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Like a plane…without rudder planes

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Like a plane…without rudder planes

Like a plane…without rudder planes

Since the beginning of this storm, Tara pushed by Northern winds is heading south.
Wind gusts up to 50 knots have blown in our area these past days.
Today as I am writing comfortably seated in the gangway, there is a permanent buzz outdoors. 32,4 knots on the anemometer set at the head of the mast. In simple terms, it is quite nasty.

The wind has made an encircling cloud of snow and it looks as if Tara is in a ventilator to study the stream flow along her hull. It is a blizzard. Grant, the chief of expedition, claims “never to have seen anything like it since the beginning of this drift”. From time to time, the moon makes a fleeting appearance. The scientific experiments are mostly interrupted and the crew goes out mostly to get water supplies.

Last night we crossed the 82°North. Tara is dashing at 0,7 knots. Full South, sometimes south-west. We are sailing along the Greenland coast. At a good distance, 170 km, but we remain on this side of the Greenwhich meridian for the moment. It is the side where the pack ice goes further in longititude. This means that if we keep this course-but here nothing is ever definite- the adventure could be extended, the time for Tara to free herself from the ice.

This does not stop the Paris team to examine at this very time a link with a helicopter starting at the beginning of December. The arrival of three new crew members for the exit.

In fact, anything can take place at a throw of dice. A new wind directed North-West, a current in the same axis and Tara could exit within one month. Hervé Bourmaud, Tara’s captain considers that “Presently, the Arctic is showing us the door” But the door is big; it is the Fram Strait.

Vincent Hilaire

Tara 2006-2007

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