Patrice Franceschi and his crew set off in 2009 on an official mission for the Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Jean-Louis Borloo. The “mission letter” delivered to Patrice Franceschi by the Minister and his Secretaries of State, Dominique Bussereau and Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet, was like an echo through the ages of that received by Louis-Antoine de Bougainville several centuries ago to launch his frigate « La Boudeuse » on a round-the-world expedition from 1766 to 1769. Bougainville was the first navigator to take “learned men” – as they were then known – with him and thus became the first to sail the seas in the name of science rather than simply for commercial, political, financial, military or diplomatic reasons.
This first « Earth-Ocean« mission was one of the “field” operations of the « Grenelle de la Mer » (a French project geared towards improving environmental issues associated with the sea) and launched on 27 February 2009 on board « La Boudeuse » when it was docked in Paris. The concerns of the « Grenelle de la Mer » project were many and reflected the desire to preserve the planet for future generations: the protection of the environment and biodiversity, the fight against global warming, sustainable development, energy management, etc.
Within this context, « La Boudeuse » embarked many scientists from different museums and laboratories.