Sequoia Scientific

Tom’s Cruise

Sequoia on French Research Vessel

Finishing out sea cruise with a visit to the nearby African desert!

Desert near Walvis Bay


Tom’s Cruise in Africa closes out! “We are now ending in Walvis Bay

Temperature map from flow through system

Tom’s Cruise this week in Africa! “We are now North of Walvis Bay, Namibia. We will complete a station near the Angola border before heading back to Walvis Bay; five more stations to go before we are finished. We finally caught some fish while we were transiting and this made for an excellent meal! We are also seeing the influence of the nearby Namib Desert. We are catching lady bugs and crickets in our nets; we are not eating the crickets” Tom states! :)

Cricket caught on TARA

Fresh Catch of the Day!

Meal of Fresh Fish

beam-c data from LISST-200X & LISST-Tau

CTD Rosette w/LISST-200X mounted below

LISST-Tau & Hyper-bb working in flow through

Aquatic Critter

Tom’s Cruise notes this week in Africa! Tom reports “We finished an inshore-offshore series of stations near Luderitz, Namibia. The area is a well-known upwelling region off the coast of Namibia and of interest to our mission. Having completed component cleaning today, the LISST instruments are working away in the shipboard flowthrough system”.

Ocean critters in jar

Research Scientist Thomas Leeuw

Marine Visitors

Logging Live Ocean Data!

“We have completed two stations near the mouth of the Orange River; tomorrow will be an offshore station (approximately 120 miles offshore). Studying and observing a large gradient in the water turbidity and particulate matter going from the river mouth to offshore. Flow through instruments have been running the whole time, yielding excellent data for the LISST-Tau, LISST-200X and other scientific instruments.”

Rosette in turbid waters

LISST-Horizon in TARA underway lab

TARA with full sails

Sailing to Saint Helena Bay, LISST instruments installed and sampling

RV TARA departing Cape Town

LISST-Tau & Hyper-bb

Sailing into the sunset

Arrival in Cape Town, South Africa

Scientist, Thomas Leeuw

Cape Town Harbor

LISST-200X – Table Mountain background

Boarding in Cape Town








Sequoia’s Research Scientist Thomas Leeuw is embarking on the TARA research vessel in support of a mission to study microbiomes. The French flagged TARA is a 35.91 m monohull sail yacht, designed for expedition and research, serving as a scientific platform to collect and study Earths oceans, rivers and climate worldwide. Installed onboard are the LISST-200X, LISST-Holo2, LISST-Tau, LISST-Horizon and Hyper-bb; all optical related instruments designed and built by Sequoia.


TARA is operated by The Tara Ocean Foundation who is the first foundation in France to be recognized as promoting the public interest dedicated to the ocean, founded by Agnès Troublé called agnès b. in 2003 and chaired by Etienne Bourgois, the Tara Ocean Foundation is leading a scientific revolution around this ecosystem.

With its associated scientific consortia, it is developing innovative and original open ocean science which, in the future, will enable us to predict anticipate and better understand climate risks and better protect biodiversity.

It uses this high-level scientific expertise and these sea voyages to raise awareness and educate young people and the public in general, to mobilize political decision makers at the highest level and to enable developing countries to access this new knowledge about the Ocean.

Mission Microbiomes is part of the European AtlantECO project, financed by the European Commission, that brings together 36 scientific institutions in Europe, Brazil and South Africa and involves 15 scientists on the ship itself. This international scientific collaboration is intended to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges linked to the Atlantic Ocean. AtlantECO will roam the Atlantic Ocean with six main expeditions, two of which will study the coasts of Brazil.

Mission Microbiomes

Research Scientist Thomas Leeuw on bow of TARA

Thomas Leeuw is a graduate of the University of Maine, where he received his Bachelor of Sciences in Marine Sciences and Masters Degree in Oceanography.  Primarily focused on optical oceanography, he is also a software developer with experience in a wide variety of languages and platforms; developing and supporting all modern software associated with the Sequoia product family. Look for updates to the TARA mission and new reports of Tom’s cruise to be posted in the weeks ahead!