9 July 2024

Post of June 7, 2024

In this post from June 7, 2024, Joana, Manon, Hortense and Gaël, 4th graders at the Lycée français de Barcelone, look back on their day at Barcelona’s Port Vell on April 8, 2024, a day during which they took part in several educational and awareness-raising workshops offered by Explorations de Monaco on the occasion of the second meeting of the Decade of the Ocean.

A day out of the ordinary...

On the afternoon of Monday April 8, 2024, our 4th grade class, one of three maritime classes at the Lycée Français de Barcelone, had the chance to discover the Société des Explorations de Monaco.

First port of call: guided tour and workshop on the “Time for Action: Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas” exhibition”

The exhibition was held outdoors at Barcelona’s Port Vell. The visit was an opportunity to learn about the current state of the Mediterranean, the dangers that threaten it and the importance of Marine Protected Areas for its protection and sustainable management. It is a sea rich in biodiversity but particularly vulnerable, containing 28% of endemic species, i.e. species that live only in this sea! It’s an almost enclosed sea, in the middle of the land, around which 522 million people live. Imagine the pollution generated by discharge and waste, the intensity of tourism and shipping traffic!

This visit made us realize the extent to which global warming and human activity are having an impact on ecosystems such as coralligenous, posidonia and the open sea. They affect underwater species such as turtles and groupers… Angela, our guide, made us realize that we humans are not the only ones suffering from global warming. Other species suffer just as much, if not more, than we do! And we can do something to reverse the trend: for example, by developing Marine Protected Areas and making them more effective. Today, 8.33% of the Mediterranean is protected, but only 0.04% of its waters benefit from strong protection. A great deal of investment is still needed to reach 30% by 2030, as the states have decided…

Second port of call: in the afternoon, we boarded the Tuiga, flagship of the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) .

We split into two groups. One, with Didier, discovered the subtleties of seamanship and the living conditions of sailors. The other, with Jean, the incredible story of this regatta boat. This magnificent racing yacht was built 115 years ago, in 1909, by Scottish architect William Fife III in Fairlie, on the West coast of Scotland. Its first owner was the Marquis de Medinaceli, cousin of the King of Spain. Of the 20 boats built on this model between 1908 and 1912, only three other identical yachts are still plying the seas: the Hispania, owned by the King of Spain, the Mariska and The Lady Anne. The Tuiga met up with the Mariska here at Barcelona’s Reial Club, where we were staying.

Portrait of a traditional sailing icon: the Tuiga

Jean, one of the sailors who looks after the yacht all year round, shared his secrets with us.

Its construction materials, teak and mahogany, make it weather-resistant. Its hull is 23 metres long. Equipped with a bowsprit mast with a net to secure the sails and prevent the crew’s “number 1” from falling into the water, she has a trapezoidal sail and a sail in the shape of a right-angled triangle, called a jib: she has a sail area of 370 m3.

To go out to sea, you need a crew of around twenty sailors. The yacht can go up to 25-30 knots, which corresponds to a speed of 30-40 km/hour, and has a draught of 26.07281844048 tons, the equivalent of 73.83 m3!



Thank you so much for this extraordinary experience, which for sure we’ll remember for the rest of our lives!

Joana, Manon, Hortense and Gaël

4th graders in maritime-oriented classes at the Lycée français de Barcelone.

Mediterranean missions partners

Governance of Monaco Explorations

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