Science at sea

Doing sciences at sea

Doing science in a laboratory or on land, is something easy to do. But on a sailboat with limited resources and at sea, that’s another story.

This is why during our expeditions we implement science programs that only require  few resources (energy, water, gas), so precious on board. The kits are all autonomous in energy.

The programs chosen are built to be feasible aboard a sailboat, both in terms of resources and logistics. The measurement kits to be deployed must therefore take up little space (except specific program) and are designed to be deployed quickly (about ten minutes, or up to an hour).

Some sensors require continuous operation and other measurements are done on an ad hoc basis, but in any case the science maneuvers to be carried out on board represent a minor part of the expedition logistics. Whether for the monitoring of measurements or the taking of a sample, we ask on average 1 hour per day every 3 to 4 days.

Among the programs that we propose for expeditions, there are some that we have developed , but also programs with which we have developed a partnership and for which we have become a relay structure.

Science programmes created by the organization

Study of the global ocean and marine currents using on-board temperature and salinity sensors.

Plankton sampling using a drift net, observation and photography under a microscope.


Study of deep corals with the help of a photographic gondola that can be released from the sailboat.

These science programmes require an active and intentional approach on the part of the citizens on board. There is a real implementation to make a levy or a measure.
Measurement of the earth’s magnetic field at sea using on-board sensors.
Observation acoustique et visuelle des cétacés dans leur milieu naturel.

Other so-called “opportunistic” observation collection programmes exist. In this case, the passive observer notes a remarkable event (observation of a cetacean, shark, etc….).

Programmes relayed by the organization

Launch of drifting floats ((JCOMMOPS)
Launch of observation beacons at sea for continuous monitoring of the oceans.
Measurement of current parameters continuously (temperature, pressure, acidity, etc …).



Meteorological observation (JCOMMOPS)
Pressure and temperature readings in the open ocean help improve global weather models while updating the local bulletin in real time.


Plankton sampling (Roscoff Marine Station)
Plankton sampling at sea for a DNA laboratory study (study of planktonic ecosystems).


For these programmes, the organization has developed partnerships with structures that already have citizen sciences programmes.

These partnerships enable us to be a “relay structure” by deploying the programmes on our expeditions and collecting data collected at sea.

Obs en Mer (Obs at Sea) programme
Opportunistic observation programme of marine mammals, seagrasses, jellyfish and rubbish. A very practical application to identify and report all observations of marine fauna.



Light pollution measurement (Globe at night)
By means of visual observation with a sky map or a measuring device, it is possible to measure the light pollution of the sky. The nocturnal luminosity produced by our civilisation has a major impact on the development of fauna and flora and on migrations.

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