Back in the Saddle


Nathan Laxague

Howdy, folks.

The R/V F.G. Walton Smith and I have reunited in the so-called Port of Gulfport. Also back is the Masco VIII, and with it the components of our final payload of GPS-equipped drifters (pay no attention to the sign- we certainly didn’t).


Some boxes contained the slotted drogue parts which sit beneath the ocean and help the drifters to better catch the currents. Some contained the spoked toroids that keep the GPS dry and above the waves. With approximately 350 drifters left to deploy, there is no shortage of assembly work. Able hands on the Masco took to this task, with Guillaume (middle, back) discussing ship movement strategies and Dan (far right) working on the lighter-than-air Aerostat camera platform.


Similar happenings were taking place in the dry lab of the Walton Smith. Chief Scientist Eric (right, with red L.L. Bean vest) discussed the ship’s movement strategies with Captain Lake. In the foreground, new victims Ming and Hanjing (L-R) were likely plotting ways to balance their school-related responsibilities with the looming task of assembling and deploying 150 drifters in seven-foot seas. Oh, to be young again!


As it stands now, we’re in final preparations for the Walton Smith‘s departure. The first task before us is the construction and injection into the ocean of our GPS-tracked bounty. The details of our deployment scheme are forthcoming and will shed more light on the specific physical processes we mean to target. More will come on the specifics of the experimental and possibly adventurous Phase Three.

Spear shall be shaken! Shield shall be splintered! A sword day! A red day! Ere the sun rises!


Nathan Laxague, signing off somewhere between clearness and kinetosis.