March 29, 2021 (Google Translation) – Part of Réunion since February 25, 2021, the Floréal Surveillance Frigate (FS) is carrying out a sovereignty mission within the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF). Following a stopover in Durban and with a crew tested negative for COVID-19, the Floréal headed south-east towards the 40th roaring and 50th screaming. This refers to the latitudes between the 40th and 50th parallel in the southern hemisphere, called so because of strong winds developed.
After four days of patrol accompanied by a drop in temperatures following the increase in latitudes, the Floréal arrived off the Crozet archipelago. Alternately crossing the Isle of Pigs, the Isle of the Penguins and the Isle of the Apostles, the FS finally anchored the Bay of the Sailor, located near the Alfred Faure base on the Isle of Possession.
Nature reserves registered since 2019 on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the TAAF are ecologically preserved spaces. Scientists are particularly studying some endemic species present in the area such as the wandering albatross and the king penguin. The TAAF community and the Paul Émile Victor Institute (IPEV) are notably in charge of these missions. They thus ensure the logistics of winter visitors thanks to the Marion Dufresne vessel which makes 4 rotations per year.
Since the Floréal had not made a stopover in these spaces since 2018, the crew was delighted to dismount for a few hours. Taking advantage of the penguin to observe the local fauna, the sailors were also able to visit the Alfred Faure base. While observing the albatrosses, the crew was able to exchange lunch time with the winterers which was followed by a hike on Mount Branca. It was an exceptional stage for the Floréal and its crew, who are now on their way to Kerguelen.