Tara Ocean Foundation, 21 months of scientific exploration around the world

The Tara Ocean Foundation is a unique TIMEZERO Ambassador! Mainly composed of scientists, the crew’s mission is to study the marine microbiome of our oceans. Each litre of seawater contains hundreds of billions of organisms: phytoplankton, protists, bacteria, and viruses. All this biodiversity interacts in an ecosystem that researchers want to understand, measure, quantify, identify, and evaluate.

Because of climate change, we are facing new challenges. Understanding our oceans’ microbiomes is a priority to define our future actions. Tara Ocean Foundation is also a nomadic educational mission that raises awareness about the preservation and the respect of our oceans.

Leaving from Lorient in France, the crew will begin its expedition on the Chilean coast. For one year, Tara Ocean will sail along the South American coast before heading towards Africa. In total, for 21 months, Tara Ocean will carry out its sampling, analysis, studies, and educational missions before returning to France in September 2022.

Samuel, captain of the marine laboratory, has chosen TZ Navigator to manage the navigation during the entire mission. He granted us an interview to present his navigation plan and explain why he decided for TIMEZERO.

Photo credit: Marine Le Roux

Can you present your project ?

The Tara Ocean Foundation carries out three primary missions: fundamental research, oceanographic research to understand how systems work and how to better protect the ocean.

Producing knowledge has value only if it is shared and disseminated. Therefore, the foundation has an educational mission for children and the general public—both during stopovers and on an ongoing basis in schools, colleges and high schools throughout France.

Faced with the challenge of global warming, several institutions have engaged for years to influence decision-making concerning the ocean’s protection. In particular, concerning international regulations and measures to prevent plastic pollution.

Why did you choose TIMEZERO?

TIMEZERO has imposed itself. We already had a professional software on board, which allowed us to read ENC nautical charts and fulfil the regulations. However, we additionally wanted something more ergonomic, capable of reading interactive weather data as well. 

What are your first impressions of TZ Navigator compared to other navigation software?

We struggled a bit initially since we did not have time to test run on this subject. When you are used to another system, the first few steps with a new software are always a bit tricky. But the TZ Navigator was easy to set up, and its interface is intuitive and straightforward, which helped us to adjust to it quickly. In particular, we really liked the weather interface and the many display options in general, both for the features and for the charts.

Navigation plan of Tara Ocean for “Mission Microbiomes” in  2021 and 2022

Why is the use of TIMEZERO important in this project?

TIMEZERO has become essential for us. So much that it has become the software of preference, and we use it for most of the navigation.

What is your favorite TIMEZERO feature?

The weather is essential for long journeys such as Lorient (France) – Punta Arenas (Chile). We will soon start exploring Patagonian canals, and then we will see what options and features are appropriate for us in terms of oceanographic sampling.

Can you tell us about your last navigation with TIMEZERO or an anecdote you would like to share?

Once again, so far, it’s the weather feature that we like the most. We left Lorient on December 12th and arrived on February 8th in Punta Arenas, using TIMEZERO from the beginning.

Navigation plan of Tara Ocean for “Mission Microbiomes” in  2021 and 2022

Get all the information and news about Tara Ocean’s expedition on their website available here:

To learn more about TZ Navigator, the navigation software used by Tara Ocean, visit our complete page here:

We also provide our users free video tutorials that you can access by following this link. Our technical expert explains the functions of the software so that you can master and understand TIMEZERO technology.