2018 Drifter Tracks

Resolving transport pathways through New England's continental shelf waters and beyond

updated every two hours

See a GoogleMap of just this month's tracks.
See animation of all tracks.
See the latest quicker gif animation of tracks
Download drifter construction manuals and lesson plans
Find out how to get involved with the project
Predict where a drifter (deployed off New England) will go
To see this month's tracks overlaid on other fields (sst, models, etc), go to the MARACOOS site and click on "Drifter" layer.
See drifters and unmanned sailboats documented at NERACOOS
Read a description of the drifters themselves and how to use them.
Access the historical drifter data.
Blog about students deploying drifters with our MATE colleagues
Document a drifter finding
Read about drifters in the news
Get information on a related unmanned sailboat project
Plots of this year's tracks are linked in the table below.
Get raw statistics.
Check on your satellite fix use.
Follow us on Facebook
Drifter tracks from in previous years:
2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017.

To get PYTHON processing routines, email James Manning for the latest versions.

To see information on individual clusters, click the links in the following chronological table

PI (report/blog) Deployers (deploy video) Date Deployed (animation) Dropsite (forecast) #units Science (googleearth) Status (googlemap) ID-Type of Unit (photo) Fate (photo)
Educational PassagesBaldwin2016 multiple places 10+educational underwayunmanned sailboats "Carolina Dreamer_2" still going
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan27 Sep 2016 Gulf Stream2Marine Techunderwayunmanned sailboats SS Daniel went east and landed on Flores Azores in Oct 2017 while SS Lester Bell dilly dallied south, sailed through TS Jose in Sept 2017, and ...
Educational PassagesBaldwin Fall 2016 Multiple Places20educationunderwayunmanned sailboats North Atlantic Regatta: DC Eagle II, Jack the Cat, Velella velella still going in 2018
GOMIHalloran/FlahertyJaySpring/Summer 2017 GOM9educationdonesurface and drogued drifters 174420701 Kennebunk High took traditional path towards Georges bank;
175420701 Beverly High washed into the Nauset Marsh on the morning of 25 May and recovered by JiM & crew on 30 May;
175420702 Beverly High looped Mass Bay, headed back to the North Shore, and finally died off Cape Cod in June 2nd
175420703 drogued drifter got caught in Mass Bay eddy, beat up on the Graves rocks for a few days, and then brought into the dock by Dave Waller, the lighthouse keeper, on 31 May;
175420704 Salem Sound Club S surface drifter went in and out of Plymouth Harbor multiple times and apparently washed ashore north of Truro's Head of the Meadow Beach on 6 June, recovered by a couple on vacation, brought to Olivia at WBWS on June 11 and shut off by James;
176420701 Mellini Chen and Jake Williams Lowell_Univ unit ...;
176420702 Brian Smiths Betheham_NH unit circled the gulf, headed home in Sept 2017, and then finally came ahore near Cape St Marys in Nove Scotia at the end of November 2017?;
176420703 Paddy Cummings RVCS landed on the Azorian Island of Graciosa on 16 July 2018 now in the hands of Pedro.ML.Raposo@azores.gov.pt;
176420704 Paddy Cummings RVCS;
178420708 NOCK Middle School with sails on wrong end of mast, taken out of water near Ptown in Sept 2017, brought to fishermans home in Marshfield, and ...;
Cape Fear Community CollegeDegan19 June 2017 Gulf Stream2Marine Techunderwayunmanned sailboats
WHOIHernandezR/V Bigelow11 July 2017 off Georges Bank3Bluefin Tunadonebamboo-framed star-shaped drogues 176400671 entrained in ring, flowed along shelfbreak in Sept, affected by Jose, and died in Gulf Stream in Dec 2017;
176400672 entrained in ring, took ride with GS and died beyond Azores in Feb 2018;
