Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting ready to pick up RU-27

The Investigador left Vigo, in Spain, on schedule this morning at about 6 a.m. EST (noon, in Spain) and is on track to intercept the Scarlet Knight some time between midnight and 1 a.m. EST.

This morning, Scott Glenn used the satellite phone on the Investigador to talk to engineers John Kerfoot and Hugh Roarty, and with Francisco Werner, the director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

In the photo above, you can see John in the upper part of the photo, Hugh in the foreground, and Cisco Werner standing. What they're talking about is how far the glider is from the ship and the Portuguese waters. Scott and his colleagues have all the permission they need from Spain to pick the glider up in Spanish waters, so they would rather stay in Spanish waters. John and Hugh were able to assure Scott that, based on the gliders position and rate of drift, there was no danger of drifting out of Spanish waters.

This illustrates a point that Scott and his colleagues often make. In a reversal of their historical roles, the guys in the lab, John and Hugh, know more about the situation at sea than the guys on the ship, because they have access to much more information. Here's another photo, showing some of the information – ship traffic – that Hugh and John had at their fingertips this morning.

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