Log: The Vortex

[DAY 13] Treasure hunt

Today was the day of our first drifter retrieval. Everybody had his own assigned task and knew what to do. Ty, Drew and Josh were on the dinghy prepared to swap the science panel on the drifter. After scanning the surface of the ocean for about 5 minutes, David on I Am Ocean spotted the drifter first. The dinghy team went to work. 

As they arrived at the location, Josh and Drew jumped in the water to first get some footage. They soon found out that the cable below the drifter had been snagged and nothing was attached to it anymore. So they decided to bring it back on board to fix it. 

During that time Corbin spotted a big yellow oval fishing buoy, it was about 50 centimeters by 1 meter. I Am Ocean with Yoav on the helm, drifted by it so that Corbin and Heather could jump off to retrieve it.

As the dinghy was getting ready to come back, Josh found a ghost net not far from them and went to investigate it. The net was made of heavy ropes with a dense center of about 1 to 2 meters in diameter where no light was going through. Many different fish and sea life were around it and on it. 

Yoav sailed near it so that I could jump and bring a tracker to attach to the net. Ocean Voyages Institute provides the tracker and the support that allows its tracking, 4Ocean is supporting their deployment.

We soon realized that we couldn’t attached the tracker to the net since it was moving up and down the water column and would pull the tracker below the surface. The tracker needs to be on the surface in order to beam out its location.

Corbin came up with a great idea to attached the net and tracker to the massive buoy he just retrieved. After we did, we attached a couple of scientific panels to it to monitor the growth of organism.

We all went back to our sailboat, and then Ty and Adam jumped on the dinghy to pace me for my swim. This afternoon we found a big yellow crate with below it the same school of dark yellow fish we had found few days before.

It was interesting to witness that they behaved in the same manner. As I first got closer to the debris, about 10 meters away, the fish came toward me to check me and then swam back to it.

They didn’t ever seem to be afraid of me and would come very close to me the whole time I was near the debris. 

We still have a couple of points to investigate in this first eddie, in 2 or 3 days we will move to the next one.

We have named our first eddie: Murphy!

28°09 N / 152°29 W


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Photo credits @joshmunoz, @sea.marshall, @osleston, @dwlangdon

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