A Spring Surprise!

The lure of the west (or rather the westward currents) have put our plastic bottle off course from its northern route…

Longer video of the drifting pattern of the plastic bottle, 31.3.-28.4.2022

Distance covered and the end and starting point of the plastic bottle, 31.3.-28.4.2022

Video of the drifting pattern of the plastic bottle, 31.3.-28.4.2022

Since end of December, we have been tracking and tracing the undertakings of our virtual plastic bottle, which fell overboard on the western coast of Norway, roughly at 62.3 degrees North and 5.2 degrees East. During the first three months, the bottle had travelled all the way to 67.5 degrees North, beyond the Arctic Circle and city of Bodø. The bottle had been heading north, but had in fact ended at a crossroads, so to speak. And out of the possible directions that the bottle could take next, our bottle seems to have taken that way, which we least expected. The bottle did not drift into the nearby fjords nor did it end up on the coast of the Lofoten Islands or into the Fjord leading to Narvik. The bottle has decided to head west.

At first the bottle was heading towards northwest and Lofoten islands, but then around middle of April it started to drift towards southwest pass Bodø and turned to west, out to the open sea. The sea area between the Lofoten Islands and the Norwegian coast has quite strong currents, as the water coming from the west is pressed between the coast to the south and the islands to the north. All the water masses do not fit into this channel, which leads to Narvik, and that was not going to be the destination of our bottle either. Instead of that we find it bow about 150 km away from the coast, further away from the coast as it has been so far. But it is not clear, whether the bottle will head further out to the sea, or whether it is turning back towards to coast. Judging by the drifting pattern of the last days of April, it might be heading back to coast, after this close to 300 km foray into the open sea...

On next Friday we will find out the whereabouts of our ghost fishing net. Is it still on a northbound course along the Norwegian coast, or has it headed out to open sea as well? Stay tuned!