College of the Redwoods’ drifter has taken “playing on the freeway” to a new level. For the last four days, our drifter has been wandering around in the inbound and outbound shipping lanes (there are six of these) to the San Francisco Bay . Two hours ago it moved to within 10 nautical miles from the mouth of the San Francisco Bay and directly into the only major inbound shipping lane that goes under the Golden Gate Bridge!
The wind direction has shifted back to the NW, so the drifter may be driven southward again. On the other hand, there is a spring flood tide cresting around 11:30 tonight that could drive the drifter closer to the bay. All of these options are only possible if (and this is a big IF) it manages to avoid the heavy ship traffic sailing into the bay. Watch with us on our Google Map page at, http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/drifter/drift_redwoods_2010_1.html