An introduction to the structure and dynamics of the Gulf Stream system, governing factors, variability and the significance of this major warm water current to the small boat navigator. Particular emphasis will be placed on the determination of Stream location, the presence of meanders and warm and cold core rings and the associated flow speeds and directions. Methods and models designed to provide this information will be presented and analyzed for accuracy and availability offshore.
Frank Bohlen is a physical oceanographer and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut. His research interests include the dynamics governing coastal sediment transport and long-term observations of currents and associated weather conditions. He started and continues to be involved with the Long Island Sound Observatory ( MYSOUND.uconn.edu ) . Past Commodore of the Off Soundings Club he’s an experienced offshore racer/cruiser having participated in 19 Newport Bermuda Races and five transatlantic sails, two racing and three cruising. On the majority of these passages he served as navigator. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee preparing regular Gulf Stream tutorials and analyses of conditions that are posted on the Race homepage during the months before the Race and briefing participants on expected Stream characteristics as part of the pre-Race Skipper’s Meeting. He regularly participates in Safety at Sea Seminars discussing weather and ocean currents and the associated effects on passage making.