are nicknamed the "cathedrals of sails" - to carry ever more goods bought in town. price and resold very dear on arrival. We must therefore arrive as quickly as possible, before the other clippers, before the other merchants. You have to take risks. Sometimes inconsiderate. Shipwrecks are frequent and always more deadly, of course. On land, American families of shipowners and traders quickly grew rich thanks to the suffering of the crews and began construction of Manhattan, the maritime district of New York City.

The railroad does not yet connect the two American coasts. It will not be fully operational until 1869 with the installation of the Golden Spike (the golden nail), which symbolizes the completion of the first transcontinental rail line. Previously, the stagecoach ride was highly perilous because of the Indian tribes who viewed with a negative eye the white man chasing them from their ancestral territories and did everything to prevent convoys from crossing their territories. As for the highway robbers, they make the law where the Indians have already withdrawn or have been exterminated, in areas without any law or sheriff. It is also necessary to take into account difficult climatic conditions when attempting the expedition on horseback to connect the two coasts. Sailing can therefore seem less risky.

As for the Panama Canal, which cuts the Americas in two in their central part, it was not inaugurated until 1914. From then on, the steamboats took it and finally abandoned the terrible route of the Horn. Nevertheless, during World War II, Drake Passage and Cape Horn once again became a busy sea route, as no conflict spreading so far and no navy patrolling this sea area, this route was safer than Asia - Europe navigation via Panama and the seas under the influence of war.

Going around the world, crewing the Horn on tall ships is a feat repeated by commercial sailors. By professionals, therefore. However, it is one of them, a naturalized American Canadian in the port of San Francisco, who demonstrates that it is also possible for a man alone on a small sailboat. Joshua Slocum (1844 - 1909) thus embarked on the adventure at the age of 51, after more than thirty years of career in the commercial navy, after having embarked at the age of sixteen as a seaman, to then become a captain of good fame. On board Spray , a sailboat of only 11.20 meters, Joshua Slocum is thus the first man to make a solo round-the-world trip, from 1895 to 1898. He sails from East to West and does not cross Cape Horn, but borrows the Strait of Magellan at the exit of which it undergoes a terrible storm which almost destroys it.

The first to have doubled Cape Horn solo, moreover "upside down", is the Norwegian Al Hansen on a small sailboat called Mary Jane , in 1934. But history does not retain his name, because once in Pacific, she is shipwrecked and disappears body and goods.

The Argentinian Vito Dumas (1900 - 1965), eager to circumnavigate the world alone from West to East, but prevented from circling the Planet at the level of Ecuador because the Second World War made any navigation perilous there. , was the first to complete the loop via the three capes: Bonne-Espérance, Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn, in 1942-1943, from Buenos-Aires to Buenos-Aires (Argentina). His sailboat measures only 9.55 meters and he baptized it LEGH II , LEGH meaning: Lucha, Entereza, Grandeza, Hombría, or: struggle, courage, greatness, honesty. Vito Dumas, an accomplished athlete, is a fervent patriot and, by this solo sailing round the world with only a few rare stops, he wishes to demonstrate to the whole world that Argentines are courageous and courageous.

On the French side, before the advent of major solo races around the world and the double victory of Philippe Jeantot in the first two BOC Challenge (with stopovers) in 1982-1983 and 1986-1987; then by Titouan Lamazou in the first Vendée Globe (non-stop) in 1989-1990; as well as the exemplary navigation of Catherine Chabaud, the first woman to complete a round the world race, solo, non-stop ( Vendée Globe 1996-1997 ); the one that most marked the spirits - and especially mine! - is undoubtedly Bernard Moitessier (1925 - 1994).

In 1961, after having already traveled quite a bit, including many years in Vietnam, Bernard Moitessier had Joshua built, so named in homage to Joshua Slocum. It is a steel monohull twelve meters in hull length, specially designed for long ocean trips. On Joshua , accompanied by his wife Françoise, he made the Polynesia - Spain trip in 1965-1966. They then set the record for the longest distance covered by a non-stop pleasure yacht: 14,216 nautical miles, or 26,000 kilometers.

However, the most important navigation of Bernard Moitessier is that of 1968-1969. It is reported in his cult book: " The long road " (Editions Arthaud - 1971): once and a half times around the world without stopping over the three capes, including two times Bonne-Espérance and two times also Leeuwin. This reference book, read in 1972 when I was fifteen, made me want to make this great solo trip around the Globe, of which the passage of the Horn is the summit. I'm there.

Doubling the Cape Horn being a proof of maritime skills, it was traditional in the 18th and 19th Century that when a sailor became a "Cape Hornier" (having doubled the famous cape) he had a buckle in his left ear attesting to his perilous position. navigation. Why in the left ear? Simply because the "normal" route going from West to East, like the one I take with Boogaloo , we double the said heading leaving it on the port side, on the left hand. Another tradition also wanted long-distance sailors to wear a ring on their right ear with a distinctive sign so that their bodies could be identified by their loved ones in the event of a shipwreck. Thus, crew recruiters, scouring taverns and gambling dens in search of sailors to enlist, could identify thanks to this loop in the left ear, which was competent to appear in a list of quality crew. For the Cape Horn sailor, it was a guarantee of hiring a good ship with a competent captain and, probably, the guarantee of good pay.

Supreme reward for those who have crossed the three capes in their career as an oceanic sailor: Bonne-Espérance, Leeuwin and Horn, they have the right to "piss and spit in the wind" (facing the wind). So this is what I will finally be able to do until the end of my days, proud of my circumnavigation. Except on days when the wind is too windy, because the breeze then pushes the urine down onto the shoes and pant hems. It just goes to show that even an experienced sailor able to face the storm sometimes exposes himself on land to quite benign risks ...

* I write this newsletter on Saturday. It is prepared during the day on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday morning.

In an all-carbon boat like Boogaloo , the interior temperature is the same as the seawater temperature, or lower. Approaching Cape Horn, close to the iceberg zone, the sea temperature is 8 °. So you have to sleep fully dressed with four layers of fleece, the cold weather cap and gloves… without forgetting to set SamSam to wake up in two hours at the latest!

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, March 20, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 19

47 ° 77 'South - 98 ° 63' West

The Lord of the Great South

Hello Kids, when you read these lines * I will begin what should be, except for damage, my last week in the Pacific, because I have Cape Horn (Chile) straight ahead of the bow. If the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" continues its journey at high speed as at the moment in favorable breezes, we will double this legendary course next weekend and switch to the South Atlantic, to return to Monaco. This passage of Cape Horn, at a little more than 56 ° South latitude, will be a strong emotional moment, because it is a major phase of my expedition. Even if I will stay another ten days in the Forties and in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current for the scientific needs of my mission, I will already have a little the impression of leaving this Great South of all excess. So, it is time for me to keep my promise and tell you about the howler albatross, the great albatross, Diomedea exulans from its learned name, the Lord of the Great South (1). You know, our friend Gros Pépère ...

How majestic the wandering albatross or the great albatross, Diomedea exulans , its scientific name! It is the largest bird in the world. It is only found in a geographic band between approximately 32 ° -35 ° South and 60 ° South. He is the Lord of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

This ocean bird, the largest on planet Earth, has a wingspan that can reach 3.50 meters or even a little more and its body measures between 1.15 meters and 1.35 meters, for a weight of 6 to 12 kilos. . Admit that Gros Pépère is a beautiful beast! Capable, however, of flying at 90 km / hour for more than a thousand kilometers, carried by strong local breezes. The structure of its wings and its sophisticated musculation allow it to give various shapes to its wings to use them as airplane wings or as sails. Thus, it soars ad infinitum without ever flapping its wings like the birds in our gardens, or the seagulls and gulls on our coasts.

But make no mistake, it is the planes and sailboats that descend from the albatross and not the other way around. On the one hand, these birds would have appeared on our planet about thirty million years ago, following the discovery of fossils in Uzbekistan, New Zealand, California (United States) and the North Sea (Belgium). On the other hand, the famous American scientist Manfred Curry (1899 - 1953) studied at length the wing of the albatross and the result of his work, summarized in his reference work " The aerodynamics of the sail ", is no other. as the advent of modern sailing. Finally, this concept continues to evolve thanks to competitive sailing, while returning to its origins. Indeed, the most sophisticated sailboats, those of the America's Cup , which benefit from the best engineers in this field and from research budgets close to those of the F1 automobile, have abandoned for several years already the traditional sails imagined by the Professor. Curry for stiff wings. We come back to the basics, we come back to the albatross.

Our Lord of the oceans of the Great South resembles Man in many ways. Its life cycle, commonly estimated between forty and fifty years, could even be 80 years. Not very far from the life expectancy of humans in many countries of the world to this day. Particularly loyal, Mr. and Mrs. Albatross choose each other for their entire lives as future parents. They are said to be "monogamous". But beware of Monsieur! If he has not arrived early enough on the desert island where they will reproduce and give birth, then raise their only child for nine months (one egg per pregnancy / one pregnancy every two years); if he has not had time to prepare a cozy nest to welcome Madame in decent conditions of comfort, Madame will give in without delay to the advances of another male. Then will then return to the matrimonial nest. In short, she will take a lover.

Albatrosses nest on uninhabited islands south of the Atlantic, Indian - such as the French islands of Crozet and Kerguelen with which we visited ( Kids Newsletter n ° 14 ) - and the Pacific. But they hardly spend more than 5% of their life on land. The rest of the time, they hover offshore, which is why these birds are said to be pelagic - which live on the high seas.

The world population of Wandering Albatrosses is about 28,000 individuals, or potentially 8,500 breeding pairs per year, according to the estimate of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). That is to say a maximum of 8,500 chicks, a large part of which will not survive. Twenty percent of this population, or most of it, breeds on the British island of South Georgia. French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF): the Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagos also host a large number of families of wandering albatrosses. These populations are now in decline, in particular that of the Crozet Islands due to the large concentration of factory longliners in its vicinity, for the reasons I will mention below.

As I had the opportunity to tell you ( Kids Newsletter n ° 15 ), albatross parents spend a lot of time in flight to teach the junior how to use his large wings well and also to teach him to fish skillfully. peck, in order to tear from their element the squid which evolve on the surface. I found one again stuck on the bridge this morning, deposited by the big waves which covered Boogaloo all night from Friday to Saturday in the strong depression.

While the egg is in the nest, Mr. and Mrs. incubate in turn, for periods of about fifteen to twenty days, for 76 to 80 days. Then you have to feed the baby. There, everything gets complicated. Because unlike the man who pops into the supermarket and at Picard's, Mum and Dad albatrosses must go to look for food at sea. During the first month of life of the albatross chick, while a parent watches over the baby, the elsewhere squid fishing or looking for some carrion floating on the surface of the sea to swallow as much food as possible. The albatross also feeds on whale droppings. The daily commute for shopping can be up to 500 kilometers. On its return, the albatross regurgitates the partially digested food in the beak of its hungry cub. To regurgitate is to make oneself vomit. Yuck!

Considering the baby as capable of staying in the nest without doing anything stupid from the age of one month (optimists, parents!), The albatross spouses go fishing together to satisfy the growing appetite of their offspring. It will not begin to feed on its own until after about seven to eight months in a castle nest. The abandonment of the juvenile, still so small and defenseless for so long, is probably one of the reasons for the high infant mortality in the albatross colonies. Indeed, depending on the nesting sites, 30 to 70% of the young die before reaching the age of one year. This is very high, especially for birds which therefore only reproduce every two years with one egg at a time. This also explains why this bird species is threatened, because the number of deaths can quickly outweigh the number of births.

Once the young albatross has survived all the risks of his young age, he leaves the family nest, accompanied by Mum and Dad. Its long apprenticeship begins far from the coast, because it is estimated that around seven years the juvenile spends at sea before returning to land. It is only at the age of 10-12 years that he reaches his sexual maturity, that is, he unites with his spouse for life and gives birth to his first young in the stride.

As I already mentioned in Kids Newsletter n ° 13 , the highest mortality rate of albatrosses is the consequence of industrial fishing by longliners. These factory ships put to sea kilometers of lines made up of thousands of hooks. On each hook, the bait is a piece of squid, an albatross favorite. When the lines are put in the water, the albatrosses dive in and attempt to swallow the bait before it dashes into the depths. But if it succeeds in catching its prey, the albatross gets caught by the hook in its throat or by the beak. He is pulled to the bottom by the line and he dies immediately, prisoner of this infernal trap.

The navigator and novelist Isabelle Autissier, who knows the Southern Ocean and the Great South very well in general and who also occupies the position of President of the WWF France Foundation, informs us on this subject: " Longliners are more and more equipped with very effective devices that prevent birds from being captured. It is estimated that they have dropped from several thousand birds killed per year to less than thirty! However, it must be recognized, pirate ships are obviously not equipped with them. But they are also being hunted more and more ". A pirate longliner-factory ship like the one I passed by, not far from Crozet by the way ( Kids Newsletter n ° 13 ).

So I'm going to leave you soon, Big Pépère. And you too Coco, the big-browed albatross from the OceanoScientific logo that adorns Boogaloo's mainsail. It will have been a great pleasure to share these sixty days with you. I will be very sad the day you disappear on the horizon, Big Pépère, but don't worry, you will see me again! I will come back to share the depressions of the Great South with you. Before that, let's take full advantage of these next few days of descent towards the Horn…

* I write this newsletter on Saturday. It is prepared during the day on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday morning.

(1) This Kids Newsletter n ° 19 is written thanks to a compilation of documents from different specialized sources, then Loriane Mendez from the Center d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé (CEBC - CNRS) was kind enough to reread this text before distribution to avoid any errors, for which we sincerely thank her. We have also obtained information from the Internet sites "Pour la Science", "Terra Antartica", "Birds" and "Wikipedia", supplied by numerous scientific reference texts, as well as by the work of Todds FS & Genevois F. : " Birds & Mammals of the Antarctic and Islands of the Southern Ocean " - Editions Kameleo / Paris - 2006

Gros Pépère sits down and watches Boogaloo go by, like a Norman cow watching trains go by. It is rare in a sailboat to achieve such a photo, because albatrosses generally land far from boats, because they are vulnerable in this position. But Gros Pépère is our friend and he is rather curious by nature…

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

In this close-up portrait of a Wandering Albatross, we can see the size of its powerful beak. It allows him to swallow the squid that he catches on the surface or to shred the carrion that he finds in his way. Because we also nickname the great albatross the sea vulture. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, March 13, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 18

41 ° 47 'South - 128 ° 65' West

So close to astronaut Thomas Pesquet ...

