The Bamboo Has Landed!

Posted: Sep. 03, 2015

Drifters 9-30-2015

Two drifters deployed by the Science Center this year have now come ashore. The first, deployed by Weymouth High School students, lasted all of six days before striking the coast of Marblehead (vertical arrow, on the left). It has since been rebuilt by our summer campers and redeployed (horizontal arrow, on the right). At last glance (September 3, 2015), it was doing well, heading for the Gulf Stream.

Drifters 9-30-2015-2

The second “landing” (we’ll explain in a moment) took place off the coast of Maine. After being deployed with two other drifters from a whale watch vessel in May, this bamboo drifter, built by the students at the Plymouth South Middle School, forged its own path across the Gulf of Maine, eventually ending its transmissions west of Grand Manan Island on August 14. We soon found out why.

Bamboo remains 2


Nick Wiberg , a fisherman out of Stonington, Maine, on the F/V Miss Katie, came across the surface drifter near “West Kimball Rock,” ┬ájust to the west of Isle Au Haut, retrieved it and returned it to colleagues ashore. So it didn’t truly “land” until assisted by our fisherman friend.

Bamboo remains 1

After logging a total of 2609 kilometers, from May 21 to August 14, the “mast extension” that holds the transmitter apparently fell off. Nevertheless, it gave us three months of data from which we can learn more about the movement of the waters off New England. Mission accomplished!