2008 drifter tracks
updated every three hours

To see plans and results from this year, see tables below.
To see just the tracks from the last week, click here.
To view selected 2008 flash animations click here.
To download this year's animation in fli format click here.
To see this year's raw statistics click here.
To download this year's raw data file, click here.
To see results from previous years, click here.
To download tracks from previous years, click here.

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To see tracks for individual clusters, click the links in the following table

(cruise report)
Date Deployed
(observed track)
(modeled track)
NOAA/NEFSCCole/Merrick18 FebJordan Basin1-3r,g,b done Georges Bank, Gulf Stream, ...
4 MarJordan Basin4-6c,m,y doneGeorges Bank, Gulf Stream, ...
WHOIMcGillicuddy/Smith3 Mayoff Casco Bay1-3r,g,b doneall went ashore: 2 Casco Bay and 1 Mass Bay
NOAA/NEFSCWenzel/Merrick 7 May off Cape Cod1,2k,mdone diverged: Buzzards Bay and Georges Bank
UNETilburg/Arienti20 Mayoff Saco Bay1-2c,kdoneheaded offshore and into Bay of Fundy
WHOIMcGillicuddy/Smith28 Mayoff Cape Ann1-3y,g,c doneheaded offshore ...
29 Mayoff Casco Bay4-9r,g,b,k,c,m donediverged: inshore and offshore
3 JuneNantucket Shoals1r donerecovered by Andy Girard off Martha's Vineyard on 17 July
UNETilburg/Arienti30 Mayoff Saco Bay3r,bdone recovered by mariners
UNETilburg/Arienti5 JuneSaco River 1kdone headed out to sea and then back in, grounded on an Island off Kennebunkport
WHOIMcGillicuddy/Smith1 JulyGeorges Bank1r doneexited bank and caught in GS ring
UNHWatson/Goldstein1 July Great Bay1r donebarely survived the 4th of July madness
8 July off NH 2c doneran aground near Portsmouth on the same day as deployment
16 July off NH 3,1y,g doneone up river and one recovered on Georges Bank by Bro Cote
29 July off NH 4,2c,r doneashore at Hampton,NH and Magnolia MA, respectively
19 Aug off NH 1,2m,k doneashore in Beverly MA and died in Great South Channel
3 Sep Great Bay 1m donehung-up a few times over 2-day excursions
11 Sep Great Bay 2c doneshort-lived
7 Oct Great Bay1r done w/acoustic receiver but short-lived
WHOIMcGillicuddy/Smith9 AugustBay of Fundy1-9 donetwo escaped south, two failed, and five retained in upper reaches of the bay
BowdoinLaine/Fields17 SeptCasco Bay1-4r,c,b,mdone recovered ashore a day later
24 SeptCasco Bay6-8r,c,bdonerecovered ashore a day later
1 OctCasco Bay1-4r,c,b,mdonebig divergence but mostly up estuary
8 OctCasco Bay5-9r,c,b,mdone
SMCCLong/Gregory/Tarbox 14 Oct Casco Bay2 done along west side of Long Island for a couple days and then on/off the shore a few times ...
27 Oct Casco Bay 3 done oceanography class experiment; short excursion around Peaks Island
30 Oct Casco Bay 4,5 done oceanography class experiment; sudden mid-December death near Georges Bank
USCGAllen March and July Southern New England 1,1 done tracks resulting from SAR efforts in 2008
EndicottButler 21 Nov Mass Bay1 done headed offshore and took the Gulf Stream
UMASSDKing/Brown 27 Jan 2009 off Cape Cod1 underway Gulf Stream and beyond
WHOI/NOAAMoore/Cole 26 Feb 2009 Georges Bank1done apparently detached from dead right whale after one day

To see more details of individual drifter tracks and their velocity time series, click on the links in the following table

