As Einstein said, “The shortest distance between two points is in fact a curve”
Now although Einstein was talking about the space-time continuum, this holds true for Challenger and his current situation.
Jumping back a few days, we had changed our way point to try and keep ourselves from drifting too far to the east. However, we went right into a wall...
We ended up on the northern western side of a strong warm eddy that had currents in our vicinity that reached up to .3m/s moving north east. As you can see in the picture above, we have made very little progress vertically as Challenger just does not have the horse power to plow through currents of that magnitude.
Shown in the figure above of the North/South components of the currents, we are still in the midst of some very strong currents, so early this afternoon we changed the way point back to the east. We chose to put it at 22W so that we follow the northern side of the warm eddy around to the east rather than continue to make minimal progress (the curve being the shortest distance between where we are and where we want to be).
The changed way point resulted in Challenger being launched to the east as it no longer was trying to fly nose first into the North current.
Now the projected path for Challenger will be somewhere along the lines of following the eddy along to the east before swinging back west towards the Azores where we may conduct a rendezvous off the coast of Terciera.
However we must 'watch our step' as at the bottom of this eddy we get within range of a number of seamounts where the bathymetry becomes less than 1000m. When we reach this area we will have to adjust our dive angle to avoid running into the sea floor. Once we are past the area with the sea mounts, depending on our location due to drifting, we will discuss whether or not we could get back to Terciera or if Soa Miguel would be a better option.
We will post again soon with more updates!
Nilsen & Antonio
Tags: Nilsen Strandskov