G. O. Sars alongside in Horta.
The Census of Marine Life banner
MS Loran in Horta
Press briefing onboard RV G.O. Sars
Odd Aksel Bergstad at the reception together with Tore Nepstad (director of IMR) and Jesse Ausubel (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Date:July 3, 2004
Author: Odd Aksel Bergstad (IMR)
A beautiful morning in Horta soon became hectic as participants packed and vacated their cabins to make the ship ready for Leg 2. Laboratories were cleaned and tidied, and preparations made for accommodating guest during the call. Two MAR-ECO ships were now alongside, as MS Loran, a chartered Norwegian longliner had arrived the previous evening.
A highlight of the morning was the visit by the scientific steering committee of the Census of Marine Life, the global programme of which MAR-ECO is one of several field projects. A seminar was held by the MAR-ECO lead scientists Tone Falkenhaug, Uwe Piatkowski, Tracey Sutton, Leif Nøttestad, Astthor Gislason, Olav Rune Godø, and Odd Aksel Bergstad in the ship's auditorium, before the group toured the ship.
In the afternoon a similar seminar and tour was given to the Ambassador of Norway, the Norwegian councel in the Azores (Mrs Helen Rost Martins,a scientist of DOP, Univ. Azores), the mayor of Horta, and the Azorean Director of Fisheries.
At 13:00 Hrs, a SAS Braathens charter plane from Bergen landed on Horta, with Leg 2 participants, the MAR-ECO public outreach group, IMR management,guests, and the new crew of the MS Loran. Some Leg 1 participants were also joined by family members who came to have holidays in the Azores. A TV Crew from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and journalists from three Norwegian papers also came on day trips, and were joined by Portuguese colleagues for a press and guest briefing and a tour of the ship. Interviews were recorded and pictures taken of the ships and several crew.
An important event of the afternoon was a scientific colloqium between the Leg 1 and Leg 2 participants, intended to share information and advice. This was held in the old whale factory in Horta, now converted to a conference facility and exhibition facility named Centro do Mar. In the same centre, crews and guest finally assembled for an enjoyable social gathering organised by DOP Univ. of the Azores. Those flying back to Norway had however soon to leave for the airport.
It was now time for Leg 2 participants to get keys and cabins and settle into their floating home for the next month. Many spent a relaxing evenng in the famous Peter's Bar, normally occupied by the many sailors stopping in Horta during trans-Atlantic crossing.
A dinner for official guests, the CoML Steering Group, was hosted by MAR-ECO in the Hotel Horta. This and other events were generously sponsored by SKIPSTEKNISK A/S, the Norwegian naval architects who designed and led the construction of RV G.O.Sars. A co-sponsor of the afternoon social event was IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany, that wished in this manner to express their gratitude for the retrieval of the current meeter mooring (see earlier reports from Leg 1).