Guy Harvey Magazine

SUM 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 35 of 83

36 | "My very first foray into science was a proposal to their team to use unmanned sailboats to gather ocean data," Jenkins said. That presentation led to the design and creation of the Saildrone. Jenkins used the wing-sail technology from the Greenbird to successfully create an autonomous sailboat that runs on wind and solar power. "Originally, I wanted to build the first unmanned sailboat to circumnavigate the world," Jenkins said. "We still haven't accomplished that goal, but with Saildrone, it's definitely possible." The ability of Saildrones to cruise around the oceans autonomously is sort of mind-blowing, but the real prize is in data collection at a fraction of the cost to hire large vessels. Take fish stock assessment, for example. NOAA uses five massive ships with crews, fuel costs and huge maintenance fees. Saildrones have no onboard crew, no fuel, no provisions and no threat of mutiny. They just sail around using the power of the wind and sun and collect data without registering astronomical costs of research ships. "We've incorporated the same Simrad echosounders that NOAA uses and have tested them in the Bering Sea alongside NOAA's ship the Oscar Dyson," Jenkins said. "When we did surveys of pollock populations and compared the data with NOAA's, we showed significantly more fish than they did. We believe it's because Saildrones are silent and small as opposed to a huge ship that makes a lot of noise and may scare the fish away. Ultimately, our data was much more precise than theirs." Their work has continued with Schmidt Ocean Institute. In fact, SOI's two most recent expeditions—one to the White Shark Café (see page 38) and the other to the Subtropical Front to investigate sharp drops in sea salinity—have used Saildrones to help conduct oceanographic measurements in advance of the team's research. By sending Saildrones out first, like scouts, they can survey the area and compile the appropriate data before the scientists arrive on location. An invention that combines one of the oldest forms of transportation—sailing—with one of the fastest growing technologies—drones—has quickly proven its worth. Jenkins believes they're just scraping the surface and the applications for Saildrones are just beginning to be discovered. With that in mind, we recently asked Jenkins a few pointed questions: A saildrone cruising along autonomously. Photo courtesy of The Greenbird set the land speed record by a wind-powered vehicle of 126.1 mph across a Nevada desert. Photo courtesy of

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