176400673 entrained in big GS ring but recovered drogueless by the Captain Katz on F/V Sea Angel from Blue harvest in Fairhaven fishing boat starting 2000Z on Aug 11th;
LEAPWilkins/Flaherty???13 July 2017 Mass Bay1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter 177420701 drifted SSW towards the mouth of Boston Harbor, body found ashore with no transmitter;
170420702 headed NE to Jeffries Ledge and then ...
Center for Student Coastal ResearchBuckleyMr.Paul Adams10 Aug 2017Mass Bay3marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifters 177420705 landed on Martha's Vineyard and recoverd;
177420704 Gulf Stream to die in May 2018 beyond Gand Banks;
177420707 Gulf Stream to die just north of the Azores in May 2018;
Thetford Vt ElementaryBradleyF/V RaiderIII 03 Oct 2017 off Cape Cod1educationdoneIrina surface drifter 170420691 deployed by Billy Souza, ventured beyond the Grand Banks, and evidently died in late May 2018
Gloucester Middle SchoolHiggins/DonnellyHiggins Jr Lobsterboat 14 Oct 2017 Mass Bay1marine debrisdoneIrina surface drifter 170420701 headed NE and then died west of Grand Banks in March 2018
Southern Maine Community CollegeTarbox/LongF/V Tenacious01 Nov 2017
28 Nov 2017
Off Southern Maine2educationdone Eddie surface drifters170430701 came ashore on Peaks Island Nov 7th after a wild run around Casco Bay;
170430702 deployed by Obey Spears on 28 Nov off F/V Tenacious and headed NE against prevailing wisdom but eventually came ashore on the Northeastern shore of the Bay of Fundy in Saint Croix Cove
Columbia River Maritime MuseumSandel et alNov 2017 Pacific Ocean10educationunderwayunmanned sailboats miniboats on both sides of the Pacific
Educational PassagesBaldwin/Stymiest 2018 Multiple Places20?educationunderwayunmanned sailboats
Gulf of Maine InstituteHalloran/FlahertyNineth Wave18 Apr 2018
16 May 2018
28 May 2018
02 Jun 2018
05 Jun 2018
07 Jun 2018
Mass Bay10educationunderwayIrina surface drifters184420701 did a week-long loop south of Gloucester and ended up on Goldwait Beach in Marblehead where Emily recovered it on 24 Apr;
185420703 released 5/28 at 2130Z in Manchester Harbor w/help from MassDMF, landed on Misery Island a few days later, and recovered a few weeks later
185420704 may have come ashore the next morning on Pope Island rocks but then continued on to land on Littles Point rocks on 18 May;
185420705 made a big 2-week long loop down to the mouth of Boston Harbor and back before being recovered by Randy Sgler in Marblehead Harbor on 29 May;
186420702 Randy deployed out almost to Stellwagen and it cam back to Marblehead Harbor a few days later!!;
186420703 Redeployed again by Randy, headed north off Gloucester, and ...
;186420704 Bethleham Unit deployed off Newburyport on June 7th and ...;
186420705 Bethleham Unit deployed off Newburyport on June 7th and ...;186420706 NOCK unit deployed off Newburyport on June 7th and ...;
186420707 Nock deployed off Newburyport on June 7th and ...
Stockton UniversityPfeiffer-HerbertBarnegat Bay NJ scalloper 17 Apr 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter entrained in Gulf Stream mid-May and took off to the east
Long Beach Island SchoolMcBridescalloper 27 Apr 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationunderwayIrina surface drifters 185400731 apparently went down with Hurricane Chris on 11 July 2018
Salem Sound CoastwatchFlaherty 16 May 2018
29 May 2018
24 Jul 2018
Salem Sound3educationunderwayIrina surface drifter185420704 may have come ashore the next morning on Pope's Island rocks but then continued on for a few days to land at Littles Point rocks near Swampscot on 18 May where Emily recovered it;
186420701 was deployed near shore and made its way out around Georges Bank on the southern flank in late July ...;
187420704 deployed just east of Baker's Island on 24 July and washed ashore a few days later near the Curtis Estate (Manchester-by-the-Sea) where Emily recovered it.
