That is one Fast Glider
As Challenger makes more progress away from the shelf break and towards international boards, we cant help but be proud of how well she is flying. After brushing the cobwebs off of our knowledge of geometry, we found that Challenger has been hitting speeds of up to 40 cm/s horizontal velocity- nearly twice the speed of what we have had with the older G1 gliders!
We are also collecting some beautiful data as we delve into the depths of the South Atlantic. Above, is a time series of temperature since deployment recorded by Challenger, and aside from some false hits telling us the depth, the data set looks amazing.
As for the way point that was given to her last week, it looks like it is working perfectly.
With the way point set at the northern edge of the warm core eddy, we are getting dragged up and around the counter clockwise circulation, keeping us from being pulled into the center of the eddy.
We are very pleased to see that the eddy field we are edging ourselves into seems to be accurately depicted by both GeoEye/SeaStar and the RTOFS model.
Both agree with the positions of the counterclockwise spinning warm/clockwise cold eddies in our immediate vicinity and although the intensities differ, they show similar patterns of eddies further out to see. Both also show similar positions for the warm eddies outlined in the 3d GeoEye/SeaStar image, which we hope will provide us with the path of jumping from warm eddy to warm eddy that will lead us out of South African waters and to the North West once we are out into the open ocean.
As for Silbo in the North, we are still plugging away trying to fight our way through this strong under current. It looks like we may have a chance ahead as I am proposing a new way point to our team.
Hopefully if we can turn Silbo to the South at some point over the next couple days, we may be able to catch the signature of the small cold eddy to our south west allowing us to cut back to get good position on the large warm eddy south of that point.
Soon Silbo will be encountering the equatorial currents and we need to make sure we can gain good position before that point so we dont get swept up the northern shores of Brazil.
Force Wind Sea & Honor!