It may be a slight exaggeration, but Challenger has picked up her game in the final hour of her mission.
Over the past week, our team has worked very hard meeting deadlines to get all of the necessary equipment for recovery and redeployment slated for arrival in Ascension Island in november. However, Challenger has kicked it into high gear, reaching speeds close to 25 km/day once more. If this continues, we should be very close to shore within the next two weeks! Yesterday, as Antonio predicted over 10 days ago, she crossed into the EEZ officially leaving international waters for the last time while on this mission.
Looking at Antonio's 3-D bathymetry, the Ascension Fracture Zone is all that lies between Challenger and her finish line. We plan on taking evasive maneuvers around this area even though our maps say it doesn't rise further than 1600m from the surface just in case the maps are not in a high enough resolution to pick out small points that may be hazardous, and because we have loads of time to kill.
Once we get to the island, we plan to kill time in one way or another. This will be discussed in class amongst the undergraduate students next week on Tuesday
Force Wind Sea & Honor