When Bonnie calls Jari

Excitement at the front! About 30h after she was thrown overboard, Bonnie called! She’s doing well, surfaced when we expected her to, and has since been regularly sending us her GPS position as she drifts around.
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Bonnie is one of the LoTUS buoys developed by Jari at KTH. Ten days ago or so, Jari and I were discussing our respective mother tongues, and we were surprised to discover that for once, both languages agreed on the gender of the word “buoys”. In German as in French, a buoy is a “she” word. So we started saying “she” instead of “it” when we were talking about one of the buoys, and soon others joined and decided to give the buoys female firstnames, starting with B. So far we have deployed Beatrice, Bernadette, Babette, Berta, and Bella yesterday evening.

But Bonnie is special, because she is back at the surface. All the other buoys are still in the ocean, recording the temperature of the bottom waters. They have all been programmed to surface at a specific time, so that we can test different characteristics of the buoys. For example, Berta will come out in the middle of winter, when the area is totally covered in ice, so that we see if she manages to call months later, when the ice has gone. Bonnie was the first one out. She sent her temperature data to KTH on Sunday evening, and then went into drifter mode. She is now at the surface, sending her GPS position to Jari, and by mapping where she is we can have an idea of what the surface currents look like.

Bonnie turning in the fjord. She is actually where we could not go two weeks ago because of the ice (background image). Green triangle indicates where she was deployed on Saturday.

Bonnie turning in the fjord. She is actually where we could not go two weeks ago because of the ice (background image). Green triangle indicates where she was deployed on Saturday.

That is our grand plan at least. In practice, for the moment, we simply are excited that she is talking. We also need to check the tidal cycle and the winds before we can write our revolutionary paper about the fjord circulation. And I’d really want her to leave the fjord, flow down Nares Strait and join the great overall ocean circulation, but I suspect I’ll have more chances with Barbara for that!

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