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Secrets of the Abyss

Dive into the heart of the Iroise Sea. Obtain your level 1 diving certification through participation in scientific exploratory missions under the sea. Further Details

Secrets of the Abyss

Dive into the heart of the Iroise Sea. Obtain your level 1 diving certification through participation in scientific exploratory missions under the sea. Further Details

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Have you always dreamed of diving to the bottom of the ocean, exploring like captain Cousteau and discovering species living in the depths of the abyss? This is the camp for you!

Earn your diving diploma and explore the underwater deeps of a sea rich in biodiversity.

The stay


Brittany like you’ve never seen it before! At the centre of the natural marine park of the Iroise, the peninsula of Crozon offers total immersion in an undersea universe of extraordinary richness. A recreational submarine expedition allows you to get closer to seahorses and their seagrasses. From marine micro-organisms (such as nematodes) to fish like sea bass and conger eels, you’ll see the ecosystem in its entirety.

Crustaceans, algae, plancton, fish, and aquatic mammals will no longer be a mystery to you, and so much the better, because on this camp you’ll participate in the CERTIS research project by Objectif Sciences Internation, that will help you to bring ecological harmony to the oceans and to put forward your solutions for sustainable development around the world.


Brittany, land of sailors, has a strong cultural and environmental identity. The camp will take place in the Iroise Sea, off the coast of Finistère. It is considered to be one of the richest seas in terms of biodiversity. During this 10-day adventure, you will discover these rich depths of the Iroise. In partnership with the local diving school, you will have the opportunity to obtain your level 1, which will allow you to take part in future exploratory dives (this qualification has an equivalence on the international scheme).

Diving, a unique sport which allows you to move in three dimensions in the water, will be the key tool of your underwater scientific observations. Mentored by a professional of the sport and by the scientific educators, you will collect data under the water, complemented by observations made on land which will help you grow your knowledge of the marine field. To give you a real scientific experience, you should contextualise these observations by reporting weather data, and water and air temperatures. You will be participating in inclusive study programmes offered by the Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise (Natural Marine Park of the Iroise / PNMI), which center around seagrass beds, seahorses, rays, and sharks that are regularly encountered around these coasts, as well as a programme of study of the marine micro-organisms through Ifremer.

It is therefore a truly active and scientific camp which you’ll leave having gained a diploma and high-level knowledge.


Today, oceanographers seek more and more to involve other people, particularly sailors, in the collection of scientific data. Given the time and area involved, this is effectively the only way to study the biodiversity of the seas. We are at the forefront of this inclusive approach to oceanography. The collaboration between Astrolabe Expéditions and Objectif Sciences International seeks to get to the heart of this approach with the CETIS program, by encouraging participants to discover the riches of their oceans in order to better understand and protect them.
Using the diving skills acquired while participating in this camp, you will set off to explore the seabeds to research seagrasses, or the wide-ranging biodiversity. Using coring tools and methods outlined by Ifremer, you will be able to collect sediment in these specifically-chosen zones and examine under the microscope all the tiny organisms living within it.
In addition to taking samples, you wil take part in the research of seahorses and other underwater species which hide in the seagrasses using a precise photographic grid. Back on land, these samples and observations will ensure that ray eggs, algae, and more aren’t missed! Bringing together this information will help the managers of the Iroise marine park to better understand and protect this unique place.


The camp will take place in the Iroise sea covering an area of 3500 km2, with 300 kilometers of coastline, which contain above and below the water a great number of ecosystems characteristic of the marine environment in Brittany: dunes, cliffs, archipelagos, moors, and rocky and sedimentary beds. It was classed as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1988. The variety of this area, coupled with unique sea-access to numerous sites, explains why this is a zone of such concentrated biodiversity. This renowned sea, though somewhat feared by sailors, becomes accessible in the summer. The swell and the storms are rare and, in fact, the turquoise waters of the streams reveal themselves and it becomes an extraordinary field of exploration. The objective of the Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise (Natural Marine Park of the Iroise / PNMI), the first French marine park, is to protect and promote these riches. It offers an exceptional natural marine heritage and numerous professional and leisure activities. The landscapes of the Iroise sea are diverse and stunningly beautiful. The PNMI is an excellent tool to bring together respect for the environment and human activity.


We plan to stay in a youth hostel or typical Breton gite close to the dive sites. With a kitchen available for use, this will be a great opportunity to try Breton recipes. Between crepes, galettes, and kouign amann, there’s a whole lot to choose from!


Your days will be centered around the trips out to sea, during which you will learn to dive while taking the necessary research measurements and samples. This training will alternate between periods of being out at sea and underwater, and learning theoretical concepts at the base on land. Upon returning to the center you will be able to analyse your samples in a purpose-built laboratory.
You will organise your daily life in a co-operative way by preparing meals (your chance to share your favorite dishes or to discover local specialities).
The evening is your leisure time, and you can choose activities together: trips to the beach, exploring caves, or even a festive evening on the harbor.


In addition to diving and safety equipment:
- observation binoculars
- waterproof camera
- underwater video camera
- sample-taking equipment (coring tube and accessories).
- filtration equipment and accessories (filter, pipette, test tube, etc...)
- microscope camera
- computer


The camp will follow a progression of training and independent work on the ground. The training sessions and subsequent practical application will take place subject to the wind and weather conditions.

