For those of you who have been following us for a while, crossing the 221 days at sea mile stone is a big one.
This 221 Day mark is a historic mile stone set in 2009 when the glider team took the Slocum Glider RU 27 over 7,000 km and crossed the North Atlantic from Tuckerton, NJ to Baiona, Galicia, Spain.
“In spite of neptune & poseidon, the VIG club grows.” When we first started piloting Silbo in June 2011, Antonio and I started the VIG or the Very Important Glider club that we used as a way to acknowledge the gliders we were working with as they pushed the limits of what these gliders could accomplish. And now after 222 days at sea, we are including Challenger as well.
Since deployment, Challenger has most certainly had her work cut out for her. Promptly after crossing the shelf break of South Africa, the compass went haywire; she encountered numerous hazardous sea mounts; the deep eastward flux that she fought from February – June; the 10 day siesta in which we had no communications with the glider as she was stuck in an infinite loop underwater; diminishing battery deadlines; and of course, Barnacles!
Moving along, yesterday I gave Challenger a new way point just a little to the north east of Ascension island to try and correct for the roughly 11˚ offset we have been flying at.
However, ahead we have what looks like one last batch of sea mounts that have the potential to be dangerous, so we may need to curve our flight path around them instead of making a b-line for the island.
As it stands now, Challenger is roughly 820 km from the shores of Ascension Island so if we were to maintain >22 km/day, we should be looking at a recovery date by the end of September.
Force Wind Sea & Honor