16 Kilometers & The Coolest 20 Years

Gliders on both sides of the Atlantic are getting hammered by storms tonight.  But thats ok.  They are underwater gliders.  They can handle it. They are what we'll use to explore some of the most extreme environments on the planet.

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Zooming into the East Coast of the U.S., we get ready to close out the intense Mid Atlantic fall sampling season with the remnants of Hurricane Ida.  White is clouds, green is rain.  An amazing storm. Flooding along much of the east coast today on TV.

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Look below the clouds and see one of the most amazing sights on the planet.  A full scale regional coastal observatory running full bore through the storm.  Satellites grabbed the initial sea surface tmeperature condition pre-storm. The full CODAR network was ready for this one, and the undergrads put it into google earth for the old guys like me to use.  The gliders had an amazaing fall.  First the 4-glider joint IOOS, Navy, ONR, NSF survey timed to the NOAA fisheries survey for the NOAA Fate program.  Then the NSF OOI CI IO OSSI (I love that acronym). I lost track of how many AUVs and gliders were in the water, all being directed by the CyberInfrastructure software pulling data from the MARCOOS forecast models. Followed by this week's combined NSF OOI and DHS Center of Excellence field test.  We had more satellites looking at the Mid Atlantic through that high pressure at the beginning of the week than every before.   Now we end with a severe storm with the hottest set of optics gliders ever deployed.  The grad students were drooling over the storm sediment transport data this morning, pulling off page after page of their next thesis chapter.  On monday we'll start assembling it for the optics folks meeting down at Stennis right after Thanksgiving - Steve & Joan should get a kick out of it.  Its been 20 years to go from vision to implementation. An amazing journey.

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Speaking of 20 years, its been 20 years since Hank Stommel's article on the Slocum mission appeared in Oceanography.  Now Drake is holding the line on climate change.  Doug Webb has brought these gliders from vision to fruition in that time, and we hope he is also looking back at the last 20 years as an amazing journey.

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Speaking of amazing journeys, Scarlet is now just over 16 kilometers from the Spanish EEZ. Currents have dropped down to about 6 cm/sec, so we only made about 6 kilometers distance during the last 8 hour segment.  We'll continue heading northeast.  It could be a very different blog this time tomorrow night.

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Zooming out we see Galicia. We are trying to ride the currents to the east a bit towards shore, then think about turning north into the yellow circle to avoid the most intense vessel traffic.  It looks like there was some interest from the local newspapers today.

http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/vigo/2009/11/12/0003_8101106.htm

 

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Another sign we must be getting close. Instead of a map, tonight Antonio sent us a picture for good luck.  It is "The Guardian of the Bight". In the center is Breogan, the first Celtic Galegian King, a sailor and adventurer.  To the left is The Hercules Tower, built by the Romans in the 2nd century as a light house that is still in use today. As Antonio said, to the right is the sea, and The Scarlet Knight.

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Below is the Investigador, the buoy tender used by Puertos del Estado.  She is 47 m long.  Crane, A-frame and Zodiac.  All things that make a glider recovery team happy.

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