On September 4, the ocean patrol boat ARA “Bouchard” set sail from the Mar del Plata Naval Base with scientific personnel from the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET); of the Sea Research Center (CIMA) and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), to carry out the deployment tasks of measurement equipment for the development of the research projects “Measurement of the oceanic flow at the mouth of the San Matías Gulf ”And“ Permeability of the Malvinas Current ”.
Prior to setting sail, the logistical maneuvers related to the embarkation of all the necessary material (which was previously in the city of Mar del Plata) were carried out to carry out these tasks. For the first project, 2 Landers were anchored with an aluminum dome structure in which each one houses an acoustic Doppler current profiler. In addition, another fixed anchor was placed with temperature, conductivity and pressure sensors; and satellite positioning beacons.
The tasks for the first project included the installation of three moorings equipped with instruments to measure temperature, salinity, currents and pressure, capable of measuring the oceanic flow of heat and salt through the mouth of the San Matías Gulf, the largest of the called North Patagonian gulfs with a basin of about 150 km of southern extension and 100 km of zonal extension between the southern coast of the province of Río Negro and the north of the province of Chubut.
For the second project, the objective of which is to study the surface circulation of the Malvinas current and platform waters to increase knowledge of the area of our slope called “Blue Hole”, within the framework of the Pampa Azul project of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Technology, 62 surface drifting buoys (7 automated and 55 of manual assembly and national manufacture) were embarked and deployed along the slope and the Argentine platform.
The seeding of the buoys was carried out on two different spaces: 49 buoys in a zonal transect to the north and 13 buoys in another to the south. Those of manual assembly had to be enlisted in navigation where the GPS was incorporated, the internal batteries were connected, the satellite system was turned on and the correct reception of the signals was verified before sealing them.
They were then placed on the upper deck, away from any obstruction for satellite transmission, and were inserted into the sea. The total seeding task required about 36 hours of navigation at a stable speed of 10 knots (18.5 kilometers per hour).
To carry out both deployments, the ARA “Bouchard”, together with the scientific personnel, had to wait for the meteorological conditions necessary for the ship to maintain its position, as well as the moments of high or low tide that minimized the effect of tidal currents on the drift from the ship.
The support tasks specified by the “Bouchard” will allow scientists to analyze data for a better understanding of ocean circulation, and its relationship with climate and ecosystems.
Once the logistics operations were concluded, the patrol vessel joined the operational group led by the destroyer ARA “Sarandí” and units of the First Naval Airborne Helicopter Squadron.
Tribute to ARA “San Juan”
During its navigation over the limits of the Argentine continental shelf, the patrol boat ARA “Bouchard” carried out a ceremony in honor of the national heroes who died in the sinking of the submarine ARA “San Juan”.
During it, the unit’s crew and the embarked scientific personnel formed on the ship’s return deck, where allusive words were pronounced about the events that at the end of 2017 led the comrades of the wrecked submarine to lay down their lives training to serve. to the Homeland.
After a brief speech and a minute’s silence, the commander of the “Bouchard”, Frigate Captain Guillermo Mondiné, threw into the sea a coin belonging to the Navy ship as dictated by the tradition of the sailors, to honor the memory of the heroes of “San Juan”.