June 10, 2013

This note is to inform you of the World Record attempt by Chloe McCardel and the McCardel Team to swim from Havana Cuba to the Florida Keys during the approximate period of June 12-14, 2013. The exact dates of the swim will be determined by the team as a function of weather, ocean currents and tides in the Straits of Florida. But June 12, 2013 is the expect start time.

A team of expert oceanographers from industry and academia using real-time satellite data (NOAA, NASA, ESA) from and ocean models are working together to provide real-time oceanographic maps showing the ocean currents between Cuba and the Florida Keys. A science based strategy has already been established by the entire team as a result team meetings. Tactical oceanographic information on the currents will be communicated via satellite telephone and frequent emails between the oceanography science team and the support ships (Captain Bob Olin of Sunluvercharters),  during the swim. The oceanographic science team is being led by Mitchell A. Roffer, Ph.D. of Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. (ROFFS™).

The science team is composed of expert oceanographers from:

1) Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc.  – ROFFS™ (West Melbourne, Florida) including Mitchell A. Roffer Ph.D., President, Dan Westhaver, Gregory Gawlikowski, Matthew Upton, and Candice Hall.

2) The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, (Miami, FL) Villy Kourafalou, Ph.D.

3) The University of Miami Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, (Miami, FL) Matthieu Le Henaff, Ph.D.

3) University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, (Ocean Springs MS) Jim Franks, Ph.D.

We at ROFFS™ are leading the effort and are using high resolution infrared and ocean color satellite data at 1.1 km resolution from the US NOAA Earth orbiting satellites (NOAA_15, 16, 18, 19, SNPP)  and NASA satellites (Terra, Aqua) along with European Space Agency (MetOp_A and MetOp_B) satellites to provide oceanographic analyses of the water masses and their associated currents. We are also using the HYCOM numerical ocean current models from the HYCOM data server to provide a ensemble of forecast products for the currents during the swim. Weather forecasting models are also being used from a variety of sources to provide information.

The ROFFS™ team will be evaluating the satellite imagery, image by image to understand the surface flow of the water. We will be comparing our observations with the HYCOM model which will be used as guidance.  Below is the graphic of our analysis today which shows two relatively small counter-clockwise eddy features along the northern boundary of the Gulf Stream (84°F-85°F). We anticipate that these features will move eastward over the next two days and not present a problem for Chloe McCardel during her swim. Also the relatively large pool of blue water (84.8°F) northwest of Cuba is expected to remain relatively stationary for the next few days and therefore not present a problem for the swim.

Stay in touch with the progress on a daily basis on roffs.com (Mitch’s Meanderings). Also see the ROFFS™ Facebook page , the Chloe McCardel page  and the Chloe McCardel home page . She will have a live GPS tracker running so you can watch her progress. THIS WILL BE A WORLD RECORD. Swimming without a cage unaided from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida USA. We anticipate a 50-60 hour swim with approximately one stroke every second when swimming.



Mitchell A. Roffer, Ph.D.



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