98 Kilometers to the Spanish EEZ

Drake remains steady on the 26.5 N line over the weekend. Depth average current is up to 8 cm/sec.  We continue to find the deep gliders to be easier to fly from point to point.  Currents are smaller over their range of operation.  We are much closer to being a ship than a drifter.  The shallow gliders are more like half ship, half drifter.

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The Jet Stream continues to meander across the basin, leaving clear skies over the Middle Atlantic Bight and over Spain, but with Drake in clouds.  Very different from last week.

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The Satellite sea surface temperature maps are starting to come in.  There is about a day delay.  The clear areas to our west are showing up now.  Maybe later today or tomorrow we'll have SST back.

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Satellite altimetry shows that persistent current running just along 12 W to Lisbon.  That is our escape route if things go bad.  Get into that current, minimize surfacings to avoid ships, and recover from Lisbon if we have to.  The targeted eddy inside the Spanish EEZ shown in green appears to look more like a loop in this jet rather than an eddy.  That will complicate the recovery process.  Still, its good to be thinking about a recovery process rather than the alternative.

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The north-south component of the ocean current reported by Scarlet has been fluctuating rapidly, sometimes to the north, sometimes to the south.  It is too rapid for us to follow with an 8 hour update cycle. However, the east-west component of the current is steady to the east.  So we'll take advantage of that and just fly east.  We can let the wobbly north-south component change sign as it decides, while we use Scarlet's velocity to increase the eastward component.  The distance to the Spanish EEZ is down to 98 km.  Distance travelled along the path length from New Jersey is 7120 km.  Distance made good on the last 8 hour segment was just about 7 km.

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Today at the 11 am surfacing, we'll check out how Scarlet is flying, and likely make our final pitch adjustment to increase her forward speed.

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