500 Kilometers to the Azores
Currents are slowly increasing in speed and are still running to the southeast.
The two pieces of evidence we have above indicate that RU17 is likely on the southern side of the cold eddy centered near 40.5 N. 36.5 W in the satellite altimetery below. The SST front could be associated with the other cold eddy to our southwest. Our objective is to fly eastward between these two cold eddies, staying in the northern cold eddy to take advantage of its currents to the east.
We'll likely continue on this heading for the weekend, crossing through the interaction zone and staying in the northern eddy. Once across the center, we'll start heading south as far as we can in anticipation of crossing the northward flowing currents between 36 W and 35 W. The thin white line is the google earth ruler. It says the distance to Flores just dropped below 500 km. Everyday, the ocean gets a few kilometers smaller.