Now less than a week away from when the team will arrive in Cape Town and set sail to recover Ru29, we continue to fight the oceans currents as we look for the best way to get the glider closer to shore.
On Tuesday, 29 was given a new way point and almost immediately we saw a change in the direction of the currents as they rotated from West to North-West, and as the week continued this rotation moved further and further north.
A reduction in the number of yo’s per segment also led to a decreased number of oddities from the pump. As of last week, the pump was holding steady at 32 oddities; we reduced the yos by 25%, so we would expect the oddities to then drop to 24. However the result was 19, so 19/24= .79 so they effectively dropped by 21%. The more well behaved pump has also lead to the power usage dropping back down a bit allowing the team to rest a little more easily.
By Wednesday, the persistant West North-West current had slowed Challenger down to a crawl of about 1 km/10hrs while the glider continued to try and push east to the cold core eddy. It seemed though that the warm eddy in the image above had shifted and the northern edge was what was causing the strong westward current.
Antonio however suggested we move the waypoint to the North East of the glider citing the Copernicus salinity data overlayed with the current fields. The water that spills over from the Indian ocean into the South Atlantic is significantly more salty and shows up very nicely in the data:
With the new waypoint set to 32º30`S, 14º30`E, Challenger regained some pep in her step as the currents rotated further to the north and she covered a significant distance compared to the progress made over the past few days
With this change of luck we will keep Antonio’s way point and see if we can continue to make better progress while the recovery team makes final preparations for their travel to Cape Town
Force Wind Sea & Honor