Last Monday (7/13/09) we deployed SG130 around NH15 (Newport Hydrographic Line). Conditions were great – almost no wind and very small swells. Captain Mike took us out on the R/V Elakha, OSU’s trusty day-trip vessel. Here you see Justin and I easing the glider off of the fantail, with Mike’s help.
If you want to follow SG130 during it’s mission, follow this link to the Glider Research Group web page. It will be traveling on a path that looks like a capital “E”, where the top of the “E” is the NH line, the middle line is a visit to Heceta Bank, and the bottom is an east-west line near the mouth of the Umpqua River. The last time that SG130 was deployed, we saw some very interesting patterns of sediment resuspension – I am hoping that we see the same patterns again.
We continued to have communication problems with SG157, so we decided to call on our Chilean colleagues to help with a rescue on July 10th. The Seaglider was close to the coast at the time, so the pilot worked to keep it as close as possible to the port of Iquique despite a current pushing it to the south.
The plan was to have a student, Nadin, fly from Concepcion to Iquique to help with the recovery, since he helped us with the deployments and recoveries back in March. We communicated with our Chilean colleagues mostly via Email, so sometimes things were happening there faster than we could follow. It turns out that before Nadin could get from Concepcion to Iquique, the Chilean Navy was already on sight and recovering our glider! Jack’s words were, “Chilean Navy to the rescue!” We were all surprised that they had gotten involved, but I guess it’s not every day that a misbehaving Seaglider needs to be rescued off of the Chilean coast. We were (are!) very grateful for their assistance, and they did a great job on the recovery. By the time they got the glider back to shore, Nadin was able to get there and shut the glider off with the magnet. All’s well that ends well in the world of Seagliders!
We received this clipping from a Chilean newspaper yesterday (click for bigger)…
sg157 stopped communicating with the basestation sometime late last Friday (06/26/09). sg157 disappeared for 4 days, and then finally called in Tuesday evening. Anatoli and Justin handled it like pros, and figured out that the glider had happily continued to dive and receive GPS fixes, during it’s seclusion. This means there’s nothing wrong with the antenna and that the antenna is getting far enough out of the water. It also means that there’s nothing mechanically wrong with the glider.
The problem appears to be isolated to the Iridium satellite phone communications.
sg157 has been calling in more consistently since then, but misses a scheduled call in every now and then …
Out plan is to continue to fly sg157 onshore. If we get another big disappearance, then we’ll have to figure out an emergency recovery. If things continue to go OK, then we’ll send Laura out at the beginning of August to put sg158 in before the MOOMZ cruise, and we’ll send Justin out at the end of August to recover sg157.