Scripps oceanographer Luca Centurioni (left) hands a drifter to Scripps assistant development engineer Lance Braasch aboard the vessel Chamade on Feb. 12 at Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego. Swiss explorers Marc Decrey and Sylvie Cohen volunteered to deploy two of the drifters from the vessel during a three-week transit from San Diego to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. The pair will deploy one drifter 1 degree latitude north of the equator and another 1 degree south.
The drifters will join the Global Drifter Program array, which includes 1,250 drifters throughout the world's ocean basins that measure currents, sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, winds and salinity. Decrey and Cohen are affiliated with the charity Race for Water, which advocates for preservation of the world's water resources. The couple contacted Centurioni with the deployment offer through the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel, a World Meteorological Organization agency that coordinates deployments of oceanographic instrumentation. Volunteer sailors and vessel owners frequently deploy oceanographic instruments in assistance to research organizations.