Log: The Vortex

[DAY 20] RIP the drone!

The day started on a very good note, a pod of about 20 Pantropical Spotted dolphins were playing at the bow early in the morning. Adam took few pictures of them and then decided to launch the drone to get some overhead footage.
He very soon lost connection with the drone, no images were being sent to the iPad and the drone was responding sporadically. After few attempts to land it on deck and to retrieve it in the air by hand and with the net, the drone went straight toward the stern, hit a couple of riggings along the way, bounced off the dinghy, dropped in the water and drowned.

We tried to figure out why connections were lost, we have used drones before and that has never happened. We came to the conclusion that maybe since the FX500 was transmitting data and emit a powerful signal that might have been the cause of the problem.
As a consolation, the hydrophone had been placed in the water and recorded their sounds, it was a symphony of clicking and whistling noises.
The rest of the morning we sailed toward Drifter C under very little wind. Once we got to its location, Josh, Corbin and Dew got to it on the dinghy. They found the drifter attachment damaged, no biological panel, and fishing lines tangled with the cable right above the sea anchor.

After few exchanges of emails with Nikolai to make sure we followed the proper procedure and don’t cause any additional damage, a new biological panel was secured to the cable.
Then it was time to hunt for dinner. When they first approached the drifter, they spotted about 50 mahi-mahi, 4 tunas and a couple of wahoos that aggregated around it. Since we hadn’t been successful at fishing for the past few days and everybody was looking forward to eat some fresh food, Josh used his spear gun to catch a mahi-mahi and a small tuna. No plastic was found in their stomach and we filled up our fridge with their meat.

28°30 N / 149°51 W


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Photo credits @joshmunoz, @sea.marshall

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