Follow the white line

Follow the White Line
Reported by: Katie Leigh

As you can probably imagine, swimming a straight line or any sort of course through the Straits of Florida would be difficult, if not impossible. That’s why Diana has Voyager, her escort boat, and John Bartlett, her navigator. John plots the course and then one of Voyager’s drivers stays on that heading.

But Diana still has to follow the boat, which is difficult for her. So several years ago, John Bartlett envisioned a line in the water that would mimic the white lines on the bottom of an Olympic pool. He built a 25-foot wooden boom that extends out from the starboard side of Voyager. Attached to the boom is a white streamer made out of sail material that drags in the water. The result is a line for Diana to follow, just as if she were in a swimming pool. It doesn’t matter where the boat navigates, Diana will follow the streamer wherever it goes.

At night, Diana can’t see the streamer, of course, so the team engineered a string of red lights that they attach after dark. Diana will follow the line of red lights all night long.



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