MassDMF/GOMI/SSCWFlaherty 28 May 2018 Mass Bay1shellfish closuresdoneIrina surface drifters185420703 released 2/28 at 2130Z in Manchester Harbor and apparently grounded on the north side of the Misery Island Reservation Island
University of MarylandXia 29 May 2018 Maryland Coastal4outflowsdonemini surface drifter185380751 apparently ashore on the western side of the sound near Points Reach on about 30 May;
185380752 apparently aground within 24 hours in shallows south of Dog & Bitch Islands;
185380753 ashore at the mouth of the inlet on day 1;
185380754 apparently ashore in Cedartown on ~30 May;
UConnJia/Whitney 31 May 2018 Long Island Sound2river outflowsdonebucket drifters185410721 headed west, by Twotree island, escaped sound on ~4 June, and ...
18541072 came close to Fishers Island, escaped sound on ~7 June, and ...
Great Lakes Environmental Research LabRuberg?? 5 June 2018
27 June 2018
18 July 2018
Lake Michigan9HABsdoneEddie surface drifters186430861 brought back to shore on ~12 June;
186430862 brought back to shore on ~12 June ;
186430863 brought back to shore on ~12 June;
186430864 headed quickly north and came ashore near a sandy beach near Ludington, MI on 5 July 2018;
186430865 headed quickly north and came ashore at Ludinhton State Park Campgrounds on 4th of July;
186430866 headed quickly north and came ashore at Silver Lake State Park in early July;
187430861 came ashore in early August 2018 just south of Muskegon near what appears to be a trailer park;
187430862 came ashore at Hoffmaster State Park on 7/21;
187430863 came ashore in early August apparently on Silver Lake State Park and driven into the town of Hart;
Seton Hall Prep SchoolSnyderEvening Tide Kyle Tobias7 June 2018
11 June 2018
15 June 2018
16 June 2018
17 June 2018
21 June 2018
31 June 2018
08 July 2018
Raritan Bay7educationdoneIrina surface drifter w/flags 186400731 went up Arthur Kill and back and then landing near Princes Island Lighthouse;
186400732 oscillated with tide and went out to sea;
186400733 Kyle redeployed #1, lasted less than 24 hours, and landed on the beach when a beachwalker brought it up safe;
186400734 Kyle redeployed #1 again, now referred to as the "lazy one" or the "problem child", lasted less than 24 hours when a Kayaker found it near the beach;
186400735 kayaker guy redeployed it, lasted less than 24 hours when a Kyle picked it off the beach;
186400736 Kyle redeployed it, lasted less than 24 hours when ran into a couple of Arthur Kill marinas;
186400737 Kyle redeployed it but it came ashore 4-5 days later a little to the east of Princes Bay again near Seguina Point where Rich Casparie and others reported it;
187400731 Kyle AGAIN redeployed it but it came ashore 4-5 days later to the east of Princes Bay yet again where Drew Stillman at the NYC Parks department saved it along with John.Kilcullen@parks.nyc.gov in the Conference House;
187400732 went into the Passaic River as a school project but washed ashore quickly
Acadia UniversityRedden/Sanderson/Adams?? 11 June 2018 Upper Bay of Fundy1tidal powerdoneSpecial Drogue 5m deepOther instruments as deep as 23.3m
University of MarylandXia 26 June 2018 Maryland Coastal4outflowsdonemini surface drifter186380751 ashore in first tide after going back in the inlet;
186380752 ashore in first tide;
186380753 ashore in first tide;
186380754 ashore in first tideon beach north of the mouth;
Jacksonville Marine LabStalker late June 2018 off Bermuda1marine debrisdonetrash drifterscame ashore in Bahamas
UConnJia/Whitney 27 June 2018 Long Island Sound4river outflowsdonebucket drifters186410721 came ashore at mouth of Housatonic and reported by John De Gant who walks the Stratford Pt Beach;
186410722 came ashore to the south near Long Beach Shoreline Dr.;
