Humans of Tara
September 6, 2018

Meet the crew of the Tara expedition from Panama to New York.

Francois Aurat, 57, Deck Officer.

Francois jumped on board as part of the Tara crew 10 years ago, which is a testament to how much he loves his work. The Deck Officer is responsible for the care and maintenance of the ropes, sails, winches and the dingy. He’s also a wiz with a camera and a drone, capturing stunning photos and footage for the Tara website and other communications. When he’s not undertaking his duties or staying in touch with his twin sons you can probably find Francois tending eagerly to the fishing rod he has casted off Tara’s side.

Sophie Bin, 33, Chef Cook. 

With easily the most important role on board Sophie has mastered the art of Tara Cook. She buys, stores and prepares food for breakfast, lunch and tea for up to 16 people at a time, all on a moving boat! You could imagine how valuable and physics defiant she is to preserve fresh fruit and veges through hot muggy tropical climates for up to a month at a time. She considers Tara her dream job as she loves the adventure, the science, and meeting new people on each leg. Being able to work alongside her brother, Nico, is just the cherry on top!

Cael (B.B. Cael) Barry, 27, Scientist.

While currently completing a PhD in “Improving our understanding and theories for how phytoplankton move carbon from the atmosphere into the deep ocean” Cael makes up half the scientific workforce on board this leg to New York. Along with Tom, he continues to collect measurements to better understand the global distribution of phytoplankton and how they effect the surface water eco-system. Cael’s patience when explaining science talk and his endless enthusiasm to help on board have been truely appreciated throughout the trip, he’s a good cook too!

Nicolas Bin, 38, Second Captain/First Mate.

SIC to the Captain, Nico overlooks the crew in terms of safety, boat life, and sailing manoeuvres. He’s also a pseudo scientist during legs with no scientists on board and a part of the dive team during the coral sampling legs. Purposefully spoken, Nico is stoked to be working alongside his sister, Sophie, and makes sure to look out for hers and every other crew member’s wellbeing. He loves a good laugh and is pretty jazzy on the keyboard, but that’s only when he’s not making sure everything on board is in line! And when he’s not on board, Nico spreads important messages from Tara’s expeditions by visiting and talking at schools back in France.

Thomas Leeuw, 28, Scientist.

The second half of the science team for this leg, Tom is a bit of a Tara veteran as this is his fourth trip on board Tara as apart of the science crew. With a bachelors in Marine Science and a Masters in Oceanography, Tom works alongside Cael to collect scientific samples for the large scale environmental studies Tara is involved with. Calm and collected, Tom is a tree of wisdom, both scientifically as well as with Tara tips that could’ve only been obtained through experience.

Martin Hertau, 41, Captain.

Responsible for the entire boat, Martin is not only the decision maker but also acts as the fuse between all stakeholders. When anything happens; good, bad, to the unexpectedly weird, he’s the one everyone turns to. He describes his role in three categories; Nautical – about the boat, logistics, paperwork, Commercial – representing the crew, the owner, and the foundation, and Maintenance – Tara’s seaworthiness. Despite his no-doubt stressful role, he keeps his cool, is always easygoing and always has the crew’s back. Ask this guy anything and he can give you an answer, add his quick wit and a sly joke never goes astray.

Jacques Gamblin, 60, Actor.

A well known French writer and performer, Jacques has provided voiceovers for two or three Tara documentaries about Coral sampling. The foundation invited him on board this leg to fully immerse himself in and experience Tara’s work first hand. He has been a keen contributor to the crew and brings with him helpful sailing experience. But most importantly, he is a constant source of entertainment throughout each and every day.

Charlène Gicquel, 34, Chief Engineer.

As chief engineer you can probably find Charlène tinkering in the cramped, hot, engine room below deck. She’s in charge of the running and maintenance of Tara’s main engines. If that wasn’t enough, she also takes care of the production and management of electricity and fresh water through the two generators and the desalinator on board. Needless to say, without exaggeration, that without her we wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime fast. Even though she’s usually greasier and sweatier than the rest of us, you will always see her smiling, singing and dancing around absolutely loving life.

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson

BLAKE Tara Ambassador 2018