So after brainstorming a number of ideas on what to have silbo do to kill time while our team from PLOCAN makes it out to Madeira for the rendezvous, Silbo has now begun operation station keep. Silbo is now only about 100km from Madeira, 8 days before our team will be able to arrive on scene.
Currently we are crossing the northern side of the warm eddy planet of the series that we have been surfing for the past two weeks.
Although the hycom layers show a northward flow, myocean sub surface currents all show a general flow right towards the island.
The geostrophic currents in the above image of the ncom currents overlayed on nlom sea surface height agree with the flow shown at depth from myocean showing the current moving towards Madeira. This flow again would be ideal if it wasn't for the time frame we decided on before Silbo turned on the jets and set speed records as he made amazing progress over the past week and a half.
So to kill some time as our team makes their final preparation we are instating a station keep game plan. This consists of setting two way points close together (in this case 1823.8500W 3245.0050N and 1824.0000W 3245.0000N). Silbo will then bounce back and forth between these two way points over the next couple days until our friends at PLOCAN are ready for us to move the way point back to the meeting point.
In deciding where we would station keep, we had to keep a few things in mind. We needed to stay far enough away from the island to avoid shipping lanes, unfavorable bathymetry, and the effects of the tides.
We chose to try and keep Silbo west of 18˚ W to keep our heroic little droid out of the bad scenarios listed above. Luckily the ships are pretty quiet tonight, however we will keep a keen eye on both the marine traffic overlays and the localizada ship traffic.
Finally, we are keeping an eye on the battery consumption to make sure we are not running low. Currently it looks that we are still in the clear as our plots indicated we should be fine battery wise through to June.
We will update again soon on Silbo's progress with the station keeping.
Nilsen Strandskov, Antonio Ramos, Oliver Ho.