The GUSTO mooring was anchored to the seafloor about 245 nautical miles (450 kilometers) south of Cape Cod in the Gulf Stream, a powerful current of warm ocean water that flows along the east coast of the United States and Canada and influences climate in the North Atlantic region. It aligned with another WHOI array of moored instruments called Line W (see "Will the Ocean Circulation Be Unbroken?").
The mooring's precarious position required use of 3,500-meter-long line (nearly two miles in length) that engineers designed, on the spot, specifically for this unique mooring recovery. They crafted their line from wire, polypropylene rope, floats to keep it buoyant, and several metal, four-pronged hooks (above Jeff Lord's hand, on left) with rounded edges to keep them from cutting the mooring?s wire. (Photo by Trish White, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Engineer Jeff Lord (left), working with an Oceanus crew member, called the recovery of the mooring unlike anything he'd experienced in 10 years of mooring work. After one loop with the ship around the downed mooring, they were able to snag it using a grappling hook like this one. (Photo by Trish White, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
With his mooring recovered, scientist Mike McCartney was able to download nearly a year?s worth of irreplaceable data on the Gulf Stream. He will compare the data with some that researchers collected in the same area in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of Mike McCartney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)