7/19/99 - Would that I had better news, but no data from "Bran's" tag. This makes one week and I guess this means that the likely hood is dropping that we will hear from the tag again. The most likely possibilities are, that Bran is in fresh water and has not come out yet (this is the best case scenario, as the tag would start signaling when it hit salt water again), that the tag attachment failed...I would be surprised if this happened, but it fits the facts that there did not appear to be a problem with the tag or Bran (as far as I have been able to tell from the dive data), or something catastrophic happened to either the tag or Bran. This is a low probability, as it would take an unusual event to have this happen.
I will work up the data I have and send you a copy in a day or so. In the meanwhile there is still a possibility that the tag may start up again, however I would say that at this point the longer we do not hear, the less likely it is that we will hear.
7/15/99 - No signals from either Bran or Albert yesterday and today. Although I am expecting to lose Albert's tag (he should be molting by now...and he appeared to in a location that he could haul out on to) I am surprised by "Bran". There are some reasons we may not be getting signals (bad sea state blocking signals, or he may be close to shore in an area that is blocking transmissions). At this point only time will tell. We have had tags go "silent" for up to a week and return, so keep your fingers crossed.
7/12/99 - Locations on "Bran" from the weekend. He appears to be continuing to head north along the coast of Scotland, and may have taken a fast run out to sea (his most recent locations). We should know tomorrow if this is a real point or not.
7/8/99 - He continues to move north within a mile or so of the coast. He has, however moved into deeper water (roughly 60-100 meters deep) and his diving appears to be getting deeper as well (deepest dives to roughly 60 meters).
7/9/99 - More from "Bran". Looks like he is still moving north and east, now close to the coast of Scotland. His dive behavior, while he was over the deeper water away from the coast showed an increase in deep diving, and more time spent at deeper depths (six dives between 100-130 meters) !
7/7/99 - Latest locations show that after heading south for several days, Bran headed back north along the coast to nearly the area he was released. We received no locations on the 5th, however his most recent locations show that he has moved about fifty miles north (still close to the coast). We now have enough dive data to begin to see some patterns. He is still doing mostly shallow dives between 2 and 10 meters deep. On most of these shallow dives, however he appears to be staying deeper than two meters. From the bottom depth data we have it appears that he may be exploring the bottom along the shallow coastal edge. This is a good sign (far better than if he was spending most of his time hanging at the surface. Most of his dives so far are between 3-4 minutes long, and his longest dives are over 14 minutes. Not bad for his first week.
6/29/99 - So far, this is very good for the first days of a track. Generally we get fewer location"hits" in the first few days after release. One location here is even a "location code #3". This is the highest degree of accuracy that Argos (the satellite) calculates for a location. This means that location is accurate to within 150 meters of the reported location. We have programmed this tag to (hopefully) give us data daily for the next six to nine months. Keep your fingers crossed...