Launch Location
Date Deployed Deployer (track)
ID# (Speed)
Color Fate
Jordan Basin First Set 18 Feb DELAWARE 82371 red short circuited south, picked up by Cape Sable Island fisherman, Peter Van Buskirk, on 21 April and stored at Clarks Harbor Coast Guard
DELAWARE 82372 green retained in mid-gulf, apparently running out of battery in early June
DELAWARE 82373 blue short circuited to Georges Bank, Gulf Stream, and then ran out of steam at end of July
Jordan Basin Second Set 4 March DELAWARE 82374 cyan short circuited to Georges Bank, rode Gulf Stream to Grand Banks, and died the end of August.
DELAWARE 82375 magentashort circuited to Georges Bank, Great South Channel, Gulf Stream, and then ran out of steam in early September
DELAWARE 82376 yellow entrained in the coastal current, reported in good shape on 7 March by Swan's Island Fisherman, Adam Joy, retained in mid-gulf for awhile and then the NE Peak for awhile, Gulf stream and dies early October
Casco Bay 3 May OCEANUS 85391 red took the coastal current rapidly south, recovered on a Marshfield Mass beach in the early morning of 14 May by a homeowner, Jim Carroll, and stored by my sister-in-law's brother, Davy Lewis
OCEANUS 85392 greenin and out of Casco Bay a few times before it came aground on Cliff Island on 7 May, recovered by lobstermen Norm Anderson who gave it to his son Eric who gave it to lobsterman Elliot Thomas (after it has fallen off his track on I95) who gave it to lobsterman/teacher Brian Tarbox at SMCC, who gave it to...
OCEANUS 85393 blue aground within 24 hours east of Orr's Island, recovered by homeowner Irene Thibault and picked up by SMCC's Nancy Townsend
Off Cape Cod 6 May DELAWARE 85291 blackNantucket Shoals, twice around Georges Bank, and died in early October at ~50W.
DELAWARE 85292 magentaleft Nantucket Shoals, approached Buzzards Bay, and recovered by Dennis McGillicuddy in his Whaler on 19 June
Off Saco Bay 20 May UNE 85301 cyaneastward at first and then recovered by Todd Sollows out of Tiverton Nova Scotia on 16 September ...
UNE 85302 blackheaded east and then north into the Bay of Fundy where it apparently ran out of battery on 8 August
Off Cape Ann, Mass 28 May GOMTOX 85201 blueGeorges Bank, Downeast, and back to Georges
GOMTOX 85202 green... same and then to Gulf Stream
GOMTOX 85203 cyandied in middle of Bay of Fundy on 12 August, found "in a drift of floating rockweed near Isle Haute, Nova Scotia" by dog fish long-line fishermen Chris Gordon and Marcel Surette in early October, and returned by Don Gordon, the Yarmouth/Shelbourne area supervisor of NS Natural Resources
Off Casco Bay 29 May GOMTOX 85394 redpicked up by Harpswell Maine fisherman, Scott Harley "about a half mile from shore", brought into Cundy's Harbor and recovered by SMCC student Nancy Townsend.
GOMTOX 85395 greencame ashore south of Cape Elizabeth Maine on the morning of 5 June, lifted with the tide for a day or so, landed on a beach between two mansions, recovered by Dennis Sheehy while visiting friends, and delivered to Nick Wolff (USM)
GOMTOX 85396 blueNE Peak, Bay of Fundy, back to mid-Gulf
GOMTOX 85397 blackSeven month trip around Gulf ends up on Southern Flank of Georges Bank
GOMTOX 85398 cyanmade counterclockwise loop, disappeared on 6 June, reappeared on 12 June near Isle of Shoals, recovered by boater Eliot Shanabrook on Star Island w/no transmitter, and delivered to Steve Karger at the Marblehead Yacht Club. The transmitter, however, washed up on a little island to the east of Isle of Haut on 6 August 2008, stopped transmitting for awhile, got picked up by a high tide, and finally ended up being found by lobster expert, Diane Cowan and her friends on Friendship Island Maine on September 11th. She was sent an envelope for returning it.
GOMTOX 85399 magentamade counterclockwise loop, headed SW, skirted Isle of Shoals, crossed gulf, landed on "Sandy Cove" southwest of Digby on September 10th, moved off the beach a few days later, continued along the coast, came ashore to Greg Hamilton's back yard in Harbourville Nova Scotia on 6 October after it had been found on the beach by his son-in-law, Vance Dixon
Off Saco Bay 30 May UNE/Tilburg 85303 cyanTook Western Maine Coastal Current south and recovered by Watson/Goldstein team on 10 June south of the Isle of Shoals
UNE/Tilburg 85304 blackpicked up by Portland lobsterman, Marshall Spier, in a matter of hours after it was deployed, brought back to Custom House Wharf, recovered and stored by Nick Wolff (USM), and then redeployed as #86301