Hello Kids, I have already traveled half of the Pacific and I am therefore closer to Cape Horn (Chile) than to Tasmania (Australia). It's great ! When you receive * this newsletter, I will be sailing aboard the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" to the most remote place on earth. I will also prepare to face a big depression. This Monday or at the latest tomorrow Tuesday March 14, I will therefore be as close as possible to what scientists call the "Pole of inaccessibility" at the geographical position: 48 ° 50 South latitude and 123 ° 20 West longitude. As astonishing as it sounds to you, the man who will then be closest to me will be the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station (ISS - International Space Station). It will be approximately a little over 300 kilometers. Only. I will therefore explain to you why Thomas, this Norman born in Rouen like me and 21 years my junior, will be my closest neighbor in the middle of nowhere ...

When I maneuver, the only Frenchman likely to see me is Thomas Pesquet, through a window of the International Space Station. It would nevertheless need good binoculars that cover more than 300 km. But compared to other men on planet Earth, he is indeed my closest neighbor in the oceanic desert.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

It was not until about twenty years ago, in 1992 to be precise, which is recent on a global scale, that the Croatian-Canadian engineer Hrvoje Lukatel discovered this Pole of Inaccessibility. For this, he did not organize a perilous expedition like the American Robert Edwin Peary to discover the geographic North Pole in 1909, or like the Norwegian Roald Amundsen to discover the geographic South Pole in 1911. He did not charter no no more heavy sailing ships overloaded with food and weapons, led by crews of hardened and reckless sailors like Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama and Fernand de Magellan, in the name of the King of Spain or Portugal. No. After long studies, he used a super computer and a geospatial computer program to juggle algorithms and discover the famous pole. In short, he did not even leave his office! This does not detract from the feat, because it is.

This virtual point on the map in the middle of the Pacific oceanic desert is also called "Point Nemo". Nemo means "person" or "null" in Latin. This is obviously a reference to Captain Nemo, the boss of the Nautilus submarine from " Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea " by Jules Verne. This strange point is therefore very exactly 2,688 kilometers (1,451 nautical miles) from the first land. Just earth from elsewhere, flora and fauna, nothing else. Because it is the tiny uninhabited island of Ducie in the Pitcairn archipelago, north of the Inaccessibility Pole. On the outskirts of the 22,000 square kilometer space that encircles this geographical point, there is another islet, to the north-east, that of Moto Nui in the archipelago of Easter Island. Or, to the south, Marie Byrd Land on Maher Island, in Antarctica.

You will notice, I am not surrounded by the crowd. Fortunately, I always have with me Coco and Gros Pépère the albatrosses and, more recently, the Pataplock Family, according to the surname given to them by my daughter Léa. A flock of small white birds of a size smaller than Channel sea swallows, lively and twirling in a squadron, which accompany me day and night in a sparkling ballet. Nice the Pataplocks. In fact shearwaters.

Dear Kids, if your teacher, your mistress asks you about Point Nemo by asking you what you remember from the short presentation that precedes, your reflection and a little common sense will perhaps prompt you to answer that this site which is the furthest from any human presence is probably the least polluted one on the planet. Logical indeed. Not at all ! And for good reason. Considering that there is no human presence at the Inaccessibility Pole, many space agencies have made it the giant 3,500-meter-deep dump of end-of-life spacecraft. They are therefore programmed to dive in this part of the Pacific, with all the most polluting metals, fuels, batteries, materials and materials that constitute them. According to the media, more than a hundred space wrecks are thus in the process of polluting these great seabeds that we imagined to be sanctuary. What a disappointment to learn it ...

Here, not far from Point Nemo, the human beings closest to me are therefore the six team members of the ISS, the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. This laboratory of the future indeed passes sixteen times per 24h00 above me - and you - at an altitude of about 330 kilometers where I am sailing at the moment. Almost nothing compared to the 2,688 kilometers the distance between me and Pitcairn. Besides, I should be able to see at night this white spot, this life which goes at high speed in the sky, when the cloud cover allows it, which is not frequent. But I observe in these full moon nights.

Traveling at a speed of 28,000 km / h, the ISS is the largest structure ever assembled in space. " The International Space Station is a wonderful example of cooperation which has united since 1998 (November 98: launching of the first module of the ISS): Europe thanks to the ESA (European Space Agency) and a few European countries acting individually like Italy, but also the United States, Japan, Russia and Canada, within one of the largest partnerships in the history of Science. Earth is a springboard for future space exploration missions, "writes the National Center for Space Studies (CNES). We obviously think of the exploration of Mars, the red planet. It took the cooperation of sixteen countries to design, manufacture and send into space and then assemble in the sky this extraordinary Lego, the cost of which would exceed 150 billion dollars to date (1). I grant you, it's something other than the Millennium Falcon Lego station of my son Quentin.

On board the ISS, there are six to take turns in groups of three every six months, as I learned from reading the excellent, well-documented article by Romain Clergeat in Match (1), comfortably installed in the seat of eve of the Boogaloo veranda (Newsletter n ° 17). No doubt, I am probably the "Nemo Reader" of Match, the one furthest from any newspaper kiosk on the planet press ...

By an exchange of emails, I asked my Pirates of almost ten years: Quentin, Malo, Léa to send me information about Thomas Pesquet and his mission, knowing that Mon Quotidien, to which they are subscribed and that they devour when they get back from class, often bickering over who reads it first (from the first to the last line!) has dealt with this subject over and over again and that they have read these articles with great interest. In particular, they sent me these quotes from the French astronaut who marked them: " Weightlessness has practically only advantages, but there are all the same some disadvantages. You float in the down and you cannot sink your head in the pillows. I miss it, even though I sleep very well "and Malo does" not find it cool at all! "" Sometimes, to work well on the ISS, you have to think of yourself as Spiderman ", explains the man in the stars. (2)

Thomas Pesquet and I share a few simple but funny things in common. First of all, we were born in Rouen. We celebrated our birthdays on the expedition. My 60th birthday on January 7th, his 39th birthday on February 27th. We left Earth the same day, November 17th. However, my "launch pad" at the Yacht Club de Monaco was much more prestigious and likeable than his at Baikonur in Kazakhstan! And I prefer my Boogaloo to his Soyuz "taxi" to get to the ISS.

We have both committed to six months of shipping. I actually left Caen - Ouistreham with the OceanoScientific Explorer at the end of October 2016 and I will normally reach Monaco at the beginning of May, i.e. six months if we count the stopovers that preceded November 17. Both carry out our scientific missions. Even if in this area and in a majority of others there is nothing comparable between Thomas Pesquet and me, between the Space Station and the OceanoScientific Explorer . Even equipped with the OSC System! It would be to compare Barça to L'En Avant Pétaouchnok in football. We don't play in the same division. If we extend the football comparison, Thomas Pesquet is closer to Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo together than anyone else.

" Six months aboard the ISS is three hundred scientific experiments which find concrete applications on Earth, in industry or medicine. And, beyond that, it is a fundamental step in the conquest of space ", explains Thomas Pesquet (1), also Air France captain, black belt in judo, mountaineer, parachutist and saxophone player who speaks six languages.

Other significant common points between Thomas Pesquet in the air and me at sea, besides the will and the taste for effort, are the passion that drives us and the pleasure of evolving in the middle of nowhere. It is the fruit of enormous work and a multitude of sacrifices after seven years of effort each.

Finally, we both evolve in a universe of fantastic richness that remains to be explored, observed, to know it better, to understand it better, but not to enslave it. For that reason alone, we both deserve to join Captain Nemo's crew… if Jules Verne wills us. And forward the Nautilus !

* I write this newsletter on Saturday. It is prepared during the day on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday morning.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

(1) in " Thomas Pesquet needs space " - page 76 - Romain Clergeat - Match n ° 3522 of November 17, 2016 - page 76.

(2) in " Thomas Pesquet tells " - Mon Quotidien n ° 6071 of December 22, 2016.

Thomas Pesquet in weightlessness: " You have to be careful with objects: as soon as you drop one… it leaves!" , he declares (2). Photo ESA - NASA

Monday, March 6, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 17

42 ° 93 'South - 161 ° 75' West

KN 17

In times of climate change

Hello Kids, when I write you * these lines, I have been in what sailors call "heavy weather" for more than 48 hours: the breeze is strong and the sea is hollow, with breaking waves bigger than the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo". Life on board is complicated in these conditions and I am attentive, because I must be able to rush on deck if the situation requires it. I will tell this in more detail in the newsletter next Friday morning, to which I invite you to subscribe by going to the association's website, it's free. At the end of last week I crossed an important theoretical milestone in this world tour. I went from the east of the antimeridian to its west. In local time, I was twelve hours ahead of you and ended up twelve hours late. But on board I live in Universal Time (UT), so it hasn't changed my habits. What I am explaining to you here on this subject will perhaps be easier to understand for Kids Normans than Monegasques. Or at the very least, they will feel more concerned. Explanation.

Boogaloo surfs a breaking wave as a ray of sunlight lights up the dark Pacific, not so peaceful as a 35-45 knot breeze has been blowing for hours and hours, generating big waves as high as a one-to-two house. floors.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Until the end of the 19th Century, everyone lived in their country to the rhythm of the sun. What we call "live like chickens". Waking up to the rooster crowing, daybreak and going to bed at night, or soon after. One of the reasons is that in those days electricity does not exist, or not everywhere. Many tasks cannot be done by candlelight, especially outside homes. Once the sun goes down, we simply stop working. We therefore work more in spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

This end of the 19th Century is a turning point. The development of the industry is rapid. The generalization of electricity lengthens the working days and hours. The use of the telegraph and then the telephone connects individuals from one end of the planet to the other. The development of transnational railway lines over immense territories and the rapid increase in the number of international maritime lines bring people together. A thousand other consequences of the progress which is racing are impacting the main large so-called "industrialized" countries: England, France, Germany, Russia, United States, Canada, Japan, etc. In this way, trade is developing and, above all, go global. The concept of time is of growing importance. It is imperative that a "world time" be established.

Note that it is considered that at this time climate change began to no longer be solely the result of the evolution of Nature, but increasingly the consequence of the role of Man (anthropogenic cause) and of pollution. growing, fruit of this galloping industrialization. It is also the beginning of the plundering of the planet's natural resources by man, in particular to have the energy resources necessary for this fantastic upheaval, for this incredible growth in all areas. We need coal, oil. What we call "fossil fuels". And more and more are needed every day.

Indeed, these needs continue to increase as the world population grows. Let us quote Gilles Boeuf on December 19, 2013 on this subject, on the occasion of his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France at the Chair of Sustainable Development - Environment, energy and society: " At the time of the beginnings of agriculture, there are some 10,000 - 14,000 years ago, the Earth had about five million human beings. In 1750, the total population was estimated at less than eight hundred million, three billion in 1960, seven in 2012, nine in 2040: it It is clear that the evolution of the human population curve for recent times is edifying . " (1)

For this reason, our poor planet plundered on all sides no longer has sufficient resources for such a large number of earthlings. Or probably in the Ocean (70.8% of the planet), in the deep seabed, as well as in the Arctic (North Pole) and Antarctica (South Pole), which are, fortunately still, areas where it is prohibited. to drill for oil and gas. But this status quo is threatened a little more every day, especially in the Arctic and especially on the American side, in Alaska in particular, because of the new President of the United States, Donald Trump who, unlike Barack Obama, does not attach any importance. climate change, its causes and even less its consequences and does not care about Nature and the Environment. This is a real problem! May it evolve positively on this theme ...

Since the end of the Second World War, many countries are looking for new sources of energy. Either because they have little or no fossil fuels on their territory, like France, for example, which has neither oil nor gas and only had little coal. Hence the development of new energies: atomic energy with nuclear power stations some fifty years ago, especially in France. Tidal power with dams on streams and rivers, or like the Rance dam between Saint-Malo and Dinard which is a tidal power plant, that is to say which operates at the mercy of the strong tidal current that rushes in from the sea to the land for nearly six hours (rising tide) and set off again for six hours (falling tide), like the powerful current of a large river like the Rhône, the Loire or the Seine . The Rance tidal power plant was inaugurated by General de Gaulle in 1966. Before other maritime sites with high energy potential due to violent tidal currents, such as the Raz Blanchard at the northwestern tip of the Cotentin for example or the Raz de Sein at the Finistère point, are not exploited, we are witnessing the rapid development of solar energy (solar panels) and wind energy, in reference to Aeolus the god of the wind in Greek mythology. Whoever sends me all these stormy gusts in the Pacific. He is very angry Aeolus at the moment!

But let's come back to our problem of time, which is different from one country to another. In fact, it was at the end of the XIXth Century, in 1884 precisely, that the desire to unify and balance time having become imperative on the whole of the Planet, the notion of universal time was created. Starting from a simple practical problem: how to unify train schedules in a territory as vast as that of North America (United States - Canada). Because it is Sandford Fleming, Scottish engineer (1827 - 1915) of the Canadian Railways, who, unable to print his train timetables with five different local times, proposes on February 8, 1879 to divide the world into time zones and adopt a universal time recognized by all around the world. As always, a small problem is born a big innovation. This one is sizeable.

This is how the International Meridian Conference meets in Washington (United States) with 25 countries represented around the table, from October 1 to November 1, 1884. A month of work to standardize the division of the terrestrial globe into 24 zones times and to choose the site of the international reference meridian, or zero meridian. France is represented there by Jules Janssen, Director of the Paris Observatory, who intends to have a universal time based on French time adopted. In the United States, with England, super powerful at the time, at the negotiating table, the affair is not won in advance for the "Frenchie".

It was therefore decided to divide the Globe into 24 pieces of cake from the North Pole to the South Pole. For 24 hours a day. Each slice of the World pie is delimited by meridians, with fifteen degrees of longitude between each meridian. This section of the world is called: "time zone". In this context, it was decided on October 22, 1884 to establish the zero point - where 0 ° West longitude overlaps 0 ° East longitude - in the small British village of Greenwich. The reference time therefore becomes GMT for Greenwich Meridian Time, Greenwich Mean Time. Jules Janssen therefore returned to Paris with a universal… English time!

