All posts by elgar

The waves at New River Inlet are supposed to be below 50 cm later this week. I looked at the waves at the buoy every morning since February. They were bigger the 4 weeks the RIVET sensors were in the water than at any time since February! There were two pre-June tropical storms. When a few of us came to New River to poke around in October 2010, we drove thru Tropical Storm Nicole (21″ of rain in 24 hours). What are the odds…

Big waves made in-water work difficult, but also provide an opportunity to see the effect of waves on inlet processes, increasing the coolness of everyone’s data sets.

No one is left besides Britt and me (waiting for trucks to take our gear to Duck) (and of course, Greg Schmidt). Quiet. I think the Tiki Bar is considering closing until late June owing to lack-of-business. There are lots of empty tables at Rick’s, and the cul-de-sac at the north end of New River Inlet road is deserted. Not even a LARC in sight.

See you soon I hope. Steve

Tidal elevation and currents: progressive or standing?

Inlet goons:

We deployed a current meter for 24 hours near the mouth of the inlet, just offshore of the
access road (where UW is building a condo complex out of pipes).

The currents  are close to in-phase with the tides. High tide=strong  flood, low tide=strong ebb. Slack is 90-degrees out of phase relative to a sinusoid, and thus slack is about 3 hours after high or low tide. The plot shows this.

The green dots are the pressure in dbars (close to m), so about a 1.2 m tide range on April 20-21, 2012. The blue dots are the currents along the channel (major axis) (1.25 m/s ebb (at low tide) and 0.8 m/s flood (at high tide)).

For this 24 hr period, max flood was maybe 1/2 hr before high tide, max ebb was maybe 1/2 hr before low tide.

Yesterday (April 23) the ebb was almost 3 knots (1.5 m/s) up the channel a km or so (around the bend) (drifting boats with GPS). Our marker floats were pulled under and we could not see them until the flow slowed way down! These are interesting conditions in which to work. The divers are tough as nails and a little bit insane, so they are getting the job done.

[Plot by Sean Kilgallin and Seth Zippel, data provided by Britt Raubenheimer, CAR-E, Danik, Jenna, Levi, Regina, David drove boats and hauled lines and heavy frames up and down in wicked currents.]

What time is slack tide? Just ask Britt.

Notice who carries the heavy frame and who carries the cable…girls kick ass. That’s Regina, Britt, CAR-E, and the wimpy guy in orange is Levi.

AWAC deployed near the mouth of the inlet to get 24 hours of data to check phase lags between sea  surface  and slack tide (34.529434, -77.343110). However, Britt don’t need no stinkin’ AWACs. She predicted slack at 10:20 this morning…perfect, within 1-2 minutes according to the floats and drifting boat. That was 2 hrs 30 minutes (within a minute or two) after high tide. We’ll see if the model (Britt) is correct when we recover the sensor tomorrow and look at the data this weekend.

Saw Guza, Falk, Mrs. Falk, and boat-driver Bill in the Pink Turtle about to release drifters at 11 am this morning.



Jenna, rope queen. You should see her on a quarter horse chasing a steer that needs to be branded. I suggest you not annoy her.

33 ADVs calibrated, 11 profilers calibrated, 5 combo-sensors calibrated tomorrow, 33 pressure gages getting bench tested for offsets, 19 profiler frames assembled (a lot of nuts and bolts, way a lot, and there are twice as many to go to attach the sensors). 30 sets of ground lines and float lines cut and spliced, 2 boats in the water (lesson learned: check that the boat plug is installed…). As Bob Dylan said “twenty years of schooling, and they put you on the day shift.”

We learned about bull sharks and alligators, but the turtle huggers did not show up for a scheduled lesson on saving turtles and plovers, so we are learning where things lie on the priority lists.

All is well, weather is perfect, sand is moving (can see it with your eyes) already, and waves are supposed to get big this weekend, so likely the surveys Jesse and his team busted their butts for over the last two days are not going to work. They will redo it after the storm, possibly with help from the Feddersen-Guza jet ski team.

Totally wonderful to be working with the CCS guys again, but they are getting nervous about racing the newly named “Pink Turtle” for pink slips.


Bill and kent on the road

Bill and Kent are driving from San Diego to New River Inlet, hauling boats and gear.

From Bill:

Here’s a typical situation, Kent with the wimpy automatic gas truck pulling a light load trying to hang with the power stroke diesel pulling a much heavier load.  He’s a good sport and a great traveling companion.

Boat Races

If you have spent time in southern California, you may know what it means to “race for pink slips.” One fine day in May, the Falk-Guza (FG) and Britt-Steve (BS) groups will race boats for pink slips.  The FG boat, the “Pink Storm” already is pink (see photo below) and has a cool, but scary masthead.

The BS boat, the BAD boat (photo of a similar one is below), is not pink, but it is fasssssssssst.


Side bets are encouraged. We suggest an anti of an ADV, jet ski, or REMUS.

Remote sensing devices will be discounted appropriately.


Stayed tuned for exctiing photos of the PVLAB c-vans about to be shipped.