Tallinn University of Technology

Research schooner Tara will be at berth in the Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn, showcasing microscopic organisms and equipment for marine research. Free hands-on workshops will give you an insight into seawater and sediment sampling, organisms found in the sea, and how to improve the state of the environment.

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There will also be an exhibition with a collapsible microscope in Tammsaare Park and in front of the Solaris Centre, where you can see different sea creatures and take 3D photos and videos of yourself with them.

The 33-year-old scientific schooner has sailed on all the oceans during her expeditions. The first expedition took the vessel to the North Pole, and the sauna, built at the request of the Nordic sailors, is still there today. The next expedition took the schooner and its crew to almost every sea in the world to study a micro-organism that is invisible to the naked eye – plankton. From there, the next voyage was limited to the Pacific Ocean and focused on the state of coral reefs. Unfortunately, these organisms are in danger – climate change and human activities are destroying them too. The schooner then set sail to the Atlantic Ocean to study its microbiome, links between different marine processes, and the effects of climate and pollution.

In addition to promoting marine sciences, the current expedition will explore how to reduce the impact of pollution and climate change on coastal biomes. Forty per cent of people in Europe live in coastal areas, and the sea is home to many living creatures. Samples are taken from the sea and from land at the same time to investigate the spread of medicines, pesticides, and plastics. These are a growing threat to both the environment and people.

The sailors of the scientific schooner will demonstrate how to use the scientific approach to find solutions to marine problems, and talk about why knowledge gained through scientific methods is needed.

Tara started her current journey in April from Roscoff in France and will reach the Baltic Sea via the English Channel, the North Sea, and the Danish Straits. The schooner arrives in Tallinn from Riga and later sets course for the port of Turku.

This year and next, the schooner will visit various European port cities along the coasts of the Atlantic, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean.

The visit of the scientific schooner and its free workshops are part of a joint project between the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Tara Ocean Foundation; more information is available on their website.

The arrival of the schooner in Tallinn depends to a large extent on the weather at sea, so it is worth checking whether the ship has arrived at the Seaplane Harbour on the TalTech website before coming to the port.

You can also find a detailed timetable of workshops, tours, and seminars there.