Saturday, 24 March 2018 05:49 GMT

Oman- French family on environmental mission reaches the sultanate

(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat- Oman has become the latest destination for an epic family expedition that has spent seven years criss-crossing the planet to highlight and raise awareness of climate change and marine pollution issues.

The renowned French single-handed sailor Philippe Poupon, his wife Géraldine Danon, and their children, arrived in Oman aboard their 60ft ketch Fleur Australe last week from Djibouti, after travelling through the Suez Canal and across the Gulf of Aden, stated a press release. Their first port of call was Salalah where they were greeted by representatives of the Ministry of Tourism.

During their stay – which will last until May 4 – Poupon, Géraldine and their children will also spend time in Duqm, Masirah Island, Ras al Jinz, Muscat, Damaniyat Island, Nizwa and Musandam. Planned activities include a beach clean-up event and environmental awareness festival organised by the Environmental Society of Oman on Masirah Island and a presentation to Oman Sail's promising sailing stars from the Omantel Youth Sailing Programme who are now the most successful youth squad in the GCC.

Also on the itinerary are visits to the Wadi Shab Turtle Reserve, Al Baleed Archaeological Park, Museum of the Frankincense Land, Misfat al Abreen, Al Khaluf Sugar Dunes, National Museum and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque among other destinations.

H E Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism said, 'The Ministry of Tourism and its office in France are very proud to have organised the expedition of the French sailing ship Fleur Australe to Oman. We warmly welcome the French family Poupon, Géraldine and their children to our country, to experience our seas and our lands, our culture and our values. And as they say in France 'Bon Vent'.'

The French-flagged yacht left Alaska in 2010 on a long-term expedition to raise awareness about the effects of climate change and provide real-time observations on the state of the oceans. Poupon, 62, who is widely known as 'Philou' in France, was a member of the legendary Eric Tabarly's crew in the 1977-78 Whitbread round-the-world race. His wife Géraldine Danon is a well-known film and theatre actress in France, as well as a stage director and producer.

She is responsible for the steady output of films and daily ship's log reports which have spread the expedition's message, as well as the distance education of the couple's children – Nina, Loup, Laura and Marion. Géraldine's log of April 13, shortly after arriving in Salalah, recorded swimming with dolphins at the Al Halaniyat Islands on Marion's ninth birthday.

'This project grew out of our shared desire for a journey that would allow us to take the pulse of the planet and report our observations of the world,' said Poupon of the voyage.


Oman- French family on environmental mission reaches the sultanate

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