Data Location Seal "Lucky" (fwd)

From: mike williamson (
Date: Wed Feb 28 2001 - 12:35:54 EST


Looks like we may have a problem. Over the weekend we received messages
from "Lucky" only on Saturday. No messages Sunday or this morning. It
might not be unusual for the satellite to miss the tag if there was
something blocking the transmissions, such as bad weather, or if "Lucky"
were on shore and the tag was either blocked or had shut down because it
was out of the water long enough to put it into "sleep" mode (the tag shuts
down when out of the water for more that 6 hours to save battery power when
a seal hauls out for a long time). "Lucky" does not appear to be even
close to land, and weather might block a few transmissions, but not all of
them for two days. I am checking with the satellite service to be sure
there is not a problem in the network somewhere ( one suspicious thing is
that the last signal from the tag came at the same time as usual for the
day...if this was the last time the tag signaled, it would be a weird
coincidence ). If it is not a problem with the network, there are only
three general possibilities, the tag failed, the tag fell off or something
happened to "Lucky". I would suspect the tag, if the last transmission
coincided with when the tag is scheduled for it's daily shutdown (the most
likely malfunction would be that the tag shut dawn and failed to start
again...) this does not appear to be the case. I would be more likely to
suspect the attachment of the tag, if "Lucky" were spending a lot of time
on shore, or was on shore when we lost transmission (tags and attachments
can be more readily damaged when seals are bouncing the tags off of rocks
while they are on shore). Lucky appears to have been spending only a small
amount of time on shore recently, so this does not seem likely. Which
leaves us with the last possibility. Hopefully, this is not the case, and
we will hear from the tag again. However, the longer we do not hear from
the tag, the less likely we will hear from the tag. So, I will be checking
data, and trying to find some clues as to why we are not getting signals.
I will be back with what I find, sooner if we start getting more messages
from the tag again.

Meanwhile, the last set of data that we have so far shows "Lucky" still on
the southern part of Wildcat Knoll. The last location in the set, is not a
very reliable one (low LC class...B) so it is hard to say if this was
really the last position, but if it was, this point is roughly 20 miles
east of the knoll...this location is over some of the deepest waster in the
Gulf of Maine.

The Data:

27480 Date : 23.02.01 16:49:59 LC : A IQ : 08Lat1 : 42.418N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 23.02.01 18:51:28 LC : A IQ : 50Lat1 : 42.416N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 23.02.01 19:10:00 LC : 2 IQ : 68Lat1 : 42.416N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 23.02.01 19:56:43 LC : B IQ : 00Lat1 : 42.404N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 23.02.01 21:40:34 LC : B IQ : 00Lat1 : 42.418N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 24.02.01 01:13:55 LC : B IQ : 00Lat1 : 42.412N Lon1 :
27480 Date : 24.02.01 07:11:42 LC : B IQ : 00Lat1 : 42.288N Lon1 :

keep your fingers crossed,


Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, Mass 02110
617-973-6592 (phone)
617-723-9705 (FAX)

                      J. Michael Williamson
Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
                   Associate Professor-Science
  Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
                    voice: 617.879.2256
      fax:    617.734.8666, or 978.468.0073
          "Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard your call,
              Wanted to sail upon your waters, 
               since I was three feet tall"
                        Jimmy Buffett

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