186410723 longer sail apparently hungup after going up the river but eventually exited back to Short Beach Park and stayed active until July 17th when the transmitter reported from a beach claenup personnel's home near Weekapaug RI
186410724 came ashore at Hammonasset State Park on July 6th where it was brought to headquarters by Colin and recovered by Christina ...;
186410725 headed northeast and eventually came aground on July 22 on Napatree Point near Watch Hill RI;
UMASS BostonChen/Gardnerkayaks 29 June 2018 Neponset River3marsh retainmentdonebox drifters187420701 apparently turned with the tide at the mouth of Gulliver Creek but then came ashore with a few hours after;
187420702 stuck ashore north of the mouth of Gulliver Creek;
187420703 went up a small channel near the mouth of Gulliver Creek
University of MarylandXia12 & 14 July 2018 Maryland Coastal3outflowsdonemini surface drifter187380751 ashore same day on Assateague Island;
187380752 ashore same day inside inlet;
187380753 ashore same day inside inlet;
US Navy Sea CadetsThiede 01 Aug 2018 off Hudson Shelf1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter
Great Lakes Environmental Research LabRuberg?? 26 Aug 2018
20 Sep
Lake Erie2
HABs/SPAT?underwayEddie surface drifters188410831 recovered 8/30;
188410832 recovered 8/30;
189410831 ashore on Pt Place on the Ohio Michigan line on about 9/25;
189410832 ...;
Great Lakes Environmental Research LabRuberg?? 30 Aug 2018 Lakes Superior & Erie9HABsunderwayEddie surface drifters188410811 ashore on South Bass Island on about 9/25;
188410813 apprently recovered by mariner on 9/12 and redeployed several hours later far away;
189410811 redeployed unit;
188470862 washed up on White Fish Point in early November
188470866 washed up on Leach Island in 12 Dec 2018
Falmouth MA High SchoolMillikenKaren Elizabeth 14 Oct 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationunderwayIrina surface drifter180410711 easily escaped the shelf, finally entrained in the Gulf Stream in late Nov, caught in enormous Gulf Stream ring, ....
Winnacunnet NH High SchoolPaganoBobby Nudd/Al Gauron/Pete Kirkland 26 Oct 2018 off NH1educationunderwayIrina surface drifters180430701 ...
Audubon/Monomoy HighWoods/PrescottChip/Albatross 31 Oct 2018
05 Nov 2018
20 Nov 2018
Cape Cod Bay9turtlesunderwayIrina surface drifters180410701 escaped the bay on Nov 20.
180410702 washed up on Long Point on Nov 2nd where Ranger Russ recovered the next day
180410703 lost its drogue but the surface but came ashore on Beach Point a few days later where the Truro Police recovered
180410704 made the longest trip of any drifter deployed in CC Bay and finally came ashore ...
180410705 came ashore with drogue still attached on Jeremy Point on 28 Nov 2018 and recovered
180410706 came ashore a few days later south of Plymouth and recovered
180410708 landed on Skaket Beach on 22 Nov and recovered along with 15 Kemp's ridleys
180410709 came ashore in Dennis on 21 Nov (the next day) and recovered
Thetford Vt ElementaryBradleyF/V Illusion 08 Dec 2018 Mid-Atlantic Bight1educationunderwayunmanned sailboat 180400681 deployed by Mark Phillips
Educational PassagesStymiest 2019 Multiple Places12+educationunderwayunmanned sailboats Navis_Stellum, MPA_Sewee_Spirit, American Sunset, SV_Jamestown, and more ...
Meridian Academy High SchoolGreenwood?? 2018? Mass Bay?2educationplannedIrina surface drifters180420701 ...
Boston College High SchoolGorlis?? 2018? Mass Bay?2educationplannedIrina surface drifters180420702 ...
Waterstart/BIOSFox??2018? Off Bermuda1educationplannedIrina surface drifter180320641 ...

Note: Most units are prepared by marine science students. The majority are standard "surface drifters" marking only the top 1-meter of the water column, but some units, as in the case of EP boats, track the wind and wave at the surface and some have subsurface drogues typically centered at 10m-15m below the surface. For details, call 508-495-4727 or email james.manning@noaa.gov.