This zero meridian which starts from the North Pole, therefore passes through the heart of the village of Greenwich (England) to go to the South Pole. On this occasion, he cut France into two parts starting from Villers-sur-Mer, a seaside resort on the Normandy coast, almost equidistant from Deauville, to the east and from Cabourg, to the west. Thus, in Deauville we are in East longitude and in Cabourg in West longitude. But at the same time, because a convention defines a single and unique time for the whole of metropolitan France.

When we continue this line on the other side of the terrestrial globe, that is to say, when we arrive at the South Pole we go up towards the North Pole on the meridian just opposite the Greenwich meridian, as if the world was cut in two like an orange, the line where meridian 180 ° East and 180 ° West merge is called "the antimeridian".

This antimeridian, I crossed it last Thursday (March 2) at 8:30 p.m. GMT - although today we are talking more about UTC time for Universal Time - at 8:30 p.m. UT, or 9:30 p.m. French time, because you are currently in France in winter time with an offset of one hour from UTC time. And in summer time the difference will be two hours. We will then say that in France we are in UTC + 2.

Henceforth, I am therefore in West longitude, signified by the W of West - West in English. With each nautical mile traveled my longitude decreases. I was in 180 ° W last Thursday and I'm going towards 0 ° W, towards the Greenwich meridian. Which Greenwich Meridian I will cut again to complete my round the world trip, because Monaco is in east longitude, that is to say east of the Greenwich Meridian. I will cut this famous meridian at the level of Cabo de la Nao, the south-eastern cape of Spain, therefore in the Mediterranean, just before arriving at the level of the Balearics. It will be at the beginning of May. At the time of writing, I still have over 160 ° West longitude to cover before reaching the Greenwich Meridian, passing through Cape Horn in addition. There is work!

If I have been clear enough in my explanations and you have understood everything, you have taken the first step to become a sailor, because on the ocean you can only find your way around the latitude (parallels) and longitude (meridians). As I wrote to you before, there are no freeways, roads, or road signs. The Ocean is a desert.

* I write this newsletter on Saturday. It is prepared during the day on Sunday, then published on the association's website ( ) and sent to subscribers on Monday morning.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

(1) in "Biodiversity from the ocean to the city" - Gilles Boeuf - page 52 - Inaugural lessons of the Collège de France - Editions du Collège de France / Fayard.

Gilles Boeuf is an eminent biologist, Professor at the Collège de France, former President of the Natural History Museum, Scientific Advisor to Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea. He has just been appointed Chairman of the Scientific Council of the French Agency for Biodiversity. An exceptional speaker, Gilles Bœuf is a great and sympathetic defender of the Ocean.

Passing over the southern New Zealand plateau, where the bottom is 150 meters and not 3000 meters, we came across a factory trawler in action from afar. Thanks to its AIS signal (Kids Newsletter n ° 2), we know that it is the Mainstream , flying the New Zealand flag, that it is 104.50 meters long and 16 meters wide. She was built in 1989 and her maximum speed is 12 knots.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, February 27, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 16

49 ° 22 'South - 163 ° 34' East

We met L'Astrolabe!

Kids Newsletter 16

Hello Kids, I am writing to you from the Pacific, the largest ocean in the world: nearly 170 million square kilometers, or about a third of planet Earth. It was discovered by Fernand de Magellan in 1520-21 (XVIth Century) who baptized it "Pacific" because there was no wind or so little between America and Asia, that it thus connected for the first time in the history of the discovery of the World. I have been sailing there since Friday, February 24, until I overtook Cape Horn (Chile), at 56 ° South at the tip of South America, at the end of March. When you read these lines, I will be passing in the south of New Zealand, that is to say the antipodes of France, that is to say just opposite on the terrestrial globe. When it is daytime at home, it is dark at home and vice versa. When it is six in the morning in France, it is already 6 p.m. local time where I am sailing and night has fallen. In short, I have a day (1/2 day) ahead of you. When entering the Pacific, imagine that we had an astonishing encounter. The Astrolabe and the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" have crossed paths in the Tasman Sea. Unbelievable !

With Boogaloo , we passed less than ten nautical miles (15 km) in front of the bow of L'Astrolabe , the 65-meter supply vessel of the French scientific base Dumont d'Urville in Terre Adélie (Antarctica). He was making the very last round trip to Antarctica of his southern career. An absolutely incredible crossing over the vastness of the Pacific Ocean! Photo Bruno and Marie Cusa - IPEV

It all started on Friday morning February 24 a little before 5 a.m. UT (6 a.m. in Monaco and Normandy) with an alert message on the screen of the navigation computer which is located in the center of the instrument panel of the chart table of Boogaloo : the OSC-PC, the computer that controls the OSC System, the unique scientific equipment in the world that allows us to automatically collect oceanographic data every six seconds and to transmit them just as automatically to land by satellite every hours with our geographical position (see cartography), no longer responds. I immediately look for the cause. It is simply a power supply plug that has unplugged itself as Boogaloo jumps in the waves with each surf. And there are many. Waves and surfs! Nothing serious. Before finding the real cause of the problem, I do a few things on the on-board computer. And some nonsense: I crash the navigation computer. Damn !


I restart the Boogaloo PC, I open the Adrena navigation software, I reload the weather files, then I zoom in on the area where Boogaloo is located, at the entrance to the Pacific. Oh amazement, there is a small green boat displayed by the AIS system ( Kids Newsletter n ° 2 ). Obviously, my first reaction is to believe in another mishandling of the computer. What have I still tinkered with backwards? What is an AIS signal doing where I am, so far below Tasmania? I zoom in, I zoom out. The little green boat is still on the screen, with its wake telling me that it is coming from the North-East and going to the South-West. That is to say from Tasmania, the big island in the South-East of Australia under Sydney and Melbourne, towards Antarctica. I click on the ship to read its data sheet. This is L'Astrolabe . Unbelievable ! Two French ships that cross each other almost at the antipodes of France, where there is no one. I am passing about nine nautical miles in front of its bow, or about fifteen kilometers. Nothing on the scale of the immensity of the maritime area where we evolve together by the greatest of luck.


Immediately, I take the VHF, the radio which allows exchanges between ships when we are within 20-25 nautical miles (about 40 km) from each other. This radio has multiple channels, including Channel 16 which is the emergency and safety frequency on which all ships at sea are constantly listening. Respecting the procedure, but speaking in French whereas I should do it in English, the official international language for communication between ships: " L'Astrolabe, L'Astrolabe de Boogaloo, do you receive me? I have a " strong and clear " answer, to use the terminology which qualifies the reception of an inter-boat communication: " Who calls L'Astrolabe? .... ". To say that the OOW's voice illustrates panic would be an exaggeration. But the fact remains that his surprise is total. A voice there and French moreover, what a surprise!


As an absolute loner, I only speak to Boogaloo , albatrosses (Gros Pépère and Coco) and other petrels… and to myself for so many days. What a pleasure to exchange a few sentences in your mother tongue with someone who answers you. Because, you will understand, my exchanges with the birds of the open sea or with my darling sailboat are limited to monologues.


I learned that L'Astrolabe left Hobart the night before (Thursday 23 February) and that it is heading for the French scientific base Dumont d'Urville, located on Pétrels Island in Adélie Land (Antarctica). Adélie Land - it is said to be a "district" of Antarctica - is like a "slice of the cake" of the ice cap. Starting from the coast, this triangle begins in the West at the 136th meridian (Longitude 136 East), points to the South Pole, almost in the middle of Antarctica, then returns to the 142nd meridian (Longitude 142 East). The course of its coast, washed by the Dumont d'Urville sea, tangents the polar circle for about 350 kilometers. The distance between Hobart in Australia and Adélie Land is approximately 1,500 nautical miles, or 2,700 km. It is far !


When I converse with the OOW, L'Astrolabe takes half a dozen Australian scientists to Base Dumont d'Urville. It will then bring back around fifty researchers and technicians who spent the austral summer there - ie at its maximum passenger transport capacity: 13 cabins - 49 passengers. On February 15, during its previous rotation, L'Astrolabe took Mike Horn on board at the end of his fantastic Antarctic crossing: 5,100 kilometers on foot alone (Kids Newsletter n ° 14).


The Astrolabe generally repeats the Hobart - Terre Adélie return trip five times in the season between November and March. This represents a short week of navigation on the outward journey and the same thing on the return. This journey is often carried out in stormy conditions following the violent depressions that run between the fiftieth and the sixtieth parallel South, in the famous Fifth Howling. Each trip is therefore an adventure in itself. It's not like going from Nice to Bastia or from Caen-Ouistreham to Portsmouth by ferry, or even from Le Havre to New York by ocean liner!


At each rotation, L'Astrolabe can transport several hundred tonnes of equipment and food, which it unloads using its crane and helicopter. The helicopter also serves as a lookout to locate the ice where it is venturing, in order to find the least congested, least perilous path, to reach its destination on the Antarctic shore of Terre Adélie. Or to leave for Australia.


Crossing L'Astrolabe is incredible in this context and at the same time historic in February 2017, because it is the very last regular service between Hobart and Adélie Land of his southern career, which began in October 1988, when he left Le Havre where it was built in 1985. That is to say about thirty years of activity mainly in the service of French scientific research, which has been operating on the Antarctic continent since 1837, when the challenge was to precisely determine the position of the Pole Magnetic south.


Let us recall on this subject that the French navigator Jules Dumont d'Urville (1790 - 1842) explored Antarctica from 1837 to 1840 precisely on board L'Astrolabe , which was originally a corvette (sailboat). He thus discovered the site of Pétrels Island in Terre Adélie where the French scientific base was created to which he gave his surname. The name of her three-masted swift was therefore taken logically to baptize this polar supply vessel 65 meters long and 12.80 wide, with a draft of 4.80 meters (only fifty centimeters more than Boogaloo ), for a displacement of 1,700 tons. A polar ship says: "with ice capacity", that is to say capable of breaking ice with a thickness of one meter thanks to its hyper reinforced steel hull.


The Astrolabe , owned by the Australian P&O Maritime Services, is co-chartered four months a year (i.e. used jointly in turn) by the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF) and by the French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV) and will therefore stay in Australia to finish his career there.


The Astrolabe will be replaced by a new L'Astrolabe . It is a Polar Logistic Vessel (PLV) 72 meters long and 16 wide. Hull, structures and deck are built in Poland. Then it was completed in Concarneau by Chantiers Piriou. It is indeed the famous Breton builder led by Pascal Piriou who is in charge of the realization of this prestigious unit. A national investment of around fifty million euros by decision of three ministries: Overseas, Defense and Research. This innovative vessel will be able to carry 60 passengers and 1,200 tonnes of equipment and food, as well as a helicopter, essential for its missions of all kinds. It must be delivered this summer to the French Navy, the TAAF and the IPEV, in order to start a first southern campaign next fall.


The Astrolabe which will replace the Astrolabe was born in the lineage of Yersin . Also built by Chantiers Piriou, the Yersin is a superb 77-meter voyage vessel fitted out by François and Geneviève Fiat in the colors of the Yacht Club de Monaco. He was blessed there by Monsignor Barsi and baptized with champagne by their daughter Fanny, on Saturday June 20, 2015 on the occasion of a beautiful ceremony harmoniously orchestrated under a great Monegasque sun by Eric and Antoine Althaus (Althaus Luxury Yachting), in presence and under the authority of HSH Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco.


The Yersin will also go to Antarctica thanks to the quality of its construction "with ice capacity". And in many other places, especially in sensitive maritime areas where climate change is wreaking havoc, in particular within the framework of the partnership set up on this subject with the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco - Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco . However, like the philanthropic association OceanoScientific - which is domiciled in "Monegasque territory" at the Maison des Oceans in Paris - and its oceanographic exploration expeditions are also in partnership with this great institution on similar subjects, let's take the shortcut: Boogaloo is almost the "little cousin" of the superb Yersin … and very proud of it!

77 meters long, the Yersin, built in 2012-2015 by Chantiers Piriou in Concarneau, is armed by François and Geneviève Fiat to carry out major expeditions on all the seas of the Globe and in particular scientific missions in Antarctica. She sails under the flag of the Yacht Club de Monaco, in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute - Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco.

Photo Ameller

Monday, February 20, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 15

41 ° 92 'South - 124 ° 18' East

KN 15

Your questions answered

Hello Kids, I now have Cape Leeuwin, located at the southwestern tip of Australia, in the wake. It took two more days to reach its longitude than we had expected, because instead of continuing my east - south-east route, I went up north in anticipation of a very widespread low pressure situation with powerful breezes. which will completely dismantle the sea. Three entangled depressions welcome me in the Tasman Sea where the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" now sails under Australia, before reaching the longitude of New Zealand, at the antipodes of the France. Before the February holidays start, Ms. Jessica Corso (CM2C) and Mr. Aurélien Ranaldi (CE2M) from La Condamine Primary School (Monaco), as well as Ms. Murielle Roleau, Director of Saint-Louis Primary School in Cabourg and teacher of a CM2 class, sent me no less than 58 questions. I tried to group them by topic to answer them in a concise and pleasant way for all to read. I also invite you to consult the map on our website to see exactly where I am and in what conditions of wind, temperature and speed.

When the wind is moderate and the sea not very rough, I start making a pasta dish. And I eat, sitting at the standby station, directly from the pan, because I don't have a plate anyway. This does less for dishes to be cleaned with seawater. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

First of all, let me reassure you, I haven't hit an iceberg to date - I haven't seen any and I'm not complaining. I have no damage to deplore, the mast is standing, the rest also and the bottom of the boat is dry. So no accident, no collision with a freighter - there aren't any where I'm sailing and I'm not complaining about it either. Just like I do not meet a sailboat. No notable incident therefore: the long and meticulous preparation of my mount is bearing fruit and the wear and tear of the equipment is not too threatening. It will surely become so in the very last part of the expedition, when I will have to face the spring depressions of the North Atlantic, then the Mediterranean, in two months. I am far from it and I hardly think about it.

Since my entry into the Roaring Forties after leaving Cape Town (South Africa), a rhythm of navigation has been established. When I am sailing in a high pressure area, I have moderate wind, often a bright sun and the air is not too crisp. These are high atmospheric pressures. Then comes depression. These are low atmospheric pressures, with strong wind and still sunshine at the start. The conditions gradually deteriorate, the sky turns light gray, dark gray, the sea black and the temperature drops sharply. It is really cold. I am then overtaken by the weather phenomenon called the "cold front", which marks both the moment when the temperature is lowest, but also the moment when a change of wind usually causes me to change course.

