Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nice video of the start

I originally posted this is the wrong blog. Now moved here.

Great French video of the start.


....with some longish ad in front of it

For more video, photos and news, check out 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Progress report Jan 24-25

The little blue dot is us at the moment. There is clearly a lot of traffic around, but just as we can see them, the ships can also. This is an AIS picture from marine traffic.  There are receiver antennas on the coast who participate with Marine Traffic by sending back their live data to the Marine Traffic HQ. After they get 100 mi or so offshore, this will no longer work.


Team is underway and doing well  in  difficult conditions, not to mention that everyone has to adjust to the life at sea, which takes a couple days.

You can see their position updated every 1.5 hr at the oarnw site.  click any position point to get more data. Making on average about a knot to toward about 300 T.  Once things settle down and the wind and waves clock back around to the east, progress will pick up.

Check the wx map to see that there is a trough over coast of Africa that has cranked the isobars and winds around to the north and freshened them–they who would otherwise be lighter trade winds from the NE.

These trough winds brings with them larger waves, which slows down progress.

My guess of the waves from the ww3 model is about 3.5 m from just west of north, which means they might be rowing with seas on the starboard bow... we have to learn later what real conditions are.

My guess is they might take a somewhat more westerly course when the wind and seas allow them.

Currents do not become an issue for a couple days i would guess, but we will keep an eye on it.

For next day or two waves are still predicted at from 350 (actually slipping a bit more to the west 340), but they should diminish. Sat down to 2.2 or so (down 40%), and by sunday start to move to the east, meaning from 010 or so.   200 miles west of you they are from almost NE.

PS normally we describe waves as the direction they move toward, but in our application it seems more logical to think of the direction they are coming from.... we will see as we progress here what is the best way to describe the seas in this application.  Generally wind and waves should be from the same direction, but there are multiple reasons that get them out of sync.

for one, the wind can change directions relatively quickly, but it takes half a day or longer for the seas to follow.

Also if there are any prevailing swells in the neighborhood, they combine with the wind waves to make a combined sea state which will have some combined height and direction.  Generally if the period of the waves are much longer than 12s or so, these are mostly swells, if less than 10 or so, they are mostly wind waves.  The boat is now experiencing something in between these two ends.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Boat being readied for departure

Boat is now at the staging port and being charged, tested, rigged ad provisioned for the ocean trip. So far on track for a Wed departure.

For the time being you can follow the boat at the earlier tracking page used for Vancouver Island expedition, but we hope to have another display running shortly.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Atlantic Wave Predictions

Here are the wave predictions from OPC for the Atlantic (most of these long ones with long periods in the tropics are swells). Dakar at 15N, is just off the chart in the bottom right. The boat will have NE wind waves from the trades, riding on top of these swells. Very roughly speaking, anything we see that is below 7 or 8s will be wind waves, and the longer waves are swells from storms well north of them.  Also the shorter period waves will not have much fetch behind them, whereas you will see the swell patterns clearly emanating from distant sources.

We have more specific data we will add here shortly.  They are about to get underway, so we have to get this stuff together in the next week or so.  If all works as planned, these data should be updated automatically every day.  We shall see.

and the 48h prediction
and the 96h prediction

Monday, January 7, 2013

Progress report with conch

I have learned today from Greg that the boat is due to arrive in Dakar on Sunday, Jan 13. It will then be moved to the private harbor of the Hotel Terrou Bi, whose official address is on Martin Luther King Boulevard, which is rather of a surprise and coincidence, as they might well be departing near the US holiday of Martin Luther King Jr Day (Jan 21).

To see where this is, start from the picture showing Dakar as the westernmost tip of Africa, and zoom in.

Thus we can fine tune the departure point we guessed in an earlier article, but that does not change any of the rest of those early notes.

As I understand, the boat is now on the ship SANTA GIORGINA, which is, as I write, headed into the port of Gibralter, to arrive before midnight, tonight. After that stop, it must turn around and go straight on down to Dakar, I would guess. Dakar is about 1600 nmi from its stop in ALGECIRAS, and the ship cruises in the ocean at about 14-15 kts, which will taken them about 4 - 5 days, so we are right at the 13th. You can use the above link to watch the boat on the ship come down the coast of Africa.

So standing somewhere near Martin Luther King Blvd. in Dakar near Martin Luther King Day here the local folks in Dakar will hear Jordan's famous conch signal saying good by. Below is his signal saying goodby to Starpath at our last meeting, with Greg and Pat in the background.

Here is another view of the conch in hand somewhere before or after the Round Vancouver Island expedition. We look forward to hearing it Miami sometime not long after the Vernal Equinox.

So first rough estimates: leave by Martin Luther King Day, arrive by the Vernal Equinox.

Update added on Jan 24, to follow though on the conch. Here is the conch going off at the start with a neat video attached.

Click the pic to see the French video. It has a 30s ad in front of it.