Nantucket Shoals 3 June GOMTOX 86091 redrecovered by Andy Girard a few hundred meers of the south coast of Martha's Vineyard on 17 July
Saco River 5 June UNE 86301 blueHeaded out of the river, turned southward, landed on a small island east of Vaughn Island (near the Bush compound) about 24 hours later, and never heard from again.
Georges Bank 1 July GOMTOX 87171 green exited bank and caught in ring
Great Bay NH 1 July UNH 87301 redrecovered after wild trip
off NH 8 July
UNH 87302 cyanran aground hours after deployment
16 July
(1st pair)
UNH 87303 yellowheaded up river
UNH 87201 greenheaded south and recovered on Georges Bank on 23 Sept by Bro Cote
29 July
(2nd pair)
UNH 87304 bluerecovered near shore by fishermen on the 6th of August SW of Gloucester,MA
UNH 87202 redrecovered ashore by lifeguards at Hampton Beach NH on 3 August
19-20 Aug
(3rd pair)
UNH 88201 bluealmost aground on Isle of Shoals, headed south w/intermittent transmissions, down the back side of Cape Cod,
UNH 88202 blueheaded around Cape Ann, into Mass Bay, recovered by Mari Butler (oceanography instructor at Endicott College in Beverly MA) by swimming out off the beach!
Great Bay NH 3 Sep UNH 89301 redhung-up a few times before quitting on 5 Sept
11 Sep UNH 89302 red
7 Oct UNH 80301 redw/V2R; ashore during first tide
Bay of Fundy 8 August GOMTOX 88461 r surface... recovered on 7 Oct just Southwest of Hall Harbor in "Waterville, NS" by lobsterman, Clifton Oickle and mailed back
GOMTOX 88462 g surface... recovered on 7 Oct on a Harborville, NS beach by Vance Dixon, Greg Hamilton's son-in-law.
GOMTOX 88463 m surface....nearly beached northeast of Digby Gut, retained NE of there for more than a month, landed in Young's Cove on 23 Oct, recovered from shore by Edith and Gleason Hogan "Quilts and Paintings".
GOMTOX 88464 b 15m...first to exit BoF gyre, hungup on lobster gear off Jonesport Maine on 14 August, released by USCG's Nathan Hamilton a day later, hungup again on 17 August, brought in to Buck's Harbor by Steven Gatcomb (after the drogue got caught in his gear) and then recovered by Jim Churchill while traveling downeast.
GOMTOX 88465 r 15m failed.
GOMTOX 88466 k 15m...second unit to exit the gyre (29 Aug), entrained in the Easttern Maine Coastal Current, recovered by Ralph Backman, a Jonesport lobstermen/mariner on 31 August who was sent an envelope for returning the transmitter
GOMTOX 88467 c 15m... came ashore on 19 Oct and collected by Vance Dixon and family
GOMTOX 88468 y 15m...retained the longest, hung-up on lobster gear on 26 October off Hall Harbour, Nova Scotia, recovered by Flavien LeBlanc of Wedgeport, Nova Scotia (south of Yarmouth) on 28 Oct with part of the drogue attached and brought home.
GOMTOX 88469 b 15m failed.
Casco Bay 17 Sept Bowdoin 89391 rpaul recovered on W shore of HS
Bowdoin 89392 cpaul almost escaped to the south
Bowdoin 89393 brachel recovered on W shore of HS
Bowdoin 89394 mrachel almost escaped to the south
24 Sept Bowdoin 89396 rpaul recovered on NW shore of Harpswell Sound a day later
Bowdoin 89397 cpaul recovered still drifting in the northern reaches of Harpswell Sound a day later
Bowdoin 89398 brachel recovered on NW shore of Harpswell Sound a day later
1 Oct Bowdoin 80391 rpaul Bailey's Island and recovered next day
Bowdoin 80392 cpaul ashore to the west after half tide, then up estuary, and recovered next afternoon
Bowdoin 80393 brachel way up estuary, and recovered next afternoon
Bowdoin 80394 mrachel up estuary, apparently aground, and recovered next afternoon
8 Oct Bowdoin 80395 rrachel up-estuary
Bowdoin 80396 cpaul up-estuary
Bowdoin 80397 bpaul up-estuary
Bowdoin 80398 mrachel ...failed?
14 Oct SMCC 80302 c up west side of Long Island...
27 Oct SMCC 80303 c deployed east of Peaks Island and moved around to the west before coming aground 1-day later
30 Oct SMCC 80304 b heading south
SMCC 80305 r heading south w/intermittant transmissions ...
near Boston outfall site 21 Nov Endicott 80201 b heading out to sea w/intermittant transmissions ...
Off Cape Cod 27 Jan 2009 UMASSD 91191 rNantucket Shoals, GSC, and Gulf Stream
Georges Bank 26 Feb 2009 WHOI/NOAA 92181 rDead Right Whale Drifter but detached after one day
Note: All units were made by marine science students at the Southern Maine Community College. While most are standard "surface drifters" marking only the top 1-meter of the water column, the Bay of Fundy units have 10m subsurface drogue centered at 15m below the surface. For details, call 508-495-2211 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.