As the cold front passes, the wind increases further, it becomes irregular and, more annoying, it blows in gusts, sometimes very violent. But fortunately temporary. However, this causes tiring maneuvers in a hostile environment: Boogaloo jumping in all directions, breaking waves covering the deck, brutal accelerations that require you to hang on well in order not to fall: in the cockpit (on the deck behind the cabin), as in the living cell inside. The wind is weakening and I have a good chance of getting behind a high pressure situation, unless another low hits me again. I zigzag on the sea, guided in this by Christian Dumard, our router, who takes care to avoid stormy conditions, without sending us into the heart of the anticyclones, where there is no wind. . Christian recommends way points (WP) far from each other and I choose my route between these approximate benchmarks to make the most of the qualities of Boogaloo in complete safety.

To answer Eline de Cabourg as an aside, I called our OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" in reference to a style of music that I really appreciate, born in the 1930s and 1940s in the United States, of which Ray Charles is the best known ambassador according to the first successes of his repertoire. It's an evolution of blues and jazz, it's very rhythmic, particularly catchy and we can consider that it is a musical trend that will lead to rock'n roll. And Boogaloo is particularly boogaloo!

Compared to sailing in the Atlantic, especially with the objective of making a stopover in Cape Town, so to be able to possibly repair damage - which we did not have, I am proud of - I currently lead Boogaloo well below of its capabilities. I take care of my mount, what I call my "train of Senator of the Great South", because I am in a maritime zone where I cannot count on any assistance of any kind, because too far from the land and the relief. So no question of being smart. However, if the conditions allow it: strong but steady wind and long swell without transverse waves which make navigation hazardous, I would let go of Boogaloo . He will be able to gallop and, probably, knock down his speed record of 26.4 knots. But it is not a priority. I sail to collect scientific data, not to set records or achieve any sporting performance whatsoever. I want to reach Monaco - probably around May 10 - without being forced to make one or more technical stops; arrive safely with a Boogaloo in great shape.

I don't miss the land, I'm happy at sea and I don't feel lost, tired or bored. On the other hand, I miss my three Pirates and their Mom. But as Cécile, my wife, manages the relations between the boat and our partners, that she collects my texts and photos, runs the association's website and does a thousand other things relating to our expedition, we exchange multiple emails each day and thus I have permanent news from the house. That's nice!

In the Great South where I am progressing, I am constantly surrounded by birds. But I don't see any cetaceans there. Apart from the sperm whale already mentioned. The albatross remains my favorite bird for many reasons. The first being that it is the emblematic bird of these wild lands and as such it is the ambassador of an immense space of our planet which is virgin of any human presence. Another reason is that his way of life is close to ours. Dad, Mum and their child. A few days ago, I attended the apprenticeship of a juvenile (so a young bird is called) by his two albatross parents who took turns teaching him to hover between the waves in the swell train . With the patience of loving parents, like yours taught you to walk or ride a bike. I promise you, before leaving the Great South, I will tell you about albatrosses, but I am still waiting for that to succeed in photographing a wandering albatross, the great albatross.

Imagine: you come home from school, you do your homework after tasting, then your mom or dad tells you to go take a bath or a shower and you say, " No, not for two and a half months. Or maybe. -be a little more… ". This is what happens to me. I left Cape Town on January 26 and I imagine my first shower around April 15, when I will be in the tropics, where it is hot with water at 25 °. Not terrible, is it? I confirm it to you! I wash myself in small pieces, with baby wipes. I change my underwear every ten days or so. Obviously, when I arrive in Monaco, I expressly recommend that you do not enter the Boogaloo cabin until we have ventilated for a long time after having evacuated the dirty laundry by blocking your nose ...

Sleep, food, everything is fine. I loaded some beautiful pink grapefruits and small firm apples to Cape Town - this big city that I enjoyed very much and I hope to take my little family on vacation to South Africa next July, see the seals / sea lions in the port and the lions in the savannah. I delight in it sparingly so that these fresh fruits accompany me as long as possible. I have enough varieties of freeze-dried meals and ready-made meals not to get bored of them. But I don't understand why English makers of freeze-dried meals put peas in couscous and corn in mashed cod. A real mystery. And I do not like! I "cook" spaghetti or noodles, plain or with tuna and tomato sauce, when sea and wind conditions allow. I read, I don't listen to any music at all although I like it because I am constantly listening to Boogaloo. It is important. In short, all is well. I am happy at sea, safe aboard my super sailboat!

Finally, even if I told you that going to school was not the favorite occupation of my youth, although I have met many teachers, masters and teachers of great quality who made me love the subjects they taught, I will come to visit you in yours on my return to Monaco and then to Cabourg, with great pleasure. You can count on me, I promised you.

THE recipe on board Boogaloo, because there is almost only one possible: pasta cooked with two thirds of sea water and one third of desalinated water, a block of tuna in brine and tomato sauce . With olive oil, trying not to stick too much to the bottom, which is not easy ...

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, February 13, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 14

47 ° 48 'South - 94 ° 30' East

KN 14

From Kerguelen to Cape Leeuwin

Hello Kids, I am getting closer to the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, located at the southwestern tip of Australia, which I will probably pass on Thursday February 16. This will be the second of the three great capes of this expedition, after Bonne Esperance (South Africa), doubled on January 27 and before Cape Horn (Chile) which I will only cross in about fifty days, after having crossed the Sea of Tasmania, then the South Pacific Ocean. Two big pieces on the menu. The week which has just passed has been busy, with the passage in the Kerguelen Archipelago (France), a large depression, the first of a long series, an incursion under the 50th parallel South and the deployment (focus sea) of an Argo * type scientific float, a small marvel of technology produced by a Morbihan company: NKE.

This was an objective of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" expedition: to deploy (put to sea) an NKE Argo * type scientific float at 50 ° South latitude in the Indian Ocean. Mission accomplished Sunday, February 12 in the early hours of the day, between two depressions.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

The Kerguelen archipelago, a natural reserve protected for fauna (sea birds) and flora, is the last station before the motorway for the navigator engaged in the round the world sailing by the three capes. Beyond this point, no stopping possible before New Zealand, i.e. all of the South Indian Ocean, then the Tasman Sea to travel without hope of retracing its wake given that the violent winds blowing from West to East forbid any turning back. The Kerguelen archipelago is a group of three hundred volcanic islands and islets which owes its name to the French navigator Yves-Joseph Kerguelen de Trémarec who discovered it on February 12, 1772. The Kerguelen are part of the TAAF: the French Southern and Antarctic Lands, which are a French overseas territory with administrative and financial autonomy, headquartered in Saint-Pierre de la Réunion. The TAAF are supplied by the two ships: the Marion-Dufresne II and the Astrolabe .

Because of these French Southern and Antarctic Lands, France has the second largest maritime space in the world after that of the United States. And not of the second largest maritime power in the world, as it is sometimes wrongly said. These TAAFs are made up of the Crozet Archipelago, to the north of which I passed, the Kerguelen Archipelago, the Saint-Paul and Amsterdam islands, the Terre Adélie and the Scattered Islands. These are tropical islands in the Glorious Archipelago: Juan de Nova, Europa and Bassas da India in the Mozambique Channel, as well as Ile Tromelin in the north of Reunion Island. So that you can imagine how the Kerguelen are in the middle of nowhere, know that they are 2,000 kilometers from the Antarctic coast, 3,400 kilometers from Reunion and 4,800 kilometers from Cape Leeuwin in Australia.

By penetrating even more into the Great South beyond the Kerguelen, that is to say by diving towards the Howling Fifties which succeed the Roaring Forties, we position ourselves on the road of the depressions which run around the planet to lose some. breath. This requires sailing under reduced canopy, to be even more vigilant while resisting the cold, because the water is only 6-8 ° and the air not much above this temperature, or even much less. when you are caught in a downpour of sleet at the passage of a cold front, which marks the climax, so to speak, of the passage of a depression.

To reach the geographical point of 50 ° South latitude and 87 ° East longitude, it was necessary to fight in a solid depression while squeezing the wind - the most brutal and uncomfortable sailing conditions - not to be dragged further away. South, or in the heart of the depression itself, where the winds blow like a storm. The objective was to deploy an Argo * type scientific float, sponsored by the middle section and CE2 / CM2 classes of the Roz Avel school in Plougonvelin (Brest). Moreover, each of the students has their first name written on a label stuck to the float. Produced by the French company NKE in Hennebont (Morbihan), which is internationally renowned, this autonomous float will perform dives to nearly 2,000 meters deep to collect data in the water column and then transmit it to scientists. by satellite * . And this for several years. Where I dumped it, the seabed reached 4000 meters. This float was provided by Coriolis and Martin Kramp, of JCOMMOPS, the operational unit of JCOMM (Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology), whose vocation is to be the bridge between the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC -UNESCO) - which sponsors us - and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), coordinated this operation in close collaboration with Christian Dumard, our router.

I take this Kids Newsletter to greet with immense respect the feat - another one! - Mike Horn, introduced to me by our mutual friend Laurent Bourgnon, in Les Sables d'Olonne at the start of the Vendée Globe 2004 . Mike left last spring from the Yacht Club de Monaco at the helm of Pangea , a large aluminum sailboat that allows him to go from one continent to another to achieve his umpteenth challenge: a solo round the world to raise awareness most of them to the effects of climate change, particularly the deterioration of the North Pole and South Pole glaciers. Not in the direction of east-west latitude, he has already done that, but in that of longitude, or north-south. That is, crossing Antarctica and the Arctic. Alone. Walk. And all the continents that separate them. A Monaco - Monaco by the poles. A first, obviously.

The tall ship Pangea measures 35 meters. It is driven by a crew and is only used by Mike Horn to connect one land point to another. However, last Tuesday, February 7, at the end of 57 days of solo effort, Mike succeeded in the first big challenge of his expedition: the crossing of Antarctica on skis, only helped by a kite-surf sail and towing himself a sled with his equipment to rest and eat. No less than 5,100 kilometers traveled in the most hostile conditions imaginable. Or not imagine at all for that matter, so much is beyond comprehension. It's incredible. But how does he do it?

Born in South Africa in 1966 and a Swiss citizen, Mike is a strong, sympathetic, smiling, benevolent fellow. A force of nature, both physical and moral, who has not faced in her life only hazardous natural paths, but also the great sorrow of losing the woman of his life, the mother of his two grown-up daughters. Surely his most difficult ordeal. Despite this terrible pain, this injustice of Life, Mike the Explorer continues his tireless quest for extraordinary challenges, always with the same philosophy that he distils in his books and that he will deliver to you if you meet him: " Remember that dreams don't come true. You have to make them come true ".

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

* You can follow the progress of the Argo float that we have deployed on the JCOMMOPS site from Wednesday February 15th.

See nothing for days and days and then one fine morning pass not far from a large pebble emerging from the water and the mist, surrounded by a cloud of birds. It is the Ilot du Rendez-Vous, the northernmost part of the Kerguelen Archipelago (France). Surrounded by water at 6 ° in the middle of the southern summer and beaten by huge waves, it is not a very popular holiday destination ... Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Navigation in the Great South is characterized by a series of depressions, which must be negotiated one by one. For each, there is a sunny phase, but cold, like here, then the arrival of the cold front, all gray and even colder. Usually more windy too. When this image was taken, there were 30 knots of wind (force 7) and Boogaloo was galloping. The orange sail is the storm jib, the storm jib.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

KN 13

Monday, February 6, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 13

43 ° 73 'South - 58 ° 36' East

With my fellow albatrosses,

petrels and sperm whales

Hello Kids, I have just passed the Crozet archipelago: some French pebbles lost in the immensity of the ocean that I left about 220 nautical miles (400 km) by starboard (right) in my south. I am now progressing towards the Kerguelen archipelago, still French and a little bigger than Crozet. After bad weather in southern Africa (Kids Newsletter n ° 12), then a high pressure passage with light wind and summer conditions, I am now getting to the heart of the matter, in the Deep South of depressions: cold, winds violent and big waves. Since Saturday February 4 in the middle of the day the breeze has strengthened, the air temperature drops rapidly and that of the water plummets even faster. I'm actually only two hundred kilometers from an iceberg zone. No doubt, I actually prance in the Roaring Forties!

One of the first albatrosses found in southern Africa. Now there are always several around us. With petrels. I'm never alone actually. They will follow us until well after Cape Horn (southern tip of South America), as long as we are approximately below the 38th parallel south.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

While I am sailing in a thick fog lit by a sun that I cannot see but which illuminates the cotton wool in which I am flying, I prepare myself to face the bad weather typical of these hostile sea areas very little frequented. Not to say completely desert. However, I do not have this feeling, because unlike the long navigation done previously between Monaco and Cape Town, we are constantly accompanied here by petrels and albatrosses. Usually three to five petrels for an albatross. I even crossed paths with a huge cetacean. It passed perpendicular to my wake about 300 meters behind the OceanoScientific Explorer Boogaloo. I think it was a sperm whale, recognizable by its forehead at a right angle. Phew, we avoided the accident. Boogaloo and I were no match for it.

I saw my first Wandering Albatrosses - also called Great Albatrosses. It is the largest of the birds, the giant of the seas with an average wingspan of three meters, although some can exceed 3.50 meters. But I failed to catch one in my camera. Now that I am heading east, facing the rising sun and the setting sun in my wake, I must succeed in photographing these lords early in the morning, otherwise they are backlit. But in the morning, they are not always there. Or it's too gray. Complicated the photographic hunt for the wandering albatross! I will present it to you in detail when I can show you one. It is an exceptional animal.

I have mixed feelings when I see these birds, masters of the places where I come as an intruder. They don't follow me for the simple pleasure of admiring Boogaloo and the big-eyed albatross from the OceanoScientific association logo painted in the mainsail. Maybe they expect me to eat? I'm not going to make them freeze-dried sachets anyway. Neither pasta. When I lived in Brittany, on the banks of the Auray river, in the Gulf of Morbihan, a black-headed gull had decided that the small private beach adjoining our property, between an oyster farm and a slipway water, as well as the low wall which separated it from our terrace, was his private domain. Nothing to her. In summer, I often shared my meal on the terrace with this almost tame seagull. Even if it is not reasonable to act in this way, because the animal thus feeds with ease loses its hunting and fishing habit. This is how species evolve and sometimes disappear. Still, I acted like this, that I spoke to her: she waddled her head and that I called her at mealtime taken alone with her. In the coldest winter, when the wicked south-westerly wind violently threw the sea on the terrace, when the low wall of my seagull was submerged by furious waves at high tide, I prepared a large dish of pasta that I shared with my feathered companion. My noodle-eating seagull was having a blast! Me too.

