Feeling out our Options
Over the past week, our gliders have continued to push on wards as they make their way across the Atlantic Basins.
To the south, Challenger has been making some inspiring progress as she has flown nearly 200 km as she entered the southern end of the freeway I have mentioned in recent posts.
Yesterday, we issued Challenger a new way point, moving it from the north west to nearly due north, that way we can surf the warm core eddy that is dead ahead. The placement of the way point, we hope will allow us to keep us from being pushed too far to the east by the flux created by the eddy, effectively avoiding getting too close to the near by EEZ.
Another obstacle we must keep in mind is the mountain range that lies ahead. At some points, these sea mounts actually reach from the dark depths of the Atlantic to nearly 200 m from the surface! Because of this, we will be switching on the altimeter that way if we come near these shallow points, we will safely inflect before running aground. The new way point however should steer us clear of any trouble areas.
Antonio's 3D visualization of the Hycom forecast model also shows that the currents up until tomorrow will continue to to hold, providing confidence in our decision of the way point.
To our north, Silbo is still 'turtling' (as Antonio described) his away across the North Atlantic. It has been over a month now that we have been pursuing the large warm core eddy to the south west and over 4 months since we have had evidence of a favorable current.
Taking this into account, there has been talk amongst our team of adjusting our path and veering away from Brazil for the moment. The most promising choice at the moment, is to move the way point to the north west, taking advantage of the current we have been fighting for 1/3 of the past year and heading towards Barbados and St. Thomas. Here, Silbo can get a nice rest, a good cleaning, fresh anti biofouling coatings, and a new set of batteries, thus giving Silbo a fighting chance as we push to get around the horn and to the South towards Rio. There will be more talk of this throughout the week and we will make sure to keep everyone posted.
Force Wind Sea & Honor