So early this morning (2:24am EST), Challenger was deployed off of Cape Town, South Africa by a team consisting of Dave Aragon, JP, Ashley, Sinekhaya (Sea Technology Services) with Pieter Truter driving the boat while Tina ran the computer on shore.
They deployed Challenger just 10 miles from shore out of Cape Town where the water just about reaches 100m depth. The water depth is important here, because Challenger is equipped with a deep pump, meaning the pump works most efficiently when flying in the full water column. Being in shallow water with the deep engine, as we learned on the test mission this past summer, burns battery exponentially faster than flying in the deep. So now we have moved the way point to aim Challenger for the open ocean where as the water deepens, we will run a few more tests before we send Challenger on her way. As of this evening, Challenger is roughly 65 km from the shelf break, so we will continue to push onward.
We hope that as we cross the shelf into deeper waters, we can catch the northern edge of the counter clock wise rotating warm core eddy (remember being in the southern hemisphere reverses the direction of the eddies that we are used to in the north) and make our way out to the white line, indicating that we have left South African waters without unintentionally entering another countries designated area.
We hope to soon have pictures from the deployment to post here!
Back up in the North, Silbo is continuing to make progress across the great Atlantic Basin
Unfortunately, Silbo is still facing currents that are less than favorable... Today, our little guy recorded currents flowing nearly 180˚ from the direction we are trying to fly. Aside from this being bad news for Silbo progress wise, but it shows a disagreement with our ocean models, which are showing currents that would be very helpful, and not slowing us down to a progress of less than 6 km on the previous segment.
The angle of the currents Silbo has recorded over the past week has been rotating, so we can only hope that the the direction of the current continues to move as we continue to cross the series of eddies we have in our midst and we see more favorable currents in our near future.
Force, Wind, Sea and Honor to All!