Goodbye, Panthea

And thanks for the lift…

The crew spent the day getting supplies for the boat and locating the marina that the R/V David Folger will be taken to once she is off-loaded. Richard went out to the cargo ship Panthea as a guest of the Marine Surveyor Ed Hayes and found that the Folger’s transducers are covered with barnacles. The crew was contacted at 16:30 today to ask if we could pick up the boat at 18:30. So the Folger was off-loaded and is awaiting a good cleaning.

Tom, Richard, and Chris will oversee supply loading and work out the last issues before they start the journey north tomorrow.

Port Everglades at last

The cargo ship Panthea is now at Port Everglades, Florida, and the R/V David Folger will be off-loaded Wednesday morning. Capts. Tom Manley and Richard Furbush, along with electronics specialist Chris Goodrich, are ready to start the first leg of the journey to the north after the Folger is outfitted and fueled, and basic mechanics are tested.

Mate Pat Manley will join the crew in North Carolina in a few days after attending an NSF panel in Washington, D.C.

Wish the crew smooth sailing and keep watching for updates daily!

Gulf of Mexico

As of August 15th, the cargo ship Panthea is at Corpus Christi, Texas. After unloading cargo there, her next stop is Port Everglades, Florida, where the R/V David Folger finally will be offloaded.

Then the Folger’s journey north under its own power begins. Tentatively, the Folger will start up the east coast August 21 or 22, and at that time daily updates will begin.

Atlantic Ocean

The cargo ship Panthea went through the Panama Canal early this morning. So the R/V David Folger is now in the Atlantic Ocean!

The next stop will be Corpus Christi,Texas, and then the Folger will finally go to Port Everglades, Florida for off-loading. The date of its arrival in Florida has been pushed back again and is now scheduled for August 18th.

Panama Canal

The SE Panthea is awaiting its turn to go through the Panama Canal. On board this cargo ship is the R/V David Folger.

The Panthea is the smaller of the two green ships located just below and to the right of the canal.

Soon the Panthea will be in the Atlantic and headed to Florida. The scheduled arrival date is about August 17th at Port Everglades, FL. Once the Folger is off-loaded, a four-member team (Captain Richard Furbush, Captain Tom Manley, electronics specialist Chris Goodrich, and Mate Pat Manley) will start the journey up the east coast. During our journey, we will do a daily blog update (weather permitting) to let everyone know our position.

Threatened by invasion

The R/V David Folger’s route home takes it north along the Hudson River and then through the Champlain Canal to Lake Champlain. On July 30, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy asked the State of New York to close the Champlain Canal immediately, to prevent the spiny water flea from reaching Lake Champlain. However, the State of New York has declined to close it, and it remains open while alternatives are under discussion.

The spiny water flea is a serious threat to the lake’s ecosystem.

The La Chute River enters Lake Champlain near Ticonderoga, New York. Lake George is the body of water on the far left.

We have been working with New York officials to determine what we need to do before we can pass through the Canal. Thanks to its design, the Folger does not carry ballast water, which is a common way that the invasive pest is transmitted to new areas. Today we learned that we are required to wash the decks and bilges thoroughly before we can come through the lock system into Lake Champlain. Given the timing, it has taken more than a week for this issue to be resolved.

Sadly, the Canal is not the only conduit for invasive species. The presence of the spiny water flea in Lake George was recently confirmed. Although Lake George is not connected to the Champlain Canal, it drains north into Lake Champlain through the La Chute River, a short watercourse.

Even if the Canal is closed, or an effective barrier can be devised to prevent the pest from migrating through the Canal, the spiny water flea has other options for invading.