I am happy to see these birds circling around Boogaloo . At least, meanwhile, are they not near a factory trawler, a longliner or a liner to use the terminology, these fishing vessels indirectly responsible for the massive destruction of albatrosses. I think I passed within four or five nautical miles (7 to 9 km) of a huge vessel of this type. I saw in the middle of the dark night without moon or stars, a bright halo of light like that of a small town, but no AIS signal (cf. Kids Newsletter n ° 2) on the board computer card - whereas it is an international obligation! - and no radar echo: it was out of range of Boogaloo's small proximity radar.

These monstrous trawlers are equipped with lines or longlines of several tens of kilometers composed of a main rope on which are grafted branchlines of about one meter, terminated with a large hook in which the sailors hook a piece of squid, the favorite food of our albatross friends. These lines are put into the sea, weighted at regular intervals with anchors to make them dive three thousand meters and beyond, to catch deep-sea fish of which we do not know the exact population, but of which we know that overfishing them will reduce the resource and threaten the species. As the line goes out to sea, the baits shoot into the black water, the keen-eyed albatrosses spot the pieces of squid they love and rush at these moving targets. If they manage to swallow one before it is more than a meter deep, because the albatross does not dive beyond, they greedily grab it. The hook hooks them firmly in the beak and pulls the beautiful bird into the abyss. This is the end of him. And that's the end of about 100,000 albatrosses (source: BirdLife) each fishing season, during the austral summer.

However, there are not on one side the wicked fishermen and shipowners and on the other the friendly sailors. Dear Kids, Life is not just dense black and immaculate white. We learn it throughout our existence. We evolve in a mixture of the two, more or less white. Or black. Gray like a Boogaloo anyway. The fish of these extreme sinners - who are also risking their lives at every moment on these boats at infernal rates, often outside all social regulations - feed thousands of humans around the world. This living fish so deep that one could imagine it protected forever; so far from any inhabited land that it could be sheltered from the appetite of Man, will find himself at one time or another on the stall of our fishmonger, or in boxes which make the daily life of our meals. Ideally, fishing techniques should therefore be improved to preserve albatrosses. A project exists, consisting in freezing in a certain way the baits so that they are less attractive to the birds and, above all, that the hook does not play its fatal role when the bait is swallowed by the bird. As a result, it would spit out its prey which sank into the sea and it would avoid the tragic drowning. But this represents an additional cost. This makes the fish more expensive. So the ideal, sometimes, unfortunately does not go beyond the stage of the wish ...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 12

37 ° 54 'South - 31 ° 06' East

KN 12

Difficult start-up

Hello Kids, I left Cape Town (South Africa) Thursday January 26 at the end of the morning under a great sun, because it is always a beautiful summer in this welcoming port. My friend Manuel Mendes came to cast off the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" and, with his catamaran, he accompanied me a few miles before an emotional farewell, because we did not know each other a fortnight earlier and we really hit it off. This is also the pleasure of stopovers, the beautiful encounters. Then, life on board was complicated and I had a lot of trouble picking up the pace, in a difficult sea, in the south of the African continent, battling against the Courant des Aiguilles. It's better now, I'm off.

Off Cap des Aiguilles, after a full day where blacks and grays have occupied space all day, the sky suddenly burst into flames for a few tens of seconds, as if a huge fire were breaking out on the horizon. An image that perfectly illustrates the brutality of the elements in these regions ...

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Leaving Cape Town to reach the Deep South, heading for the Roaring Forties, is always complicated in terms of navigation. Indeed, the summer high pressure which guarantees very good weather at the tip of South Africa generates southerly winds, often violent along the coast, that is to say just in front of the bow of the navigators. It is therefore necessary to start first towards the South-West, by tightening the wind to progress slowly, moreover, in the wrong direction since the good road is in the South-East. Once this navigation has started, you have to tack and set off, always keeping up with the wind, along the South African coast, taking care to take enough margin to pass Cap des Aiguilles. This cape is truly the southernmost tip of Africa, although less famous than the famous Cape of Good Hope, which lies further northwest, about 30 nautical miles (55 km) just below Cape Town.

To sail with the wind, that means the sailboat very tilted (leaning) and banging in the waves. Ideal for getting seasick when returning to sea after a stopover. I did well. I was only nauseous, for about 36 hours, never putting my head in the bucket. This sailing upwind (facing the wind) is quite unpleasant on "normal" seas. But there is nothing normal at the southern tip of Africa. On the one hand, the long swell formed on funds of three to six thousand meters comes crashing down on a coastal strip where the depth is less than 100 meters. This results in what is called a strong surf. Understand that it is a huge lapping with choppy water several meters high that shakes Boogaloo - and me at the same time - in all directions with great brutality. On the other hand, arrives with force along the East coast of Africa the famous Courant des Aiguilles. This warm current of the Indian Ocean in which the great white sharks make their home. The current goes one way and the wind goes the other. The result is a chaotic, choppy sea, impossible to negotiate. So we type, we type and we type again. I have lots of bruises. Boogaloo too.

By dint of typing, you can break material. This is what happened in the middle of the night from Saturday to Sunday and which made me fear that this OceanoScientific expedition might stop. In fact, suddenly the OSC System - this unique piece of equipment that automatically collects oceanographic data every six seconds and automatically transmits it every hour to scientists by satellite - has become silent, its screen black. After a long reflection, then a careful night inspection of the entire circuit of cables and pipes, I discovered the reason for this abrupt failure. A computer and transformer bracket (which draws 24 volts current with 12 volts current) detached from the partition by force of shocks in the Needle Current. The transformer fell and the cables got disconnected. I re-glued the support with the magic product of the edge (professional two-component glue AXSON A 130/50) which sticks in a few seconds and supports heavy loads. I reattached the transformer, reconnected the cables, pressed the ON buttons, opened the software with some trepidation ... What a great pleasure to find the control window for all the parameters of the OSC System in action and to see it again transmit the data to earth!

A few hours after having lost sight of Table Mountain, which dominates Cape Town and infuses it with gusts of rare violence, the albatrosses have reappeared, still as majestic and curious as ever. Astonishing scene, at the end of the Courant des Aiguilles, I even saw, at the same time, an albatross and a flying fish. Which is rather incongruous: the clever little fish being the symbol of warm seas and the immense hovering bird the master of cold waters. It is anyway the last flying fish for a long time, because the water temperature will drop quickly and I will not find the universe of flying fish, tropical waters, until near the Equator. It's not for tomorrow…

Cape Town is an amazing city, very endearing. It was a really pleasant stopover, especially as the meeting with Manuel Mendes who welcomed us, Boogaloo and me, with great kindness, will remain a beautiful memory. I can't wait to go back there and introduce my Pirates to this cosmopolitan city: Quentin, Malo and Léa and their Mum, of course.

Photo Manuel Mendes

Monday 23 January 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 11

33 ° 55 'South - 18 ° 25' East

Leon the cableman

Hello Kids, I'm still in Cape Town (South Africa) but not for long. I have to set sail on Wednesday January 25 in the morning for the tour of Antarctica in order to carry out our scientific expedition. I do not intend to make a new stopover on the road to Monaco, which I should reach during the second half of April. This stopover in the super city of South Africa allowed me to meet Hugo Plantet, the captain of a somewhat unusual French ship. He is a cable operator. His name is Léon Thévenin , named after the famous French telegraph engineer: Léon Charles Thévenin, who revolutionized the use of electrical circuits by inventing in 1883 a famous mathematical formula. We will celebrate 160 years of his birth on March 30. Before that, I will take you to visit the cable ship, owned by the telephone company Orange.

Moored at Quay 7 in Cape Town, in the sumptuous setting of Table Mountain on the left and Lion's Head on the right, the Léon Thévenin is always ready to set sail if a submarine cable is damaged and needs to be quickly repaired to re-establish communications.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

What is called "the cable" is in fact the optical fiber protected in a cable submerged in the oceans or buried. This fiber is made of glass and it is the thickness of a hair. No more. In this tiny conduit, circulate billions of data, including 80 to 90% of the global Internet network. The cable is used for communications in densely populated urban areas. It is a low-cost, high-speed means of information transfer. The other major means of communication is the satellite, on the other hand dedicated to very large areas with low population density, including deserts. The ocean is one, so I'm using satellite on Boogaloo and not cable, obviously.

All the continents are connected and bordered by submarine cables. These were installed by cable ships. The Léon Thévenin , commanded by Hugo Plantet - Brestois, father of an eight-year-old girl and a sailor in his spare time - is capable of laying submarine cables. But its primary vocation is maintenance. Understand that it intervenes when a cable is damaged. Several reasons for such an incident. It may be that a freighter has torn a cable with its anchor, or that a trawler has damaged a cable by dragging its trawl on the seabed. It is also possible that an underwater earthquake, which does not does not necessarily have consequences on the shore, has broken a cable. Or that this cable is over fifteen years old and worn out. However, generally, a cable does not "live" as long, because a new generation replaces an old one, allowing the transfer of more data even faster, in cycles of less than ten years.

On land, when communications are no longer functioning, technicians are able to identify the position of the fault on the cable. The Léon Thévenin set off immediately to intervene. Once in the area and provided that there is no more than 2,000 meters deep, that the wind does not exceed by force 6 (27 knots maximum) and that the waves are less than four meters, Hugo Plantet orders the launching of a funny all yellow machine: Hector 5. It is about a robot, whose technical term is ROV, for Remote Operated Vehicle. In French: Vehicle operated remotely. This large robot is capable of a thousand and one tasks with its articulated arms and multiple cameras which allow a team of engineers on board the Léon Thévenin to carry out all the meticulous operations to repair the severed cable.

107 meters long, 17.80 meters wide, the Léon Thévenin was built in 1983 at Ateliers et Constructions du Havre. Just a hundred years after Léon Charles Thévenin invented his famous mathematical formula. It is powered by four electric motors whose energy is produced by diesel engines. There are two engines for propulsion, with two propeller shafts. There is also a bow motor and one for the stern. Thanks to this device, the Léon Thévenin is able to position itself with great precision and to stay in the same place long enough to allow the recovery of the two ends of the damaged cable, then their release to sea and, finally, the burial of the part of the cable repaired using Hector 5 .

The Léon Thévenin crew is made up of 52 people, including five cable ships supervised by four engineers and a head of mission. He is the boss of the repair of the cable, in collaboration with Commander Plantet. Three jointers complete the intervention team. They will perform the fiber optic transplant to re-establish communications once the two pieces of cable have been brought back on board. The captain is permanently on board for two months. He then has two months of leave, during which another commander takes his place. Then he returns to the controls for two months again.

A normal Léon Thévenin mission, that is to say without any particular complications, lasts about a week, during which the intervention teams work tirelessly day and night, in four-hour shifts. Based in Cape Town, approximately in the middle of its intervention zone, the Léon Thévenin operates in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, on approximately half of the African coasts, from East to West via the South, but also in the large Indian islands, including that of Réunion. Between two missions, as in the army, he performs training exercises. Moreover, it will set sail tomorrow, Tuesday, January 24.

Intelligent and autonomous robot, capable of a thousand and one tasks at the bottom of the sea up to 2000 meters deep, Hector 5 is Léon Thévenin's magic tool. Without it, it would not be possible to repair the submarine cables. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, January 16, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 10

33 ° 55 'South - 18 ° 25' East

My friend the seal *

Hello Kids, I arrived in front of Cape Town (South Africa) on Monday January 9 at the end of the day, happy with the idea of having dinner with a good rare steak and sleeping in a bed that does not move. But a big gust of wind, violent like a storm, prevented me from doing so. I was only able to enter the port 24 hours later, late Tuesday afternoon. Previously, as I got closer to the South African coast, I saw a lot of birds that I don't know, seals and even a killer whale that appeared right in front of the bow of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" , though close that we could have collided. So many emotions ...

I am a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

"What does this one want with me? I was sleeping peacefully in the sun digesting all the fish I ate this morning in Cape Town harbor. I wish I could take my nap in peace. ! "

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Upon arriving in Cape Town, I was greeted warmly by Manuel Mendes and his brother José. Manuel is the manager of the shipyard which is located in the heart of Cape Town Marina. Manuel also created, eighteen years ago, a somewhat special sailing school, since it concerns about forty children from poor neighborhoods in Cape Town. Even very poor neighborhoods, called townships. In this sailing school, called Izivunguvungu, in Simon's Town, the children have a few lessons as in a traditional school and, above all, they learn to sail and to compete. Manuel's school also has results at the highest national level and some students have even been to carry the South African flag at the Olympic Games in London, then at those in Rio. " It is a way of removing some of these young people from the drug path which is promised to them in the township ", explains Manuel with conviction. " There is so much to do! But we can only count on donations from each other to finance this school. We would have more means, we could welcome so many more children! Because they are happy and proud to come. "Their parents too. For example, at the moment, we are trying to buy a small bus to increase the number of young people. Because we go to pick them up in the morning and we drive them back in the evening. However, the money is lacking. 'can not buy this bus .

Once Boogaloo docked, I picked up some things and headed to the hotel. And eat a big steak. The same evening, explaining to Quentin, Malo and Léa, my three Pirates of Cabourg, that there are seals * in the port of Cape Town, Malo entrusted me with the mission of taking pictures for the next Kids Newsletter. " OK, Malo! "

Ksssss, kssssss… ” No reaction. The big seal, stretched out full length in the sun on the pontoon, doesn't move a bit. Manuel warned me: " Be careful, you must not approach within two meters, because as much seals are kind when they are in the water, they can be aggressive on land. The risk is they bite you. When you see the size of their teeth, you will understand why you have to be so careful . " So I stand three meters away, with my camera in my eye. But if I take a photo of a seal that is snoozing, I think Malo will blame me… So this seal has to open its eyes!

I stomp my foot and move forward a bit. I kneel on the pontoon to be at its height. My-friend-the-seal-of-the-pontoon-of-Boogaloo finally deigns to react. He lifts his upper lip and shows me two huge canines. Ah! But he still doesn't open his eyes. I get even closer and tap harder with my foot and my free hand. Finally, he opens an eye. But only one. For the photo, it still does not go. I'm still getting closer. I am only about a meter away, at his height. Finally, Mister the Lazy Seal opens both eyes. I have my photo (above and below). Then it stretches, really like a big cat does after a nap, yawns while opening a huge mouth - I think of the fish it has to bite: it can afford to hunt large ones! - looks at me reproachfully for his seal head disturbed by a human, turns towards the port, then drops into the water without even a splash. And like a torpedo he pulls away from the pontoon, probably considering that I am the king of pests, preventing him from taking a gentle nap in the summer sun of Cape Town.

