Monday, October 26, 2009

A Journey of Over 2,000 miles!

It was a great way to start the week -- with the discovery that a second tag has popped up all the way down by the Marquesas -- 2,225 nautical miles from where it was tagged!

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!

Best wishes,


Thursday, October 22, 2009

We're Halfway There!

It is hard to believe that we are already three months into the race! We were caught by surprise when we saw one of the tags pop off just a few days after we left. The Team 7 fish, sponsored by the Pajaro Valley Game Fish Club, Teams 1 & 2, and the Monterey Bay Anglers, appeared just to the south of the big island on August 1. Analysis of the data suggest that the tag simply fell off the fish, and not that there was a mortality.

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!

Best wishes,