Cape Cod Sea Turtle Project
These miniboats are being used to better understand sea turtle strandings in Massachusetts Bay. Click on a title below to learn about the work during that season.
We are helping to support researchers in the region learn more about winds and currents, to help better understand how cold stunned turtles move in Cape Cod Bay. The miniboats and MakerBuoy drifters that we are launching through Educational Passages will be shared on the following:
December 2, 2023
Captain Dave of the F/V Grace Sarah launched a suite of units for this project during the early morning of December 2, 2023, including miniboats RIPTIDE and ROCK STAR (both with sensor packs) and two Makerbuoy Drifters!
A few hours after launch, the tracks looked quite different (drifting buoys are red tracks, miniboats are green – launch point is yellow star):
Also along the way, the RIPTIDE was spotted at sea by the F/V Relentless! Captain Chris took a cool video and shared it with us, too:
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By the evening, RIPTIDE had already made it across to Wellfleet (green icons close to shore in picture below). ROCK STAR was a little behind and started to head south!
The next morning, Carmela and Stacey drove out and picked up the RIPTIDE. By the time they got back west, ROCK STAR had landed on Scusset Beach in Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts. The winds had carried it across all the way back to where it started! And, this was just across the canal from where the F/V Grace Sarah (the boat that launched the two the day before) was in port.
We got a call around noon on Sunday that a beach walker had found the boat, so Carmela and Stacey met them and recovered it. A successful mission! Both boats are in great shape (and back at the school – see picture below), and the drifters are still out in the bay collecting more data.
There are lots of data from the drifters too!
December 14, 2023
The miniboats have been at the school in Falmouth, but on Dec 14, miniboat crew member Stacey Strong delivered them to the docks in Sandwich, MA.
December 15, 2023
The next day, Captain Rob of the F/V Resolve took out the two miniboats and student build drifters, all launched around 8am.
By the afternoon, Riptide sailed onto Duck Harbor Beach right in front of a couple that was walking the beach. They called the number and took the boat out of the surf for us.
Rock Star landed a couple hours later in Truro. A recovery is planned for both boats the morning of the 16th.