Seals live in the cold water that flows up the west coast of South Africa to Namibia. On the east face, the Courant des Aiguilles is a hot current inhabited by many species, including the terrible white shark: the great white. The most dangerous shark. In a vast bay: False Bay, under the Cape of Good Hope, really at the southern tip of Africa, warm and cold waters mix. Seals and white sharks therefore mingle. Knowing that the former are the preferred menu of the latter. In the middle of this bay is a very flat island: Seal Island. There are only seals there. Lots of seals! In November, when the young seals begin to learn to fish, the white sharks have a blast. They take advantage that young people are hesitant and do not know the danger to make it an incredible feast. Then, sated, they set out again in warmer waters, to hunt other preys. The danger is moving away. For the seals, as for the surfers on the beach, where lookouts equipped with powerful binoculars scan the coastal strip, ready to sound the alarm. When they spot a large white, they trigger a powerful siren that invites all surfers to quickly return to the beach. Danger, the big bite is going to bite!

No problem for Boogaloo , who will not be eaten by the great whites. However, we may see whales and another killer whale at the end of the week when I head south again, leaving the entire pontoon to my friend the seal, who will be very happy to find his ease.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

* Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) / Cape Town Brown Fur Seal.

" I have the whole pontoon to myself. First, it's MY pontoon! What is he doing there with his all-gray sailboat? He's walking around? Pissing me off! "

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

" Ahhhhhhh (Very big yawn) . Okay, he's really annoying. I just have to go swimming. But this water just ten degrees after a good sunbath, brrrr ... I might have cold. Fortunately, with the layer of fat that I have, I will not feel more than a little freshness. Come on, oust, in the water ... "

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, January 9, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 9

37 ° 35 'South - 17 ° 12' East

Live your dreams !

Hello Kids, when you read these lines the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" will probably be safely moored at the pontoon of the marina in Cape Town, the southernmost large city in South Africa, not far from the Cape of Good Hope, at the end of 41 days of navigation during which I will have covered 10,500 nautical miles (19,500 km) from Monaco, or about a small third of the total trip around the world. I will stay there for a week, to prepare the scientific material that will allow me to carry out the oceanographic mission, the object of this expedition, which has never been carried out before.

You know, the albatross is my favorite bird. As the only place to meet him is the Great South where I sail for more than two months, I photograph this extraordinary animal like a paparazzi or a movie star.

So here's a new albatross image. It's far from the last ...

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

This past weekend was special. It was the period leading up to an arrival. We gradually abandon the rhythm of the sea to adopt again that of the land. We organize the stopover remotely. We no longer navigate the same way. Where we had the whole ocean to express ourselves, we now calculate our route as accurately as possible to reach the port as soon as possible. The weather is more complex near the coast. I will meet again with freighters and perhaps fishing fleets. We must become attentive to the outside world again.

Then, Saturday January 7th was my birthday. A beautiful birthday on the Ocean: superb blue sky, bright sun and a good breeze to make Boogaloo gallop. Not just any birthday, my 60th birthday. Which positions me, dear readers aged seven to ten, probably closer to your grandparents than to your parents.

As I am an "almost-old-man", probably endowed with a beginning of wisdom acquired in 60 years of life outside the traditional ways, I will give you four words. I trust you: never lose them, in your whole life!

DREAM - What I am currently doing, solo around the world on a brilliant sailboat, exploring little or unexplored sea areas, is the fulfillment of a dream born when I was barely older than your age. It matured for a long time deep inside me. Like a secret. He never flew away. Even during times when I was so far away from it that I could have lost it along the way. In recent years, months and days before casting off Monaco for the Grand Départ, when the pressure was so great that it would have been easier to forget this dream, I have fought with incredible energy for don't give in to the ease of giving up. Helped, it is true by my loved ones, families, close friends and caring souls without whom this dream could not have come true. There is little without the others.

DESIRE - It's good to carry a dream, to make it a goal. Should we still accompany it with a good dose of envy? No chance if not to achieve it. Wanting enough not to let the dream slip away in the tumult of everyday life. To illustrate this point, I'm obviously thinking of one of my favorite songs: " L'Envie ", written by Jean-Jacques Goldman for Johnny Hallyday, among your parents' CDs. Or grandparents. Some passages are more understandable by adults who have tasted the joys and sorrows of Life, but the theme will not escape you. Envie , that's how the sailor Florence Arthaud had baptized a boat, under the official name of race, in connection with Johnny. Florence, pure idealist, eternal dreamer, specialist in extraordinary goals, incidentally the only woman to win the Route du Rhum solo in a multihull. Florence, who would have been 60 too in 2017 if she hadn't left for no reason, leaving a hole in my heart that will never close.

WILL - Whatever you do, whatever goal you are aiming for, if there is not a strong will, there will be failure. It's pretty simple life, actually. The will participates in your daily life. You need to be willing to listen to and follow the recommendations of the teacher or the teacher, your parents, or simply to satisfy your desire to do this or that action that is close to your heart. With good news, trust me I speak knowingly: with the will anything is possible. No way is closed to you. The future is yours. As a Monegasque friend often reminds us, quoting the Chinese philosopher Confucius (6th-5th century BC): " Man's life depends on his will; without will, it would be left to chance ".

HARMONY - We live in an environment made up of human beings and Nature. To reduce the obstacles in your path, to access your dreams less difficult, it is important to live serenely, to avoid futile fights, that is to say to be in harmony with what surrounds you. Your parents, siblings, your classmates, in the first place. And especially Nature: countryside, sea, mountain which offer you a thousand pleasures and the chance to discover landscapes, plants, animals which amaze you. To live in harmony, start from the principle that we always give before receiving, that we must adapt to others and to our environment to live serenely. That too is simple.

I therefore offer you these four fundamental words: Dream, Desire, Will, Harmony. I have always had them with me for a good fifty years, since I was your age. Without them and a certain tenacity, I don't know what will have become of me, or who I will have become.

Beyond bringing Boogaloo safely back to Monaco, beyond collecting quality oceanographic data where no one has ever gone to collect it before, if I could have given you with these four words and the rest , the desire to make a dream come true, passionately, with enough willpower to live it fully with pride, then this round-the-world trip will have been a victory.

Like each of us, the albatross must be in harmony with the environment in which it lives. Otherwise, his life expectancy will be reduced in the hostile universe where he evolves. Or he will be unhappy. So each albatross, which remains five to seven years with its parents before taking its autonomy, develops essential qualities to live far from any land, on an inhospitable ocean… but so beautiful.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, January 2, 2017

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 8

38 ° 12 'South - 15 ° 14' West

In albatrosses

Hello Kids, I am now heading east, the sun is rising in front of the bow and setting in the wake of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" . But the most important information is that I have been since the last two days of the year 2016 in what is called the Roaring Forties, that is to say the Great South of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, there where no continent, no land except New Zealand and a few insignificant little islands, stops: neither the wind, nor the long swell. As far as I'm concerned, I'm still in the South Atlantic and I'm going to stop over in Cape Town, South Africa, near the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa. As I entered the Forties, I entered the land of albatrosses and a few came to observe us closely, just to learn a little about this strange gray sailboat… with a large painted albatross in the sail.

This superb albatross, the first I photographed at the gates of the Fortieth, does not seem very friendly. According to Michel Desjoyeaux, who has sailed four times in the Great South, including twice to win the Vendée Globe, it would be " a Buller's albatross, characterized by its black and yellow beak ", specifies Michel. " It owes its name to Sir Walter Lawry Buller, a British naturalist and jurist born in New Zealand ." It would be a rare species. In any case, he was magnificent in Boogaloo's wake.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

It is not necessary to monitor the GPS to know if we are indeed arriving at 37 ° -38 ° South latitude to realize that we are entering the Roaring Forties, as the sailors of the 17th and 18th Centuries called them, at a time when only one in two boats that ventured there returned to port. The others perished, body and goods. Forties, because these are the latitudes around 40 ° South and Roaring, for the noise made by the wind when it blows in the mature at the mercy of the strong depressions which agitate this hostile maritime zone. That bone-chilling roar was true of the heavy, heavily veiled three-masted masters of two centuries ago. It is no longer the wind in the rigging (the mast and the shrouds) which is noisy today, but the carbon hull which goes very quickly in the waves, in the sound of a freight train. Exactly as I am writing to you now. So it is not necessary to monitor the GPS, simply because one day we are in a t-shirt and Bermuda shorts and a few hours later we find ourselves with two layers of fleeces; the sun which shone a pretty orange red becomes pale yellow and, apart from a few superb sunny days with a big blue sky, everything is gray, sky and sea. More or less gray, including very dark gray for the sea. So gray , the sea, that it is often black.


While we had not seen birds for more than a week, here we are surrounded by pretty gliders that move in the swell, sometimes touching the sea because they skim the waves. Because in the Forties, a permanent swell ripples endlessly and the birds disappear there to appear further away. This long swell is three to four meters deep in good weather and it widens quickly under the effect of the wind. No limit as to the height of the waves. While I was maneuvering, I saw an albatross arrive in the wake, majestic, superb, which skims the waves and then regains altitude just to rise about fifteen meters behind Boogaloo , to see who we are, what we do. Then he left. Quickly the camera for the Kids! This is the second I saw that I managed to photograph, which is not easy. This is the image above. As I transmitted by satellite this image to Michel Desjoyeaux, or rather to Gabriel, his son, to wish him a happy first birthday, Michel identified which albatross it is, as exposed in the legend: a Buller's albatross , it seems.


Because there are many kinds of albatrosses, which nest and reproduce on different islands in the Great South. For example, the one we sport in the logo of the OceanoScientific association and in the mainsail of Boogaloo is a black-browed albatross. Of good size, it is nowhere near as large as the Wandering Albatross, also known as the Great Albatross. This one, I will see it when I am further south, in the Indian or Pacific Ocean. The largest bird in the world, the Wandering Albatross can span up to 3.50 meters in wingspan. A real small plane, which is capable of speeds close to 90 kilometers per hour over distances of several hundred kilometers. I will have many opportunities to tell you in more detail about this bird that fascinates me. And to send you images, count on me!


In addition to the albatrosses that come and go, we are constantly accompanied by petrels. There again, many varieties exist, different according to their habitats. I was lucky enough to see Spectacled Petrels on the very first day and this is one of them pictured below. The further east I am going at this time, the more birds there are, especially major shearwaters. that I can't photograph. They go too fast and pass too far from the boat. Two reasons for this. The first is that the Courant des Aiguilles, a warm current that runs along the south of the east coast of Africa, breaks up in contact with the cold ones of the south of the South Atlantic, especially in the area where I am sailing. These warm waters carry all kinds of plankton and animals that seabirds in these regions are fond of, such as surface squid (photo below). The other reason is that we are getting closer to the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha, named after the Portuguese navigator-explorer who discovered this volcanic island in the 16th Century, now under the flag of the Queen of England.


This archipelago of Tristan da Cunha is considered the most remote of all lands, because no other string of islands is so isolated in the whole world. It mainly consists of four islands and a few riprap. Tristan da Cunha, the main one (12 km in diameter and about 40 km in circumference) is inhabited. A little bit: 264 inhabitants ten days ago. Inaccessible Island, a desert island, bird sanctuary, is a UNESCO sanctuary; Nightingale is only frequented by the rare inhabitants of Tristan who come to stay there for a few days in the middle of the southern summer (at the moment), or who had taken refuge there in 1961 when the volcano of Tristan da Cunha woke up. Finally, much further south, there is Gough Island, where a team of South African scientists and meteorologists take turns in precarious conditions. Indeed, this desert and inhospitable pebble, where the weather is bad for more than three hundred days a year, is located just on the path of the strong emerging depressions which rush around the world in the Roaring Forties and the Howling Fifths. This is precisely where Boogaloo and I are arriving at the moment and we can testify: it is blowing hard, everything is gray and it is cold!

Without flipping a single wing, only by soaring and playing with the wind, albatrosses achieve amazing acrobatic figures, including this one, which allows you to observe the extraordinary scale of this bird, the largest in the world. . Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Before the albatrosses majestically fly over Boogaloo to see who is this newcomer to their territory, it was the petrels who welcomed us first at the entrance of the Forties, including this pretty petrel with glasses. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

I have had flying fish in tropical waters, now in the cold waters where I find myself, they are small squids that come stranded when packets of sea sweep the deck, like this one, whose bodies measures approximately 18 cm. The many birds that accompany me and whose number increases the closer I get to the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha, delight in it.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, December 26, 2016

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 7

24 ° 06 'South - 29 ° 55' West

Madmen of the Ocean

Hello Kids, I am off the coast of Brazil, about 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) from the coasts which have yet to resonate with the sounds of the Christmas samba and I am skirting the enormous Saint Helena high (United Kingdom), name of the tiny island where Napoleon was exiled. I'm a long way from this tropical island: 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) in my northeast, but that's how it gave its name to the Southern Hemisphere high; like the Azores archipelago (Portugal) gave its own to the northern anticyclone, which brings us good weather in spring and summer on the beaches of Normandy and Brittany. From the passage of Ecuador until Christmas Eve, the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" galloped due south at high speed. But in recent days the pace has been lighter due to the proximity of this high pressure area, which generates weak breezes. I must tell you that I had visitors. The first time before entering the Doldrums. Then again after Ecuador. Guess what ? Red-footed boobies came to take advantage of Boogaloo to feast on flying fish! I'm telling you ...

Thrown to full speed skimming the waves, the red-footed booby (see its red legs) hunts exocets (flying fish) frightened by Boogaloo . Notice the length of its pink and blue beak, its lethal weapon and its large eye that nothing escapes. Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

In the very first Kids Newsletter, I wanted to tell you about my favorite bird from the Channel and North Atlantic coasts, from France to Portugal, almost to the Strait of Gibraltar. But I had not succeeded in photographing a single one, because it was too far from B oogaloo . This is the northern gannet. A superb bird that arrived on our planet about forty million years ago, including a large colony nests in North Brittany, on the Seven Islands, these small islets near the coast between Perros-Guirec and Ouessant. This madman is from the pelican family, but also cormorants, which abound in Normandy and Brittany, or frigates that we meet in the Caribbean. Tall (80 to 90 cm), the northern gannet has especially a very large wingspan for its size, since it is generally 1.60 meters and can reach 1.80 meters. This forces the northern gannet, the largest sea bird in Europe, to run on the sea to succeed in flying. Exactly like the albatross. Moreover, it is often nicknamed "the northern albatross", also because of its taste for life in contact with the cold waters of the North Atlantic (Canada and Northern Europe). To walk on water in this way, it has large webbed legs, which are also used for fishing.

