It was an emotional moment on Thursday December 21, just after 15:00, when the 17-metre catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN pulled away from the Yacht Club de Monaco’s pontoon of honour in slow forward motion, at the end of the Grand Départ ceremony for the first of the OceanoScientific Coral Reefs Expeditions 2023-2030. While seven years of CO2 emission-free oceanographic sailing missions lie ahead – from 10,000 to over 20,000 nautical miles per year, depending on the official scientific programs the crew will be collaborating on – it was the past six years in particular that were celebrated just a few days before Christmas.

Yvan Griboval, President of the OceanoScientific association, skipper of the Lagoon 570 and Director of Expeditions, said: “This ceremony, this departure, would not have been possible without the precious and long-standing support of the Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco, Bernard d’Alessandri (Yacht Club de Monaco) and our three patrons and partners: Biologique Recherche, Lise Charmel and EXSYMOL Monaco. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to embark on this highly innovative approach to preserving and promoting the genetic resources of coral reef marine organisms, at a time when the threat of the Sixth Extinction is looming, accelerated by man’s impact on Nature”.
LOVE THE OCEAN set sail for the Old Port of Cannes, where it will spend the Christmas weekend until the powerful Mistral eases off and clears the way to the west. Two more months of intensive preparation will follow in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, La Ciotat and Nice, and then – finally – the actual departure for the coral reefs will take place probably in the early afternoon of Thursday February 22.

MAIN PHOTO: In keeping with tradition, Yvan Griboval, skipper of the Lagoon 570 catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN, handed over his moorings to Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary and General Director of the Yacht Club de Monaco, demonstrating his willingness to come and take them over …at the end of June or beginning of July 2024. Photo Cécile d’Estais-Griboval – OceanoScientific. Centre, The Lagoon 570 catamaran LOVE THE OCEAN left the Yacht Club de Monaco at the end of the Grand Départ ceremony of the first OceanoScientific Coral Reefs Expeditions 2023-2030, on Thursday 21 December, shortly after 3:00 pm. Photo Justine Camus – OceanoScientific