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Bernie takes the plunge - AGAIN

Posted By Will on November 23 2010


After a rest, a tracker re-charge and some minor repairs to his shell, Bernie the buoy is preparing to take the plunge again. Ten months to the day after he was thrown off MV Safmarine Bayete, he will be loaded up into the enormous MV TAIKO, for a three thousand mile journey into the mid Atlantic. And then a quiet plop into the water.

But five weeks at the Equator had taken its toll on Bernie’s shell. When we picked him up in Fortaleza he had a chipped bottom, a loose lid and a strong accompanying smell of fish. The tracker had also worn dangerously low on battery. So over the last few weeks he has been in a spa, getting scrubbed and polished and re-glued ready for his next mission.

We don’t know exactly where he will be launched. As always, we will talk with the crew to get their stear on the currents. And inevitably Bernie will end up in the Gulf Stream, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will end up in Europe. In the mid-Atlantic, the Gulf Stream splits in two, with one arm forming the Azores Current heading south towards Spain and Morocco. The other arm branches north towards Ireland and the North Sea.

This split occurs around The Outer Banks and is caused by the changing ocean floor. The northern arm follows the line of the continental slope heading north, whilst the southern arm follows the mid-Atlantic ridge turning south. Bernie’s trajectory will depend on which of these topographies he chooses to follow.

It will be exciting to have him back in the water, exciting to see where his next journey takes him, and exciting to follow the route of over 500 students’ letters whose schools stretch from Brazil to Massachusetts. We have built a new page allowing you to check on his path.

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