The northern gannet, who lives in his early twenties, indeed has the particularity of catching its prey: fish that evolve on the surface, generally hunted by predators which force them to escape upwards, not by swallowing them on the surface, but chasing them by swimming. First, the madman spots the school of fish with his piercing eye. Then it rises to an altitude of thirty or forty meters and dives in a nose-down dive, wings glued to the body, beak forward, like a missile or a torpedo. A beak that measures eight to ten centimeters (10% of its size!), A formidable weapon. Once underwater, sometimes up to five meters below the surface, it swims with its large webbed legs to catch its prey… and make short work of it.

So I see arriving at the door of the Doldrums at the end of the afternoon, what really looks like a gannet. What is he doing so far from home? Did he get lost? However, this funny booby has brown in his dress, where the gannet is really dressed all in white with the tips of the wings a deep black. The beautiful bird agrees to strike a pose and a set of photos is immediately sent by satellite to the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, for identification. The information comes back very quickly, with detailed explanations from Loriane Mendez, doctoral student at the Center for Biological Studies of Chizé and, I believe, a little in love with this tropical bird. Thank you Loriane! It is therefore the cousin of the northern gannet: the red-footed booby, which nests a priori on the tiny Penedos archipelago of Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo (Brazil), 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the northern tip. East of Brazil, for the first one I met, and probably on the Fernando de Noronha archipelago (Brazil), south of Ecuador, for those crossed three days later.

So I saw one. Alone. Then a couple with a juvenile, more brown, who learned to feed on flying fish with papa, mama. And three adults who were hunting in groups, bickering like in a playground, if you know what I mean ... Once or twice I saw them dive like the gannets. But above all, I saw them hunt the flying fish while hovering, beaks half open, ready to grab the poor exocet at the end of the glide. All have noticed that Boogaloo's black hull and big dolphin-shaped keel scare off flying fish, which shoal on either side of the bow. Each time, the bishops choose to attack from the side where they will almost be facing the wind, to benefit from the maximum lift of their wings, to obtain the greatest speed. At about thirty meters of altitude they descend while gliding, while accelerating towards the place where the flying fish take off. And the game - the game for the madman, not for the hunted exocet! - is to swallow its prey before it manages to plunge back into the sea. One has the impression of being in a cartoon. Seeing this funny hovering fish sometimes chased only fifty centimeters from the madman's enormous beak and succeeding in escaping it, as the madman veers on the wing and gains altitude to prepare for a new attack, is truly a spectacle. unbelievable. Especially when there were three and the two who attended the hunt for the third squawked as if they were encouraging their fellow man. Or as if they were saying to him: " You really suck, you missed it! "

Each time, well satisfied, the red-footed boobies who visited us circled several times in the sky around Boogaloo , as if to greet and thank for the good feast, then they left and we continued to progress towards the South, impatient that we are to arrive in the land of albatrosses, so that the one who adorns our veil in the OceanoScientific logo finally finds his friends.

Like the albatross and like its cousin the northern gannet, the red-footed booby has powerful wings of very large scale, which it can adjust like sails to soar for hours and hours without ever flap its wings. Moreover, the American professor Manfred Curry (1899 - 1953), considered the father of modern sailing, was in fact totally inspired by the wing of the albatross and the gannet to create what allows today 'hui to Boogaloo to rush forward in the wind.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, December 19, 2016

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 6

01 ° 50 'South - 28 ° 42' West

In the land of flying fish

Hello Kids, I am in the Southern Hemisphere. I passed Ecuador on Sunday December 18 at 9:25 p.m. (French time) in a light wind and a big, long, barely rippled swell. A little moved, this is the first time in my career as a sailor that I have spent La Ligne in this way, as the sailing crews of the 18th and 19th Centuries called this theoretical separation between the North and the South of the Planet. As tradition dictates, I paid homage to Neptune, God of the Sea, with an old-fashioned offering. I shared a half bottle of our partner Moët & Chandon. A third first for Neptune, a third for the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" which allowed me to reach this symbolic stage in excellent conditions. And the rest for the crew. So I didn't have to share my third party! Previously, I spent 21 hours in the Doldrums, including nearly eight hours split with the engine, so impossible was the wind to exploit: weak and constantly turning at the mercy of the strong grains of rain which rinsed the sails well and the bridge. And the sailor too. Better to burn a few liters of diesel, rather than stagnate in the grays and blacks of this sad place. Fortunately, no squall was loaded with too strong gusts and this part of the course, always dreaded, was negotiated quickly and without concern, in direct course towards the South. You will be in winter this week. Me, I am already in the spring of the South, soon in the summer.

Observe the exceptional length of the fin of an exocet, a flying fish, which is: either folded up along its body like any fin; be deployed like a wing when it hovers out of the water.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Pok! Tac-tac-tac-tac-tac. Short silence. Tac-tac-tac-tac-tac. Pok! Again. Right above my head this time, as I'm lying in my bunk. And again tac-tac-tac-tac-tac. Just once. This one has surely fallen into the water. In the warm waters (around 25 degrees) of the intertropical zone where the trade winds blow, as well as in the Doldrums, we are in the land of flying fish. Exocets, to quote their exact name, are strange fish that live on the surface and feed on plankton. Equipped with two long fins, immense in relation to their size, they use them: either as simple fins when they are in the water; or like wings once in the air. It is thanks to the movements of their tail, that they wiggle sideways more than fifty times in a second, that they obtain sufficient speed to jump out of the water and hover from wave to wave at a height of thirty to fifty centimeters. altitude. They can thus travel about thirty meters. By taking off facing the wind and leaving crosswind, some manage to hover over nearly double by following the shape of the swell.

This ability to extract themselves from their natural environment and to dive back thirty to fifty meters further is the best defense to escape their predators, among which we find tuna (tuna family) and in particular the skipjack who feast on them. However, when Boogaloo arrives, launched in long surfs, I imagine that they see as an enormous danger the dark mass of the hull painted in black under the waterline and, above all, the bulb, which looks like a big dolphin. . The bulb is the block of lead, tapered like a torpedo at its two ends, which is located at the end of the keel. It is the counterweight that allows a monohull not to capsize. On Boogaloo , as on all ocean racing sailboats like the Vendée Globe prototypes, the keel tilts almost 40 ° to one side or the other to increase the sailboat's power and speed. So in the breeze, the keel is in fact not under the hull, but beside it, like a dolphin prancing alongside the boat. The flying fish get scared and fly away. If the majority flee on either side of the bow, many start their flight on the wrong side and end up on the deck or in the cockpit: Pok! Tac-tac-tac-tac-tac. Short silence. Tac-tac-tac-tac-tac.

The first one that landed in Boogaloo was also the biggest one I had never seen before. Not far from 35 centimeters. The size of a beautiful mackerel. My first instinct was that I was going to take a nice photo for the Kids once the day was up. And then I found it too unfair to let this awesome animal die for a photo. So I tried to grab him and I had a lot of trouble because he was struggling with all the power of his tail - hence the tac-tac-tac-tac-tac sound - and I was unsuccessful. to hold it so much it gave off energy. Finally, I managed to push him into the bucket and quickly throw him into the sea. One saved!

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

However, it is not just marine predators that hunt flying fish. In the air, red-footed boobies are on the lookout, because exocet is their favorite dish. See you next week to discuss this beautiful bird with majestic flight and impressive hunting techniques. It is the tropical cousin of our northern Brittany gannets.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

Every night, many flying fish of all sizes: from the smallest of less than two centimeters to the largest of almost 35 centimeters, land on the deck of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" . The most agile find their element. Many, like these unfortunately die on board.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday 12 December 2016

Expedition 2016-2017

Kids Newsletter # 5

18 ° 41 'North - 22 ° 04' West

While surfing in the trade winds

Hello Kids, I sail to the west of Mauritania and its capital: Nouakchott; I therefore passed the Canary Islands archipelago, which I saw quite close by skirting these Spanish islands to the east; I will overtake the Cape Verde archipelago in the distance and by the west, which I will not see (too bad!) and I am heading towards the Doldrums - I will explain to you what it is - and Ecuador, the imaginary line that separates the Northern Hemisphere, where I am therefore still with you in autumn, and the Southern Hemisphere, where it is spring. I am in an immense maritime zone between West Africa and the Caribbean / North of South America animated by a steady and powerful wind: the trade wind. The weather is nice, warm - I am writing to you in my underwear - and things are going fast. The OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" is a treat. Me too !

The OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" rides every wave in the trade winds. And there are many ! Like you at the beach when the flag is orange. And, like you, he's having fun! This will last for at least ten days, almost without interruption. It's going fast… Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

The trade wind is a moderate wind which blows over great distances on either side of the Equator, in what are called the intertropical regions, that is to say between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn, in the South. In the Northern Hemisphere, it blows west. Conversely, in the Southern Hemisphere, it blows towards the East. The trade wind blows on land: it is the continental trade winds and on the sea: the oceanic trade winds. It takes different forms depending on the regions of the world where it blows, always in an atmospheric band which goes from the ground to nearly three kilometers of altitude. And we give it different names according to these regions. We are thus accustomed to speaking of it in the plural in general. I am therefore in the trade winds. It's a hot, dry wind, especially on land. It blows in the Sahara Desert in Africa, for example, and it is called the harmattan. At sea, it becomes loaded with water vapor - seawater that evaporates under the effect of heat - and it causes the formation of huge clouds laden with rain and strong gusts. These are called grains. And in a sailing boat, we don't really like squalls because the wind can be violent.

The trade winds played a considerable role in the discovery of the planet by the great navigators of the Renaissance: Vasco de Gama, Magellan, Christopher Columbus. All started from the European coasts: Portugal and Spain, and therefore leaned towards the West. All succeeded in reaching America, or rather the Americas (North and South) and, between the two, the Caribbean Islands, thanks to the trade winds which pushed their ships with constancy and regularity. Because the boats of these explorers were not efficient sailboats like those of today. First of all, they were very heavy. Think about it, the crews took cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits… all alive, to feed themselves. Because, not knowing where they were going or when they would arrive, it was better to equip themselves to survive. And rather than eating the youngest mousse! For these reasons, instead of taking milk and eggs, they loaded cows and chickens. Then they only sailed when pushed by the wind. So from Europe always towards the West, or a little the North-West or the South-West. Nothing else. No way, as with Boogaloo , to go up against the wind while tacking.

These navigator-explorers circled the world from East to West in the Northern Hemisphere. On the other side of the Equator they were going the other way: from West to East. Thus the continents were discovered, mainly thanks to the trade winds which blew in their time as in ours. Today it is the wind which, each autumn, carries hundreds of boaters from the European coasts to the West Indies, to spend the winter in the sun.

The trade winds have other roles. More or less positive. For example, blowing on the immensity of the continents, they carry with them terrestrial life (nutrients) which enriches the life of the Ocean. Millions of molecules born on earth will thus feed the plankton and promote the development of the food chain. But it is also the trade winds which carry over the sea all the waste that Man abandons in open dumps, along its coasts, without imagining that all this refuse sows death.

At the end of this week you are going on vacation for two weeks and Christmas, lucky guys. But I will continue to write you the Kids Newsletter every Monday.

Have a good holiday and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

This is what I recovered tangled in the propeller of the hydro-generator in the Mediterranean. I have seen hundreds of rubbish floating around, escaping from the coasts bordering this increasingly polluted sea. It really is a disaster! Be careful never to leave litter lying around, on the beach or elsewhere, even a small piece of candy, and pick up any that you find, even if you are not the one who threw them. It's too important.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Monday, December 5, 2016
Expedition 2016-2017
Kids Newsletter # 4
41 ° 52 'North - 05 ° 21' East
Priorities aboard Boogaloo

Hello Kids, when you read this text, I will be in the Atlantic. No more complicated Mediterranean, long live freedom. But the first hours in the Atlantic will be complicated, because the weather situation does not allow me to head south, directly towards the Canary Islands, through which I must pass. Nothing serious, it will just be necessary to lengthen the road a little, to go west to look for favorable breezes. So I left Cartagena (Spain) after just twelve days of stopover. It was both long and short. Long because staying so long on land while waiting for the weather to be favorable requires patience. I don't necessarily have a lot of them. Short, because it allowed me to check every detail of Boogaloo's equipment and take the opportunity to make some improvements that I never had time to make. Short also because this city is very pleasant, that the Real Club de Regatas Cartagena (RCRC) is really very welcoming for the crews who stop over, especially thanks to Ana Baquero who knows how to find the thousand and one things that we need in a foreign port ... and who also knows how to operate the Club's washing machine. Always with a smile !

The bow of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" points to the horizon. Over there it is the Atlantic Ocean, where I will sail for about thirty days before arriving in the Indian Ocean. On the program: North Atlantic, Ecuador, South Atlantic.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Even if a period of twelve days without sailing is short in the life of a sailor, you have to get back to the rhythm of the sea when you cast off again. Going from land to sea takes about two to three days of transition. Especially solo, because unlike a crewed navigation where we work in shifts: four hours of activity, four hours of rest, four hours of activity, etc ... alone it is impossible to spend four hours rest, especially along the coasts where the dangers are numerous with the fishing fleets. Even more in the Mediterranean with the innumerable freighters.


Under these conditions there are two priorities of equal importance. First, move the sailboat correctly. That is to say, adjusting the sails to adapt to sea and wind conditions. Lots of sail when the wind is light. Little sails when the breeze is strong. However, near the coast, under the influence of the land, the wind is often irregular and requires many maneuvers. In solo, it is sometimes long. Then be careful not to collide with another boat. It's primordial. The watch is done by observing the radar, the signals of other ships on the computer screen thanks to the AIS (review Kids Newsletter # 2), but also quite simply by watching on the deck and observing what takes place on the sea. It is easier at night, because the freighters have five lights that are easy to recognize. Like all ships, there is a green light on starboard, red on port and white aft. In addition there are two white lights. One, the lowest, is at the front. The second, the highest, is almost completely to the rear, on the "rear castle", where the command bridge is located. These five lights make it very easy to understand in which direction this big boat is sailing.


