Archive for November 14th, 2009

EEZ+6

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Scarlet completed the 11 am surfacing, took Antonio's waypoint from Tina in Antarctica, and headed off to the northeast. She is now 6 kilometers inside the Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone, otherwise known as the EEZ.  Currents are still strong but the direction continues to rotate counterclockwise - a good sign.  We hope this trend continues.  In the image below, the thin yellow arc now to our west is the offshore side of the Spanish EEZ.  The thin yellow line to our south is the border between the Spanish EEZ and the Portuguese EEZ.  The thin rectangles in the upper right hand corner are the shipping lanes.  Our mission now is to position Scarlet in a safe place for recovery.  The U.S. recovery team leaves New Jersey on Monday, November 30, and meets our Spanish counterparts in Vigo on December 1.

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Antonio in the Canaries has won the competition for the first reported communication with Scarlet inside Spanish waters.  But the science team at Palmer Station in Antarctica wins the competition for the first reported celebration in honor of the crossing.  After Tina transferred Antonio's waypoint to Scarlet and sent her on her way, she led the science team in a traditional Polar Plunge into the near zero degree centigrade waters of the Antarctic Ocean.  I know the water is near zero degrees because I checked the temperature being reported by RU25.

Scientist #1 (Tina) into the water:

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Scientist #2:

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And Scientist #3:

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After the plunge, the traditional warm up in the hot tub.  Hats off to the Palmer Science Team for their game winning entry.

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Honour All

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

That's how Antonio ended his morning email today. He was the first to see Scarlet cross over the line. Now he has the honor of making Scarlet's first waypoint change in Spanish waters.  As we get closer and closer to Spain, we will rely more and more on local knowledge.  Antonio has asked us to maintain a course to the northeast to compensate for the currents to the southeast.    Because ocean current speeds are nearly matched to Scarlet's own speed through the water, this will result in an eastward path over the ground for Scarlet.  Antonio and I continue watching the forecasts and altimetry products for guidance on current patterns.  The geostrophic currents from the satellite altimeter data we normally use tell us the current should have already turned to the northeast.  Clearly this is not the case.  This morning, Antonio sees that the products on his side have placed that northeast current some nautical miles still to our east.  We'll head towards that current with Antonio's waypoint for the 11 am surfacing.  Tina made the change to Scarlet's course from Palmer Station in Antarctica.

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Checking the rest of the fleet, Teledyne's Drake continues on its climate change mission, maintaining the 26.5 N section.  The agreement between the geostrophic surface currents from the altimeter and the depth average currents from Drake continues to amaze us.  The satellites say Drake just entered a southward flowing current, and thats what Drake is reporting.

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Back to the Middle Atlantic Bight, the coastal glider fleet (Rutgers & U. Delaware) is emerging from the trailing edge of Tropical Storm Ida.  The front between clear weather and clouds is passing right over New Jersey.  The rain has stopped, and people are out assessing the storm damage. Follow the Middle Atlantic Bight Blog at http://www.i-cool.org/?cat=5  for most recent updates.

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Moving way south to the Antarctic continent, Tina and Alex deployed RU25 this week from Palmer Station. Follow along on the Antarctic blog at  http://www.i-cool.org/?cat=21

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Spain!

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Today we begin a new era of global ocean exploration. The Scarlet Knight has crossed the Altantic.

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Scarlet surfaced inside Spanish waters on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 8:17 GMT (3:17 am EST).

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To our friends in Spain and Portugal, we look forward to seeing you in December for the recovery.

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To our families back home, 201 days ago on April 27, we launched Scarlet and dedicated this mission to you. Thanks for understanding.

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To our many partners on both sides of the Atlantic that made this possible, this has been a team effort that began over a decade ago.  It is success story shared by all. 

Thanks to all,

The R.U. COOL Team