Topics covered
Diving :
- Knowledge and practical application of underwater diving
- Passing level 1 diving certification
- Moving under water and application of underwater science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. activities
Science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. :

- Knowledge of marine micro-organisms and seabeds
- Methodology of underwater observation (grid-zones, etc...)
- Methodology of underwater sample-taking and surveying.
- Microscope photography technique
- Underwater camera use
Life at campe (depending on available time) :
- Discovery of the Brittany region
- Coastal sports activities

Throughout the camp, you’ll alternate between learning about marine biology, putting your knowledge into practice on the ground, sailing out to sea, and recreational and sporting activities. These different periods will be organised and run with the young people from the start according to their wishes, knowledge, skill-levels, etc... it’s definitely an inclusive camp!


The oceans are the future of the planet. Occupying 70% of the Earth’s surface, they are responsible for 65% of the oxygen we breathe and they are the first link of the food chain. An incredible source of life, they are home to the richest biodiversity in the world, and yet the least-understood. The movement of the currents is the motor of the climate machine, it is the ocean which regulates the climate and weather. For all these reasons, the study of the ocean is one of the main issues of the century.
The CETIS program is interested in bringing together these themes and collecting data at many levels to best understand each component and the way in which they interact.
To better understand the ocean today is to better preserve the oceans tomorrow.

The scientific partners of the CETIS program: Ifremer, Oceanopolis, Plancton du monde, CNRS...


The CETIS programme is comprised of passionate teams and associations.

Cédric Courson : Founder and president of the association “Astrolabe Expéditions”, he is the head of the CETIS programme.
Sailor and scientist, passionate about the seas and the stars, he is also a mediator and scientific tutor and is in charge of scientific content and the technical branch of the programme.

Florent Delorge: founder of the association “Rêver aux 4 coins” (“To dream of 4 corners”), he is the pedagogical lead and director of all camps with CETIS. School teacher and sports fanatic, he is in charge of the logistical organisation together with the pedagogical programme of the camps.

Anosone Sygnavong and Louise Renard: in charge of programme development for CETIS, it’s thanks to them that the activities have grown and diversified, they are also there to respond to all your questions.
Anosone introduced the “Mix-it-up” programme and is engaged with the CETIS programme in order to bring our activities to as many people as possible.
Louise started up a satellite programme in the Caribbean to take our camps across the Atlantic.


Hugo Mayere: State-certified skipper, Hugo is the skipper and technical advisor who will take charge of the CETIS programme’s boats. He also holds a degree in Biology and in Computer Science and will be the co-ordinator of most of the CETIS camps.

The association Astrolabe Expéditions, project partner, brings their know-how and their sailboats to the CETIS research program Research Program Collaborate with scientific organizations. Actively take part in participative science research programs. All this is possible with our plankton discovery sailing expedition. .
The association Rêver aux quatres coins (To dream of four corners) brings their expertise and know-how to the camps of the CETIS programme.

During the camp: the framing team will be made up of two to three people in total, covering the following skills:
The skipper, whose role will be to guide the pair of sailors and to ensure the security of the team during their work. His expert knowledge of navigation and of the ocean makes him a crucial team-member from whom the campers can learn and/or deepen their sailing skills.
The scientific tutor: specialist in scientific operations. He will teach the campers about the various processes to be carried-out and about monitoring techniques.
The pedagogical tutor: veteran of holiday camps and of all types of instruction, he will have the answers to your logistical questions during the camp.
We have chosen to set off with a group of just eight campers, with the goal of creating a more convivial atmosphere and to create conditions conducive to a quality camp and superior teaching, where each may be initiated in their own time to the various activities.


Start and End of the Camp:

Arrival on the first day of the stay at the Morgat gite is from 14h00, and departure on the last day is in the morning, from 10h00.

Brest has an SNCF train station and an airport. It is also possible to get to Crozon by bus or sea shuttle. Arrival at Brest train station or at the airport is equally possible, where a tutor will collect you by car.

Health conditions:
The majority of the camp will take place on board the boat. As such, you will not need to be particularly fit or sporty, but it is nevertheless necessary to have good general health, and be able to handle a sea that is generally calm but could create waves that rock the boats a little. On land it is equally important to have in mind that we will be going on hikes, sometimes for many hours and kilometers.

Educational placement:
We offer to sign placement slips for students enrolled on the camp and who wish to validate it as a university placement.


What do I need to bring ?

Couchage&literie : Bedding: You’ll need a sleeping bag. Bed sheets are provided as well as pillows and pillowcases.
Photo/video/computer equipment: Even though all the equipment will be provided on-site, you may, if you wish, bring your own photo/video/computer equipment to make yourself more at home, the tutors are also there to help you (with cameras or software installation on your computer).
=> Essential: Don’t forget caps, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses (preferably polarized)

Do I need diving experience to participate in this camp ?
On this camp the participants will learn all the diving processes, from your first dip in the water through to gaining your level 1 certification. Technically speaking, no special skills are required, neither for diving nor science, you’ll learn it all as you go.


Photo par Fred Tanneau

Daniela Zeppilli, PhD, International Postdoctoral Fellow of Excellence in Marine Sciences
LabexMER University of Brest, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer (European University Institute of the Sea), Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la MER (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea)

« I am a wife, I am a mother, I am a scientist, and I love the sea. These are my 4 main reasons to support the camps run by Objectif Sciences International. I wish there had been these types of Science Camps Science Camps Our science camps are vacation camps where your children will discover a scientific domain which speaks to them: astronomy, archaeology, marine ecology... At the same time the will be able to do various outdoor activities: archery, swimming, hiking.... when I was younger. »


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