If sleep is a problem during the first days at sea before reaching the open sea, eating is hardly easier. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not hungry. Simply. I can be nauseous too. Going from dry land to a boat that moves in all directions, sometimes suddenly, is disturbing for the human organism. The body needs to pick up the pace too. And with little or no sleep on the one hand and an irregular and unbalanced diet on the other hand, the body is strained. But everything is back to normal after 48h00 or a little more. A little more for me this time, because the exit of Méditerranées is very demanding.


Much of the rest of the time spent on board awake is spent on Boogaloo . Always ensure that everything is working properly. That there is no weird noise, that the essential parts, including the mast, work correctly, without undue strain. Monitor the level of the batteries that supply energy to the boat. When their level drops, it is necessary to start a hydro-generator, located on the transom of Boogaloo . It is about a fin that I immerse and at the end of which there is a small propeller. The speed of the boat turns the propeller and that produces energy. It's great ! And you have to collect the weather files too, once a day and decide on the route, the course to take. Without forgetting the writing of this message from the sea and taking the photos to tell you about my journey. But that is more like recreation ...

Boogaloo's wake is very white, proof that it is extending its stride, surfing the waves. This is the usual rhythm on board when the wind is downwind, that is to say it blows from across or from behind.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Expedition 2016-2017
Kids Newsletter # 3
37 ° 32 'North - 00 ° 57' East

My guardian angel is called Christian

Hello Kids, I am writing to you from Spain, from a pretty town called Cartagena - pronounced Cartarrrena in Spanish - where the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" has been docked since last Tuesday and, probably until Saturday, December 3rd. In four days of sailing from Monaco, I used up practically all my diesel reserves because there was no wind and I therefore had to fill the tank. Diesel is useful if I run out of energy to run the engine. This is used to charge the batteries and to operate the autopilot and all navigation instruments, as well as the navigation lights: red on port, green on starboard and white behind. There was also a nasty storm looming small boats like Boogaloo in the Strait of Gibraltar which wreaked havoc on the Spanish coast. It was better to let this bad weather pass and stop over in Cartagena, but with the urgent desire to take the road to the South. However, to know if I will have favorable winds or not, weak or very strong, favorable or contrary, I have privileged access to the forecasts of our partner Météo-France. But I also have a guardian angel who watches over me from his office or his home in Brittany, near La Trinité-sur-Mer. His name is Christian, Christian Dumard. This is my router.

On board the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" I order by satellite then I receive almost immediately a weather forecast which is automatically displayed on the map of the on-board computer. I can thus establish a route. Christian's information will confirm or deny that. Then we will decide together the right route for Boogaloo .

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

When you are sailing, you never go straight from one point to another. However, on the vastness of the ocean there is no road like on earth, with signposts, cities to bypass, paths, small roads, or wide highways. It is actually the wind that decides which path to take. For example, because it blows in front of the bow. It is then necessary to zigzag, tack according to the nautical term, that is to say to draw the edges. Right, then left. To the right again and to the left, on either side of the bed of the wind. And so on. This means that the distance to be traveled is approximately doubled. Not funny swaying against the wind! It's a bit the same when the wind comes right in behind the sailboat. Especially a performance sailboat like my Boogaloo swift. Here too we tackle and lengthen the road, but much easier and faster. This is really nice!


The other case where we do not go straight is because we want to: either move away from strong winds which will soon blow, or from a zone of calm; or to put themselves in a favorable position in relation to the arrival of a weather system announced by forecasters. For that, I have excellent information from Météo-France on board Boogaloo. This is also where the router comes in.


Before becoming a router, Christian Dumard was sailing champion, even world champion. He held the position of navigator on the elite sailboats on which he sailed. He was the one who decided which route to take to go the fastest and to cover the least distance between two course marks. To win. Then he stopped racing at a high level and specialized in accompanying sailors, generally ocean racers engaged in races - like the Route du Rhum, not like the Vendée Globe, because the router, the routing, ( routing) is strictly prohibited - or recordmen who sail against the clock, like Thomas Coville, currently attempting a solo record around the world; or Francis Joyon, who will embark on the same route around the Planet, but with a crew.


For example, when leaving the Strait of Gibraltar, that is to say when I say goodbye to the Mediterranean (phew!) And hello to the Atlantic (chic!), I may take a course - that I make a road - different from that which will allow me to progress directly towards the South. Everything will depend on the direction of the wind. So I discuss with Christian to determine the best weather window that will allow the albatross who is at the bow of Boogaloo to reach his universe in the Southern Hemisphere as soon as possible. For now, the weather maps and Christian Dumard predict a strong depression along the Moroccan coast for the end of the week. Very bad weather, a real storm from the front. That I should avoid if I go on Saturday morning. So, I listen to my guardian angel, I follow his advice… and I try to be patient. It's not easy to get out of the Mediterranean at this time of year!

On the bow of Boogaloo sits the beautiful albatross from the logo of the OceanoScientific association, which is organizing this

expedition 2016 - 2017 around the world. A strange bird that almost always has its head in the spray.

Photo Guilain Grenier - OceanoScientific

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Expedition 2016-2017
Kids Newsletter # 2
36 ° 81 'North - 00 ° 76' East
KN 02

On the freight highway

Hello Kids, I am writing to you along the Algerian coast, I even see Algiers in the setting sun. I am currently sailing, still in the Mediterranean,… on a freight highway. Indeed, I am approaching the Strait of Gibraltar, the gateway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, made up: on one side by the rock of Gibraltar, a very small territory in the extreme south of Spain and, on the other side, by the northern tip of Morocco, the end of the African continent. Every day, dozens of cargo ships: giant container ships, tankers filled with oil or gas, cruise ships of a thousand lights, merchant ships of all kinds, shapes and colors, carry what are called "products. manufactured ", that is, objects ready to be sold as soon as the cargo ship reaches its port of destination; or raw materials, which will be processed once landed. In this universe of sea giants, my OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" of just sixteen meters is very small ...

Sometimes monstrous and passing very close to the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo", like here the " Planet Ace" , freighters are very numerous in the Mediterranean, especially along the coasts of Algeria and Morocco, approaching the Straits of Gibraltar.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

The approaches to Gibraltar, in particular along the Algerian coast, are therefore a real highway in the East - West direction from Asia to Europe and the United States, as in the West - East direction, from home to France. 'Asia. But how do you get from the Mediterranean to Asia? Simply by the other gateway to the Mediterranean, to the east: the Suez Canal, in Egypt. But as much the Strait of Gibraltar is a miracle of nature that has brought Europe and Africa closer together without bringing them together, the Suez Canal is an artificial route, dug into the ground thanks to the genius of a French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps , who imagined this link between East and West in the 1860s. A great shortcut to prevent merchant ships from skirting all of Africa, passing the Cape of Good Hope, its southernmost point, then coming up from the sea. other side. So, since the beginning of the last century, an incessant ballet of ships animates this way tirelessly, with units increasingly long, more and more big, transporting always more goods and at high speeds.

How do I do, you might say, not to collide with such behemoths? Mainly alone. Boogaloo is equipped, like all ocean-going sailboats, like the cargo ships themselves, with two essential tools. We have a radar, which allows us to observe an obstacle on our way. If the obstacle is fixed on the screen, it is the earth, an island, a lighthouse, a beacon, a large iceberg. If the obstacle moves. It's another ship. The greater the echo on the radar screen, the longer and larger the cargo. On Boogaloo , I equipped this radar with an alarm. When a danger appears on the screen within three nautical miles (approximately 5 km), the alarm will sound. Even if I sleep soundly, no way to resist the screeching noise, I have to get out of my bunk. And quick !

The other tool is the AIS beacon. To put it simply, know that each boat is equipped with a transmitter which constantly broadcasts the essential information of the vessel: its international code - like the license plate of a vehicle - its speed and its heading (in which direction it is heading). directed). Sometimes its name and type: cargo ship, tanker, sailboat, trawler… And with the same system, it receives the same information from all the other vessels within a radius of twenty nautical miles (35 km).

Once the alarm has sounded, I look at the navigation computer screen and click on the icon of the vessel that is closest to Boogaloo . Either there is no danger, we will cross or overtake at a good distance from each other. Either we have "collision routes". In short, we risk the accident. At this point, we make radio contact and we agree that one will deviate to starboard (right) or port (left). Once the maneuver is complete, we each resume our journey. And I can go back to bed! Dreaming that I might have just passed Santa's ship, because he must be using freighters too to distribute all the manufactured goods you ordered from him, right? Especially the game consoles from Asia, for those who no longer believe in Santa Claus, but still ...

Fortunately, there are not only freighters in the Mediterranean, but also many dolphins who like to play with Boogaloo's bow when the wind gives it speed.

Photo Yvan Griboval - OceanoScientific

Friday, November 18, 2016
Expedition 2016-2017
Kids Newsletter # 1
41 ° 52 'North - 05 ° 21' East

Goodbye children ...

Hello Kids, I am writing to you on board the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" , just a few hours after leaving Monaco and after a first night on board, alone under a large, clear moon which gave the surface of the sea silvery reflections . The departure, Thursday November 17th around 12:30 pm was full of emotion. On the one hand, it is always difficult to leave your loved ones for a long time - 110 to 120 days for me, four long months, Christmas and New Year's Day included. To separate myself from my triplets: the Pirates Quentin and Malo, the identical twins and their sister Léa, nine years old like many of you and their mother, my wife Cécile, is a real heartbreak. Even if everyone tries to hide it. On the other hand, all the tenderness contained in the eyes of the students of the many classes of CE2, CM1 and CM2 of the Elementary School of Condamine (Monaco), could only add emotion to the emotion. Especially when the CE2 class of master Aurélien Ranaldi sang a pretty song of encouragement written in my honor, in the presence of His Serene Highness (SAS) Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose fatherly fiber also vibrated at this precise moment .

Thursday November 17, for the Grand Départ around the world, the Elementary School of La Condamine had delegated its most fervent supporters of the CE2 - CM1 - CM2 classes to accompany the last moments on land of Yvan Griboval, that HSH Sovereign Prince Albert He came personally to encourage. Photo Guilain Grenier

From now on I have a little more than one round-the-world trip in front of the bow of my OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" and I will probably not come back to Monaco to see all my young supporters of Condamine, but also those of the schools of Cabourg and Ouistreham in my native Normandy, only around the middle of March. My occupations on board will consist of: moving the boat to the best of its ability according to the force of the wind and the state of the sea; to calculate my route according to the theoretical route and the weather conditions, because sailing almost never takes the straight line as you do on land; to perform some daily tasks that scientists require of me, such as taking samples of seawater, for example; to carry out a little technical maintenance and sometimes DIY so that Boogaloo is always in perfect condition; to cook myself ... and to rest in slices of 15 minutes to two hours when I will be very far offshore, without the risk of meeting a cargo ship or a fishing boat. Because even if my radar is watching and a loud alarm sounds when a danger looms in front of the bow, it is better to remain vigilant, with your eyes open.

I take photo and video equipment with me. In particular a camera equipped with a long telephoto lens, because I want to photograph birds and fish for you as well, at least dolphins, to illustrate my accounts of my encounter with the only living beings that I will cross paths with during my expedition. Even if I am permanently surrounded by a thousand and one species of plankton, beings too small for me to draw a portrait of them, but so essential in the chain of life, as your masters and mistresses can explain it to you. Or how I will come to your classes to talk to you about it when I get back.

A few lines to end this first Kids Newsletter, in the form of a personal message to Salomé: the pretty drawing that you gave me on Thursday morning, with the big heart and all the little hearts is now stuck in my logbook: a large notebook Clairefontaine with small squares like the ones you use every day. He will therefore go around the world with me, like all the letters of encouragement (and the photo!) From CE2-B at the Elementary School of La Condamine - and the drawings of my three beloved Pirates, of course.

A few moments before setting sail from the locks of Caen-Ouistreham, Saturday 22 October around 12:30 pm, Quentin, Malo and Léa Griboval take a tour of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" of their father Yvan, sailor-explorer of this expedition around Antarctica , to some friends of CM2 and CM1 classes in Cabourg and Ouistreham. Photo: OceanoScientific

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ocean preparations

Launch of the OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo" Monday October 17th at the V1D2 shipyard in Caen

The OceanoScientific Explorer "Boogaloo " sailboat left Ouistreham on Saturday 22 October at 12:45 pm . Led by the Cabourgeais Yvan Griboval, this 16-meter sailboat set off for the first sailing expedition of the OceanoScientific Campaign. Head first to Brest, from where he left Thursday, October 27 for Monaco, where his arrival is estimated around November 10, a few days before the big departure for the Southern Hemisphere.

Thursday November 17 at 12:30 p.m., HSH the Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco will cast off the moorings of the OceanoScientific Explorer and Yvan Griboval will then set off solo around the world and Antarctica , the southernmost point that the ice will allow to do so. , below the ocean racing routes. Then return to Monaco, after 110 to 120 days at sea without stopover. It was only at the end of April 2017 that the scientific sailboat will return to its home port of Caen-Ouistreham and the V1D2 Chantier quay where it has its habits and where it was put in service. water for the first time just nine years ago.

In addition to this, you need to know more about it.

At the end of ten years of developing a piece of equipment that is unique in the world: the OSC System, of which he is the designer, Yvan Griboval will automatically collect oceanographic and meteorological data from ten different parameters at the Air-Sea interface every six seconds. , in little or no explored maritime areas, including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The objective is to enrich the knowledge of the international scientific community to better understand the causes and consequences of climate change . This information will be transmitted automatically and free of charge every hour by satellite to dedicated UNESCO platforms.

IFREMER, Météo-France and the CNRS provide their support and oversee this philanthropic initiative which is carried by the general interest association OceanoScientific.

This Normandy expedition in total energy autonomy, without CO2 emissions or waste, will be a world first, because never has such a campaign been carried out non-stop from West to East in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current . It is sponsored by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) and it is supported by the Institut Océanographique Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco .

From the end of November, Yvan Griboval will send out a weekly navigation report with an image of the open sea. Specially written for children aged 7 to 10, this message from the Ocean will be distributed in the form of a newsletter and on the association's website, section " Kids ". Some classes of CE2, CM1 and CM2 from Cabourg, Ouistreham, from the municipalities of Caen la Mer, Calvados, Brest, but also from Monaco, will have privileged contacts with the recluse.

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