Saturday, June 24, 2017

24 June 2017

It seems like the longest five days ever (click here) waiting to get on with racing for the America's Cup.

There has been a lot going on at both Emirates Team NZ and with Oracle Team USA.

ETNZ has been making further modifications to their fairings, both on their hulls and on their wing. Fairings are designed to reduce aerodynamic drag. This is a big deal on these yachts because they travel so quickly. Any reduction in drag is an increase in boat speed. This is all part of the continual improvement approach.

OTUSA have changed mail foil (dagger-board) tips to increase the area and lift they provide. Their intent here is to try and improve acceleration, upwind height and especially tacking. They were back out on the water after only two days (and nights) in the shed and have been doing a lot of tacking practice.... (click here) - Bermuda

Currently, inside the race course the wind speed is 6 - 8 knots
Wind Direction that highly fluctuates between 170 to 250 degrees true
Pressure is fluctuating between 1017 and 1022 hPa

Bermuda is in the little talked about "Sargasso Sea."

The Sargasso Sea is east of the Gulf Stream and is teaming with life.

The Sargasso Sea (click here) is a vast patch of ocean named for a genus of free-floating seaweed called Sargassum. While there are many different types of algae found floating in the ocean all around world, the Sargasso Sea is unique in that it harbors species of sargassum that are 'holopelagi' - this means that the algae not only freely floats around the ocean, but it reproduces vegetatively on the high seas. Other seaweeds reproduce and begin life on the floor of the ocean....

There are all kinds of life specifically adapted to live in and among the Sargassum. This unique sea is found nowhere else in the world. The word "sea" usually means it is a body of water on the edges of oceans with discernible land borders. The Sargasso Sea is different. It is defined by the Sargassum and it's floating display of life. If Sargassum were considered a land mass the oceans would surround an island. But, it is unique and incredible and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean waters within reach of the Gulf Stream, so in that content can be considers a form of floating island.

Sargassum: A Complex 'Island' Community at Sea (click here)

Tara L. Casazza
Steve W. Ross, PhD

North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve

The surface layer of the ocean off North Carolina is dynamic, constantly in motion due to the waves and northward advancement of the Gulf Stream. As part of an ongoing study of the whole water column, researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve, in collaboration with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration, are sampling North Carolina Shelf surface waters to obtain a complete picture of the community structure of Sargassum and open-water habitats. Sargassum is a genus of large brown seaweed (a type of algae) that floats in island-like masses, and is common in waters off the U.S. South Atlantic coast....