A Glide Across the Gulf Stream : Image

map of spray journey

A 7-WEEK, 600-MILE JOURNEY—On Sept. 11, 2004, researchers launched Spray glider near a mooring located on the continental south of Nantucket Island. The yellow swath shows the average path of the Gulf Stream—a large, powerful ocean current that often forms strong vortices to its north and south. As sailors know, it is difficult to navigate through these vortices to reach Bermuda, a problem that also challenged Spray. As a result, the glider's path took a few unexpected turns before researchers retrieved Spray offshore Bermuda. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, WHOI Graphic Services)