The image above shows that RU29 is about 95 kilometers from South African waters. However, the currents are the wrong direction flowing more west than anything else. And it is hard to rely on what the glider is reporting. The waypoint is northeast, the reported currents are mostly west, even when you account for the persistent difference in magnetic versus true. Yet the glider is traveling slowly southeast. The following are todays forecast products
Oscar Mar 21
OSCAR says if we can just get a bit more east, we will begin to feel that large cold core eddy that will bring us around clockwise into South African waters. That means we should soon see currents to the north. Dave’s suggestion of flying ESE will aid in getting us there.
GLOSEA Mar 21
GLOSEA agrees with the OSCAR forecast, also showing the large cold eddy to the south east.
HYCOM Mar 21
HYCOM says we should have had a favorable current to SE that last few days, and we did not. It also says if we fly south, we will enter a current to the west. But we are already in a current to the west – our present issue. HYCOM further says that if we continue east, we will find ourselves in a strong southward current, the exact opposite of OSCAR.
RTOFS Mar 21
RTOFS is showing the same as HYCOM but with slower currents. ROTFS does however start with the same initialization as HYCOM, but uses different winds to complete the forecast.
So we have two products saying we should go ESE, and two products saying there lies danger. The Copernicus product however is not yet available for a tie breaker on the guidance side as they are in the process of doing maintenance on their site.
Despite what the models are saying, Challegner is telling us East North-East is not working, and that straight East will not work. 29’s track is telling us to try ESE to see where it gets us regardless of the guidance. Hopefully the model guidance from OSCAR and British are more correct.
For the gliders status, the power plots have to be adjusted. We are up to about 3.2 AH/day, and down to about 50 days left. That is end of April/early May if nothing else happens, like the need for shallower dives or more pump leaks. Luckily we are all set to recover in just over a weeks time.
Communications and steering are holding steady, but the oddities and pump issues on climbs outlined last week are still the main problem and the source of the increased power draw. At some point this week we would like to try and pull more data from the glider to see if there is anything that can be done, however that would require a more prolonged surface time and at the moment we are in a pretty high trafficked area
Force Wind Sea & Honor