Wednesday, December 23, 2009
During this past week our mapping expert, Mike Castleton, was able to successfully create tracks for the two long-distance marlin - Fish 4, tagged by Bob Kurz; and Fish C, which was tagged by McGrew Rice during the week following the HIBT. You can see them in the map below, or play with them in more detail on our interactive Google Earth map.
As always, we'll be keeping our eyes out for new tags coming to the surface, and I'll do my best to keep you all up-to-date on the latest happenings. It promises to be an exciting few weeks ahead, and I can't wait to see how it all ends up!
We send you our warmest wishes for the Holidays, and bid you peace and joy in the New Year.
Randy and the Block Lab Team
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
As you know from my last posting, on October 23 we had a tag pop up southeast of the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, marking a journey of 2,225 nautical miles – and establishing a new mark to beat in the race.
Last week, on November 4, we had another tag pop up south of the equator – this one just west of the Marquesas, about 480 nautical miles from where the tag popped up just a few weeks before. Although the fish hadn’t traveled quite as far as its predecessor – a mere 1,847 nautical miles – it is remarkable to have a second marlin make such a long journey in such a short time. We are indebted both to Paxson Offield for sponsoring the tag, and to McGrew Rice for deploying it after the HIBT had ended.
For both “Fish 4” and “Fish C” we are awaiting the arrival of the rest of the data – first from the tags themselves, and then from the orbiting satellites that monitored sea surface temperature during fishes’ journey. Once we have all those data in-hand, we’ll marry the datasets together to produce a map that shows the course that they traveled in their journeys south. Stay tuned!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Because the tag just popped up to the surface this morning, it will be sending us data via satellite for the next week to 10 days. From these data we will be able to create a track where the fish went, and learn about its diving behavior during its travels. Once we have pulled all this information together I'll post a new update about what we've learned.
In the mean time, congratulations go out to the Laguna Niguel Billfish Club, Team 1 who are now in the top spot on the Leader Board! Although we're still just over 90 days into a 180-day race, tags can come off at any time - so we'll keep our eyes peeled and keep you all posted!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It appears that, in the days following tagging, the marlin dove consistently to depths over 150 m, reaching a maximum of 176 m (544 ft) on one dive. I've added to the map a green icon for the tagging site and a red icon for the site where the tag popped off.
Fish 7, with a Pop-up Satellite Tag attached just below its dorsal fin.
After three months, the real surprise is that this is the only tag to have come off so far! This is exceptionally good luck, as we'll have longer tracks to study once they do pop off and start sending their data to us.
In addition to the 7 tags we put out during the race, 3 more tags were deployed the following week - generously sponsored by Packy Offield and deployed by McGrew Rice. I know that there is a lot of interest in these tags as well, so I've added them to the map. They appear as orange circles labeled A, B and C.
I'll keep everyone posted as soon as we see other tags coming off -- so keep your eyes on the website!
Friday, August 28, 2009
I've added some new content to the site - most notably a "Contributors" page and a "Related Links" module. Check out the other sites -- they all have some cool stuff on them!
This morning I finally worked out the bugs on a video gallery I've been trying to get going for a while! These are the same videos that are linked from the interactive map - but now they're easier to find and play right from the home page.
Keep your eyes open for more updates to come soon, and have a great weekend!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
On the final day of the race, three tags went out on three different boats. Unfortunately, none of us managed to tag fish -- so the race is officially among seven entries. We are excited to have so many, and we look forward to the weeks and months ahead as we wait for the tags to come off and start sending us data.
The Awards Ceremony Saturday night was a fantastic event, and a wonderful tribute to Peter Fithian for seeing the HIBT through its first 50 years. Judging by the success and excitement around the tournament, I won't be surprised to see it go another 50 years and beyond.
Thanks to everyone for all your support!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Another bunch of locals, the Pajaro Valley Game Fish club #1, got out a tag on a nice marlin, fishing aboard the Long Ranger.
And the New Britain Game Fishing Club out of Papua New Guinea also helped us out by getting out a tag as well, on board the Strong Persuader.
That brings us up to a total of seven tags in the water -- leaving us with three to place tomorrow. To hedge our bets, we'll be putting each tag on a different boat, and crossing our fingers that we all get at least one shot!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
After several hours of trolling up and down along the Kona coast, we finally hooked up! Masa jumped in the chair and deftly reeled in a beautiful, 140 lb. marlin. With the help of expert leader work, George landed a perfect tag shot, and the fish was on its way!
By the end of the day, only a handful of boats had succeeded in catching marlin - and no other satellite tags were deployed. As we headed back to the hotel, George and I realized how lucky we were to have been able to get a tag out, and get the Race started!
Tomorrow morning we'll join one of the Laguna Niguel Billfish Club teams, aboard the Jun Ken Po, a 42' Bertram. We are looking forward to another exciting day at sea!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I'm now on a flight scheduled to leave around 1:00, which will put me in Kona around 7:00 tonight. Hopefully I'll get more work done on the flight, and there will be more cool stuff to read and see soon!