"Where is the bottle?" - gone with the wind (and currents)

Four weeks ago, a virtual plastic bottle, which had fallen overboard from a Hurtigruten boat, was in our focus. The bottle had fallen to the sea between Måloy and Torvik on new years’ eve. From there it had drifted in the course of a week for about 200 km and ended up about 100 km away to north east.

Total distance covered by the bottle and the distance between starting and end point, 6.1.-3.2.22. The bottle spent almost half of this time in the narrow, long fjord close to Åfjord. For a bigger image, check the files at the bottom of the page.

The journey of the bottle and the sea currents. The bottle truly races a distance of 150 km on the strong waves between 11th and 13th of January. Then the currents push the bottle ashore and keep it at bay for the latter part of the simulation.

Short video about the simulation, 6.1.-3.2.2022

Longer video about the simulation, 6.1.-3.2.2022

In January there is usually some strong winter storms in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea, and this year was no exception to that rule. Storm "Gyda" brought heavy rainfall to central parts of Norway on 12th and 13th of January, which caused landslides and flooding in the region. Roads had to be closed, some people had to be even evacuated, but it was no smooth riding on the seas either with waves up to 8 meters high. Only in couple days, these strong winds and sea currents transported the virtual bottle close to 150 km in open water. The currents and winds pushed the bottle towards north east, past the Island of Froya and the archipelago surrounding it. The bottle ended up close to the entrance of the Trondheimsfjorden, sheltered with many islands, where the currents twirled it around, but did not take it back to the open sea. Then the bottle was pushed towards east, and it beached on 20th of January, but drifted back to sea. As the winds and currents picked up again the bottle was pushed further inland and into a long, narrow fjord. That is where the bottle has been stuck since then, for close to two weeks, occasionally drifting a little back towards the sea, but returning soon back.

The bottle is located in the municipality of Åfjord, around 10.2 degrees East and 63.9 degrees North. Maybe someone should head out there and collect it from the shore? There is still a chance that more favourable currents and winds could set it free from its' trap. But will this happen - we will find it out in four weeks.

On next Friday we will go west. Where has the fishing gear that cut loose from a Scottish fishing vessel of Thurso  ended up? Last time we checked it, the net was north of Orkney Islands and heading towards Shetland Islands. But did the net get past Shetland Islands or was it brought to shore by the January storms? Stay tuned!