Thursday, April 4, 2013

Coastal currents off of Miami

As we get closer to the Bahamas we need to start thinking about crossing the Gulf Stream east of Miami.  On a first look, we see something interesting, but not yet sure it is real, namely a large pocket of light current due east of Miami.

We will have to watch this over several days ( 5 or 6) to see if this persists. Not sure it will matter but it is definitely interesting.

The data are from the HF Radar measurements of University of Miami.

View the video in full screen and watch inside the blue box.  The currents in this box are either light, or actually flowing west, the direction we are going!

We will have to watch this.  It could all be a complete fluke.... or even an artifact of the radar equipment... ie some sort of shadow.  This we should be able to learn by calling the folks who run the equipment.

On the  current page link above, you can click an arrow for more current data, then click a history button for more info.

If any one wants to study this, we welcome your results.  thanks.

For an overview of ocean and coastal currents see links at:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just about back underway...

The team is back underway, for the most part, though at this very moment back in some N-NW winds that call for sea anchor again. As noted earlier, this should be over tomorrow for more steady progress.

For the record, about 7 hours ago, they crossed the exact place in the ocean where they were 3 days and 16 hours earlier.  So we have lost that much to these bad winds, simple as that.

For now we do not see anything like that in the future, but it is a good example of what can happen, and has to be folded into the equation of what might happen if another front passes by them... Granted however that this last event was an unusual circumstance.  But they also had a bit of an unusual circumstance just after the departure.  No one can say they are having good luck on the weather.

They were at the cross over point at 0400 on Mar 11 and again at 2000 on Mar 14.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Headwinds till Friday!

JRH position 
06:00 Mar 12 UTC 
21.4373 N, 48.3996 W 

2h SMG=0.2kts, CMG=111
24h SMG=0.4kts, CMG=12

1763.98 nmi to Miami

Still experimenting with ways to present the wind.  Here is another shot. Again, just click open any one and then mouse scroll to make your own movie.  They have strong head winds at the moment, so we are for the first time in the trip actually going backwards, but it wont last for long. Looks like Friday it goes light and will stay that way for a while.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday March 8 Progress Report and Forecast

pins mark 00z positions each day

JRH position
22:40 Mar 08 UTC
19.9596 N, 47.4486 W

2h SMG=3.0kts, CMG=309
24h SMG=2.9kts, CMG=297

1839.64 nmi to Miami........... at 2.0 kts = 38 days...... at 3.0 = 26 days

About to cross 20N, and past halfway done by 90% of the ways to define halfway, and tomorrow some time, past all 100% of the ways…. not to mention that the Americas have been the closest actual possible destination since getting 100 miles past Cape Verdes, about a month ago. It is just that Miami seems like a nicer destination now than it did 1 month ago.

* * *  and with a new record day of progress 2.9 kts at 297T

Multiple Congratulations!

There is some strong wind north west of the boat and moving this way, but the bulk of it seems to be passing north of the boat. Below shows the winds they might get over the next week as this frontal system goes by.

This will help them north for a while, but then most likely slow them down a bit when the wind veers around to the west. For now it looks like it would only be strong westerly for a couple days. So there might be time to hang out the sea anchor and get some laundry done after the past week of big push.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weather Outlook

The JRH has light favorable air for the next week or so... if we stretch the forecasts, but this is not at all the case for the rest of the Atlantic in front of them, north of them, and south of them.

We have friends in the Central America who are getting hammered at the moment.

For latest weather info that might affect the boat, see  tropical Atlantic weather

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Almost Halfway There –– Past Halfway There

It depends on how you want to count it.

Latest JRH position is

 04:00 Mar 01 UTC is  18.3419 N, 41.246 W 

2h SMG=1.0kts, CMG=302,   24h SMG=1.3kts, CMG=286 

2204.59 nmi to Miami  (about half that to nearest land in the Caribbean)

They started at Dakar, Lon 17º 31’W, with a Destination of Miami,  Lon 80º 08’W, so the halfway mark is at Lon 48º  49.5’W.

It is perfectly fair to say whenever they cross that line they are halfway to Miami, regardless of latitude.

On the other hand... the Lon of the Windward Islands of the Caribbean is about 61W, which would have put the halfway point to “crossing the Atlantic” in general quite a ways behind them now, back at 39.5W

It has been tough slow going, but they are making steady progress and are in this sense on the downhill side of a long trip.  Good work guys!

By the way, their GC course is going to start *very* slowly coming down as they  proceed, and now it is just crossing on to 288T from the previous 290.  They have been doing excellent job on average course made good in unseasonally unfavorable seas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big eddy on the horizon... Maybe!

You may well have detected that we are struggling to try to understand and be able to predict on some level the ocean currents the boat must navigate.  We have mixed success. We did see a big eddy some days ago and there was definite evidence they felt some of it, but details of the prediction did not seem to pan out.

Now we approach another monster eddy at about 18N, 40W and will have another chance.  To see this one, first go to their latest position plot, that shows where they are relative to a zoomed in view, then go to 6-day forecasts and scroll the pics.

This eddy has been there for many weeks now according to RTOFS.  We have yet to get confirmation of it from other ocean models.

Note that at the time of writing here (19z on Feb 19) the boat is moving at 4.3 kts to the west.  If this is real data then they must be in a strong (>2 kts) current now. They cannot row that fast.

You can check latest position and progress at JHR position update.

We shall see...