It looks like this is how Challenger will remain for the time being: a skeleton
A decision has been made and it looks like our team will come home and return to Brazil a ways down the road to get 29 back in the water.
A number of developments over the past week have led to this conclusion. First of which, we don't have the R/V Alpha Delfino that we used for recovery. The ship is sill in Santos as the University has gone on strike. Without the Delfino or it's crew, we are left without a vessel capable of getting us to deep water for the deployment.
The trilux 33 paint that worked so beautifully on RU29 to keep her free of barnacles and other biological growth over the previous mission is still stuck in customs. After searching local boating stores, it was discovered that the product is extremely rare in Brazil and it is unlikely that we will find any in a timely manner
Without a deployment in deep water and lacking the bio foul paint, we will really be pushing the limits of the battery packs as we attempt to cross back to Cape Town. In the shallows, battery consumption is 2-3 times more than flying to the full 1000 m depth. Coupled with the increased time in productive waters, the odds will be stacked against us.
So for now the deployment will be delayed until further notice. The parts that need repairs have been packed in Scott and Chip's luggage and hopefully by the time they travel back down in the coming weeks the batteries and paint will be released from customs and ready and waiting for us in Ubatuba.
Stay tuned for updates on the redeployment in the near future. Great work team!
Force Wind Sea & Honor